The downside of the new Office 365 Home/Personal changes

Lots of praise for Microsoft’s changes to Office 365 Home, Personal and University allowing anyone to use up to five Office instances at any one time.  As usual, there’s a downside that’s lost in all the hype.

These changes are another example of why Microsoft is pushing annual rental for Office (they call it ‘subscription’ to Office 365).  Subscriptions are more profitable for Microsoft and gives the company a more even cash flow.

“Microsoft giveth and Microsoft taketh away”

Office 365 plans can be changed at any time with little or no notice.

The price and what you get for your money can be improved or reduced at Microsoft’s discretion.

We’ve seen this already.  Customers can’t assume that the current offer for Office 365 won’t change when it suits Microsoft.

OneDrive shrinkage

Microsoft once sold Office 365 Home, Personal and University with ‘unlimited’ OneDrive storage.  Then in November 2015, they cut back to 1TB but no change in pricing.

1 Terabyte is still generous but not the ‘unlimited’ that was advertised.  Microsoft’s lame excuse that a few people were using too much OneDrive space but they ignored the overall average use which was less than 20GB!  As said at the time:

“The OneDrive limit changes are an example and warning to Office 365 customers. Microsoft can, and will, change what you get for your annual tribute.”

Office 365 price rise

Australian MS Office users got slugged with a price rise with little notice. Again, as we said at the time:

” It demonstrates, again, one reason why Microsoft wants customers on a ‘subscription’ model. They can raise prices (or change the product features) whenever they like.  The cloud integration of Microsoft Office makes it harder for customers to switch away from the software “

Once Microsoft has a majority of Office customers ‘locked in’ to paying annually on an Office 365 plan, they’ll be able to reduce what we get for our money or raise prices.  Of course, hey won’t say that, it’ll be some weasel-words like ‘adjusting our products to suit customer expectations and market circumstances’ <sigh>.