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

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.

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  • Onus
    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.
    6
  • Kunari
    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
    7
  • spdragoo
    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".
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