Office, Xbox and Skype package to retail for $199 - but only in US

cutting costs

Microsoft is offering its Office, Xbox Gold, Xbox Music Pass and Skype Unlimited World packages for a one-off combined fee of $199 (125) - saving US customers more than $200.

The Work & Play Bundle includes a year's access to Office 365 Home so those who buy it can access Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and 1TB of OneDrive storage in addition to gaming on XBox Gold, music on the company's music streaming service and its Skype Unlimited World package that offers limitless calls to landlines and Wi-Fi access.

If you already have a subscription to any of the services, you can pay the $199 and an extra year will automatically be added onto your services from when you decide to activate the codes given at purchase.

However, the deal is only available for a limited time (until January 4) and will only be available from Microsoft retail stores rather than online. And just in the US, at least for now.

As companies move more towards subscription models, Microsoft continues to show its dedication to rolling services rather than owning software by buying it upfront.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company will be focusing on productivity in the years to come and bundling its main productivity and entertainment services in one bundle certainly makes sense.

The move has led some industry watchers to suggest we could soon see a wider selection of business and personal bundles rolling out in a bid to keep its users happy and stay competitive against the likes of Adobe, which offers its productivity services as a mix and match option and Apple.

Yesterday, Nadella spoke about the need to constantly innovate in order for a business survive - bunding apps in this way might not be revolutioning, but it does show innovation in terms of responding to consumer buying habits.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.