Office 365 Home Premium and consumer versions of Office 2013 launched

The day has finally come, Office 2013 has now launched consumer-wide. Up until now, only certain businesses and organizations could get their hands on the newest (full) version of Office.

So how much does Office 2013 set you back? As always, there are several versions. The cheapest package is $139.99 for Office Home and Student 2013. Office Home and Business is $129.99, and Office Professional is a massive $399.99. Don’t need the full power of Office? That’s fine, too. A la carte, you can get Word, Excel or PowerPoint for $109.99 for a commerical license, or $79.99 for a standard license. Additionally, Outlook 2013, Publisher 2013 and Access 2013 are offered for $109.99.

Even more interestingly, the Office Store (a place for 3rd party apps that work with Office software) now has an impressive 200 apps for you to take advantage of with the latest version. So what’s so special about these new apps? We’ll take the app “Gliffy” as an example. The app allows flowcharts, floorplans and diagrams to be embedded– via web service– in programs like Word 2013.

As you can see, Gliffy is one example of how these Office apps can add extra functionality and features that make an already great Office suite even more powerful. With 200 ALREADY, you can imagine this number will only continue to grow.

There is a lot to love about Office 2013, but what if you want to get in on the Office action by subscription instead? That’s where Office 365 comes on. There are a few different configurations for Office 365, with Home Premium being aimed at the consumer/home user.

With this version you pay $100 for a one year subscription you get access to all the following:

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

For those that are big on cloud storage and staying up to date, this could prove to be a pretty good deal. With Office 365, you don’t have to worry about new upgrades to Office– you always get the most recent version as long as you are a subscriber.

Is this really a good value though? That really depends. If you just need basic copies of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, probably not. If you are a big SkyDrive user, 20GB of space could certainly be an incentive though. Additionally, 60 free minutes of Skype calling each month is another added perk.

To be totally frank, I would personally rather buy the Office software flat out, but that’s just me. Something about “owning” the actual software residing on your PC over just “renting” it.

What do you think of Office 2013, are you impressed enough to upgrade or will you stick with an older version of Office? Conversely, have you already switched to alternative Office suite, such as LibreOffice instead?

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