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.


  • OneDrive Users To Get Storage Options, Plus New Personal Vault

    Microsoft announced a few OneDrive enhancements, including storage-option additions, plus a new "Personal Vault" feature for added security assurance.

  • Cloud Services Starting To Overtake On-Prem Database Management Systems

    Database management system (DBMS) growth is happening more on the cloud services side than on the traditional "on-premises" side, according to a report by Gartner Inc.

  • How To Replace an Aging Domain Controller

    If the hardware behind your domain controllers has become outdated, here's a step-by-step guide to performing a hardware refresh.

  • Azure Backup for SQL Server 2008 Available at Preview Stage

    Microsoft added the option of using the Azure Backup service to provide recovery support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 when those workloads are hosted on Azure virtual machines.

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.