Office 2013 is nearly upon us, and as you already know the new version is exceptionally user friendly and beautiful. But how much will it cost? Microsoft recently released their pricing structure for the upcoming Office suite and now you’ll have even more options when it comes down to it.
Standard stand alone packages will be the same as they were with Office 2010. You’ll get Home & Student for R799 (est. based on current pricing), Home and Business for R1599 and Professional at around R4999. These stand alone packages are single user licenses except for Home and Student which allows it to be installed on 3 computers in your home.
For the first time Microsoft is offering subscription packages as well. These are even better deals than the stand alone packages. The Office 365 Home Premium package at US$99 per year for 5 users (or US$1.65 per user per month) will give you full access to Word, Excel, Powerpoint and the Office 365 web applications. In addition to that you’ll get 60 Minutes per month of Skype Credit and 20Gb of additional Skydrive storage.
For Small Businesses with 1 – 10 employees you’ll get Office 2013 with Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook with 10Gb Cloud Drive, 25Gb Skydrive storage, and an additional 500Mb per user. In addition to that you’ll get online meetings and free web hosting which is great. This package will set you back around US$149 per user per year.
The benefits of using these subscriptions will be that besides all the extras you’ll get, you’ll always have the latest version of Office. It’s perfectly clear that Microsoft is eyeing Google with their Cloud apps and the tons of free Office suites out there like LibreOffice and OpenOffice. But by making it more affordable and bundling a ton of extras Microsoft just got the upper hand again.
The problem comes in when you’re a single user, where the 5 user license would be a total waste, and not to mention expensive. It will be a hard sell out there but we believe with the added benefits of the paid subscription, Microsoft should sign up a few million.
Office RT for Windows RT will officially be included for free on all Windows RT devices. So opting for one of those machines will come with their added benefits. Although you’ll have to live without legacy support.
As users of Office 365 Pro Plus already, we have to say it is definitely worth the upgrade. Now just to get my hands on one of those Surface tablets.
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