Microsoft’s latest version of Office is here, it’s in the cloud, and it costs $100 per year for 5 computers

office2013

Microsoft has announced that Office 2013 and Office 365 are now available for purchase on Office.com and in retail stores across 162 countries. When you purchase your copy and unbox it at home, don’t be surprised if you don’t find the usual DVD inside it. It was never there, and the product key provided will take you where Microsoft wants you to be — the cloud.

Office Home & Student 2013 are available for $139.99 and Office Professional 2013 will cost you $399.99. These are your traditional Office products that you download and install on your computer; once installed, they aren’t in the cloud but rather on your computer and you can keep these versions forever with no reoccurring fee.

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud version. A 1 year subscription of Office 365, that allows you to put Office 2013 on up to 5 PCs and/or Macs and gives access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access, costs $99.99. What about one month? $9.99. It’s clear that Microsoft is trying to show consumers that paying for a subscription to Office and downloading it is the way to go this time.

Part of Office 365 is also an all-new on-demand version of Office 2013 that is available on Office.com. You simply sign in and you’ll have a streaming version of Office 2013 on your Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer in no time. When you don’t have a particular program from Office installed on your computer, you can stream it. If you’re on a computer that doesn’t even have Office installed on it yet, just stream it. It isn’t entirely clear if an Office 365 subscription allows you to install an offline version of Office 2013 or not.

Microsoft is also leveraging its other services to complement Office 365. A subscription to Office 365 will also get you 20GB of additional storage on SkyDrive and 60 minutes of Skype calls per month. If you have a Windows Phone, you’ll be able to view and edit all your Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents right from your phone and access them anywhere with SkyDrive.

Here’s a quick look at the new Office:

Microsoft is trying something new here, just like they did with Windows 8. What’s great about this effort is, you’re not really forced to be in the cloud if you don’t want to. The standalone versions are still available for purchase, albeit in comparatively higher prices. But the choice is yours this time around.

[via The Verge, Office.com]

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10 comments

  1. DoktorThomas

    Welcome to the future of software — you pay and own nothing, have nothing.

    Resist. Resist. Resist.

    Another unworkable, unwanted, expensive solution from out-of-touch MSFT. You can bet your bottom Ballmer this isn’t going to fly.

    Only the US federal government is stupid enough to buy into this scammish sales model.

    Another powerful incentive use the myriad of free “Office suites” available from other sftw companies.

  2. Mike

    @Scott Hedrick: You’re absolutely right, of course, about the as-of-yet non-100% nature of cloud access–something that the tech. companies keep on “forgetting” (and wishing away?). I haven’t looked at Office 360 recently, but I thought that it also included a standalone Office version for one’s computer as well, in addition to the cloud access. But perhaps I’m misrecalling that.

  3. Scott Hedrick

    @kelltic:

    I live in the sticks with an unimpressive speed and sometimes no access at all to the Internet. If my business was dependent on the cloud, I’d be out of business. I want software on my machine that I can access anytime, including in the occasional place without wifi, and I want my data on my system as well. Microsoft continues to move away from me.

  4. Strahd

    @Ashraf:

    Ashraf, this is cheaper…if you need/use all those suites on five desktops. I figure mainly medium to large businesses can pay this anuall fee, because they are the ones who would mainly need this. That is if they don’t mind sheling that sort of money every year.

    Small business’ and households, well that’s different.

    Even though most households have more than 1 PC, not all of them require the use of all those additional suites in MS Office. Most (if not all) just need the commonly used onces like Excel, Word, and Power Point. Even then you can get decent alternatives for free.

    For everyday people, this cloud service isn’t cheaper, its more expensive. With 1 single purchase of 2013 Pro, i can use that for 5+ years easily. This new method makes one constantly having to anually pay for the use of these softwares, that you may not ever need.

    Contrary to MS’s belief, we don’t need the latest and greatest things once they are out.

    In my entire life, I personally only know of 2 people (other than myself) who need/use the other suites in MS Office, other than the Big 3 (excel, word, Power point).

    I am considering getting MS office 2013 pro (disk version). I have used MS office 2010 Pro, which was aewsome, and I can only assume 2013 is better. as actually holding out for this anyways.

  5. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @BR: @kelltic: You guyd and gals miss the point. It is $99 a year for Office 365 Home, which gives access to Office Pro 2013 on 5 computers. If you need Office on 5 computers, Office 365 is a very good option because otherwiss you would have to spend $600+ for individual licensesof the traditional version.

  6. kelltic

    I always said that was the whole reason for pushing folks to the cloud. Subscriptions. More $ for MS (and all the others who follow suit), less control for consumers and more $ than a lot of us can afford.