Look out folks, there is a rather substantial price increase coming to Office 365 Home Premium subscribers in April, and by substantial, we’re talking somewhere in the region of 20%. After some digging around the recently announced Office 365 Personal package which will supplant Office 365 Home Premium as the entry level for consumers we noticed that the recommended retail pricing for South Africa didn’t quite align with the pricing for the US.
The current price for a one year Office 365 Home Premium subscription on Microsoft’s website is R749/year as opposed to the $99.99/year it is in the US, while the new Office 365 Personal however is expected to be somewhere in the region of R649-R699/year which, while closer to the $69.99/year subscription in the US when a direct currency conversion is done, doesn’t represent the same 30% decrease in price over the Home Premium’s price.
When we asked Microsoft South Africa for a reason as to why the price gap between the two products is so different from one country to another we received the following response:
“it appears that you currently referencing the online pricing of Office 365 HP which has not been updated over the past few months even though the exchange rate has declined by 20+%.
Microsoft is currently working on bringing the online pricing back in line with local pricing early April.”
True to form a bit of digging around found that local retailers have already increased their prices to R800, and in some cases even R899, for the boxed retail version of Office 365 Home Premium making the cheapest annual subscription the one directly from Microsoft. That being said, a bit more digging managed to find a few cheaper alternatives like this one for R629 from Lenovo.
When Office 365 originally launched in South Africa the subscription was R749/year, the increase to R899 will mean that the cost has gone up by R150 or 20% in under a year which will be worrying for companies who have switched to Office 365 products to try and smooth out the costs of buying new productivity software for their employees.