Microsoft announces Office 365 Personal for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year

Microsoft is offering a new and cheaper way for home users to access Office 365. Today, the company announced Office 365 Personal, which gives the subscriber one PC/Mac license for Office plus one tablet, and charges the user $6.99 a month or $69.99 for a year.

The price is well below that of Microsoft's other Office consumer subscription plan, Office 365 Home Premium, which launched in January 2013 and costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year for installing the software suite on up to five PCs. The new Office 365 Personal will be made available for purchase sometime later this spring. In a blog post, Microsoft said, "We recognize that there are households of all shapes and sizes and we’re committed to delivering the right Office for everyone – whether that be one person or an entire household."

Office 365 Home Premium, which currently has over 3.5 million subscribers, will soon get a new and simplified name, to Office 365 Home. Both the Home and Personal plans will give users 20GB of additional storage space on OneDrive, along with 60 minutes of paid Skype calls per month. More details on when the new Personal plan will be launched will be announced later.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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47 Comments

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WOW...this is so clear that the Office 365 products isn't selling as Microsoft would expect. There must be a lateral shift from the software version product to the cloud one with no new and unique subscribers. That and the fact that Google Apps has the power to potentially be as strong as the software version of Office with the new "Add-On" feature,....I can see why Microsoft is taking a pre-emptive strike in this space.

Right now I am currently have Office 2013 installed on my PC (via Technet) and there is no new significant additions to the software that justifies the $99 or the $69.99 year subscription.

Even at $69.99/year it's still costly with little value IF the software does not contain significant upgrades in a 12 month span to justify the cost.

VictorWho said,
WOW...this is so clear that the Office 365 products isn't selling as Microsoft would expect.
Of course, which is why Microsoft's so sad that only the Office 365 Home Premium edition by itself in a mere year after launch has accumulated 3.5 million customers each paying $99.99 for a 12-month subscription, and sadder still about the approx 40 million Office 365 Small Business and Enterprise edition users, and literally crying buckets about the triple-digit growth. Keep living in la-la land and dreaming hard about how Google Docs will finally take over any day now.

Can tell you that that isn't the case. Office 365 has taken off like crazy.

The introduction of Personal is to address users who are buying one computer and don't want to pay extra for the extra licenses.

Why is there a monthly fee, I would want to buy it a set price then it would be mine. MS wants to bleed you dry. I paid for a copy of an earlier version of MS Office, if I had to rent it on a monthly fee it would have cost me thousands of dollars by now. I say leave it on the shelf and let MS get the message that they can't bleed you dry with a monthly fee.

What are you blabbering about? If you don't want to use the subscription version i.e. Office 365 who's forcing you? Just buy any version of Office 2013 (Home & Student, Home & Business, Professional) as a one-time purchase and be happy.

I actually 'downloaded' office 2013 the other week and gave it a shot. I found it inferior to Kingsoft Office and uninstalled it. Hooray for tabbed browsing, using a desktop app without being logged in, and a realistic price point.

You can add tabs to Office too, plus you don't have to be logged in to use them at all, the "regular" version of Office anyway, dunno about 365.. pretty handy though for working mobile too. That said, yea, Kingsoft's my second personal favorite, it's quite good. Doesn't have all the programs in the Office suite, but if you just need the "main trinity" of writing, spreadsheets and presentation, it's a really nice option.

With the changes they are making to Windows 8, one can only hope that it filters through to Office as well. Word is a pain in the eye balls.

Meanwhile LibreOffice is free and more than adequate for home users...

Anyway, what if you wanted to just use Word? Is the pricing still all-or-nothing? Nice that they allow access to the offline desktop apps though.

Except for what is still missing - no e-mail application. That is THE proverbial sin that both LibreOffice AND OpenOffice.org - which it forked from - both commit right off. Worse, none of their "recommended" choices can stand up to Outlook - and that is Outlook WITHOUT Exchange support. (Here's a surprising fact - the only time I have EVER used Outlook with Exchange was AFTER I had adopted Outlook as my e-mail application of choice; if anything, adding GMail to the mix merely let Outlook show off how well it can work with even non-ISP/non-Exchange mailboxes, and it's actually gotten easier, not harder, with Outlook 2010 and 2013 and GMail's adoption of IMAP4 as the default.)

Kalint said,
I guess we'll find out later if this is another one of Microsoft's classy stupid trap.

If you can't come up with how it must be a stupid trap now, must not be a trap.

Tarrant64 said,

If you can't come up with how it must be a stupid trap now, must not be a trap.

They just gave a price point. Wow thank god the deceit has be averted!

I hate that I need to pay for Home just because I need to use both Windows and OS X on my MacBook and have Office on both.

Also consider that there is likely to be a Mac refresh coming soon and you will get updated as part of your subscription. Makes it far more reasonable when you consider it that way..

Also, way cheaper than buying the versions outright. Just saying.

CJEric said,
God, I hate subscriptions...

Yeah I seem to be mounting up the monthly bills on software.... but it has enabled me to afford previously out of range products like photoshop Cc. So it has it's good points I guess.

CJEric said,
God, I hate subscriptions...

Yes!
I have a ton of DVDs that you could watch on netflix that I want to get rid of. Interested since you hate subscriptions?

Neonspark - that is actually the problem with subscription models. One of those DVDs could be removed or not even offered digitally - resulting you in keeping the DVD anyway or losing the movie all together.

Up to five machines... Actually not so bad, especially for people who have more than one device and like to run the latest version.

BajiRav said,
I see 1PC+1tablet = 2 machines

From what I saw Home Premium didn't limit the number of tablets you could load the mobile office to unless it was referring to the Windows 8/8.1 on tablets. Based on that the 9.99 plan is a better value however some might just need one anyways (when you omit the tablet option).

5 PCs (running Windows 7 or above or Mac 10.6 (I think) or above) +
5 Mobile Devices (Android Tablets/iPads/Android Phones/iPhones).

The Personal edition has slightly tweaked that to be 1PC + 1 Tablet and phone support (with no limit mentioned). Licensing is thoroughly confusing at the moment. I'm hoping to see some more official guidance come through soon.

Darn right it is. Remember, Office 365 is nothing less than the cloud version of Office Professional - the price works out to $139.98 for two years (which is the typical space between Office release cycles). Even if the cycle stretches to THREE years, it still undercuts standalone Office Processional for individuals by almost half ($209.97 for O365 for three years vs. $349 for Office Professional standalone 2013).