Microsoft hasn’t said when the new versions of Office 365 and Office 2013 will be available, but thanks to a new blog post from the Office team, we now know how much the various offerings will cost when they get here.
Traditional Office fans can choose from one of three Office 2013 bundles, each of which can only be used on a single device. Office Home and Student 2013 packs Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for $139.99, while the $219.99 Office Home and Business 2013 adds Outlook and the $399.99 Office Professional 2013 adds Microsoft Access and Publisher. Windows RT tablets will come with Office Home and Student preinstalled.
The Office 2013 offerings almost seemed like an afterthought in Microsoft's blog post, however: the vast majority of the announcement was spent describing the Office 365 subscription options. It's clear that Microsoft wants to convert people to ongoing subscriptions rather than one-time purchases of traditional software.
An unlimited amount of users can utilize a subscription to Office 365 Home Premium, which costs $99.99 for the year and can be installed on up to five devices -- tablets included. Office 365 Home Premium includes access to all of Microsoft's software, comparable to the traditional Office Professional 2013 package. A subscription also includes 20GB of additional SkyDrive storage, 60 minutes of Skype world calling per month, and a license to download the latest and greatest new features coming to Office -- something that isn't offered with the traditional Office 2013 packages.
Office 365 Small Business Premium adds Microsoft Lync support, lets each individual user install the software on up to 5 devices, and includes a 25GB Outlook mailbox, additional cloud storage space, and the ability to host HD video conferences (presumably via Skype) and create a free public-facing website, complete with no-cost site-building tools. Office 365 Small Business Premium includes the same premium update license as Office 365 Home Premium and cost $149.99 per year per user.
If charts are more your thing, Microsoft created this document comparing the various Office offerings.
Finally, if you buy a copy of Office 2010 or Office for Mac 2011 after October 19, Microsoft will toss in either a one-year subscription to Office 365 or an equivalent version of Office 2013 when the updated versions become available.