Office 2013 and Office 365 now available, subscriptions start at $9.99

By on January 29, 2013, 1:00 PM

Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365 are now available for purchase in retail stores in 162 different countries as well as online at Office.com. Redmond is making a bold decision by moving to a subscription model with Office 365 but with such a heavy focus on cloud computing as of late, Microsoft clearly feels that now is as good a time as any to further explore the emerging market.

Those electing to use the subscription model will pay $99.99 per year for access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. This bundle allows the user to install the software on five different systems - Mac and PC are both supported – and there’s even a web portal that allows you to work from a computer that doesn’t have the software installed.

The subscription also includes 20GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype calls per month. The same deal can be had for $9.99 per month if the idea of an annual subscription doesn’t appeal to you.

There’s also the traditional one-time purchase version for $139.99 known as Office Home and Student 2013. This watered down version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote and can only be installed on a single computer. SkyDrive access isn’t included either so you’ll have to resort to tried and true tactics if you want to take your files with you.

Another big difference between this release and previous Office products is that retail versions in large markets like the US and the UK won’t include a physical DVD. Instead, Microsoft is simply putting product codes inside familiar retail boxes that require users to go online and download / activate the software.

At the end of the day, you’ll likely want to ask yourself a number of questions before deciding on which route is best for you. How many computers do you plan to install Office on? Which components are you likely to use? Does SkyDrive access appeal to you? How do you feel about paying $100 each year for the foreseeable future?




User Comments: 14

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Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

I wonder if this subscriptions would include upgrades to future distributions of Office. Personally, that would be appealing enough for me to stick with the sub. The Skype calls and 20GB cloud space doesn't seem to bad either.

1 person liked this | seefizzle said:

Who exactly is buying into this? Google docs is free. Storing files in the cloud is often free and easy. What's the point of spending a hundred dollars a year to do things you can do for free?

1 person liked this | Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

Google Docs isn't as versatile, efficient or powerful as Microsoft Office. At least, that is what I've experienced when using and comparing the two. It all depends on what you use the programs for. I know Google Docs is very good for simple word processing but not for anything beyond that.

dunebeetle said:

You can save files to Skydrive with the traditional one-time payment. MS says you get 7 GB of space with that purchase.

Ma_ga said:

@seefizzle

LibreOffice & OpenOffice are way ahead of GDocs, and still very few use it.

It's more a thing like the IE vs Chrome Vs Firefox than the price.

3 people like this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I've been using Office 2013 for a couple of months now. It's faster, I'll say that. And still using the ribbon-style menu which I hate. But that's the direction MS has been pursuing for quite a while now, so I can either get used to it or have high blood pressure.

I don't like the fact that it's so heavily cloud based. I want the option to keep my files on my own system or backup systems. I don't like the fact that an Internet connection is required. I can see where it might be handy for business people who travel a lot, but for home users it doesn't make it "better," that's for sure.

I give it a C+

Chazz said:

I've been using Office 2013 for a couple of months now. It's faster, I'll say that. And still using the ribbon-style menu which I hate. But that's the direction MS has been pursuing for quite a while now, so I can either get used to it or have high blood pressure.

I don't like the fact that it's so heavily cloud based. I want the option to keep my files on my own system or backup systems. I don't like the fact that an Internet connection is required. I can see where it might be handy for business people who travel a lot, but for home users it doesn't make it "better," that's for sure.

I give it a C+

I didn't know you had to use the online version. I thought office 365 was the cloud version branding and Office 2013 was the normal stuff. I don't like the idea of having to use the cloud it should be a option. Are you sure this is how it's going to be?

RH00D RH00D said:

Who exactly is buying into this? Google docs is free. Storing files in the cloud is often free and easy. What's the point of spending a hundred dollars a year to do things you can do for free?

Well, let's look at cost overall.

Microsoft: Office 2013, +20 GB SkyDrive storage (Most users 27 GB total, 45 GB total if you have and old SkyDrive account that use to come with 25 GB free, which they've honoured.) 60 minutes of Skype calling, plus Office 2013 can be used offline.

Total = $99/year

Google: Google Docs (free), 25 GB storage = $2.49/month * 12 = $29.88/year, requires active Internet connection to use.

Total = $29.88/year

$99 - $29.88 = Microsoft is $69.12 more expensive.

Given the added benefits and also that SkyDrive is supported on more platforms than Google Drive, Office can be used offline, Google Docs requires you to store your documents on Google's servers whether you want to or not. The Office applications are more feature-rich and from my experience, work better, I think there is easily $70 worth of value in the Microsoft option over Google.

Edit, from my understanding it is the Office 365 that is web-based and the Office 2013 is installed locally and capable of being used offline. Office 2013 also does have a version that doesn't even require installation and streams the program over an active Internet connection.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Office 2013 looks and feels like old style office, but it is most definitely attached to the cloud in several different ways. In fact, I can't even find the installation files on my hard drive - it's almost like it's entirely web based now.

1 person liked this | lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've been using Office 2013 for a couple of months now. It's faster, I'll say that. And still using the ribbon-style menu which I hate. But that's the direction MS has been pursuing for quite a while now, so I can either get used to it or have high blood pressure.

I don't like the fact that it's so heavily cloud based. I want the option to keep my files on my own system or backup systems. I don't like the fact that an Internet connection is required. I can see where it might be handy for business people who travel a lot, but for home users it doesn't make it "better," that's for sure.

I give it a C+

I didn't know you had to use the online version. I thought office 365 was the cloud version branding and Office 2013 was the normal stuff. I don't like the idea of having to use the cloud it should be a option. Are you sure this is how it's going to be?

No, that's not the way it works. He's simply misinformed. See response below.

Office 2013 looks and feels like old style office, but it is most definitely attached to the cloud in several different ways. In fact, I can't even find the installation files on my hard drive - it's almost like it's entirely web based now.

Office 2013 is not attached to the cloud at all. There is, however, a feature of Office 2013 called "Office on Demand" that allows you to temporarily stream your Office installation and SkyDrive-saved documents on another computer in like, a minute. Other than that, this version of Office is just like any other x86-64 program. You do not need internet connection, that would be stupid.

As for you not finding the installation files, did you check here: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15.

Personally I like it, but I don't see upgrading to be worth it. Not for the price at least. I did get to use Office 2010 the other day and I felt how slow it was compared to the new one. On 2013 everything is just so smooth.

So verdict? If you are still on 2007, upgrade. If on 2010, there is some good stuff in 2013, but nothing worth the extra cash.

2 people like this | Rasta211 said:

Let me guess Microsoft, it's only compatible with windows 8 and above. I'm sure their marketing team considered this.

1 person liked this | fwilliams said:

This is a great way for Microsoft to ensure that you send them $100 per year for the rest of your life.

If something like Google Docs or LibreOffice or OpenOffice have similar or better features in the future it will not matter because you will be to lazy to move to different software or Microsoft will make sure the files are not 100% compatible.

RH00D RH00D said:

This is a great way for Microsoft to ensure that you send them $100 per year for the rest of your life.

If you plan on using a full-fledged Office for the rest of your life... Then yeah, I guess. But let's not forget that with this, upgrading won't cost any additional money. With this you also get the ability to install it on, I think up to 5 computers. Buying non-subscription versions for 5 computers and buying the new versions for all 5 every release, would most definitely add up to more than $100 per year.

psycros psycros said:

If you plan on using a full-fledged Office for the rest of your life... Then yeah, I guess. But let's not forget that with this, upgrading won't cost any additional money. With this you also get the ability to install it on, I think up to 5 computers. Buying non-subscription versions for 5 computers and buying the new versions for all 5 every release, would most definitely add up to more than $100 per year.

Oh, I think a lot of people can and will use the offline version on multiple computers. And its not very hard to make Skydrive or any other cloud storage available to ALL your apps instead of just a single program. There's nothing in Office 2013 that's remotely interesting or attractive to 90% of consumers or companies. "The cloud" is the last place most of us want to put our personal documents anyway.

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