Microsoft is unveiling a new offer on Thursday designed to tempt consumers over to its subscription Office 365 service. Between July 18th and September 28th, customers who purchase a year-long Office 365 Home Premium subscription or a 4-year Office 365 University subscription will get 12 months of Xbox Live Gold at no extra cost. The offer is available in the US, Canada, a number of European countries, Asia, and Australia.

The software maker introduced its Office 365 subscription, which includes access to apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, earlier this year. The service passed one million subscribers in May, with Microsoft noting that the Office 2013 software is the "best-selling" edition yet. It's a big bet by Microsoft to focus on paid subscriptions over the traditional method, but there's early signs of progress. Microsoft has been pushing Office 365 in a series of adverts aimed at passengers in railway stations and airports, alongside a magazine campaign that included a Wi-Fi hotspot.

A transition to touch and subscription

After supplying an Office for iPhone app recently for Office 365 subscribers, the company has also been hitting at new apps in future. A transition to a touch version of Office is clearly underway, and Microsoft's former Office president, Kurt DelBene, revealed that the Office team is moving to more rapid updates for its subscription customers. Microsoft has also teased touch-based "Metro-style" Office apps for Windows 8.1.

Update: we have updated the article to note that the offer is now available in the US.