Microsoft has moved its Work and Play bundle online, allowing those who want to sign up for all of Microsoft's premier services to save a ton of money while doing so.
Last December, Microsoft published its Work and Play bundle, combining a year's subscription to Office 365 Home, Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Music, and Skype Unlimited for $149. It's worth noting that Office 365 Home (which allows Office to be used on five PCs or Macs, and up to five phones or tablets) and Xbox Live Gold, just by themselves, cost $160. Xbox Music tacks on another $120.
Why this matters: If you own an Xbox 360 or Xbox One and a few Windows PCs, chances are the bundle is a no-brainer. Xbox Live Gold, in addition to allowing you to play multiplayer games, offers its own free games and discounts as part of the monthly subscription. Chances are that you've already signed up for a music subscription, however, and the value of Skype Unlimited calls depends on how often you choose to use the service.
The cloud makes it easier to click
Microsoft's previous offer, however, forced you to actually walk into a Microsoft Store and sign up for the deal. Now, you can simply click the Work and Play bundle link and sign up from the convenience of your couch or easy chair.
As before, the bundle offer is available for a limited time, which of course is an incentive to start planning out your subscriptions for the upcoming year. And yes, it stacks, meaning you can sign up even if you already subscribe.
"If you are already an Office 365, Xbox Live, Xbox Music, or Skype Unlimited World subscriber, your subscription will be automatically extended by 1 year when you activate the code," according to a FAQ posted on the site. "If you encounter issues during activation, give us a call at 1-877-696-7786 and we'll be happy to help you."
Not everyone may be willing to commit to a wholesale subscription to Microsoft's services. But more and more device makers are willing to offer carrots to incent you to subscribe to their services or buy their devices--consider the Google Chromecast freebies or the free subscription to Netflix for Samsung Galaxy S6 owners. For anyone who subscribes to both Office 365 and Xbox, it's a pretty good deal.