Office 2013, two very different deals

October is already upon us, and with it comes Windows 8. Many users are eagerly awaiting the next upgrade. And because Windows 8 is out soon, that means a new version of Office, yay! In mid September, Microsoft announced the pricing for Office 2013. With the announcement came a change to the way businesses use Office.

Microsoft will have two delivery methods for Office 2013. The first being the traditional method of Office, referred to as perpetual license; the second, a new subscription based Office, similar to current versions of Office 365. In truth, the subscription versions of Office are new versions of Office 365.

Perpetual license Office
Perpetual license software, like Office 2007, Office 2010, etc. are programs that, when purchased, can be used for as long as you like. If you use older versions of business oriented Office, you likely purchased licenses to use the program. This meant you bought one product, and could install and use it on a set number of other systems.

If you were thinking of upgrading your version of perpetual Office, you should be aware that the price has been increased by 10-17%. If you use the student version of Office, the new version will cost USD$140, a near 17% increase over the previous version. Office Home & Business will cost USD$220, while Office Professional will cost USD$399. While these prices aren’t a massive jump, it’s the fact that Microsoft axed multi-licensing for these products that has caused more than a few raised eyebrows.

In previous versions, Office Student edition came with three licenses, while the other versions came with two. Office 2013 will now be one product, with one license.

Subscription Office
Why would Microsoft raise prices and risk driving off business? They aren’t. Prices were increased to push customers to the subscription version of Office, more commonly known as Office 365. At launch, there will be two versions available: Office 365 Home Premium and Small Business Premium. Both of these versions will include Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher and cloud storage. Small Business Premium users will also receive Lync and more cloud storage space.

The cost for Home Premium will be USD$99 per year and Small Business Premium will cost USD$139 a year. The bonus, especially for users with more than one computer, is that Home Premium can be installed on up to five computers and Small Business Premium can be installed on up to five devices per user. This breaks down to about USD$8.00 and USD$12 a month for five users or devices, respectively.

It certainly seems like the subscription version will be the way to go for many users, and many users will save money. If you’d like to learn more about the new version of Office 365 and upgrading your company, please consider calling us.

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