Microsoft is continuing to experiment with ways to get users to pay for more of its apps and services -- this time by reintroducing the "Work & Play" bundle.
Starting April 6, customers in the U.S. will be able to buy the bundle for $149 at microsoftstore.com.
The Work & Play bundle combines 12-month subscriptions to Office 365 Home, Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Music Pass and WiFi + Skype Unlimited World for $149. Microsoft is advertising this bundle as saving users $250 over the price users would pay if each of the subscriptions in it was purchased separately.
A Microsoft spokesperson said the company saw a "great response" to the bundle, which it first offered to customers a year ago.
Last November, the same bundle cost $199. Instead of making the Work & Play bundle available this time through Microsoft's brick and mortar stores, the company is making it available online.
The new bundle is available for a "limited time" only. (There's no stated end date at this time. I asked. It's "while supplies last," which is odd for something that's a subscription bundle.) There's a three bundle per person limit on the new promotion.
The Work & Play bundle 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 is trying out a number of new business models and approaches, including many which rely on cross-product/service integration.