Microsoft Adds Subscription Model for Office
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Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) plans to introduce a new way to sell its Office software suite on Wednesday, offering customers a subscription model instead of the traditional one-time license fee.
Starting in mid-July, the company will offer U.S. consumers Microsoft Equipt, which comes packaged with the latest version of Office, Windows Live online services and security software.
Equipt, which was introduced under the code-name "Albany," will be available for $69.99 a year and it can be used on up to three home computers, according to Microsoft. The product will be available at around 700 Circuit City (NYSE: CC) stores.
The company faces competition from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and several startups, including privately held Zoho, which offer applications comparable with Office but delivered through a Web browser for free or a monthly subscription.