On July 15, Microsoft will begin selling a product that many of you should consider for your next computer.
Microsoft Equipt includes Office 2007 Home and Student, Windows Live OneCare, and some Windows Live programs and services (Office Live Workspace for online storage of files, plus Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Mail). It will be sold as a seventy dollar per year subscription for up to three computers, and theoretically cannot be used on an office computer.
I wrote some extensive notes about this bundle when it entered beta testing. It’s cheaper than the earlier rumors suggested. Some people object to the subscription pricing but Microsoft has picked a good price point; this is only a couple of hundred dollars worth of software at best, but seventy bucks makes it really cheap to get started and you wouldn’t even arguably come out ahead for almost three years if you bought and installed everything separately.
It’s worth noting that the subscription will include free upgrades if new versions of programs are released – and Office is scheduled for a new version in the next year or two. Theoretically that gives this bundle a price advantage.
But the more significant reason to buy this is because it’s the right software for most home users and students setting up a new computer, delivered in a reasonably simple way. If your next computer had Vista and this bundle, you’d be able to do just about everything most people do with a computer!
There are two problems.
- “Equipt” is a terrible name. What is it with Microsoft and names? It’s meaningless and silly sounding and fails to gain any leverage from the “Microsoft Office” brand name.
- At first it will only be sold at Circuit City.
- At first it will only be sold at Circuit City. I had to repeat that to be sure you got it. What? I’m supposed to tell people Microsoft has a great new package for their new home computer and they have to schlep to Circuit City to get it? What, nobody else would sell it? Circuit City is falling apart, for gods sake! Who in the world made that decision and why do they hate us?
Really, the marketing people at Microsoft need a long holiday.