Microsoft confirmed that it is planning a subscription service that combines the consumer version of Office with its OneCare security suite.
Code-named Albany (or here), the product has a single installer that puts Office Home and Student, OneCare, as well as a host of Windows Live services, onto a user's PC. As long as users keep paying for the subscription, they are entitled to the latest versions of the products. Once they stop paying, they lose the right to use any version.
The product is aimed at consumers that want a simple way to have access to Microsoft's productivity suite and keep their computer protected, Microsoft said.
"There is a customer segment that really enjoys this always-on, always up-to-date aspect of the service," Microsoft group product manager Bryson Gordon said.
Microsoft is planning to introduce a limited beta version of Albany in the coming days, with the aim of launching the product commercially sometime later this year, Gordon said. The company still hasn't decided on how much it will charge or how the product will be sold, he said.
Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Office Home, OneCare, Windows Live OneCare, Subscription