Microsoft Office User? You won’t like this surprise.

Why you must buy Office 2010 or 2013 today.

If you’re like me, you are using Microsoft Office 2007 and are perfectly happy with it. There are a couple of features I’d like that are in 2010 (you can make real videos in PowerPoint) but until now it hasn’t been worth it to me to upgrade.

What’s changed?

The newest version of Office, Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription service. Yes, that’s right. Microsoft wants you to pay a monthly fee to use your (or is it theirs?) software.

The way we buy software has changed dramatically in the last few years. Boxes with a disc have practically disappeared, and getting software by downloading an entire program happens less and less often.

The move has been to SAAS – Software As A Service. That’s the technical name for web based programs. Even if you haven’t heard of SAAS you’re probably familiar with it.

If you use Gmail, Yahoo mail, Mac mail or the mail service from Verizon or Comcast you are using a web based program. (SAAS) The software isn’t on your device; it’s in “the Cloud.” It’s running from a internet server somewhere out there.

There are lots of advantages to you in this business model.
  • You can access the program and your data from anywhere, on any device.
  • Your email isn’t stuck on your desktop computer; you can access it on your phone, tablet, or a computer at the airport.
  • It’s always up to date. When the software is improved you don’t have to do anything to get the new version. You may not even know there have been changes. It’s all done on the server.
  • It makes it very easy to try new programs/services. Because the software vendor doesn’t have to produce any physical products, it doesn’t cost them anything to offer free trials, or even free versions of their software.
  • Because it’s so inexpensive to introduce a new product we are getting many more options than we ever imagined possible.
  • You can access an expensive program for a low monthly cost. A good example is what happened with Adobe Photoshop. Until last year you would buy a copy of Photoshop for $200-$300, or the entire Adobe master suite (which includes about 10 products, including illustrator, a movie editing program, Adobe Acrobat Pro (for making PDFs) for close to $2000. Now you can get a subscription to Photoshop, for $20 a month.
It’s good for the vendor too.
  • Once the software is developed it costs very little to get it to market, so more people are able tyo get into the software business.
  • It’s easy to make changes and distribute them to all the users.
  • It’s a great source of reliable, recurring income. Instead of selling someone a product once they can now charge a monthly fee for it. Often what you pay for a year of service is what the product might have cost as a one-time purchase.
  • And this brings us back to what Microsoft is doing with Office.
  • Microsoft Office has been the best selling software of all time. It’s been bundled with millions of computers and it’s become the defacto standard. But lots of people and companies are happy with the version they have for many years. Each of the programs within Microsoft Office has so many features, most of us just scratch the surface of what’s available so we can go years without upgrading.

That’s been good for us – – not for Microsoft

So Microsoft has jumped on the web based software bandwagon. Office 2013 is probably the last version you will be able to buy as a product.

Since they haven’t said that I don’t know that for sure, but it makes sense. There is no upgrade version of 2010 – even if you own 2007 you have to buy a new copy. They introduced Office 365, the cloud based software and are promoting it heavily. They also introduced Office 2013, but aren’t doing any advertising for it (or very little.) Also you don’t find many sites online who have Office 2013.

What to do right now.

If you aren’t already running Microsoft Office 2010 buy it now.

Once the inventory is gone you’ll need to switch to another program like open source office (free) LibreOffice 4,  Google Docs or get a Microsoft subscription.  You can also get Office 2010 from Amazon or any place that sells software.