The excellent Work & Play bundle is back again at the Microsoft Store online, providing an inexpensive way to acquire Office 365 Home, Skype Unlimited World Calling, Xbox Live Gold, and some other goodies, all in a single purchase.
This new version of the Work & Play bundle costs $149, and Microsoft says that acquiring the pieces separately would cost about $360. So that’s a savings of over $210.
This bundle isn’t exactly the same as previous versions, but it’s still a great value. More on that in a sec.
The Microsoft Work & Play bundle debuted in November 2014, offering Office 365 Home, Skype Unlimited World + Wi-Fi, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Music Pass for $200, a savings of over $225. It was an incredible value.
At the time, the bundle was only available online, and only in the U.S., and it was a temporary offer that disappeared in January 2015.
But in April 2015, the bundle returned. That version of the bundle also included Office 365 Home, Skype Unlimited World + Wi-Fi, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Music Pass, but it cost just $149. So it was a savings of $275.
Today, Microsoft unveiled the third version of its Work & Play bundle. There was no announcement—thanks to Bart W. for the tip, via Twitter.—so I’m not sure if it’s online only, if you can purchase it at Microsoft’s retail stores too. I assume it’s U.S.-only, but I’m not sure.
This version of the bundle includes:
Office 365 Home. This is the version with usage rights for five users in a household, each of which gets five installs of Office for PC/Mac, five installs of Office for large tablets, Office for smart phones, and much more. It costs $99.99 per year normally.
Xbox Live Gold. Normally $59.99 per year.
Skype Wi-Fi + Skype Unlimited World. With this, you get Wi-Fi access at over two million hotspots around the world, plus unlimited minutes to call friends and family around the globe from your laptop, tablet, phone, or TV. The normal cost is $13.99 per month, or $167.88 per year.
Assure Support Plan. This is a one-year membership to Answer Desk, Microsoft’s personalized technical support service and it provides unlimited one-on-one software support for Windows and Office applications.. “For a continuous year, you can get help with your personal Windows and Office questions through phone, online chat or in-person at Microsoft stores whenever and as often as you need,” Microsoft says. This normally costs $149 per year.
$60 Bonus Gift Card. This is for Microsoft’s online stores—Xbox, Windows Store, Windows Phone Store—not the Microsoft Store online or at retail.
What you don’t get, of course, is a Groove Music Pass subscription (formerly Xbox Music Pass), which is too bad. But between the Assure Support Plan and the gift card, this version of Work & Play is still a better value than before.
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