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Microsoft Launches Office 365 Home Premium, Office 2013

On Tuesday Microsoft announced the arrival of Office 365 Home Premium, a "reinvention" of the company's flagship Office product line for consumers. It's a cloud service that provides the latest Office apps that can be used across five Windows-based devices and Macs. The annual subscription fee will be a meaty $99.99 USD, the equivalent to $8.34 USD per month.

"Today’s launch of Office 365 Home Premium marks the next big step in Microsoft’s transformation to a devices and services business,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. "This is so much more than just another release of Office. This is Office reinvented as a consumer cloud service with all the full-featured Office applications people know and love, together with impressive new cloud and social benefits."

Is this a better deal? Consider the traditional desktop Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student edition for $140, which is now available for purchase as well. It only offers one license for one PC, and contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote 2013. Users can still store their files in SkyDrive and access them on another computer, but there's no yearly subscription commitment: it's a one-time purchase.

However Microsoft's just-released Office 2013 Professional (also desktop) is not only more robust, but a lot more expensive, selling for $400 USD. Meant for only one PC, it includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access 2013. In Office 365 Home Premium, users have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access too including all future versions.

According to Microsoft, Office 365 Home Premium provides one license that can be shared across five devices which can be activated and deactivated when needed. Also included in the mix is Office on Demand, an extra 20 GB of cloud storage in SkyDrive, and 60 free Skype world calling minutes per month. All of a sudden, Office 365 Home Premium sounds like a great deal.

"This is a major leap forward," said Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office Division. "People’s needs change rapidly, and Office 365 Home Premium will change with them."

Microsoft also said it will now deliver many new features and services to the cloud first, thus eliminating the traditional three-year release cycle that desktop Office 2013 users will face. This means new features and services will be streamed to subscribers as soon as they're released.

The company also released Office 365 University for college or university students, faculty and staff at a price of just $79.99 USD for a four-year subscription. On a global scale, Microsoft released traditional versions of Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013 and Office Professional 2013, as previously mentioned.

Office 365 for businesses will be released globally with new capabilities on February 27, the company said.

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  • meluvcookies
    rarely do i consider it a leap forward when i move from "owning" (yes, i know i'm purchasing the license) something on my laptop/pc, to renting (leasing) it in perpetuity.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    Blatant money grab, mostly towards OEM's who will offer "1~6 months free Office 365" as part of their baseline. Personally I use OpenOffice, get "All the Above" for free.
    Reply
  • meluvcookies
    palladin9479Blatant money grab, mostly towards OEM's who will offer "1~6 months free Office 365" as part of their baseline. Personally I use OpenOffice, get "All the Above" for free.
    Here Here! I think this is symptomatic of a much larger shift in the software industry in general (to included the gaming industry). It's one more way of removing any real control over the product from the hands of the consumer. We're on a slow creep toward a rude awakening when we suddenly find ourselves saying "what did i just pay for?" and not honestly be able to answer ourselves.

    I don't expect to purchase an office suite on my next laptop--particularly because open office alternatives have become more than robust enough for my modest needs.
    Reply
  • Other than Gaming and Photoshop/Premiere Pro, my life revolves around Linux Mint, loving 14 with KDE, libre office is all the office I need, and most others I show it to as well!
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    I'll stick with Office 2000 until this summer...
    Reply
  • tarzan2001
    I'm still rockin' Office 2003 and loving it! ;)
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    libre office is free, google doc is free, why bother buying this.
    Reply
  • ta152h
    Did Microsoft pay you to say this was a great deal, or do you have a drug problem you want to share with us? Nothing else makes sense.

    OpenOffice works fine for me. It's not the greatest thing in the world, but it fits my needs fine, and I can buy 4 Monster M-80s with the money I save every month.

    OpenOffice + 4 Monster M-80s > Microsoft Office 365. In any language. On any planet (including dwarfs like Pluto, poor thing), on any day (except the 5th Friday of any month ending in "R").
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    9450593 said:
    Here Here! I think this is symptomatic of a much larger shift in the software industry in general (to included the gaming industry). It's one more way of removing any real control over the product from the hands of the consumer. We're on a slow creep toward a rude awakening when we suddenly find ourselves saying "what did i just pay for?" and not honestly be able to answer ourselves.

    I don't expect to purchase an office suite on my next laptop--particularly because open office alternatives have become more than robust enough for my modest needs.

    Goes deeper then that. Take the quotes "Office Pro" price of $400 USD for the same usable license you get from the "Office 365". See the "online" version may allow you to install on five devices, but you can only use it one at a time. Most people do not do excel / access on their tablet. So @$99 USD a year it's become more expensive unless your buying a new version of office every four years. As people have mentioned their still using Office 2003 (nearly 10 years old) and some are on Office 2007 (five years). That $400 investment went a whole lot further then four years, it goes into seven and ten or more. At that time "Office 365" will have cost you $495 (5 years) $693 USD )7 years) or $990 (10 years).

    That is the point behind it, MS wants everyone to switch to yearly subscription fee because it's simply more profitable. You may more over the long term.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    Tomfreaklibre office is free, google doc is free, why bother buying this.
    Because most businesses and government facilities (schools, fire departments, etc) are used to using MS Office. Cost a pretty penny to retrain dozens, hundreds or thousands of employees to efficiently use the new software.
    Reply