Microsoft reintroduces Work & Play bundle of apps and services for $149

Microsoft is again bundling together several of its apps and services into a bundle that it's selling for $149 for a limited time in the U.S.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

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.

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