Microsoft announced earlier this year that they are going to place all of their Microsoft Office desktop and cloud-based Office 365 software applications under one umbrella in a renewed effort to push their cloud-based subscription model.

Microsoft will still sell their existing desktop versions, but these will not be as “fully featured” as the upcoming cloud-based versions (note that any Microsoft software that ends in 365 is their cloud based software). It’s becoming very apparent that whether you’re a home user or a large company, Microsoft wants you to buy the cloud version of their products going forward. If you don’t want the cloud version on a monthly subscription, you’ll have to settle for a dumbed down version of the product instead.

Here’s what this potentially means for you:

  • The new “Office” family covers all different editions of Microsoft Office, from Student and Home Editions to the most powerful tools that Microsoft offers.
  • You will never have to worry about buying CALs for Office 365.
  • You will now be able to shift your budget dollars from one time or annual license purchases to an ongoing monthly operating expense, thus evening out cash flow.
  • Things should be getting easier for you to manage. Whether you are starting from scratch or updating software licenses for your office, you’ll be able to get everyone running on Office, Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync, Word, Excel and even Skype under one single license.
  • Microsoft is also preparing a half-dozen bundles for Office and Office 365, many aimed at small business.