I’m one of those people who refuse to pay for software like Office and Photoshop, which is why I am typing you this missive from an Ubuntu build. I’m not going to steal Microsoft’s products, but it is vaguely offensive to me that they want $140 for a program that I can download, from the Internet, completely legally, for free. Or use, on the Internet, for free.
So Microsoft has decided to meet people like me not even halfway and offer a “subscription” to Office where you and I get to pay them $100 a year for software we can get, again, for free.
Of course, software companies trying to ram subscriptions down our throats is absolutely nothing new, ask anybody with anti-virus software. But this is just insulting:
For $99.99/year, there’s Office 365 Home Premium, giving Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access, plus an extra 20 GB of SkyDrive storage (in addition to the 7 GB that you get for free), plus 60 minutes of Skype calls per month. This is licensed on a per-household basis, and one account can be shared by up to 5 users across any mixture of five PCs and Macs.
Microsoft argues that if your house has a lot of computers, this actually works out to be cheaper over time since the cost is mitigated among several computers, versus buying one for each computer. Never mind that it’s Microsoft that sets these prices and, as Ars Technica points out, is also jacking them up by twenty bucks and refusing to hand out household licenses.
In short, you should just download this software for free. Or, more specifically, you should go to your parents’ house and download them this software for free.