Why does Home and Student edition not include Outlook?

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 (c) MicrosoftGood question in today from Andrew Balgarnie – if you have a question or something you’d like me to comment on or look into just use the email link on the header.

He says “Given how much you sing the praises of oneNote / outlook integration why doesn’t the home / student office bundle include outlook?

As he says, I do think the outlook integration to OneNote is very strong (watch my demo). So why take Outlook out of the lead edition, Home and Student?

With the 2007 release we dropped the restriction imposed in Office Student and Teacher edition 2003 that you have to be in education and we took the decision to open this up to all home users with Office Home and Student edition, instead imposing a different restriction that it is only for non-commercial use.

When composing what goes into the non-commercial edition and what into the commercial editions – small business edition being the main one closest to H&S, we needed to create some space between them so we can offer H&S at the lower price point.  Our research showed that only 11% of home users use Outlook for their email – most use either Outlook Express or a web offering like hotmail, yahoo or googlemail.  Therefore not including Outlook 2007 would have a limited impact.

Putting OneNote in H&S makes a lot of sense since it is targeted at students and it puts OneNote, a relatively newer application, on a bigger stage.  So we put that into H&S and kept Outlook in the business skus like Small Business Edition since every small business seems to want Outlook. 

Packaging is always a difficult compromise but doing it this way meant we could carve out a home edition at a lower price without affecting the business edition and at the same time introduce OneNote to a very wide market.

Ways to buy OutlookMicrosoft Office Outlook 2007 (c) Microsoft

If you are drawn to Home and Student edition but are missing Outlook, you could do the following:

Comments (5)

  1. NathanWeinberg says:

    What about if you need Outlook and OneNote?  The only suite with both is the super expensive Ultimate edition.  College students are usually okay, because of Ultimate Steal, but there are many other people who love OneNote, but can’t get it and Outlook for under $540.  They’ll probably buy Standard for $240, and not get OneNote, which really hurts OneNote.

  2. Nektar says:

    This would have been fine if your other free e-mail client offerings were just as good as Outlook, lacking of course the business-oriented features. However, this is not the case. Outlook express has not been updated substancially in 10 years and the new Windows Mail is only for Vista and still offer nothing, I say nothing, new and innovative. If even Mozilla can offer a free client, without ads, without restrictions, with a plug-in model, etc, why not Microsoft? Outllok is great but your free solutions are not so great. If they were then I would not need to buy Outlook and thus Office Home would be a good choice.

  3. dstrange says:

    Yes but if you are buying for business then you are in breach of license buying H&S.  We can charge more for Outlook too because it is better than the free email apps.

    Without Outlook in H&S, we can pitch that edition at such a reasonable price point for home users.  

    You can always buy OneNote or Outlook standalone for about £75 (having just checked dabs.co.uk for example).

    The tricky balance we need to strike is affordable editions that give most people what they need without making them really complicated.  This is always less than perfect for a scenario however you cut it but this arrangement was the least problematic given the low usage of Outlook by home users.

  4. Michael says:

    I like many Microsoft Office apps. They’re the best office programs in the industry.

    However, I think Microsoft overcharges on their Office suites.

    I personally would say that each program ought to be worth around $20 each, on it’s own. Instead, Microsoft charges a pretty ridiculous sum for each thing.

    Take Word for instance. The Word 2007 version alone costs around $210 according to the Best Buy : http://www.bestbuybusiness.com/bbfb/en/US/adirect/bestbuy?cmd=catProductDetail&showAddButton=true&productID=BB10645488

    I don’t know about you, but most people couldn’t afford that. The stand-alone programs are rather costly. That’s for all Office programs.

    Instead, you guys should offer less suites, more programs in one set, and cheaper prices.

    OpenOffice is really starting to go around (even though it offers far less, with no true service) and it’s looking bad for MS Office. So you guys really got to go with a simpler route, and cheaper acceptable prices.

  5. dstrange says:

    Hi Michael and thanks for commenting.  I should say, I’m not privy to the detailed thinking of our pricing and sku strategy so take this as a pseudo-outsider perspective from me too:

    Word is more expensive true (£161 on ebuyer for example) but to summarise your point of view as I understand it:

    you think we should charge a lot less for standalone applications

    you think we should put more apps into the lower skus – which is the same as saying make ultimate and pro cheaper.

    So in summary, you think we should charge less for the suites and less for the apps.  That’s a valid perspective and I’d like to pay less for things I like too but I can’t understand your economic argument here.  Surely this just means Microsoft makes less unit profit without a growth in volume?  That seems like a strange business plan to me.  Or is your point that you think we have untapped market due to the price point being too high?

    I track open office (since you mention it) very closely and it has small single digit market penetration in the UK.  In fact the early indicators suggest that it actually may have gone down slightly this half.  

    So, conversely, I’d say that’s looking pretty good for Office – partly due to us pulling away further from open office with the 2007 release.  I don’t think dropping prices is the right response to the market data at the moment.  We are however doing exactly that in niche markets like with students (www.theultimatesteal.co.uk).

    If Microsoft was a small start up business and you owned it, it was your money we were talking about here what would you do to the skus and pricing?  We have to balance the demand, the needs of the customer and the shareholder.

    Good discussion this – thanks.