We’ve known for some time now that Microsoft is working on a version of the Office productivity suite for the iPad, and even more, that the applications are designed to retail at low price points.
A report in the Daily had the apps priced in the low double digits: “In fact, it’s likely the cost [of the applications] will be around the $10 price point that Apple has established for its Pages, Numbers and Keynote products.” Given the high price of Office for normal, desktop environments, that projected cost raised eyebrows.
Today, Microsoft released OneNote for the iPad, and as ZDNet noted, its $14.99 price point does seem to line up with what the Daily had previously claimed as the straight dope from Redmond. Let’s unpack this.
Let’s assume that Microsoft is building the equivalent of Office Home and Student for the iPad. That edition contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Now, we know that OneNote costs some $14.99, so let’s continue that price for each of the individual applications. Naturally, are assuming that Microsoft will release the applications discretely, as Apple has done, and as it has done in the past on the iPad.
That means that Office will cost any user roughly $60 for the full set. For a single PC, the Home and Student bundle costs, again roughly, $120. That puts the iPad edition of Office at half the cost of its regular edition. Microsoft could, naturally, introduce some sort of ‘package’ pricing (what it would call ‘Office Everywhere’) that lowers the total cost for both, but the 2:1 comparison is interesting. Now, most people who buy Office for the iPad would likely not buy all four applications, and instead only the one of two that they need most, but at $60 for a ‘full’ package, Microsoft is still charging a sizable sum for the software.
This discredits the worry of some that Office for the iPad is set to ruin total Office revenue, I would argue.
On the whole, Microsoft is likely to release Office for the iPad for between 10 and 15 an application. That’s half or less the cost of the normal version. Will we see this sort of pricing prevail on Windows 8, if there is a special touch edition of Office for that device is perhaps the more pressing questions.
We have two eyes firmly on this, and when we hear a peep, will bring it to you.