Microsoft, faced with challenges from Google and other vendors, is taking to the cloud in a big way with its upcoming release of new Office productivity software.
The software giant on Monday revealed pricing for a pair of cloud-based Office 365 software packages as well as for a new trio of traditionally licensed, locally stored Office 2013 suites. Office 365 will come in two flavors, Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 Small Business Premium. The new Office 2013 lineup can be purchased in the Home & Student, Home & Office, or Professional SKUs.
Microsoft hasn’t solidified a release date for its new Office products but did say that any purchase of Office 2010 or Office for Mac 2011 on or after Oct. 19 would be “eligible for a free upgrade to the new Office at the time of availability.”
Office 365 licenses will be sold on a subscription basis, with the Home Premium edition priced at $99.99 per year and the Small Business Premium edition priced at $149.99 per user per year. Both versions allow for installation of Office 365 on up to five PCs or Macs.
Users of Office 2013 will still pay a lump sum for the license on a single PC or Mac, ranging from $139.99 for Home & Student to $399.99 for the Professional edition. You can see a full pricing breakdown plus supported features in each version of Office 365 and Office in the chart from Microsoft below.
Microsoft sent us some use case scenarios for the various SKUs. For example, here’s how Redmond sees a family of three taking advantage of Office 365 Home Premium:
The Jones family has a kitchen PC. Susan, the mother, has a Mac, and Jason, the father, has a PC and plans to get a new Windows 8 tablet. Their daughter has a PC for school. Historically, they’ve upgraded their devices and Office every four years, so we’ll use a four-year subscription window.
A subscription costs $399.96 for four years. By contrast, they would have to spend $699.95 to equip all five of their devices with Office Home and Student 2013. With a subscription, the Joneses save $299.99, and they get the following additional benefits:
– Outlook, Access and Publisher
– Additional SkyDrive storage—a $40 value ($10/year for four years)
– Skype credit—a $119.52 value ($29.88/year for four years)
– Office on Demand, which allows subscribers to access the full, rich Office experience from any Internet-connected PC
– New service updates and product upgrades