The Microsoft Subscription finally arrives



This is almost what I have been looking for since March. Microsoft today announced the Work and Play subscription bundle. For $199 a year, here’s what you get:

  • Office 365 – That means full access to Office online, at least 1TB of OneDrive storage (should be “unlimited” now, due to recent changes in Office 365), and 5 installs of the latest version of Microsoft office on 5 of your family PC’s / Mac’s. A $70 value.
  • Xbox Live Gold – Although we discussed benefits of Gold in the past, it’s not as valuable as it once was, but with promotions like Games With Gold, it’s still an absolutely worthwhile investment.A $60 value.
  • Xbox Music Pass – Unlimited streaming and some “synchronized” management of your music library across multiple devices. A $99 value.
  • Skype Unlimited World + WiFi – Microsoft describes this as: “Unlimited minutes to call friends and family around the globe from your laptop, tablet, phone, or TV.” Also, “WiFi access at over 2 million hotspots worldwide – connect to the internet from virtually any device.” Paul Thurrott does the math to estimate the value at about $165 a year.

  • The only thing I wish it included was an Office 365-like subscription to Windows. Give me 2 licenses for 8.1, and allow me to upgrade to Windows 10 when it releases. That would be nice. But outside of that, this is almost exactly what I had been asking for!

Download Windows 10 Preview!

Yes, yesterday Microsoft announced that Windows 10 was the name of the next version of Windows, skipping the name Windows 9. Microsoft claims that this is such an advanced release of Windows that it’s more than just one version different! These are claims that sound hard to believe, so Microsoft wants to challenge you to believe see for yourself! Today marks the release of the first public preview for Windows 10! preview.Windows.com has all of the information you need to know! The product key is listed on the top of the download page, so just visit Microsoft and download the latest version of the Windows 10 preview. There is a “preview upgrade” version available, however it embeds itself with your computer. I strongly recommend downloading the ISO version and installing it on a spare computer, separate partition, or a Virtual Machine.

It is extremely important to note that this is a technical preview. It could have some bugs and other issues, and may also be substantially different from the final version of Windows 10. Remember, the earliest Windows 8 technical previews still had a Start Menu. 2015 will likely see a consumer preview and a developer’s preview prior to the typical RTM (Release to Manufacturing) release before it gets released at retail. Stay tuned for the future!

Video game fun with Wolfram|Alpha

Ready to get your geek ALL THE WAY on for this holiday weekend (in the States)? Go to Wolfram|Alpha and type any of the following:

graph Mario curve
graph Donkey Kong curve
graph Wario curve
graph Waluigi curve
graph Koopa curve
graph Goomba curve
graph Bowser curve
graph Sonic curve
graph Eggman curve (OR graph Robotnik curve).

Leave a comment if you find more characters to draw!

What would you pay for a Microsoft Subscription?

Yesterday, Microsoft officially announced Office for iPad. The app will allow anyone who downloads it to view read-only versions of their documents stored in OneDrive. However, to modify your documents, you must be a paying Office 365 subscriber. Also, I have recently been considering signing up for an Xbox Music Pass. Not only that, but I have an ongoing Xbox Live Gold Member subscription.

This got me thinking. Imagine some sort of “Microsoft Subscription” that enabled access to the works? Xbox Live, Office 365, let’s say 50 or 100GB of bonus OneDrive storage, Xbox Music Pass… everything! What would you pay? If the MSRP of Office 365’s base package is $60 for one year. A year of Xbox Live Gold is $59.99, and Xbox Music, if paid up front, is $99.99. You’re looking at $220 worth of products, if you pay in advance. Paying month by month brings both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Music to $120/year, each. So, what would you pay for a “Microsoft Subscription” to unlock it all? $150? $200? What other products would you want out of your subscription fee? If it were $250 and included a downloadable desktop version of Office to install your PC? A Windows license that always allowed you to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Windows?

More importantly, do you believe something like this will happen in the future? Feel free to comment below.