Microsoft has released a new subscription version known as Office 365 Home Premium that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher for $99.99 per year. This subscription includes the ability to install Office on up to five PC or Mac devices in the home. Plus all five people sharing the subscription get an extra 20GB of storage for their documents on SkyDrive and 60 minutes free of Skype world calling each month. Those calls can be to a landline phone or mobile from your computer or smartphone with Skype installed. Microsoft is offering a significant discount on the service for college students and professors, allowing them to purchase a four-year subscription that can be used on up to two PC’s or Macs for only $79.99. Use promo codes to enjoy extra savings.
Unfortunately, the new Office 2013 is not available for Mac users yet, and Microsoft has given no indication of when it will be released. This means that Mac users will have to make do with the current version, Office 2011 until the release of Office 2013 for Mac. Historically, the office suites for Mac have been numbered one higher than the PC version, allowing you to know instantly if it’s for Mac or PC. If that pattern continues, the new version for Mac would actually be Office 2014. Microsoft has promised that once the next version of Office is released, Mac users will get it on the same subscription. The minimum system requirement for Office 365 subscriptions on the Mac is OS X 10.6, although for Office for Mac 2011 it is still OS X 10.5.8 with the difference stemming from the services functionality that comes with the subscription offers. Macworld reported that Microsoft plans to deliver an update to Office for Mac 2011 that will allow Office for Mac licenses to count as part of an Office 365 Home Premium subscription, which would store their documents in the cloud, making it possible for Mac users to access their Office documents from anywhere.
Unlike the traditional Office where customers received a DVD to download the program to their computer, the new subscription model will require internet access to be able to install the program and activate it. The applications will also periodically require an internet connection verify that the subscription is active. If your subscription is found to be expired, the program automatically enters a “Reduced Functionality Mode” and the editing features are disabled. Your computer will actually prompt you to connect to the internet to perform this check in the event you are offline for several weeks. Otherwise, the programs will function as they traditionally have when you are not connected to the internet.