Microsoft Office is application software that was developed in 1988.
It is a suite containing several applications to form the origins of computer usage in the modern world.
Microsoft has increased the pricing of MS Office greatly over time.
Let’s discuss the major reasons behind it.
Why Is Microsoft Office So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
The timely maintenance requirement of MS office is one of the reasons behind its expensive pricing, as it takes more time to maintain older versions of MS Office.
Microsoft also invests heavily to continuously innovate the older functionalities to increase its efficiency.
Microsoft Office is a famous worldwide software with around 1.2 billion active users.
Its freemium version has been pre-installed in all the previous and recent Windows OS computers.
However, you must pay a significant amount if you want to upgrade the software and use its premium features.
Different purposes, pricing tiers, and marketed audiences are available for the MS office.
Also, MS Office is available in smaller and larger packages.
Apart from profits and development, there are several other reasons behind the expensive pricing of the Microsoft Office suite.
1. Safe & Secure
One of the primary reasons behind the expensive pricing of Microsoft office is its security.
It is a highly secure software that helps enhance the collaboration and productivity of your team.
Microsoft offers state-of-the-art security to its data centers to secure their processes and infrastructure.
It is nearly impossible to directly crack the security levels of Microsoft’s data centers.
MS Office provides real-time safety scans for documents and messages to prevent cyber threats.
For this reason, Microsoft marks itself as one of the safest cloud services.
Microsoft invests reliable resources in its security systems to ensure the protection of user data from cybercriminals.
However, the reliable security and safety features of Microsoft require significant spending.
This eventually increases the retail price of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft always delivers rich features in the latest versions of MS Office.
They focus highly on meeting the users’ expectations with their features and functionalities.
Their rich features with proper functionalities are the primary reason for the expensive pricing of the Microsoft Office suite.
Let’s have a look at some of the MS Office features briefly.
A. Smart Lookups
Smart Lookup is a feature that enables you to look at a word from inside of your MS Word document.
It saves time for opening a dictionary or a web page and takes a few simple steps to use the Smart Lookup feature.
This feature is not only limited to the MS Word application but also helps look for cell values in MS Excel.
The feature also applies to other Microsoft apps like Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.
B. Simple Sharing
Microsoft Office suite also has a new simple share button to make document sharing easy and quick.
You can find the Simple Sharing button in the bottom ribbon in MS PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.
It allows you and your team members to not only share files but also enables you to change permissions and accessibility.
C. One-Click Forecasting
The One-Click Forecasting feature is one of the great additions to MS Excel.
It enables you to work on every piece of data you are collecting.
Microsoft Exponential also provides a smoothing algorithm to enable you to perform quick predictions of the Excel spreadsheet’s selected portions.
The algorithm is also useful in predicting explicit short-term forecasting.
It can be very problematic if you accidentally delete or change the format of your document.
For this reason, Microsoft introduced a feature known as Versioning.
Versioning helps reverse the action to restore a previous version of the document.
Follow these few steps, and you will be back to your original document.
- Click on File.
- Select History.
- Choose your original document version.
Microsoft spends time on improving this feature to ensure efficiency in the work.
It is also beneficial if you want to track back changes and view different versions in drafts.
E. New Microsoft Charts
Microsoft has introduced six new charts, each comprising new possibilities and layouts.
The names are Waterfall, Treemap, Whisker, Sunburst, Histogram, Box, and Pareto.
Waterfall charts provide you with a running item total, while a Treemap gives hierarchical data.
These charts are compatible with MS Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
F. Other Features
Some other features come with exciting and easy functionalities.
They enable you and your colleagues to be efficient and productive at work.
Take a look at the list of them.
- Skype Integration
- Outlook Groups
- Share Documents as a Url
- Cross-Drive Compatibility
- Simultaneous Collaboration
Microsoft provides all the above-listed features in the Microsoft Office suite to help you easily focus on your work.
They are highly beneficial in a competitive workspace.
This is one of the major reasons that Microsoft charges so high for its Office Suite.
3. Powerful Software
Microsoft Office contains a lot of applications, and each app is reasonably powerful.
It enables you to be more productive with collaborations, professional presentations, networking, etc.
The algorithm used in strengthening to hold these functionalities together is another reason behind the expensive pricing of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft Office has been the flagship product for providing spreadsheets and word processing for decades.
It is comprised of recognizable names like Excel and Word.
The software provides proficiency with these applications that help organizations improve the performance of their employees.
4. No Ads
Most of Microsoft’s competitors are offering the same tool as Microsoft for free.
There’s no fee to use these programs, but they hit you with ads.
It is always irritating when you are in the midst of your work, and an ad pops up.
This is the reason Microsoft Office is expensive.
It doesn’t include any advertisements.
You only need to purchase a one-time license and just start working.
The other reason Microsoft charges a good amount is that they spend heavy amounts to avoid those irritating ads.
In most cases, when you are carrying out a complicated task and an ad pops up, it can badly affect your workflow.
Limiting ads also increases work efficiency and helps you focus better on work.
It is the reason Microsoft takes good care of their users, and users are always ready to spend a huge amount on MS Office.
5. Concerned Market
Microsoft was concerned about the Government contracts at the time of MS Office’s release.
There were doubts that the government might acquire it, and the product might lose its credibility.
However, Microsoft was able to legalize the software and privatized it completely.
It is the reason that MS Office became extremely popular in several workplaces.
This enabled the company to keep higher pricing of MS Office as people were willing to pay for it.
MS Office has been one of the reasons behind the success of Windows as well.
Windows turned out to be the most popular OS for personal computers and enabled the use of the Office suite.
6. Research & Development
Research and development is another major reason behind the expensive pricing of MS Office.
Microsoft research and development has played an important role in the company’s success from the start.
Microsoft spends heavily to hire high-end researchers and developers to proceed with the development and research process.
The company leaves no margin of errors in their software, as they know its professional use.
Microsoft’s research team keeps the technology sector updated with the latest technology and innovates the previously launched versions of the Office suite with relevant changes.
The development team first releases the beta version of the suite and focuses closely on customer feedback to improve the final product.
They spend a lot of time carrying out these processes, which increases the retail prices of MS Office.
One of the rich functionalities of Microsoft Office software is its compatibility mode.
Older extensions of Microsoft Word like .doc, .xls, and .ppt are easily editable in the latest version of MS Office.
The compatibility mode activates automatically once you open an older extension of documents.
You don’t have to pay every time if you don’t have access to older versions of MS Office.
MS Office compatibility is also applicable if you want to utilize new features in your older documents.
It enables you to convert an older extension document into a new one as well.
This helps you in editing the older files with the latest features.
8. Cloud Storage
Microsoft Office doesn’t come with built-in cloud storage.
You have to pay an extra amount to save your documents on the cloud as there are no other free Microsoft cloud storage tools.
Microsoft OneDrive is the solution to save all your work while you’re doing it.
However, it is available at significant pricing, and you will have to purchase it to utilize the cloud storage feature.
With One Drive, you don’t have to worry about pressing the save shortcuts every time.
The cloud storage provides easy collaboration with your colleagues as you can allow online editing access to different documents in one go.
Microsoft provides a support platform known as Unified.
It is a modern support solution that covers Microsoft Cloud platforms in a comprehensive support contract.
However, it comes with subscription charges which adds to the overall pricing of the Microsoft Office suite.
Microsoft Unified support helps you in accelerating Office work.
It delivers personalized support in the shape of proactive, reactive, and in-depth solutions to help you achieve better results.
Apart from its high pricing, it provides you with tons of new services that further help you to work efficiently with MS Office.
10. Variety Of Applications
Microsoft Office contains various important applications.
You can utilize it to carry out multiple office tasks smoothly and easily.
Microsoft releases different versions of Office applications with dedicated upgrades as per customer needs.
Let’s have a look at some of the applications included in MS Office.
A. Microsoft Word
MS Word is the most widely and commonly used application worldwide.
The app is easily available on both Mac and Windows operating systems.
MS Word contains several rich features, including formatting, professional-quality writing, referencing, commenting, etc.
It also provides options for creating graphical animations, graphs, shapes, and much more.
Microsoft released an update in 2007 to change the format from Open XML to Doc.
They also introduced the Open Document Format and Portable Document Format (PDF) in 2007 for the first time and have retained them since then.
B. Microsoft Excel
MS Excel is a spreadsheet program that allows users to record data in tabular form.
It provides the user with a systematic view of data.
People use it to maintain accounts, store data, and prepare ledgers.
MS Excel’s main features include sorting tabular data, inserting a pivot table, calculating huge data, and using formulas.
It also helps in reducing the time by offering infinite shortcut keys apart from universal Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V, etc.
C. Microsoft PowerPoint
PowerPoint is useful for creating presentations in a very simple way.
It helps you to design engaging and creative slides with the help of graphics, text, videos, images, etc.
You can add colors to decorate PowerPoint slides.
It further enhances your presentation by showcasing your sample or portfolio in front of your client.
The main rich feature of MS Power Point is the notes, which help you remember your presentation constantly.
It also allows you to set up your presentation in a way that the notes only appear on your system screen but will not be visible to others.
D. Microsoft Outlook
MS Outlook is another useful and important program that contains several important features like an address book, task manager, client calendar, and emails.
The main idea behind this application was Windows Messaging.
MS Outlook’s biggest advantage is that it can act as both multiuser software and a standalone application.
E. Microsoft OneNote
Microsoft OneNote is a unique application that allows you to collect and store all personal information safely.
The tool can be helpful, especially in the work environment.
MS OneNote is the platform that provides you to take notes in an actual notebook-like interface.
It also comprises features like changing notes background and enables you to use a notebook-themed background.
F. Microsoft Access
MS Access is a DBMS that you can use to merge GUI and Microsoft Jet Database Engine to help software in developing applications.
Also, it connects you with data and stores the data from other applications in its own configuration.
MS Access enables you to export tables to other MS Office applications and is very helpful in creating professional tables.
Additionally, you can export these tables to any Microsoft Office application.
MS Access is similar in working to other databases like creating connections, sorting related information, adding, deleting, updating, etc.
The functionalities and features embedded in the above-discussed applications are one of the reasons behind the expensive pricing of Microsoft Office.
Is It Worth Paying So Much For Microsoft Office?
Yes, it is worth paying a high amount for the Microsoft Office suite.
Microsoft provides some of the most powerful software among its competitors that are available on almost every platform.
Also, MS Office has a user-friendly, elegant interface with tons of collaborative features.
Microsoft Office suite enables you to work from anywhere and access your docs, emails, calendars, etc., from your smartphone, laptop, and Mac book.
It also keeps your data secure as Microsoft uses state-of-the-art security to ensure the safety of its data centers.
All of these benefits are why it is worth paying such an amount for the Microsoft Office suite.
Microsoft Office Plans
There are two Microsoft Office suites available, and both come with different pricing plans.
Let’s have a look at the plans and pricing of MS Office suites.
1. Standalone Microsoft Office
Standalone Microsoft Office is a better choice if you only want to use MS Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
It is a one-time purchase.
However, the prices are high, and you have to pay again to get your hands on the upgraded version.
Standalone Microsoft Office offers a wide range of features.
The benefits you get are one-time payment, classic experience, core apps, security updates, etc.
2. Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft 365 is a suitable option for you if you are looking for all the office apps and other related features in a single place.
It allows you to share the account with six people and requires a monthly (or yearly) subscription if you want to keep using the software.
Microsoft Office suite is the more preferred among the two.
It provides a wide range of reliable solutions that can be helpful for both individuals and businesses.
Both MS Office versions enable access to the same list of applications, but the cost and benefits are the distinguishing factors.
The main reason behind the expensive pricing of Microsoft Office is the rich features, safety, and functionality they offer.
Apart from these, the trust of customers in Microsoft also results in the expensive pricing of the MS Office suite.
Microsoft’s continuous innovation and improvements in their software are also the reason behind the expensive pricing.
They always meet user expectations by delivering high-end suites.
MS Office is a great choice for business owners and individuals as most of the everyday documentation-related tasks are possible through Microsoft Office.
If you are planning to buy MS Office, it will definitely help you manage your documentation better.
However, you also need to keep in mind the costs and decide if these costs fit your budget.