Microsoft is bundling all of its key consumer services into a single deal this holiday season. Dubbed the "Work & Play Bundle," the $199 package is available in US Microsoft stores until January 4th and includes Office 365 Home, Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Music Pass, and Skype Unlimited World. Separately, that would cost around $450 annually, but Microsoft is pricing its bundle at just $199. That’s a big reduction of more than 50 percent for services that give you access to the full Office suite, unlimited OneDrive storage, Xbox Live, music streaming without ads, and unlimited Skype calls.
It’s clearly a great deal if you live in a Microsoft world and rely on these services day-to-day, but it’s hard to see this particular bundle appealing to the masses. That’s largely because not everyone needs the combination of all these services, and the $199 price tag is still enough to dissuade any impulse purchase. All of Microsoft’s apps and services in this bundle are available cross-platform, so if you’re willing to go all Microsoft for a year then the $199 will work well across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Microsoft’s naming of the deal also underlines the company’s focus on combining work and play, and this first bundle seems to be a test of how well that will be received.