Microsoft adds subscription-pricing option to its Office Store

Microsoft is going to enable third-party app developers to start charging users monthly, via a subscription plan, for their Office and SharePoint Store apps.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Back in 2012, Microsoft unveiled plans to replace Office add-ins with apps sold via new Office and SharePoint Stores.


On October 1, 2013, the Redmondians announced expansion plans for the Office Store, enabling more languages and a new subscription-pricing option available to developers building these kinds of apps.

Starting in "early spring" 2014, Microsoft will support Chinese, Russian, Dutch, Brazilian (Portuguese) and Italian language apps, officials said. Microsoft also will be adding eight new Office Store fronts -- Russia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Brazil.

On the pricing front, Microsoft is adding a subscription-pricing option for apps in the Office Store, which will allow developers to charge a monthly recurring fee for their Office and SharePoint apps. Microsoft instituted subscription-plan pricing for its own Office 2013 suite (via its Office 365 Home Premium service) starting last year.

Developers can choose to promote and distribute apps globally or within the 31 individual selectable markets where the Office Store is available, Microsoft execs said. With this addition, developers will be able to offer customers free, trial, paid and subscription versions of their Office apps.

The Office Store is available to all customers of the new Office and can be accessed directly within Office applications and at Office.com. According to Microsoft there are currently "hundreds" of business and productivity apps available in the Office Store and users have downloaded "well over 1 million apps" from the Office Store to date.

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