Office on Surface Pro suggests a shift in Microsoft's sales strategy
Surface Pro tablets to be sold in Japan will come with fully-licensed copy of Office Home & Business 2013
Computerworld - Microsoft yesterday announced that Surface Pro tablets it will start selling in Japan on June 7 will come with a fully-functional copy of Office, a bundle one analyst said hints at a change in Microsoft's sales strategy for its homegrown hardware.
Both Japanese configurations of the Surface Pro -- one with 128GB of storage space, another with 256GB -- will include Office Home & Business 2013, Microsoft confirmed Wednesday. The productivity suite will be a fully-licensed version, not a time-limited trial.
According to a press release issued by Microsoft Japan, the 128GB Surface Pro will sell for 99,800 yen, including taxes, or $986 at current exchange rates. The 256GB model will cost 119,800 yen, or approximately $1,184.
The tablets sold in Japan will not be the first from Microsoft to bundle Office: More than a month ago the company launched a special edition Surface Pro in China that included Office Home & Student 2013. But the Japanese configurations will be the first to come with a commercial-use edition of Office -- one that can legally be used for work and in the workplace -- and on a tablet powered by Windows 8 Pro. The special Chinese Surface Pro bundle relied on Windows 8, the consumer-grade OS.
Microsoft has also included Office Home & Student RT with all Windows RT-powered tablets, its own Surface RT among them. Like the Surface Pro in China, however, Office on a Surface RT is not licensed for work, and lacks the Outlook email client. Outlook is included with Home & Business 2013.
Surface Pro tablets now sold in the U.S. come with a one-month trial of Office 365 Home Premium, Microsoft's rent-not-buy subscription service for the suite. That, too, is for personal use only, and not licensed for work.
The addition of Office Home & Business to the Surface Pro in Japan sparked speculation from analysts.
"I think it's possible this means Microsoft will do the same elsewhere to firm up the footprint [of the Surface Pro] in the market," said Ezra Gottheil, of Technology Business Research. "After all, the cost of goods for software is zero."
Wes Miller, of Directions on Microsoft, echoed Gottheil. "Definitely possible," he said of Microsoft tossing Office Home & Business 2013 into all Surface Pro tablets. "This could reflect a different angle on selling the Surface Pro."
Both analysts noted that the move would be in keeping with Microsoft's apparent strategy to use Office as a prime selling point for its Surface line, and Windows 8-powered tablets in general.
By using Office as a carrot for Windows, the theory goes, Microsoft has decided to forego revenue it would generate if it released versions for Android and iOS -- reportedly slating those editions for late-2014 shipping -- instead putting all its horses in Windows' traces.
- 2-in-1 devices face a long, slow slog to credibility
- Microsoft support tells Surface Pro 2 owners firmware fix will ship Jan. 14
- As customers fume, Microsoft promises Surface Pro 2 firmware fix ASAP
- Analyst credits Surface sell-out to Microsoft swinging conservative
- Best Buy does what Microsoft won't: Takes Surface tablets in trade
- Deja vu all over again: Microsoft warns of Surface 2 sell-out
- Microsoft steers same strategic course in Surface do-over
- Dumping a Surface? eBay averages double the return of a buyback vendor
- Microsoft's Surface to be under revenue microscope
- Microsoft's most loyal users ask for Surface trade-in program
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms As unprecedented numbers of enterprises build mobile applications, the mobile application development platform market continues to grow and evolve rapidly.
- The Total Economic Impact of IBM's Worklight Platform Mobile is the fastest growing consumer technology in history. As enterprises build apps to engage these new users they are facing increased complexity...
- Improve Your Mobile Application Security with IBM Worklight IBM® Worklight helps organizations extend their business across multiple mobile devices. It provides an open, comprehensive and advanced mobile application platform to help...
- Unlock the Value of Enterprise Mobility Download this guide and learn how to manage the secure deployment of enterprise mobile apps and data, while still encouraging the levels of...
- It's Chaos Out There Worried about your mobile apps? You should be; it's chaos out there. Check out this humorous video and see if you can recognize...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Mobile Apps White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!