It has been apparent with Microsoft’s direction of shifting its software model to being subscription based. In line with that, the latest Office 2019 announces another major change on that product.
We have been accustomed to buying a one-time perpetual license via the Home Use Program they have had since the beginning. This lets businesses to offer employees to use discounted versions they have bought for them to use at home.
Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 has been removed as options for the one-time licenses under the said new program. In replacement will be a 30% discount on annual subscription to the Office software. Office 365 Personal will run under the Home User Program for $48.99 per year, and Office 365 Home will cost $69.99 annually. In essence both Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 are basically the same including premium versions of the Microsoft programs which include 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and OneDrive ransomware detection. The Home version supports up to six people, and Personal is for a single individual only.
As per reading the fine print, a perpetual license you have purchased via the Home User Proram will continue to work. Once you purchase a Microsoft subscription via the HUP, you can keep the lower price even though you have left that employer.
Microsoft has been earning much and reaping the rewards of its transition to being a subscription-driven service for the software with a whopping $11 billion in quarterly revenue for its Productivity and Business Processes division, including 31% growth in revenue for Office 365 Commercial.
As regular users, it is a mixed perception running through their minds. With subscriptions, users are guaranteed that they are getting the latest features and support from Microsoft. However, users have to factor in the monthly or annual cost on top of the concept that they would have more things to manage on their computers.
In hindsight, as a second option if you wanted a standalone office suite, LibreOffice may soon be your best choice. It is free, works well and it does everything you need for an office suite.
Microsoft clearly does not want you to own your own software, but rather purchase a subscription for it. And yes, it is for real.
This transition may not be a good idea since its latest version today you subscribed to may not be supported anymore in the years to come. It will reach its end of support life eventually. Similar to what will happen to Office 2010 on October 13, 2020. There will no longer be extended support.
Once Office 2010 expires, you would be forced to switch to Office 365.
Microsoft underlines this policy change by dropping Office 2019 from its Home Use Program (HUP) for its Software Assurance business customers. The Redmond crew will, however, still be happy to sell you discounted Office 365.
People are now wondering if there will even be another standalone version of Microsoft Office to be released in the future.
What are your thoughts on this?