If Microsoft had not raised the prices of Office for Mac and eliminated the multi-license offerings, number-crunching customers would have realized that the subscription plan was no bargain in many scenarios.
But the higher prices of the perpetual licenses -- the traditional buy-once-use-forever form of Office for Mac -- make Office 365 the better deal when deploying four or five of the allowed copies.
Microsoft faced the same pricing dilemma with Office 2010 on Windows, and raised prices of Office 2013 licenses to make them less appetizing when compared to the Office 365 "rent-not-own" plan.
Buyers can still find Office for Mac 2011 at the older, lower prices, however. Although Microsoft has boosted prices on its online store -- as has Apple's e-store, which also sells the suite -- other retailers have not joined them. Yet.
As of late Sunday, for example, Amazon.com listed Office for Mac 2011 for as little as $116 in a one-license download format, and for an even-lower $109 in the three-license "family pack" edition. Amazon.com's price for a single license of Office for Mac Home & Business was $176.
Office for Mac 2011's new, higher pricing makes Office 365 plans more attractive: If customers install four or five of the allowed five copies of Office, the 'rent-not-buy' Office 365 plans are a better deal.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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