Office 365 Home Premium (One office, five devices)

Microsoft is at last getting into game, offering its well-known Office suite of products for consumers increasingly turning to the cloud. Office 365 Home Premium provides all the familiar Office applications – including Word, Excel and PowerPoint – along with online storage and a free hour of Skype each month. At $99 per year ($80 for students and educators) the cloud-based application suite will work on up to 5 Macs, PCs and Windows tablets. Five years after Google launched rival Google Docs (now Google Drive), Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer proclaims Office 365 a key component in a “fundamental shift” for the company.

After making billions as a software company, Ballmer is rebranding Microsoft as a devices and services firm, a move some may view as too little and too late for Redmond…

“For the first time, consumers can subscribe to Office as a service instead of purchasing Office as a piece of software to install,” Ballmer said in a blog item that bills Office 365 as “The Next Bold Step”.

The new Office subscription is an entirely new way to think about the productivity experience with entirely new benefits. Over time, the majority of the billion plus people using Office will be using the Office 365 service.

That’s a tall order, that much is certain.

Here’s the overly enthusiastic Ballmer.

Now, the push to a devices and services company instead of a software firm will require “big bold bets,” Ballmer said.

Office 365 Home Premium (Subscription)

Here are a few press shots of Office 365, courtesy of Microsoft.

Office 365 Home Premium (Word Simple Mark Up)

Office 365 Home Premium (PowerPoint Start Screen)

While Microsoft’s chief executive may promote the new suite of cloud apps as a bold move, it is more accurately just catching up with Google. The Mountain View, California Internet giant understood early on that consumers were okay with applications not being perfect, as long as they took advantage of mobile computing and convenient cloud storage.

Office 365 Home Premium (PowerPoint Presenter View)

Along with Google – which poked Microsoft in the eye by releasing an updated iOS version of Google Drive and QuickOffice a day before Office 365 – Ballmer & Co. need to worry about Apple and Android.

Office 365 Home Premium (One Note linking audio)

Office 365 Home Premium (One Note search)

Office 365 Home Premium (One Note snip photos)

With both mobile operating systems controlling smartphones and tablets, it makes no sense for Microsoft’s updated flagship product to natively support neither.

Office 365 Home Premium (Excel recommendation charts)

Office 365 Home Premium (Excel quick analysis lens)

Office 365 Home Premium (Outlook People Card)

I agree with TechCrunch, which Tuesday labeled Office 365 a “non-starter” if iOS and Android are not supported.

Then again, Microsoft may be following the two-phase approach that’s been so successful with its tablets?

Would you rent Office on your Mac?

  • Hate, absolutely HATE the $99/year.

    “…Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer proclaims Office 365 a key component in a “fundamental shift” for the company.” from screwing people over in one payment, to an annual event.

    Certainly wont be ‘upgrading’, i’m sticking to the older releases. I see no benefit from a recurring payment over other free services, even if it does take just those few more clicks.

  • Kaptivator

    So let me get this right…I get a subscription for 99 bucks a year and I have to keep paying it every year. Where is the benefit? If this is the way that office will go in the future, 2013 will be my last installment of it. Sucks ass that they only have up to 2011 for mac.

    • They always take longer with the Mac version. We’ll probably be getting it by the end of the year and of course it will be called Office 2014 as the Mac version is always a year ahead.

      • Kaptivator

        I”m new to Mac with my MacBook Pro…So thats good to know. Any reasoning why they don’t offer the whole Office Suite that includes Access, OneNote and Publisher for Mac?

      • No idea. I guess Micosoft just thinks we dont need/want it. My father needs Publisher so he had to install Windows on his Mac just to use that one program. Really annoying 🙁

    • Lol, you judging the functionality based on the version number? Nothing wowingly new here, just skydrive (a free service) integration and fugly metro UI. Better off sticking with 2011.

      • Kaptivator

        Naah, not judging based upon the version number. But was going to use my corporate discount to get the latest version and call it a day. I’m slowly migrating from PC to Mac so I’m trying to get used to the differences in the PC version and the Mac version. The ribbons up top are a little different on Mac than the PC version. Guess I just have to take the time to learn it and not expect it to be the same.

  • Jeff

    It’s $50 too expensive. for $49.99 a year, I’d be more apt to look into it.

    • Kaptivator

      Maybe…But I just don’t think that I would be able to bring myself to pay for it annually. Hopefully they keep the regular installments without the cloud interface. Ill just continue to use my current means to get my docs across to all my devices.

    • CollegiateLad

      The last thing I need is another subscription.

  • CollegiateLad

    I stopped reading at “$99 per year”.

  • ap3604

    Great, another company trying to squeeze even more money from us via yearly subscriptions… as if $150 for M$ Office isn’t enough o_O

    They can kiss my a**! If they want to try to force the issue by only offering 365 in the future (instead of regular office) then Ill simply go with Open Office, Libre Office, Google Docs, etc. Hell, I’d even rather go with PAGES then ever giving M$ a dime of my money for a yearly subscription.

  • I’m not a fan of subscription models, so I’ll be sticking to Google Docs/Drive

  • Irfan Tarique

    Microsoft is shooting themselves in the knee with this. Im glad I switched to a Mac 🙂

    • I know same thing happen in the Xbox 360
      If you want use the ugly IE in the console they force you to have a Gold Account. Pay for use IE is f*cking disgusting

  • Wow… Okey, we who own a Mac got something called Pages. It’s like Office Word but built by Apple. What features does it have? iCloud backups all your writings automatically AND can export it to a Word format, making it useful for PCs. I can even continue where I stopped writing on my Mac directly on my iPad or iPhone (I preffer iPad). All this for free + works as expected. No subscription.

  • Joe Benning

    They made it server based because they know us jailbreakers would have pirated the shit out of it had it been an app.

  • Nothing extra ordinarily new here, just a fugly downgrade on the UI and now rentable + outright-buyable. If it continues like this, I don’t see myself ever downgrading from office 2010. Bold, pipe dream you’ve got Ballmer, save it for the microsheeps.

  • Interested in it but no iOS support and I outdated Mac suit…. Count me out

  • Jimmy

    My willingness to pay directly correlates with iOS support. Right now everything is at 0%.

  • Aaron de Silva

    I want this on my mac

  • wadjj

    Still no text reflow around picture in powerpoint, leap forward my ass.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Go home Microsoft, you are drunk….

  • im perfectly fine with pages keynote and numbers which are all free up in the cloud storage