Apple and Microsoft have come to terms and now you can buy an Office 365 ‘subscription’ plan from the Apple App Store. Why do such a silly thing?
We’ve seen a lot of hype about Office 365’s arrival in the App Store. Commentators almost hyperventilating with excitement including the phrase ‘rejoicing throughout the land’ apparently without any sarcasm.
Call us cynical but there’s nothing in this development except bad news for consumers.
Office 365 on the App Store is nothing more than a new way to buy an existing product. Office 365 Home or Personal already exists and so does the App Store.
A minor interesting note is that Microsoft is prepared to accept the high Apple commission on App Store sales. Either Microsoft has negotiated a lower rate than usual and/or decided is was worth paying Apple for the chance to get more people paying annually for Office. That matters to financial analysts but not consumers.
In case you’re wondering, Apple takes a 30% commission on App Store sales. For subscriptions that drops to 15% for the second and later years. Those high rates are the reason why Office 365 hasn’t been in the App Store until now.
App Store is the most expensive way to buy Office 365
Office 365 from the App Store is the most expensive way to buy. Apple/Microsoft charges full retail price for Office 365 Home or Personal.
Anyone who gets the Office Watch newsletters or has our Office book knows that Office 365 new or renewals are sold for less than retail. The book even has a chapter on saving money buying Office 365 with a heading ‘Never Pay Retail‘.
A quick check on today’s prices shows it’s possible to buy or renew Office 365 for $20 less than the full price Microsoft or Apple are charging. That’s a typical year-round saving.
Hiding the price
The App Store is clever marketing. There’s no immediate disclosure of the price you’ll pay until after the Office apps are installed.
Presumably Apple figures that once you’ve installed the Office apps, you’ll continue on that path and buy via the App Store.
Why pay more?
We can think of three reasons why someone would buy Office 365 from the Apple Store:
Convenience – willing to pay extra for the convenience of buying with a few clicks instead of a minute or two more.
Ignorance – not realizing that Microsoft and Apple charge full price when there are cheaper alternatives.
Generosity – an overwhelming desire to contribute more to the bank accounts of both Apple and Microsoft. Each company, as we know, is starved for funding and desperately needs contributions </sarcasm>. Apple has $237 Billion cash on hand while Microsoft suffers with just $135 Billion in the bank.
When you can pay less
Any reputable retailer can sell Office 365 Home or Personal and often at a lower price than Microsoft or Apple.