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Microsoft, Circuit City Partner On Software Subscription Service

7/02/2008 04:44:00 PM Eastern

Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft today unveiled Microsoft Equipt, an all-in-one security and productivity software subscription service that will be sold initially through Circuit City beginning mid-month.

The consumer service offers anti-malware protection and features to simplify PC management and help improve performance, Microsoft said. The estimated retail price will be $70 for a one-year renewable subscription, which is good for up to three home PCs.

Initially code-named “Albany,” Microsoft Equipt includes Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, featuring the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote; Windows Live OneCare, the all-in-one security and PC management service; Windows Live tools, such as Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Photo Gallery; and Office Live Workspace, a new Microsoft service that allows consumers to save documents to a dedicated online “workspace” for sharing with others.

Subscribers will automatically receive upgrades whenever new versions of Office or Windows Live OneCare are released, Microsoft said.

Bryson Gordon, group product manager for Microsoft Office, said Microsoft Equipt will improve consumers’ computing experience by providing “essential software in a package that offers an easy install and setup experience, as well as a convenient and affordable way to stay updated.”

Elliot Becker, Circuit City’s VP and technology general merchandise manager, said the service “delivers on an unmet customer need for an easy way to get the essential productivity and security software in an all-in-one package … We expect this service to be a runaway hit.”