Ask LH: Why Does Office 365 Cost More For Existing Subscribers?

Hey Lifehacker, It often seems that buying as a new customer is cheaper than the rate for existing customers. Case in point, Office 365. I already have a current subscription (which I purchased on special at Officeworks), but it's due to expire soon. I note that new subscriptions often go on sale for around $89, while Microsoft is charging me $12/month (or $144/year). So the question is: can I extend my current subscription by purchasing another pack and extending the current subscription? Thanks, Office Offers

Dear OO,

In this particular case, I suspect you're not comparing (ahem) apples with apples. It is true that you can now pick up a new one-year subscription to Office 365 for $89 (for a 12-month subscription, or $9 a month month-to-month). However, this is the Office 365 Personal, which only lets you install the software on a single computer (plus a single tablet).

The edition which costs $119 a year (or $12 a month if you don't sign up for a 12-month contract) is Office 365 Home, which lets you install Office 365 on up to 5 computers, plus up to 5 tablets. When Office 365 was first announced, this was the only option; Office 365 Personal didn't appear until April this year. We still think Office 365 Home is a better deal under most circumstances, but if you're an individual who only wants Office on a single computer, Personal does offer a slight saving. It isn't, however, the case of a cheaper rate for the same product: it's a different rate aimed at a different set of buyers.

If you're on a month-by-month account, you can easily change your licence type online to switch to Personal if that's more appropriate to you. Just be sure that you don't need the additional installs Home offers you.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    Well I picked up Office 365 Home Prem for $99 from Dick Smith a month ago during a sale; managed to get Home Prem for $88 from an IT store a year ago.

    In fact, it's actually $97.53 right now:

    Every major IT retailer in the country has it for well under the $119 a year (or $12 a month if you don’t sign up for a 12-month contract)

    Microsoft Home Use Program for the win - $15 for full Office 2013 Suite. (and Office Enterprise 2007 & 2011 before that)

    2 massive assumptions here - 1) You have access to HUP program through your employer and 2) You don't want/need tablet access.

    I think the question is whether you could buy a 2nd home premium (not personal) pack discounted from a retailer, to extend an expiring subscription, rather than moving to pay MS directly (at full price). would seem to indicate that it's fairly easy to get Home Premium (not personal) for less than $90

      Yes you can. You have the option to enter in a product key instead of just entering your CC details to renew. I'm on my 2nd year after buying Office Home Prem again from a different retailer than the first time

    Can you still just buy office outright, I don't want a subscription.

      I believe you can, but its only a 1-PC license

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