Microsoft Offers Refund to Office 365 Subscribers
Now that Microsoft (MSFT) is offering the mobile version of Office 365 to users for free, what about those who’ve paid good money for a subscription before the vendor started giving it away?
Here’s what: Microsoft is offering consumers, but not businesses, an adjusted refund on an Office 365 subscription with, of course, some conditions and qualifiers.
First, let’s back up just a bit. To recap, last week Microsoft elected to make its Office productivity suite for Apple’s (AAPL) iPad, iPhone, and Google’s (GOOG) Android free—to consumers, but not to businesses. That means users, as in consumers, no longer are required to purchase an Office 365 subscription to create and edit Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents or store them in the cloud.
In other words, basic Office functionality, which is what most users want, costs nothing.
“With over a billion Office customers worldwide, and over 40 million downloads on the iPad, it’s clear that Office applications are what people want to use to get things done, ” said John Case, Microsoft Office corporate vice president.
You can still buy an Office 365 subscription if you want—it comes with a full set of features and 1TB of OneDrive online storage.
The fallout from the move was nearly immediate and positive, with the mobile version of Word spiking to No. 2 among free apps in Apple’s App Store only one day later. And, at No. 7 among the top free Apple apps, Excel wasn’t too far behind.
That, of course, isn’t counting Android. Microsoft said it’s already begun beta testing Office 365 mobile for Android tablets and expects an app will be available in 2015 with an Android smartphone version due out later.
Now, back to the subscription refund. It’s not automatic, users will have to apply for it and it only works for personal subscriptions bought on or after March 27 and activated before Nov. 6 for Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal. Users who bought a Office 365 subscription either from Microsoft or a reseller can receive a refund good for the period from when they cancelled to when their subscription ends by contacting a Microsoft Accounts and Billing rep by Jan. 31, 2015.
Customers buying a subscription from Apple will have to contact an iTunes Store Support rep to see what Apple is willing to do.