Microsoft Office 2013, Office 365 Home Premium available now; 365 for business coming later (updated)

Until now, we've known almost all there is to know about Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365: we got hands-on with the new features last summer, and the company has even confirmed pricing. The only thing we weren't sure of was the exact on-sale date, but even that got leaked when a Canadian retailer put up a pre-order page indicating the two products would ship January 29th. Well, what do you know? Today is January 29th and sure enough, Office 2013 is on sale, along with the subscription service Office 365. To be clear, while every version of the boxed software is now out, 365 is only being offered to consumers; the business version will arrive later, on February 27th.

For now, Office 365 Home Premium is priced at $99.99 for an annual subscription, with permission to install the suite on up to five PCs and Macs. There's also a "University" version for college students and faculty, which costs $79.99 for a four-year plan. Either way, the sub includes 20GB of SkyDrive storage on top of whatever plan you already have which is to say if you previously only had 7GB of space, your limit will now get bumped to 20 gigs. (In other words, people grandfathered into 25GB don't get an additional 20 gigabytes.). Of course, you can always deactivate a particular machine through if you need to free up a license. Naturally, too, as a part of the subscription you'll always have the most recent version. That means Office 2013 for Windows users; Office for Mac 2011 if you're on OS X. That last piece is a bit of a bummer, for sure, but for what it's worth Microsoft has said a new Mac product is in the works, and that subscribers will get it as part of a future software update.

If you'd rather buy the software outright, you can do that today too. At the low end, there's Office 2013 Home and Student 2013 ($139), which comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Home and Business adds Outlook for $219, while the top-of-the-line Professional package includes all of the above along with Access and Publisher for $399. Remember, though: these come with only one user license, and you don't get any complimentary cloud storage or upgrades to future versions. It's your money, obviously, but it seems clear to us that Microsoft has gone out of its way to make its Office 365 service the more attractive option. So, you might want to think long and hard about how much owning your software really means to you before going the old-fashioned route.

Update: An Office 365 subscription includes 20GB of SkyDrive storage in addition to whatever plan you already have. So, if you were grandfathered into 25 gigs of storage, you'll end up with 45GB in total.

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Microsoft Releases Office 365 Home Premium
Jan. 29, 2013
New consumer cloud service works across devices to help busy people simplify their lives and get more done.

NEW YORK - Jan. 29, 2013 - Microsoft Corp. today announced worldwide availability of Office 365 Home Premium, a reinvention of the company's flagship Office product line for consumers. Office 365 Home Premium is a cloud service designed for busy households and people juggling ever-increasing work and family responsibilities. The new offering includes the latest and most complete set of Office applications; works across up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs and Macs; and comes with extra SkyDrive storage and Skype calling - all for US$99.99 for an annual subscription, the equivalent of US$8.34 per month.

"Today's launch of Office 365 Home Premium marks the next big step in Microsoft's transformation to a devices and services business," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. "This is so much more than just another release of Office. This is Office reinvented as a consumer cloud service with all the full-featured Office applications people know and love, together with impressive new cloud and social benefits."

Microsoft also announced it will now deliver many new features and services to the cloud first, transforming the company's traditional three-year release cycle. Now, new features and services stream to subscribers as soon as they are ready, keeping subscribers always up to date while eliminating the hassles of upgrading.

"This is a major leap forward," said Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office Division. "People's needs change rapidly, and Office 365 Home Premium will change with them."

Simultaneously, Microsoft today released Office 365 University for college or university students, faculty and staff at a price of just US$79.99 for a four-year subscription - the equivalent of US$1.67 per month. Globally, the company also released updated versions of the traditional Office suite: Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013 and Office Professional 2013. Office 365 for businesses will be released globally with new capabilities on Feb. 27.

Time to Do the Things You Want

In a recent global survey,* nearly 60 percent of people said they don't have the time to do the things they want to do, and more than 80 percent said they could save one or more hours a day if they were better organized. Office 365 Home Premium is designed to help people be more productive from virtually anywhere and find the flexibility to do the things they want.

"Between kids and career, I'm never completely at home or completely at work - and thanks to technology, that suits me just fine," said Jen Singer, an author, blogger and mom of two teen boys. "With Office 365 Home Premium, I can work around my kids' schedules, so I can drive the soccer carpool, coordinate errands while at a doctor's office and still hit my deadlines at work. And, with one subscription for everyone in my family, it's an absolute steal."

To help people find more time to do the things they want, Microsoft is introducing Time to 365 (, a new crowd-sourced website where people can find and share tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration from around the world. Contributors include experts such as "techorating" pro Janna Robinson ( and everyday working parents who have found ways to simplify their lives. Tips on the site include, for example, an idea for organizing your grocery list with OneNote on your phone, a pointer on how to pick the right-sized TV for your living room, and ways to use Office applications to help plan a child's birthday party.

About Office 365 Home Premium

Office 365 Home Premium is available in 162 markets in 21 languages and includes the following:

• The latest and most complete set of Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access

• One license for the entire household to use Office on up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs or Macs, and Office on Demand available from any Internet-connected PC**

• An additional 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage, nearly three times the amount available with a free SkyDrive account

• 60 free Skype world calling minutes per month to call mobile phones, landlines or PCs around the world***

• Future upgrades, so you always use the latest time-saving technology

People can learn more about Office 365 Home Premium or try it free for 30 days at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Microsoft surveyed more than 10,000 people in over 20 countries.

** App availability varies by operating system, device and language.

*** Skype world minutes not available in all countries. Calls to select countries.