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?