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Microsoft raises prices of Office one-time licenses 5 percent to 7 percent

Gregg Keizer | Sept. 23, 2015
Microsoft yesterday launched Office 2016 for Windows, and simultaneously raised prices of the stand-alone licenses for both it and the Mac edition between 5 percent and 7 percent.

In other words, a family with three copies of Office in use would have to hold onto perpetual licenses for seven years before getting more value than subscribing to Office 365 Home over the same period.

But even the perpetual license price increases did not make Office 365 Personal -- the single PC or Mac subscription plan -- more economical once its extras, including 1TB of OneDrive storage space, were eliminated. Office Home and Student 2016's $150 price tag remains the better deal, assuming the user holds onto the suite for more than 26 months.

(Previously, the break-even point in a comparison between Office Home & Student and Office 365 Personal was just over 24 months.)

Comparing prices between perpetual- and subscription-based licenses almost requires a spreadsheet. For example, if a customer wants Outlook, Office 365 Personal is more economical for up to 40 months between upgrades of the one-time license payment. (Under the prior price structure, the break-even was approximately 38 months.)

Subscribers to Office 365 can download the new Office 2016 for Windows -- the Mac version debuted in July -- using instructions Microsoft has provided for consumers and businesses.

Per license Office ownership 3 years
Office 2016's higher prices makes some Office 365 plans slightly more attractive: If customers install three or more of the allowed five copies of the suite under an Office 365 Home subscription, the 'rent-not-buy' plan is a better deal compared to holding onto an Office 2016 one-time license for just three years. On the other hand, as long as the user does not need Outlook and 1TB of online storage, Office Home & Student 2016 is a smarter purchase than repeatedly paying for Office 365 Personal. Click on image to enlarge.

 

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