$100 a year for Office: Microsoft unveils subscription rates

A Microsoft graphic outlining the basics of an Office 365 subscription.

Microsoft has been gradually releasing information regarding Windows 8, and all of the applications therein, since the start of 2012. One of the details we’ve been missing is the  pricing for Office 365, the suite that houses popular applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (among others).

Today, the Redmond-based company officially unveiled the new pricing scheme for Office 365. Pricing is simple: $8.33 per month, $99.99 per year (billed annually).

It’s an example of the company’s shift toward subscription-based pricing. Instead of simply launching a product for one computer, and requiring multiple licenses for each device, Microsoft’s shift to the cloud is allowing for a more robust experience, plus upgrades to future Office versions as long as users continue to pay the subscription fee.

Subscribers get access to the full range of Office 365 products, all bundled together. That includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Outlook. You’ll also be able to use the new Office 365 on up to 5 PCs or Macs. Users will also get an additional 20GB of SkyDrive storage, up from the 7GB of free storage you get out of the gate. Subscribers will also get 60 minutes of Skype world calling every month.

If, however, you don’t want to go the subscription route, you can buy single box sets as we’ve all done in the past. Prices will start at $139.99 for the Office Home, as well as the Student 2013 Edition. Both of these version will include Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint. You may notice that Outlook is missing from those two versions. If you want that particular application, you’ll need to shell out $219.99 for the Office Home and Business 2013 version.

For those who want everything in a nice, single package, Microsoft will be offering up Office Professional 2013, which comes with everything mentioned above, as well as Access and Publisher. That will cost you $399.99. These other versions will only be able to be downloaded on one PC, and do not come with any of the bonus options that the subscription service offers.

Microsoft is also rolling out their Office 2013 update program beginning October 19th: “Starting October 19, people who purchase Office 2010 or Office for Mac 2011 will qualify to download, for free, one year of Office 365 Home Premium or the equivalent Office 2013 offering, when available. Small business customers in applicable markets will also be eligible for a three-month trial of Office 365 Small Business Premium.”

Previously: First Look: Microsoft remakes Office for tablets and the cloud

  • Guest

    Very nice! That’s $100 a year for FIVE users, less than half the price of Google’s $50/year freemium offering for Docs. I’ve used both products’ free web-based offerings, and Microsoft has made Google look like a bunch of college-hire script kiddies. An acceptable web UI (as good as a web UI can get) with a native app I can use as well, all for a reasonable price? Sign me up.

    Let the epic year roll on, Microsoft.

  • Huh?

    Not being a troll but seriously, why would I pay $100 per year when I can get this for free through gmail and Google apps? I used to use Office but have been using that for a couple years now and it’s “good enough”.

    I just don’t get it. Office isn’t all that. I’m not going to pay $100/year just for the name.

    • Guest

      You don’t have to pay $100 a year. You can use the free apps at SkyDrive. Paying gets you more functionality, like the ability to use native apps for editing.

      This model is called “freemium” and Microsoft is about to disrupt the everloving poo out of it.

    • http://feedingthegeek.tumblr.com/ feedingthegeek

      Oddly enough, tens of millions of people think it *is* “all that”. They think Google Apps doesn’t have the features they need, and that MS Office really does give them enough *more* that’s it’s worth paying for. They think Google’s business model of “we look at what you do so we can help our actual customers, the advertisers, target you more effectively”.

      When you use Google’s services, *you* are the product. You, and access to information about you, are being sold. If you don’t understand that, you’re not paying attention. If you don’t understand why that makes a difference, you’re still not paying attention.

      • Guest

        Do you have any proof that advertisers can buy access to my information on Google? I’ve frequently asked Google about whether my goomail and my goodocs can be read by advertisers, and I always get the same response: “Sir, I am a receptionist. To which extension would you like to be connected?”

        In fact, the goomail FAQ specifically states, “Google does not share your email address, your messages, or any other personal information with advertisers.” http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1304609

        There are loads of good reasons to use Microsoft Office 365 .NET Professional, but let’s not go spreading misinformation about competitors. I bet that’s what Apple does.

        • Guest

          well, if you really think google doesn’t share your info, explain that targeted ads.
          i and my friends talk much about indie games by e-mail (we are making one). one of my friend’s that uses goomail started to receive ads about engines for indie games, offers of indie games and things like that. how google knows we are making one indie game without reading our messages? open your eyes. just because they say they don’t do, that doesn’t mean that they really don’t do.

          • Sai

            Yes, Google is scanning your messages, but advertisers themselves know nothing about you or your message. Google is displaying relevant ads from a pool of ads submitted by advertisers.

        • mtcoder

          Dude right in your link it is posted.
          Is Google reading my mail?
          No, but automatic scanning and filtering technology is at the heart of Gmail. Gmail scans and processes all messages using fully automated systems in order to do useful and innovative stuff like filter spam, detect viruses and malware, show relevant ads, and develop and deliver new features across your Google experience. Priority Inbox, spell checking, forwarding, auto-responding, automatic saving and sorting, and converting URLs to clickable links are just a few of the many features that use this kind of automatic processing.

          No, BUT……. we scan every email to provide automated features like targeted ADs, develop and deliver new features, aka trend what you are doing with your emails, etc. Also recently with their Googles changes to their terms and agreements across the board with all their products they added the right to scan and analysis all of your information. Now for people that want a free service that is fine with me, you get what you pay for, nothing free, add on other cliche commment. Just note that they do scan / “read” everything you do with Google.

    • guest

      For those with only modest needs there’s no reason to. If on the other hand your needs are more substantial, Gapps != Office.

  • http://www.wisestep.com/ WiseStep

    Thats Engaging one

  • Mike_Acker

    just download LibreOffice

    better yet, switch to Linux/Ubuntu while you’re at it . if you can play a DVD you can install Ubuntu

    • Guest

      I’m not finding LibreOffice or Version 12.04 LTS Linux/Ubuntu in app stores for my iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone devices. Please advise.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawn-Hubbard/1668266129 Shawn Hubbard

      So your answer is to switch to a system that is needlessly complicated and is lacking features and then just tell people they need to request a different file format since you can’t produce what they require? Awesome.

      • Mike_Acker

        “needlessly complicated” — “lacking features” ?? Have you tried Linux/Ubuntu ? I’ve only been using it for 3 months and it is feature rich and easy to install/use. a bit different, yes. and a couple of my favorite programs — I have to use subs for — or maybe install the Windows/shell emulator (WINE) .

        but in terms of switching from WORD to LibreOffice/Writer it’s like getting a stone out of your boot on a 10 mile hike. as far as formats go — LibreOffice will write the commonly used formats — doc, docx .

        For those interested in O/S security — . do your own research. msft has been and will be playing Whac-a-Mole with he hackers indefinitely. You might research the new BROMIUM offering that appeared recently. windows was not designed as a secure system. this is evidenced by the continuing need to patch application programs to protect the O/S. that is the signature problem of a monolithic system.

  • CryThyBelovedCountry

    Can I use office365 on my android phone? (where my phone would be one of the devices?).

  • http://woodge.com/ woodge

    For years now I either user Google Docs (Drive, now) or Open Office, or Microsoft Office supplied by my employer. And the latter so rarely that I don’t need it. I honestly use Google Docs for 99% of my needs. I enjoy paying 0$ for these things.

    • Craig

      I’m with you on Open Office, but Google Docs is not for me. I don’t want to run the risk of putting something personal in there only to have it indexed by their search engines and advertised to the world

      • Sai

        You do realize that you files are uploaded as private (by default, I think), right? That means the only people that can access your files are you (when you are signed in). You do have the option of either publicly sharing the files or with select people.

  • Les Duffy

    Yes I’ll continue to use it. It’s the best office software out there, and it’s only $100/year. Enough said.

  • Jasmine

    Wondering how one reads their docs after dropping the subscription? Office Libre, I suppose. This is a key point – the subscriber owns the docs, but not the ability to read them, unless still subscribed. Has Windows addressed this very basic issue, with their subscription offer?

    • mtcoder

      With subscription you basically get full office that you download and run on your machine, with option to use web office as you can today. When your subscription runs out the next time you open office on your desktop it says your subscription has expired, and gives you options to start it again. All the files are where you left them on your personall computer, you can move them around, email them, etc. Just can’t use office on your desktop to edit them. Can even upload them to your skydrive and make small edits right there. As far as opening them there are a few programs that read docx formate and such, so you would still have options. In general though I find either you use word / office or you don’t most don’t use it for a few months then stop. Now depending on what you do it could make sense to just buy it wholesale and skip the subscription. If you are one of those people that only update office when you absolutely have to or it came on a new machine.

    • Example Joe

      Or you could use the free (and have been available for a long time free) Office Viewers from Microsoft.

  • wpkf

    I think the price is reasonable, especially it is for 5 users.
    Microsoft is a big corp but does not mean every time she charges you a fee is an evil act.