This spring Microsoft will offer a new, cheaper subscription option for its Office 365 service. For $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year, Office 365 Personal will let you install Office on one PC or Mac and one tablet.

That’s $30 per year less than the price of Office 365 Home Premium, which lets you run Office software on up to 5 computers.

office online

Office 365 includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher and Access and allows you to sync your data with Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage. Subscribers also get 20GB of storage with their subscription fee and 60 minutes of free calls on Skype to more than 60 countries around the world.

You can already use  Office Online for free. It’s Microsoft’s answer to Google Docs & Sheets. But Office 365 may be the cheapest way to install Office on your computer… sort of.

You can still skip the subscription and buy Office outright. Office Home & Student 2013, for instance, sells for $140. That’s the same as paying for two years of Office 365 Personal… but you don’t get access to Outlook, Publisher, or Access with that price. To get all of the Microsoft Office apps, you’d need to pay $400 for Office Professional… which is more than 5 times the price of an Office 365 Personal subscription.

The subscription deal also includes upgrades, so if Microsoft releases a new version of Office while you’re still paying, you get access to the new software automatically for no extra charge.

Of course there’s still a cheaper option: use LibreOffice, OpenOffice.org, or another free office suite instead of Microsoft Office. But if that’s not an option for some reason, it’s nice to have yet another (cheaper) option for paying for Microsoft Office.

via ZDNet

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4 replies on “Microsoft introduces Office 365 Personal for $70 per year”

  1. Only in a nightmare scenario would I have to pay a yearly subscription to Microsoft to run Word.

    1. So long as they provide other options then you’re not being forced to do anything… Besides, they’re offering a lot more than just MS Word, besides… this isn’t any different than say from buying a car versus renting one…

      It all depends on your usage needs, like if you’re going to need to always have the latest version then the rental model becomes cheaper than constantly buying the new office suite model…

      While renting also means you can be more flexible, as you can do things like change which package deal version best suite your needs at any given time but you couldn’t do that if you bought Office instead… and you couldn’t easily opt to scale to multiple systems as you can with the rental model…

      Companies, especially, can get better deals as long as they have a minimum number of employees signed up for even lower per user costs… and the HP version can potentially add value for each user by allowing Office to be installed on up to 5 PCs, not counting mobile devices that you can add up to two more…

      Also, if you only need Office for a few months out of the year then you don’t need to continuously pay for the whole year, only those months you do need it, but there’s no such consideration when you buy Office instead…

      While Office 365 offers other advantages like being easier to collaborate and work with multiple users…

      Sure, it’s not for everyone but for businesses it can easily be a viable option… and there’s nothing wrong with offering more options! Really, consumers getting more options is usually a good thing even if those options aren’t for everyone…

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