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Office 365 pricing revealed with aggressive subscription options

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

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Reader comments

Office 365 pricing revealed with aggressive subscription options

37 Comments

These are fantastic prices, the best thing is you've always got access to the latest products. Being able to use Office on 5PCs is an absolute killer feature.

Please keep in mind, that Microsoft is not being honest with the addidtional Skydrive storage. What comes bundled with an Office365 (2012 Preview) subcription is called "Skydrive Pro", and it is not the (Live) Skydrive that you know. It actually is a SharePoint Online document library.

It's the Office Home that will come with Skydrive, all business versions (as they currently do) will be with Sharepoint access. No dishonesty there.

Yes, its not honest. I currently have 25GB of free Skydrive storage...so what, I get downgraded?

"Nearly 3 times the amount of SkyDrive storage with an additional 20GB over the 7GB you get for free."
It gets added to your account, whether you have 7 or 25, just like it's always worked.

So, if I currently have the 25GB free, and pay for an addition 100GB - for a total of 125GB (which seems to be the max I can get for now) - would this give me 145GB total?

It doesn't say you get downgraded or lose storage (or the data that's taking that space); hard to see how you can come to that conclusion.

This is great news. Subscription pricing for full use of Office? I'm in it to win it. Good job Microsoft!

One error... Purchasing office "retail" will only give updates through the traditional ms update model. It will be the auto-distributed always up to date of the subscription versions.

Not ideal for me.3 pc at home office student was ideal and only cost me 120 us. I have SkyDrive so no need for more storage.

If you have what you need, I can see that. However the home premium subscription includes more components that you might consider worth the price; Outlook, Access, Publisher.

Yes you can. There are 2 parts to accessing docs after cancelling; 1 is accessing the files which you have a predetermined amount of time to remove them from the Cloud (although if they are on your Skydrive account you'll still have 7GB free). The other part is some FUD people have been spreading where they say you can't access them after cancelling, which is rubbish, they are your files and the only subscription is for Office and the extra Skydrive storage.

"These are modern times and consumers have learned that it is cheaper to pay annually for what they want."
It depends: if you want to always have the lates edition.... maybe, if you do not care it is way more expensive.

If you absolutely must have every shiny new feature it's probably a good deal for you. OTOH, the world in general gets along quite easily updating every 5-10 years. Still have Office Home & Student 2007 running on the systems at home, and 2010 offered nothing noticeably new. Heck, Office Starter offers more functionality than the average user will ever need.

Office Apps are in Hotmail/Outlook.com so there is already a free option, couple that with the Office viewers and you're well served.

Trying to figure this out. If I buy Office 2013 for $140 and Outlook 2013 for $100 I have the latest for $240 (I already have 25gb of SkyDrive because I've used it for years). If I subscribe to Office 365 Premum for $100 a year I get Office 2013 and Outlook 2013 and a couple other less used apps (e.g. Publisher). Assuming the next Office version is 3 years from now I spend $240 once or $300 for 365 Premium or $60 more. Why should I spend $60 more than I have to?
I'm also assuming Hotmail works with Outlook and I don't need an Exchange to make that happen. Please explain my lack of logic and why I'm wrong and should rent 365 Premium for more money than a one time purchase.

You really missed the point about 5 devices. $240*5=1200 which is way more than 300. The subscription is only worth it if you have 5 friends or family member or multiple PC.

"With the Office 365 Home Premium subscription ($99.99 annually / $8.33 a month) you get..."
I hate that journalists/bloggers keep mentioning the monthly cost. Who cares about the monthly cost when you can't pay for it montly?
I thought montly was a payment option until I finally read the original blog post from Microsoft and it specifically says "bill annually". I'm totally on board if I can get a monthly subscription, but telling people what the monthly cost is without saying it's billed annually is misleading.

+1 Totally agree don't mention monthly if there isn't one because id be on now if there was, and id also have the max SkyDrive if it was too...

The current Office 365 options allow people to pay monthly; on a direct debit I'd rather be spending $8.33 each month it just "seems" less. Hopefully Microsoft will keep that option.

"I hate that journalists/bloggers keep mentioning the monthly cost. Who cares about the monthly cost when you can't pay for it montly?"
 
THe reason for the monthly cost is included is because homes/businesses mostly operate on a monthly planned  budget.
 
So, their thought process is "will this monthly cost fit into my budget?"

Then anyone with that thought process is really bad at math and/or reading since they'll be paying $100 up front, once a year, every year. You can't budget for a monthly payment when such a plan does not exist.

So, I still get a copy that i install locally and use as normal with office 365? In my office we need to upgrade badly but cost was stopping us.

Yes, you do. You can download it and install it locally on up to 5 PCs. You can also subscribe to the Preview as we speak.

It would be great if
1. Microsoft let the price be set globally to USD 100 per annum. (based on the upgrade prices for windows 8 if you purchase a new Windows 7 computer it is more likely that we in Sweden will have to pay USD 139 instead of USD 100)
2. It would even be better if Microsoft priced the product to be set to € 10 or GBP 10 or 100 in every country's own currency.
Mike was concerned that he had to pay less than USD 100 more over 3 years (his time span for upgrading) if he chose a subscription over a retail version. As I see it the big advantage here IS that you can download and install it on 5 computers instead of one. If Microsoft repeats the limited edition of 3 installations for every purchased copy for say USD  150 you would still need 2 copies for those 5 computers and over 3 years it would be a tie. And we don't know what Microsoft has in store for us 3 years down the line. Maybe subscription will be the only option?