About a year ago I picked up a Surface 3, which turned out to be a surprisingly useful replacement for my laptop and tablet. Included in the bundle was a twelve month subscription to Office 365 Personal, providing the latest version of Microsoft's flagship Office product (currently Office 2016) and 1TB of online storage through OneDrive.
With those twelve months being all but up I started looking into a renewal thinking that I would probably allow the subscription to lapse. In fact my original plan was to write this post comparing the boxed, retail purchasing cost to the annual subscription with the expectation being that the latter would prove to be uneconomic in the long run.
Turns out that isn't the case.
Office 365 Personal is listed at NZ $119 on Microsoft's New Zealand web site, however a quick trawl through PriceSpy proves that you can get it cheaper. Much cheaper. $75 in this case.
Just considering the storage alone this looks like amazing value. A Dropbox subscription runs NZ $170 as does an upgrade to Google Drive. Meanwhile Box.com will demand NZ$130 for just 100GB of storage or around NZ $270 for an unlimited pot.
The 1TB of OneDrive storage is worth the price of admission on its own.
The copy of Office 2016 is just a bonus freebie in that particular deal. When you factor in the NZ $199 price for the boxed copy you'll see how far the balance tips in Office 365's favour. Best of all OneDrive and Office run just about anywhere, either as a native client or via the web. So you can enjoy your purchase on just about any piece of hardware you own.
So, far from being the financial black hole I was expecting, Office 365 actually offers pretty good value. As long as you make use of that online storage anyway.