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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Microsoft Hopes Office Subscription Plan Will Counter Free Software

With its Office franchise under attack from a host of competitors offering free software, Microsoft is hoping that a new subscription pricing model for its Office suite will encourage consumers to continue upgrading to the latest editions of the product.

Microsoft said that it will give consumers the option of buying an annual license for Office and its Windows Live OneCare security package for $69.99 per year under a program called Equipt. The license covers use of the software on up to three computers and includes access to all future product upgrades.

Microsoft is counting on Equipt's convenience factor to help it fend off competitive threats from Google, IBM, and other vendors that are offering free and open source desktop productivity suites.

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