Microsoft Eyes Consumer Subscription Market With Equipt

Microsoft unveiled a new subscription-based consumer offering that combines an office productivity suite with security and hosted services. The solution, called Microsoft Equipt, will cost $70 for a year's subscription, with a single license covering three PCs. Equipt will be sold starting mid-July through Circuit City retail stores.

The offering, originally known by its code name, "Project Albany," puts Microsoft on a new footing by bringing the subscription model to consumers, according to Bryson Gordon, Microsoft's group product manager.

"We're breaking new ground by delivering Microsoft Office in combination with security and communication tools, plus ensuring our customers are on the cutting edge with the very latest versions," Gordon stated in an April Microsoft press release describing Project Albany. "We found from our research that when you bring these categories together and keep them automatically updated, a subscription model makes a lot of sense."

The Equipt offering includes Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Word as part of the Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 product. Other applications are Web based and accessed through Microsoft Windows Live, such as e-mail, instant messaging and online photo storage. In addition, online file sharing is enabled through Office Live Workspace.

Security and update hassles get addressed in Equipt via Windows Live OneCare, which provides traffic-light-type security alerts and automatic software updates.

Depending on how long consumers go without upgrades, the subscription-based Equipt may save consumers money in comparison with buying the software separately. For instance, Circuit City currently offers Windows Live OneCare 2.0 for $30 and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 for $130. Buying the software separately costs a total of $160. If Microsoft continues its current pricing for Equipt, then two years of service would cost $140.

Consumers can get similar applications for free by using productivity suites such as IBM's Lotus Symphony or sponsored by Sun Microsystems. In addition, Google provides hosted applications for free with its Google Apps online solutions.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


  • What Does Office 365 Support for New Surface Hardware Actually Mean?

    Microsoft has spilled a lot of ink touting the ways that its new Surface-branded peripherals will be bring Office 365 features to life.

  • Azure Active Directory ID Protection 'Refresh' Now Available

    Microsoft's enhancements to the Azure Active Directory Identity Protection service are now said to be "generally available" (GA), or ready for commercial use, per a Wednesday announcement.

  • Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Version 1909

    Microsoft on Tuesday announced the release of Windows 10 version 1909, a new operating system product that's also known as the "Windows 10 November 2019 Update."

  • November Microsoft Security Bundle Addresses 75 Vulnerabilities

    Of that number, 13 vulnerabilities are rated "Critical" to patch, while 62 vulnerabilities are deemed "Important."

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.