Office 2013

The new version of Office was unveiled to the world on July16th, and has proven to be quite the upgrade when comparing it to the current version. With its slick “modern UI,” aka “Metro styling,” the price for Office has changed as well.

There are two ways you can purchase Office - buy the software at full price or with an annual subscription. With so many services being subscription based, Spotify, Rdio, Netflix, Adobe Creative Cloud and Zune pass to name but a few examples, why wouldn’t Microsoft adapt as well? These are modern times and consumers have learned that it is cheaper to pay annually for what they want.

With the Office 365 Home Premium subscription ($99.99 annually / $8.33 a month) you get:

  • All the Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher.*
  • Ability to use Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs shared among all users in the home. Subscribers also have flexibility to change their 5 devices at any time, and full featured Office applications are available for temporary use on any PC.
  • Nearly 3 times the amount of SkyDrive storage with an additional 20GB over the 7GB you get for free.
  • 60 minutes of Skype world calling per month to keep in touch with family anywhere.**
  • Premium licenses that are always up-to-date with latest new features and services released regularly. With the new Office, new capabilities will be added multiple times per year.

 Office 365 Small Business Premium subscription ($149.99 annually / $12.50 per user per month) is designed for up to 10 employees and each user will get:

  • All the Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher plus Lync.*
  • Ability to use Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs for a single user. Users also have flexibility to change their 5 devices at any time, and full featured Office applications are available for temporary use on any PC.
  • A 25 GB Outlook mailbox, shared calendar, contact manager, scheduling and task-list tools, and 10 GB professional-grade cloud storage for the organization plus 500 MB per user.
  • Ability to host online meetings with audio and video using one-click screen sharing and HD video conferencing (HD video camera required)
  • Set up, build, and maintain a public-facing website with no additional hosting fees.
  • Premium licenses that are always up-to-date with latest new features and services released regularly. With the new Office, new capabilities will be added multiple times per year.
  • No IT expertise needed. Simple setup to get started quickly and customize the service with ease.

The best thing about the subscription model is the great value for an affordable price. The new subscription Office is used on multiple devices with multiple users, and will get updates throughout the year plus 60 minutes of Skype calls and 20GB of Skydrive storage for an incredible price. If this isn’t your cup of tea and some people only have 1 device, then the more traditional Office might be for you. Office Home and Student which includes, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, is $139.99 and can only be used on 1 device for 1 user and does not include the latest updates or additional SkyDrive and Skype services. Office Home and Business 2013 includes all applications and Outlook for $219.99, while Office Professional is $399.99.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft's new pricing? Is this practical for most consumers, or is it limiting?

OneNote, Access and Publisher available for PC only.

** Skype account required. Excludes special, premium and non-geographic numbers. Calls to mobiles are for select countries only. Skype available only in select countries.

Source: Microsoft Office Blog