By Binu Paul email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 19, 2013 11:22 AM EST
Microsoft has quietly hiked the prices of its Office for Mac 2011 by as much as 17 percent, nearly three weeks after the company released Office 365 Home Premium. In addition, the Redmond-based company stopped the sales of multi-license packages of the application suite.
The new pricing chart puts Office for Mac 2011 on the same pricing tier as the new Office 2013 for Windows. As the multi-license package is no more available, users can now install the software only on one device at a time, ComputerWorld reports. Based on the oldest search engine cache it could find with the new price list, Computerworld estimated that the prices were increased possibly on Jan. 29, 2012, the day Microsoft launched Office 2013 and Office 365 Home Premium.
"The single-license Office for Mac Home & Student now costs $140, a 17 percent increase from the previous price of $120. Office for Mac Home and Business, an edition that adds the Outlook email client to Home & Student's Excel, PowerPoint and Word, runs $220, or 10percent higher than the older $200 price," the report said.
The multi-license package including the three-license package of Home & Student that cost $150 and the two-license bundle of Home & Business priced at $250 ceases to exist any longer. One should shell out $420 for a three licenses of Home & Student, which is a 180 percent increase from the previous price. Similarly, the two licenses of Home & Business are now priced at $440, marking a 76 percent hike.
Both the price hike and the ending of multi-license packs seem to be a Microsoft attempt to drive consumers and small businesses to a pair of Office 365 subscription plans. Office 365 Home Premium, a subscription-based service that gives Macs, PCs and Windows tablets access to the complete set of Office applications, costs $100 annually or $10 per month. It includes a full set of Office applications that can be installed up to five Macs, PCs, and Windows tablets. Users have to pay a yearly subscription of $99.99 for could-based solution and $79.99 for a four-year subscription to Office 365 University (student pricing).