Why are Dell and Microsoft Teaming Up?

Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) are the three largest PC manufacturers by volume, according to the latest IDC estimate. As you can imagine, competition among them is fierce, and the three are continuously looking for ways to add more value to their products.

Instead of developing a higher resolution camera, or employing a new fancy screen, Dell has opted to do this by going the software route. Now, with every new Dell purchased, the user will receive one free month of Office 365, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) cloud-based office suite that encourages Microsoft users to “rent instead of own” their software.

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The two others, Lenovo and HP, offer Office 2013. Office 2013 comes factory installed within the machine, rather than the web-based app that Office 365 is built on.

Office 2013 bundles start at $139 for the student edition, and can cost as much as $399 for the Office Professional. By comparison, the Office 365 subscription costs $99.99 annually, and licenses up to five machines within the household…

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