"Which most assuredly points to a market niche that possesses more money than brain matter since it is an indication of a willingness to be nickel/dimed to death."
Well, it points to Microsoft wanting to encourage people to move to a subscription-based model. Now, perhaps I have more money than brain matter, because I have an Office365 subscription. For $100 a year, I can install the full office suite on 5 computers (Mac or Windows) plus 5 mobile devices. Oh sure, it sucks to pay for that each year rather than having the software in perpituity, but then it's working out as a good deal for me because I'm able to use all those licenses, and it's sure as heck cheaper to pay for that and always have the latest version than to screw around like I have in the past and have different machines with different versions of Office running on them, depending on which versions I can upgrade at any time.
Of course, your situation may be different to mine. But I evaluated it, and with my big wallet and stupid brain, I decided it was the right choice for me.