While Microsoft is encouraging users to get its latest Office suite by subscribing to Office 365 (consumer and/or business), those who shun subscriptions can still buy the latest bits.
A one-time purchase of Office 2016 -- for either Windows PCs or Macs -- costs $149 for the Office Home & Student; $229 for the Office Home and Business; and $399 for Office Professional.
The boxed copies of both the Windows PC and Mac versions of Office 2016 are both available through Microsoft's online and brick-and-mortar stores as of today, September 22. (I asked if they also were for sale via other retail outlets, but no word back from Microsoft.)
Office Home & Student 2016 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote 2016. Office Home & Business 2016 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook 2016. The Professional version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.
Comparatively, the Office 2013 version of Windows cost $140 for Home & Student, $220 for the Home & Business edition and $400 for Office 2013 Professional. Office for Mac Home & Student 2011 cost $120 and $200 for Home & Business.
A subscription to Office 365 Personal -- which includes Office 2016 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access -- for installation on one PC or Mac (plus one phone) is $70 per year. A subscription to Office 365 Home, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access, for installation on up to five PCs/Macs and five phones -- is $100 per year.
Office 365 business subscriptions, some but not all of which include rights to download Office apps to local machines, vary in price according to plan.
The "perpetual"/boxed Office 2016 releases represent a "snapshot in time" of features. In other words, these versions won't be updated multiple times per year, unlike the Office releases that users obtain via Office 365 Personal, Home or Business subscriptions.
When Microsoft made Office 2016 for Mac available to Office 365 users in July, officials said the company planned to make available a non-subscription/boxed copy of the new suite in September.