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Microsoft Offers Subscription-Based Cloud Version of Office

January 29, 2013

By Cynthia Herbert :: 10:19 PM

Office Cloud SubscriptionMicrosoft has announced today a subscription offering for a cloud-hosted version of its popular workplace productivity suite, Office, targeted for the home and casual user market.

Dubbed Office 365 Home Premium, the software-as-a-service costs $99 per year and includes Word, Excel, Outlook, Access and Publisher. Standard with the subscription is 20GB of cloud storage in Microsoft’s SkyDrive and 60 minutes of calling via Skype each month.

The subscription license will allow users to access the programs on up to 5 devices, including standard computers/laptops as well as tablets and other mobile gadgets.

“Today’s launch of Office 365 Home Premium marks the next big step in Microsoft’s transformation to a devices and services business,” Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft said in a release.

In addition to the home version, several other flavors of Office also were announced today. They include:

Office 365 University: $79 for four years and up to computers with the same features as Office 365 Home Premium

Office Home and Student 2013: $139 per year for one device, and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, but no other  Office 365 add-ons

Office Home and Business 2013: $219 per year for one device the same features as Office Home and Student 2013 (but with Outlook)

Office Professional 2013: $399 per year for one device with all features in Office Home and Business 2013 but also with Access and Publisher.