Microsoft Office 365 Personal Coming This Spring for $6.99 a Month

Microsoft Office 365 Personal

Microsoft Office 365 Personal

This week, Microsoft announced the upcoming launch of Microsoft Office 365 Personal, a cheaper version of their existing cloud-based Office 365 Home Premium service.

The new Office 365 Personal service gives you the following features for $6.99 a month / $69.99 a year:

  • Office applications on one PC/Mac and one mobile device
  • 20GB of OneDrive storage
  • 60 minutes of Skype calls per month

Compare this with the existing Office 365 Home service, which has over 3.5 million subscribers, and costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. Office 365 Home provides users with the full suite of Office applications on up to five PC’s or Macs and up to five mobile devices.

As an aside, Microsoft also announced that after Office 365 Personal is released, Office 365 Home Premium will lose its ‘Premium’ moniker and be rebranded as simply Office 365 Home.

A Microsoft spokesman offered the following explanation as reasoning behind the introduction of the new Office 365 Personal service:

“We recognize that there are households of all shapes and sizes and we’re committed to delivering the right Office for everyone – whether that be one person or an entire household”

Microsoft have also been quick to ensure that both their Personal and Home offerings will always include the latest and “most up-to-date” version of the software.

While the new Office 365 Personal is cheaper than the existing service, many pundits have been quick to point out that $6.99 a month is still a stretch for some – especially when there are 100% free alternatives available such as Google Docs, Zoho Docs and Open Office.

Office 365 Personal and Mac

Microsoft’s reference to “one mobile device” does not specifically indicate compatibility with iPhone/iPad. However, we’ve been waiting for a native iOS version of the Microsoft Office suite for some time so there’s a reasonable chance that their release could tie in with the launch of Microsoft Office 365 Personal. But there’s no guarantees yet.

What do you think of Microsoft’s new subscription-service? Would you sign up for Office 365 Personal?


About the Author: Shaun Campbell

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rtqp
rtqp

For the average home user, this is too little, too late. Multiple free alternatives already; try a few and you’ll wind up with everything you need and some extra stuff besides.

For corporate… well, this isn’t for corporate, is it?

Dear tech in 2014: People dislike leasing tools they rely on professionally. Please stop

jjmfe
jjmfe

agree! too little too late. MS is still a behemoth, and probably will be for decades to come, but the market is fractured and destined to be more so, due to the growth of a mobile market MS didn’t see fit to address. Yes, I still use a version of MS office on my desktop( oops, did I say that… I don’t use a desktop anymore, laptop is as permanent as I get), and Excel is still the standard, but the world is changing, and I’ve less incentive to stay up-to-date with either the latest MS OS, or office suite.

Shaun

Yeah spot-on. The Microsoft/Office brand isn’t enough to offset the fact that you can get much the same functionality from free web-apps.

rtqp
rtqp

My comment really stems from deciding to try to “go free” instead of upgrading from Office 2k7….

Web apps are OK for sharing and collab, but to put together something more serious like a billing invoice, the desktop is still king. Microsoft still has the edge there, but only ever-so-slightly. The freeware is more and more competitive.

StarOffice and LibreOffice have their own individual “quirks,” but what one can’t do, the other does. Between that and Google for on-the-go stuff, I have everything I need. A weekend or two of tinkering has allowed me to pass on re-buying Office. Paying to have Microsoft solve this trial-and-error upfront (unified, one-to-rule-them-all suite, tech support, etc) is almost certainly worth it to some, especially when big bucks, time vs. money, etc are involved. However, you now have lots of young professionals who have grown up with technology, and from their perspective it makes much more financial sense to spend three hours trying out various bits of freeware — piece together what you need in a vender-agnostic way. Paying Microsoft’s fees almost begins to offend the sense of frugality in the sort of people who always go to self-service gas stations.

Meanwhile, in doing this, I actually wound up with more. My now-unused copy of Office 2k7 didn’t include Visio, and LibreOffice does. It’s not quite as dialed in, but I find it completely sufficient to get the job done — when it comes to tools, a hammer is a hammer; there is no brand loyalty.

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