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April 2013, Volume 2, Number 4

Is a subscription for Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus too much change?

With its most profitable franchise caught in the crossfire of aggressively priced cloud-based offerings from competitors and the inertia of a user base reluctant to change, Microsoft last month launched versions of its Office applications suite available by subscription only. While offering a desktop suite as a service in this day and age hardly seems to be a bold decision, it is exactly that for Microsoft. If the company can't convince a good chunk of its user base to upgrade to the subscription-based versions of Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus over the next year, that could further slow the acceptance of Windows 8 on desktops and mobile platforms, most notably its Surface Pro tablet. Most of the bullets in this crossfire will likely come from larger customers unwilling to change the way they have purchased, deployed and supported Office -- a product with tentacles reaching into every corner of their business -- for decades. And the associated cost of swapping out thousands of copies makes most businesses skeptical. "It's an ...

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