Microsoft Equipt – Annual Subscription License

…an Office Home & Student shopping gotcha is that at Circuit City (and only Circuit City) they sell a annual subscription version called Microsoft Equipt. It’s Office Home and Student 2007 & Live OneCare. The gotcha is the unique ‘annual subscription’ license and that information isn’t being made very prominent (aside from the box itself).  You are to pay an annual  $69.99 MSRP subscription to continue receiving updates and upgrades (including future versions). Also, now that Live OneCare has gone bye-bye this annual subscription has limited value going beyond the first year.

In case you aren’t familiar with Microsoft Licensing, if you aren’t licensed then you don’t legally own the rights to use the software.  In other words if you don’t pay $70/year every year of the subscription then you forfeit ownership and are no longer legally running the sofware.  Will the police be coming bye to uninstall it and fine you?  most likely not, you’ll just be on your own for support.

Since initially posting this, my colleagues have chimed in that there is a possibility that Microsoft will end this product altogether and if they do then they will convert it into a fully licensed equivalent Office product and let the Live OneCare expire at the end of its year.  There aren’t any current known Microsoft products to upgrade Live OneCare.  It should be interesting to see how beta code named “Morro” develops until its July ’09 release.



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