A lot of what Microsoft has been doing in the past couple of years has felt like a company in the middle of an image makeover. Core software and services like Windows, Outlook, and Hotmail have all seen major overhauls, so it’s no surprise that Office’s number was going to get called next.
Microsoft has had Web apps offered through the cloud up until now, but they were limited in functionality compared to the full Office suite. That changes now, as Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium has become available via subscription. The cloud-based Office will work on up to five different devices per account, and works on Windows tablets, PCs, and Macs. Rather than pay a one-time fee for the software, you’ll be paying for it with an annual subscription fee that can be automatically renewed. That fee will be $100 per year, although students and faculty have access to the University edition, which is $80 per year.
Office 365 Home Premium will offer the full slate of features found in Microsoft Office 2013 (which is also still available in traditional, out-of-the-box software form). The 365 subscription is a little more palatable as an up-front fee, even if it will end up being more expensive in the long run. Of course, either way, you’ll have to really love Office 365 to shell out that kind of money, when there are Google apps and Open Office, which can be had for free.