Microsoft pushes its dual-use vision with $199 Work & Play Bundle

Microsoft is bundling together four of its subscription services into a new $199 Work & Play Bundle which it is offering in the U.S. through early January 2015.

Bundling used to be a bad word at Microsoft, following the company's Department of Justice problems.


But these days, bundling is back to being king at the company. And on November 10, Microsoft launched a new promotional bundle combining productivity- and play-focused services for $199 for a one-year subscription.

The new Work & Play Bundle (thanks to Windows Central's Sam Sabri for the link) includes Office 365 Home, Skype Unlimited World and WiFi, Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Music Pass. It's available from November 10, 2014 to January 4, 2015 "or while supplies last." It's available in "select Microsoft full line retail stores in the United States only."

(Users who already subscribe to Office 365, Xbox Live, Xbox Music, or Skype Unlimited World will see their subscription to any of those pieces automatically extended by one year when they activate the bundle codes.)

This bundle is interesting for a few reasons. First, it epitomizes Microsoft's "dual-use" positioning, which is based on the idea that users are running both work and "play" apps and services often on the same device. The new bundle also makes productivity apps/services an inseparable part of the package.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella rechristened Microsoft as a productivity and platforms company earlier this year and has really been pushing the expanded definition of "productivity" over the past week or so.

Finally, the Work & Play Bundle is yet another example of Microsoft's increasing push toward subscription services, via which the company collects recurring revenues.