Office 365 Personal Edition

Just announced by Microsoft is their Office 365 Personal Edition. It’s basically Office 365 but now in a single-user version.

Office 365 Personal Edition will let the user install Office 365 on one PC/Mac and one tablet. Pricing is reported to be $69.99 per year or $6.99 per month.

Office 365 Home is still here too, priced at $99.99 per year but allowing installations on up to 5 PCs/Macs, and 5 smartphones.

This pretty well completes Microsoft’s move to offer everything they have in a subscription model. How well the marketplace responds to this is yet to be seen but Microsoft certainly isn’t the first to pursue recurring payments from customers for products and services.

Our recommendation? If you’re a home user make sure you explore all your licensing possibilities especially if you have a student living with you as there are special student options. If you’re a business you have many options for licensing and renting (yes, you can rent server and desktop software on a month-to-month basis), so talk to a Microsoft licensing professional to get more information before you act.

 


 

Microsoft Office Online; Familiar and Free

In case you hadn’t yet heard, Microsoft Office Online is now available for free to anyone that’s got a Microsoft account (Live, MSN, etc). It’s part of Microsoft’s strategy to have a full cloud suite of applications that competes with (and in Microsoft’s opinion, trumps) Google’s Drive – formerly Google Docs – as well as Apache’s OpenOffice.

Microsoft’s thinking is that why would anyone settle for something that’s ‘somewhat’ compatible when they will now give you the real Microsoft Office for free? And when you go to Office.com and open Word, even the menus and screen layout are very familiar to someone that’s worked with Office 2010 or 2013.

There isn’t quite the full range of functionality that’s available in Office 365 or the standalone version of Office Professional, but for banging out a quick letter it’s more than adequate. And of course they’ve neatly tied in online storage with SkyDrive, now renamed OneDrive.

In our testing everything works well and the familiar menus definitely help make the experience friendly.