By David H. Ringstrom, CPA
Earlier this week, Microsoft unveiled a major pivot in how it plans to market its flagship productivity suite in the future. Office 2013 will offer inducements intended to encourage users to subscribe to the software rather than purchasing traditional licenses. Shrink-wrapped versions of the software will be available, albeit at potentially punitive prices. Home users with multiple computers will find the subscription model to be particularly enticing, while business users may have to sharpen their pencils before deciding.
Here's an overview of the upcoming offerings:
- Office 365 Home Premium - $99.00/year - Up to 5 users can use Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs
- Office 365 Small Business Premium - $149.00/year - A single user can use Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs
- Office Student and Home - $139.99 for use on a single computer
- Office Home and Business - $219.99 for use on a single computer
- Office Professional - $399.99 for use on a single computer
All Office 365 users get the following programs and benefits:
- The ability to temporarily use Office on any PC
In addition, Office 365 Home Premium users receive:
- 27 GB of storage space on Skydrive
- 60 minutes per month Skype world calling (if this seems like an odd addition, it's because Microsoft recently purchased Skype)
Office 365 Small Business Premium Users receive a different set of add-ons:
- 25 GB Outlook mailbox, along with shared calendar, task lists, and contacts
- 10 GB Cloud storage plus 500 MB storage per user
- Online meeting hosting
- A website with no additional hosting fees
On the other hand, Office Student and Home users only receive four applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. The Home and Business version adds Outlook, while Office Professional adds Access and Publisher as well. Further, Office 2010 offers single or multiple PC licensing, while Office 2013 will require one license per device. Here's a quick comparison of Office 2010 pricing versus Office 2013:
Office Home and Student
- 2010: $119.99 for one PC, or $149.99 for 3 PCs
- 2013: $149.99 per PC
Office Home and Business
- 2010: $199.99 for 1 PC, or $279.99 for 2 PCs
- 2013: $219.99 per PC
- 2010: $349.99 for 1 PC, or $499.99 for 2 PCs
- 2013: $499.00 per PC
With Microsoft simultaneously eliminating multiple PC licensing and raising prices on the shrink-wrapped suites, some users may need an Excel spreadsheet to determine which pricing scheme works best. Regardless, Microsoft isn't alone in moving to a subscription-based model; companies such as Intuit are testing similar arrangements.
Although a formal release date for Office 2013 hasn't been announced, free preview (a.k.a. beta) versions of the software are available for trial use:
Read more articles by David Ringstrom.
About the author:
David H. Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm providing training and consulting services nationwide. Contact David at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter. David speaks at conferences about Microsoft Excel, and presents webcasts for several CPE providers, including AccountingWEB partner CPE Link.
About the author:
David H. Ringstrom, CPA, heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm. Contact David at [email protected], and consider attending one of his Excel training webcasts presented by AccountingWEB partner CPE Link.