Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

What Microsoft's Personal Plan for Office 365 Means for You

By - Source: Microsoft | B 19 comments

Here's another way to subscribe to Office 365.

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced the availability of Office 365 Personal, a new subscription plan for Office 2013 that allows customers to pay a monthly fee for one person. This plan will cost $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year, whichever is easiest on the wallet.

So what do you get with Office 365 Personal? The software can run on one PC or Mac, one tablet (iPad included), and on smartphones (Android, iOS, Windows). Customers also have access to online versions of Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote), offline storage, and 27 GB of online storage (7 GB free, 20 GB extra). Subscribers also get 60 world minutes of Skype calling per month to 60+ countries.

For customers with more than one PC or tablet, the Office Home family plan is a better deal. For $9.99 per month, customers can install Office 13 on five PCs and Macs, five tablets, and on any Android, iOS or Windows phone. Family customers also have access to the online versions of Office, offline storage, and 27 GB of online storage for each user up to five. Also thrown into this bundle is 60 world minutes of Skype calling per month to 60+ countries.

"By offering Office 365 Personal, in addition to Office 365 Home, we are better positioned to deliver the right Office to a broader range of households–whether it's an individual or a family of five. Whichever Office 365 is right for you, you'll enjoy the freedom to get work done at home, school, or on the go–on any device," reads the Office blog.

Last month, Microsoft eliminated the requirement to pay for an Office 365 plan in order to use Office on mobile phones. That means customers with and without a subscription can get Office Mobile without having to share a dime. These two plans mentioned above are not for commercial use; businesses would need to get additional licenses from Microsoft in order to be compliant.

For customers who don't want to install the software locally, there's always Office Online (formerly Office Web Apps). These versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote are free to use within Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome. Even more, Word Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote are now all offered as Chrome Apps. On the Apple front, Office is now also on the iPad.

In related news, Microsoft updated the Office blog with news of changes coming to Office Online.

"For those of you using Word Online for the creation of research papers and reports, we've simplified footnotes and endnotes—you can now simply add them inline," the blog reads. "Word Online is now smarter when it comes to list making, too. For example, when you're making a list, if you're directly below an existing numbered list and start typing, your next line automatically becomes part of the list—just like in desktop Word."

For more information about what is new with Office Online, head here.

Discuss
Add your comment Display all 22 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    Onus , April 16, 2014 7:44 AM
    I am not interested in any product that keeps me paying, and paying, and paying, ad nauseum. That model is unacceptable. It is time for people to wake up. Most people's needs could still be met very well with productivity titles of ten or even twenty years ago.
  • 7 Hide
    Kunari , April 16, 2014 7:51 AM
    Quote:
    I am not interested in any product that keeps me paying, and paying, and paying, ad nauseum.


    I'm with you there Onus! I refuse to sign up for a software subscription
  • -2 Hide
    spdragoo , April 16, 2014 8:08 AM
    Quote:
    I am not interested in any product that keeps me paying, and paying, and paying, ad nauseum. That model is unacceptable. It is time for people to wake up. Most people's needs could still be met very well with productivity titles of ten or even twenty years ago.


    Well, some people obviously would disagree, or you wouldn't see the popularity of games like World of Warcraft (or Everquest before yet), which also work on the "pay every month" business model. Or, of course, the people that think nothing of paying to download a game app on their smartphone, then continue paying with in-app purchases.

    Personally, I don't do either: I don't play games on my iPod unless they allow me to play for free (both to download & while in-game), & I prefer one-time costs for my real software.

    However...at $70/year, the cost of paying for a 2-year subscription is roughly as much as buying the stand-alone Office 2013 Home & Student edition. And the stand-alone only lets you install on one device, not "1 PC plus 1 tablet plus 1 smartphone".
  • 0 Hide
    spdragoo , April 16, 2014 8:11 AM
    Whoops, hit "submit" too fast, & now it won't let me edit.

    Anyway, to continue, if I had to pay separately to install it on a 2nd device as well as my PC, then the stand-alone software becomes more expensive than the subscription model. And especially for the "family plan" model, paying $100/year, or roughly $300 total for a 3-year period, is cheaper than buying separate software for a desktop, a laptop & a tablet. The key, I guess, is whether getting the subscription gives you access to automatic upgrades whenever Microsoft changes the base product (i.e. when they switched from Office 2010 to Office 2013). If so, then the subscription model is just as cheap, if not cheaper, than buying the standalone software.

    Just something to think about.
  • 0 Hide
    mgilbert , April 16, 2014 8:16 AM
    Thank goodness for open source software...
  • 2 Hide
    Kunari , April 16, 2014 8:22 AM
    Quote:
    .... If so, then the subscription model is just as cheap, if not cheaper, than buying the standalone software.


    Oh sure, they'll make the initial pricing of the subscription plan look attractive. "It's just as cheap as buying the software" Also, most people don't upgrade when a new version of Office comes out, so that $300 cost for Office 2010 is still going strong for Joe-home-user. It's a perpetual license, Joe doesn't need to pay every month or loose access unlike the "just as cheap" subscription plan with no guarantee that they won't jack up the monthly fees next year.
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , April 16, 2014 8:33 AM
    A subscription model isn't unreasonable when it is paying for something, such as content upgrades (in the case of games), or ongoing "free" support (in productivity software). It should NEVER be necessary to pay for ongoing bug fixes.
    If a current version meets the user's needs "out of the box," however, a one-time payment for it should be sufficient. Remember that "stuff happens," and being bound to a subscription in order to keep a product working could lead to unexpected issues if there are ever communication problems.
  • -1 Hide
    agentbb007 , April 16, 2014 8:40 AM
    $70 a year doesn't seem too bad, I'm signing up.
  • 0 Hide
    spdragoo , April 16, 2014 8:56 AM
    Who says it's only an "initial pricing" plan? This isn't like paying for cable internet, where they'll tell you how much the 'starting at" rate is for the first 12 months, but won't tell you what the actual rate will be for the remainder of your 2- or 3-year contract until after you get that first full-price bill.

    If anything, the price is actually coming down, at least in terms of the consumer's buying power. For example, when Office 97 came out 17 years, a full stand-alone cost $499 USD, $599 if it included MS Access. That got you a single CD, or 44 floppy disks, to install it from. And it was still under the "1 copy, 1 PC" license -- they just didn't have the online verification available to hlep enforce it. So even without accounting for the lower purchasing power of the dollar from 17 years ago, they were essentially paying for a seven-year subscription. And while you can still find Office 97 on Amazon (now for about $30), you really won't see anyone continuing to use it because it was designed for Windows 98; people are complaining so much about die-hards holding onto their Windows XP computers, that I really can't see anyone advocating holding onto software that predates it.

    And as for version replacement... you do remember that they only took two years to go from Office 1 (1990) to Office 3.0 (1992), from Office 4.0 (1993) to Office 95 (1995), from Office 95 to Office 97 (1997), from Office 97 to Office 2000 (1999), from Office 2000 to Office XP (2001), & from Office XP to Office 2003 (2003)? Or that it was only one year between Office 3.0 (1992) & Office 4.0? The longest gap was between Office 2007 & 2003 (4 years), with 3 years between Office 1.0 (1990) & 3.0, between Office 2007 and Office 2010 (2010), & between Office 2010 & Office 2013 (just barely in January 2013). In other words, historically speaking, the chances are good that the next MS Office version will come out in 2016...in other words, 3 years after Office 2013, but only 2 years from now.

    Now, you're probably right that someone who just bought Office 2010 a few years back can probably go without an upgrade. However, there are many people that were still using Office 2007 (which is currently only in "extended" support for a couple more years), or worse Office 2003 (which also just lost "extended" support recently). Since they will need to upgrade their versions of Office, their question becomes whether to pay for the stand-alone Office 2013 (again with the "1 copy, 1 PC" limitation), or pay for a "subscription" plan that costs them the same amount over a 2- or 3-year period but lets them load it on more devices...& will probably allow them to automatically upgrade to future versions without hassle.
  • 2 Hide
    hannibal , April 16, 2014 8:56 AM
    I have office 2013 now and I am planning to use it next 6-10 years. So for me normal pay ones, use as long as you will is better. But to those who always want to have the newest version, the subscription model is better.
    What I am afraid is that there will be only that later alternative in the future. Why, because it is easier to offer support only to the newest version, than multiple versions. In the long run subscription version will offer more income to the company. That is why MS has been planning the subscription model to the operation system also. So far it has not been put in practice, but it is always an option that may become reality.
  • 1 Hide
    Zepid , April 16, 2014 9:01 AM
    Pretty cool news. Might subscribe.
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , April 16, 2014 9:15 AM
    Ok so Office Mobile app is free on Smartphones. No 365 plan needed.
    And Office Online is free using IE, Chrome or Safari.
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , April 16, 2014 9:16 AM
    Why would a business, running all of their processes using Office 2003, "need" to upgrade, even now? Those people who always want to be running the "latest and greatest" might do well to ask themselves why. The constant retraining offers no business advantages. Support considerations come down to do they want to support their products or do they want to support their business? That's a vital question; tech schools and/or body shops can provide massive numbers of personnel who can support the latest products, but only people who give a rodent's backside and have experience in the company will be able to support the business.
  • -1 Hide
    JD88 , April 16, 2014 9:30 AM
    Quote:
    Why would a business, running all of their processes using Office 2003, "need" to upgrade, even now? Those people who always want to be running the "latest and greatest" might do well to ask themselves why. The constant retraining offers no business advantages. Support considerations come down to do they want to support their products or do they want to support their business? That's a vital question; tech schools and/or body shops can provide massive numbers of personnel who can support the latest products, but only people who give a rodent's backside and have experience in the company will be able to support the business.


    This is kinda my question. I now use Google Docs for everything, but if I didn't I would probably be using the Office 2010 license I got for $20 back in college until the end of time. Certainly not worth $70 a year. Also, for most people the free alternatives are just as good. Heck, even Microsoft has it's free Office web apps that have most of the functionality. The only people buying this are people with very specific needs and people Best Buy salesmen talk into buying it along with $50 a year antivirus.
  • 0 Hide
    xrodney , April 16, 2014 10:26 AM
    Quote:

    Now, you're probably right that someone who just bought Office 2010 a few years back can probably go without an upgrade. However, there are many people that were still using Office 2007 (which is currently only in "extended" support for a couple more years), or worse Office 2003 (which also just lost "extended" support recently). Since they will need to upgrade their versions of Office.

    Sorry, but most of normal users can keep office for 10+ years even if its not anymore supported. In this case you are using mostly simple word/excel functions and really does not care about support, potential bugs or security flaws.
    I am using office tools only few times per month and I am more then happy with Libre Office "AT HOME".
  • 1 Hide
    egilbe , April 16, 2014 11:45 AM
    Open Office and Libre Office are free and work well.
  • 1 Hide
    shogunofharlom , April 16, 2014 12:20 PM
    Why do I need to pay for a word processor every month for the rest of my life? I use 2007 and have 0 need to upgrade. Honestly, I still have a copy of Office 2000, that I give to people who dont want to pay and no one ever complains. Hell, I even have a copy of Office 97 that still works just fine for excel, word, and even powerpoint. This model of leasing software like Adobe CC is really getting out of hand. It is just the company's way of keeping their hands in your pockets .. FOREVER. Why are we now paying for software like we pay rent on an apartment? For this reason I still buy all my games, music, movies I really like & software on a DVD. Having a physical copy of your software license gives the user a certain amount of power. Would you buy a house and not get a deed? Would you buy a car and not get a title? Physical media is the same thing. It is our title which certifies we have rights to use that software. If it is between upgrading to the newest version of word and becoming some kind of slave to Microsoft ... I will jut keep my old version.
  • 1 Hide
    TwoSpoons100 , April 16, 2014 4:39 PM
    The big potential nasty in the subscription model is if in the future you cancel your subscription you may no longer be able to access your own documents.
  • 0 Hide
    Gurg , April 16, 2014 6:24 PM
    What a rip off. I'll just keep moving my Office Home and Student 2007 to any new computers. This pricing scheme and the W8 elimination of the start button show the need to break up Microsoft and end their software monopoly,
  • 0 Hide
    littleleo , May 9, 2014 1:13 PM
    Of course it's what we all want another monthly bill to pay, what a bunch of greedy morons, hello Libre, lol.
Display more comments
React To This Article