I remember a while ago being a bit freaked out by the idea of a disposable camera. I had been brought up to think that the camera device was an expensive and essential tool. So the idea of using a camera one time only was hard to accept at first. But then I saw the price (which was pretty cheap) and I began to warm up to the idea. And of course, cameras these days come with lots of
devices camera features for free. People still buy expensive cameras, but one has other options too.
You might compare this with the market for software. In the old days, when you bought a PC, it came with Microsoft Windows and Office pre-installed. There was no need to buy a separate operating system and basic tools. Some years ago, Microsoft changed the rules of the game. They started giving only temporary Office licenses along with your new computer. You got Windows, but you could only use Office for a while. In other words, they got you used to Office and then they cut you off until you paid more for a permanent license. I was pretty grumpy about that. But I am more grumpy now. According to TechDirt, Office 2013 will be available to purchase for one machine only. So you pay for a full license, but you now get a major restriction - you can only use it for a single device.
You might think of this as a demonstration of market power. Microsoft is going to make you pay even more for less. I see it as weakness. As with cameras, the market trend will be towards more and cheaper stuff. And limiting access to Office will not stop that trend. To the contrary, it may accelerate it by getting people to move their basic computing tasks (word processing, spread sheeting, etc.) to the cloud.
The folks at Google are no doubt smiling. BTW, have you tried Google Drive? I like it.