What a surprise it gave to some Microsoft yesterday. Those responsible for the development of Office announced that Office 2019 – “the next perpetual update of Office” – would arrive in the second half of 2018.
That would not normally call too much attention, but the truth is that for some – and I include myself – the software subscription model that seemed to be imposed with Office 365 does not quite materialize. Paying to tocateja has its advantages, so Microsoft, I can only say one thing: thank you.
Everything has its advantages (and its drawbacks)
The appearance of software subscriptions has been spreading among some of the most important software developers around the world. Microsoft with Office 365 or Adobe with its creative suites are classic examples, and in both cases the advantages for them – with a constant, constant, and flowing cash flow – and for the users are evident.
Those who subscribe to services such as Office 365 not only benefit from the same applications as those using the so-called “perpetual licenses” that Office 2016 provides: they also take advantage of exclusive updates and improvements or the possibility of using Word or Excel not only on a PC, but also on a tablet and on a mobile phone.
In fact, there may be other interesting extras, such as the fact that with these Microsoft subscriptions – we insist, the model is analogous to other similar developments – it “gives” space in its online storage service, OneDrive. Nothing less than 1 TB that you can use to store not only office documents created with the suite, but to save other files such as photos and videos.
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The subscription model is fantastic except when it is not
Everything looks great in that subscription model, but for some it is not. Fortunately, Microsoft understands that this is the case, and that is the reason why Office 2019 will appear next year.
The reasons are obvious and basically focus on one thing: you pay once and you forget. You ensure that the product will be covered by security updates and bug fixes at a minimum, and you know that you can use Office 2019 without having to pay those monthly fees that are the norm in other services more related to streaming content (Netflix, Spotify are the two clear examples here).
Here you give up some things, such as having “the latest in the latest”, something you do have in a subscription model, which on the other hand allows whoever assumes it to pay for something they use … until they want to stop using it.
That predictability makes the model especially suitable for businesses (revenues and expenses can easily be adjusted with those subscriptions).
However, if your idea for that software is to use it for a long time and it is not likely that you will need new options outside of what it already offers (there will be Microsoft, in the case cited, to tempt us with fireworks) the licenses perpetual are not only fantastic: they are a blessing that ends up being much more profitable.
Best of all, however, is the fact that both options are available, and that Microsoft defends both business models and both user types. Good for the guys at Redmond.