Microsoft announced it will start selling its Office and Live OneCare software in a bundle for $70 per year starting mid-July:
Microsoft Corp. will begin selling its Office programs to consumers on a subscription basis starting mid-July, in a bid to reach thrifty PC buyers who would otherwise pass on productivity software.
The move may also set the stage for Microsoft to offer its consumer-oriented programs as "services" over the Web, by acclimating people now to the new pricing model such a shift could require.
The software bundle, which also includes Microsoft's Live OneCare computer security software, will be sold at nearly 700 Circuit City stores for $70 per year.
Bryson Gordon, a group product manager for the Office group, said in an interview that the agreement with Circuit City Stores Inc. is not exclusive, and that the bundle will be available at other retailers and on PCs sold by the likes of Dell Inc. in the future.