Again, you're buying for one PC. Also, Office 2010 prices were: Office Professional is $499, Home & Business is $279.95, and Home & Student is $149.95, so if you found packs, or a deal, that was cheaper, that's great! But the MSRP of office hasn't really changed much over the years (it's actually gotten cheaper on the highest end office). I can find copies of Home & Student for $50 off even now, it's still possible to get deals, but my point was not "which deal you can get" but rather when a subscription model can make sense. Of my years in this field, sales wise, i have not seen a massive difference in prices for office as you suggest, nor did i see a change when subscriptions came about really at all. What i have seen is a lack of PCs/Laptops that come with Office, and if they do, it's a 1 year subscription now. That's really the only difference from my personal experience that i have seen. Also, physical copies of the programs don't really exist anymore, so the only sales you get now are microsoft-backed sales as all copies of the program are sold like giftcards (cards that get activated at the register). So i can see the local-store "super" discounts no longer existing (for instance your 3 pack deal was, i am assuming, a physical copy, not directly from microsoft, and could have been the business trying to blow them out) But that has less to do with a subscription and a whole lot more to do with going to activation cards in retail. You're effectively always buying directly from microsoft now, and stores hold no value to those cards and couldn't care less how long they sit on the shelves. I will say however, how many computers the program can be installed on has changed. Office 2010 to my knowledge for instance could be installed on 2 PCs.