Microsoft adds a new $70 'Personal' SKU to its Office 365 line-up

Microsoft adds a new $70 'Personal' SKU to its Office 365 line-up

Summary: Microsoft is adding a new Office 365 Personal variant to its hosted application line-up, and is changing the name of its shared-home offering to 'Office 365 Home.'


Microsoft is adding a new low-end Office 365 SKU to its line-up, officials announced on March 13.


THe Office 365 Personal SKU, coming 'this spring,' is focused on individuals. For $69.99 a year or $6.99 per month, users can install Office on one PC or Mac, plus one tablet.

This new SKU is not replacing Office 365 Home Premium, which Microsoft is renaming to "Office 365 Home." Instead, it's a new subscription option for users who don't need to put Office 2013 and/or Office for Mac 2011 on up to five PCs and Macs (in total). Office 365 Home is priced at $99.99 a year and also gives users access to Office Mobile on up to five iPhones and/or Android phones.

Microsoft officials said in January 2014 that the company now has 3.5 million Office 365 Home Premium subscribers. Microsoft launched Office 365 Home Premium in January 2013.

I've asked Microsoft officials which tablets are included as part of the new Office 365 Home deal. I've also asked whether Office Mobile is part of this package. I'll provide an update if and when I hear back.

Update: Currently, users can install Office (Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Outlook) on a single Windows tablet under the terms of this SKU (which makes sense given Microsoft still hasn't launched Office for iPad or Android tablets... yet.) Office 365 Personal subscribers also get 20 GB of OneDrive storage for free as part of the deal. And they can install Office Mobile on iPhones and Android phones for free as part of Office 365 Personal, too. (Microsoft isn't yet saying how many phones in total.) Windows Phones come with Office Mobile already bundled for free, so Windows Phones don't count against users' total.

My bet is this new Office 365 Personal offering is setting the stage for Microsoft to deliver Office for the iPad.

Topics: Cloud, Apple, Collaboration, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • What the catch?

    I still dont get what the catch is? Are they requiring everyone to have a Microsoft account? -- if so this would make sense to rope people into the Microsoft ecosystem and services. Other wise why bother with iPad since only a handful of people actually do productive office work on a iPad and will pay for Office.
    Sean Foley
    • Apple iOS terms of service?

      That is a really good question. I wonder if Apple's developer terms of service allow MS to create Office for the iPad with the only storage option on OneDrive, instead of apples cloud. Such a OneDrive requirement would require a MS account.
    • Not sure what you are asking.

      Well, you need an identity to access the cloud stuff - otherwise...

      The identity can be any email address you have, not necessarily a Hotmail, Outlook, Live, Passport, etc. address. But you need an identity - not just for marketing purposes, but for identity purposes.

      The catch is that this is cheaper than the Home edition, but more restrictive. "Home" makes sense for a family with multiple PCs. "Personal" makes sense for the single person who has one PC, possibly a tablet, and a phone - mostly because it's cheaper.
    • Costs more in the long run?

      It costs more in the long run than buying office? Because it's a subscription? I don't know. I get office 365 full because it's a little less painful for me to drop 10 bucks a month rather than the full price all at once...
      • Well, yes and no

        Paying 70$ a year, every year, nets you the newest version of Office when it comes out. It isn't really more expensive than paying for a new version of Office every time it comes out. Also, it includes multiple installs of Office.

        That's good if you have multiple devices that need Windows (for this one, a laptop or desktop and a Windows tablet).
        Michael Alan Goff
  • Somehow, I don't feel attracted by it

    When one can get a subscription voor $20,00 a year more and installation on 5 PCs or Macs (Home Premium version). I don't mind to go into the Microsoft ecosystem, though. That is a choice one can make. If you don't want to, just buy the installation medium.
    • Too high for one desktop/one tablet

      There's not much difference between the 1 desktop/tablet and the 5 desktop versions. I think MS is sticking it to the single user with this deal. I might be willing to pay $35-$40/year for one license if I don't need the 5 licenses. Otherwise, might as well go on and pay the $99/yr and offer the other four licenses to friends for $20/year.
  • Office on all my devices!

    So, do this mean I can have Office on my Android phone, Android tablet and Windows laptop for $70 a year?
    • yup

      Though, Office for mobile is barely much more than a viewing app. Though Outlook on the PC is by itself almost worth that annual fee itself.
  • They lost me already

    I gave up MS Office Home for Kingsoft Office Free after my subscription expired. I use gmail, but Outlook users can switch to EMClient for free as well. I haven't experienced any compatibility issues, and have an extra $99 in my pocket.
  • It is still

    subscription software. And that means you will be paying that fee forever. Well, until they raise it. Then you'll pay more.

    SaaS is like buying a book and paying a monthly fee to read it. If you don't pay, the book will disappear, and you'll have nothing.

    SaaS is just part of MS (and others) plan to lock you into their software, make you pay for updates whether you want/use them, and get far more money out of your pocket in the long run.

    • At least you have a choice...

      You can still buy Office... Or you can use one of a multitude of other Office alternatives.

      Nobody's holding a gun to your head.