Two weeks ago, Microsoft announced it would start testing a software subscription that combines its OneCare anti-virus package, the home version of its Office suite, and some other features in one package, called Albany.
Microsoft doesn't answer the biggest question about the bundle: how much it will cost?
Right now OneCare has a list price of $50 a year, and Microsoft Office Home and Student lists for $150 in the version you can use forever, and is licensed for three PCs. (Amazon is currently selling a one-year OneCare subscription for $30 and the home Office version for $120.) The news release (linked above) says that Albany also includes Microsoft Live Mail, Messenger and Photo Gallery, services that are already free. In any case, how much would this package be worth to you? Assume that Microsoft upgrades Office every three years. So for people who wanted the most up-to-date version, the list price of $150 for the home edition of Office would come to $50 a year. So the combination of Office and OneCare, at $50 a year, assuming you wanted it, would bring the price to $100 a year, list, or $80 a year, based on the Amazon discounts.