The software bundle, formerly code-named "Albany" , includes Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, giving them the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Additionally it comes with Microsoft's Live OneCare computer security software, Windows Live tools, such as Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Photo Gallery, and will be sold at Circuit City stores for $69.99 per year.
The Microsoft Equipt bundle includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, plus OneCare and a handful of existing free Windows Live applications.Bryson Gordon, a group product manager for the Office group, said in an interview that the agreement with Circuit City Stores Inc. is not exclusive, and that the bundle will be available at other retailers and on PCs sold by the likes of Dell Inc. in the future.
Buying those programs the traditional way would cost about $200. Further the news says consumers who want to replace Office 2007 with "Office 14," rumored to be set for a 2009 release, would have to pay full price and not an upgrade price. That should rankle a few feathers if indeed true. Contrast that with the subscription model, where upgrading to a new version is included in the annual cost.
Obviously, with security & anti-virus features built into OneCare, this also puts Equipts squarely in the sights of popular subscription-based security programs such as McAfee and Symantec. It's worth mentioning that Equipt can be installed on up to three computers.
Of course, for free you can install and use Open Office for your Office productivity suite. Then you can install ClamAV, a free open source anti-virus tool, or even AVG Free Edition. So if Microsoft is targeting the "thrifty" they may not get many takers. Then again, people will pay for stuff if it's good quality and cheap.
Check out Microsoft's site for more