The Office 2016 Paradigm Shift

Microsoft is widely noted for their practice of finding trends within the products of competitors that are appreciated by end-users and introducing those trends into their own products a revision or two down the road, demonstrating their desire to meet the desires of users who are currently out of the Microsoft fold. The latest demonstration of this practice is the release of Office 2016 as a subscription-based product.

Subscription Software: The Wave of the Future

Once the sole domain of magazines and other print publication, the shift to monthly subscription-based product sales has now quietly been happening across the world of retail, with retailers such as Amazon and Lootcrate. The software sector is no different, with major players such as Autodesk, Adobe, and now Microsoft selling their flagship products via a monthly subscription model.

For Office 2016, this represents a major paradigm shift away from the licensing model that Microsoft has embraced for decades. Microsoft made millions of dollars selling licenses in bulk to businesses to provide all PCs within the infrastructure with access to the latest and greatest version of Microsoft Office. Frequently businesses would be forced to over-order, to ensure that they remained in compliance and avoid costly fees for utilizing more licenses than they had initially purchased. This provided a very healthy revenue stream for Microsoft that the company counted on to support expansion in other areas of the company.

Change, Implemented by Microsoft

So, why the change? Quite simply, the power of cloud-based computing has enabled Microsoft to make these changes, and at a reduced rate from the "normal" licensure fees associated with the purchase of Office 2016. Software piracy is no longer an issue - individual licenses can now be leased on a month-to-month basis by businesses as their needs for Office grow and ebb. New features and improvements, as well as security updates, can be introduced to the user base at large by updating the source at the cloud, rather than supporting various versions with costly tech support calls. Best of all, the entire system, once set up, is largely hands-off, allowing resources previously spent on tech support personnel, multiple software site updates, and manufacturing of updated media to be spent elsewhere within the corporate infrastructure.

This "follow-the-leader" shift by Microsoft into the world of cloud distributed, subscription software access for Office 2016 will ultimately result in more agile upgrades requested by the user base, as well as easy patching for security issues as they might arise. Given Microsoft's position within the industry, expect to see many other providers of office suite application follow suit, moving away from yearly box sales and into the realm of cloud subscription services.

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Microsoft is widely noted for their practice of finding trends within the products of competitors that are appreciated by end-users and introducing those trends into their own products a revision or two down the road, demonstrating their desire to meet the desires of users who are currently out of the Microsoft fold. The latest demonstration of this practice is the release of buy Office 2016 as a subscription-based product.

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