Office by subscription? What??

News out today that Microsoft is going to offer to sell some versions of its desktop software on a subscription basis. This will be done in typical MS fashion under a cool product name “Equipt”. Confusingly some are calling this part of their S+S play but it seems that the software is locally installed so its not really “SaaS” – just the update feature…

My initial reaction? Cringe… I mean clearly this isn’t SaaS. The cynic in me leapt to the conclusion that this was a lame attempt to combat SaaS with a subscription model.

But then in an IM chat with Ben Kepes I had an epiphany;

What if this is a test case? What if MS is attempting to see if the success of SaaS is in its technical innovation – the software itself and how it’s delivered – or just in its commercial approach – subscription pricing.

Even if MS didn’t plan it that way perhaps we, the public could view it that way? Interesting piece of research in its own right?

Your thoughts as always, are welcome.

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