Microsoft announces Office 2013 prices and packaging

Microsoft announces Office 2013 prices and packaging

Summary: For the upcoming release of Office 2013, Microsoft customers will have to choose between traditional software and Office 365 subscriptions. Here's what's in store.

TOPICS: Software, Microsoft

Microsoft officially announced pricing and packaging details for Office 2013 today.

For Office customers, especially home and small business users, there are some surprises. In fact, you might need an Excel spreadsheet to do the upgrade math.

As previously reported, Office 2013 will come in two new subscription-based editions, both of which are in free public trials now.

Office 365 Home Premium includes the complete lineup of programs found in Office Professional 2010, the most expensive retail version today: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. For $100 per year you get a “household license,” which allows you to install and use the software on up to five PCs or Macs and on “select smartphones and tablets.” There’s no limit on the number of users who can use those five PCs or Macs.

Office 365 Small Business Premium includes the same collection of apps and adds Lync and InfoPath, making it equivalent to the current Office Professional Plus 2010, which is available in a traditional package only through volume licensing programs. These subscriptions are sold on a per-user basis, at $150 per user per year, with each subscriber getting the right to use the software on up to five PCs or Macs and on “select smartphones and tablets.”

(Although both subscription types includes the right to use Office for the Mac, that doesn't mean you should expect a new Office package for the Mac. For now, the Office 2013 license includes usage rights for Office 2011 for the Mac.)

To sweeten the deal, the two subscription editions come with extras that aren’t included with the shrink-wrapped software packages:

  • Home Premium subscribers get 60 Skype minutes a month and 20 GB of extra SkyDrive storage (in addition to the free 7 GB) for the primary user account.
  • Small Business Premium customers get hosted Exchange through Office 365, with a 25 GB mailbox and shared calendars, and a total of 10 GB of SharePoint storage for the organization, plus an additional 500 MB of SharePoint storage per user. The Lync software also allows free HD video conferencing and screen sharing.

The way that subscriptions are delivered means up to five devices can have the Office 2013 programs installed for online and offline use. A feature called Office on Demand allows you to use the same apps on a PC that isn't one of your regular five devices, streaming a version of Word or Excel or another Office app when you need it to edit a document or spreadsheet, without permanently installing the software.

If you’re queasy about subscriptions, you can still buy the traditional versions of Office 10, which use a device-based licensing model. Each license gives you the right to install the software on a single PC, and your usage rights are perpetual and don’t require any ongoing payments.

For Office 2013, the lineup of packages available through retail channels remains the same, but Microsoft is bumping prices significantly. (The following list uses suggested selling prices as published by Microsoft; you can typically find significant discounts through resellers.)

  • Office Home & Student, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, will cost $140, up 17% from the current $120.
  • Office Home & Business, which includes the above apps plus Outlook, will go for $220, up 10% from the current price of $200.
  • Office Professional, which includes the above apps plus Access and Publisher, goes up to $400, a 14% bump from the current sticker price of $350.

The per-PC licensing model is stricter in this release. If you want to install the traditional versions of Office 2013 on multiple PCs, you’ll need to buy separate licenses for each one. Office 2013 offers no multi-copy discounts for traditional packaged software as Office 2010 does.

Today’s announcement didn’t include any details about when the software will be released, and Microsoft declined to comment on release dates when I asked.

So what does it all mean? I do the math in What you gain and lose with Office 2013 subscriptions...

Topics: Software, Microsoft

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  • Student specials?

    I know they did it with Office 2010, but any specials for students? Sad to see the prices go up...
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • I'm sure there will be

    There will almost certainly be Academic editions as before. Not sure about student discounts for subscription plans.
    Ed Bott
    • Ed you could also suggest Open Office or Libre Office

      and than they can save all that much more in the long run and remember to point out that you can run a 1,000+ pc's for what.......... what was that price....$.00 and for 95% of the world that would work out just fine, now wouldn't it?............and PS all up dates are actually free also............
      Over and Out
      • Only if...

        you don't need to share documents with MS Office users and you don't need to go outside the feature set provided by LibreOffice.

        I used OpenOffice for several years, but once I started getting contracts where I needed to share documents with external users, I had to get a copy of MS Office in order to correct all the formatting errors and general botched effort OO.o makes of saving Office files.

        It is very embarassing doing a presentation, where all those nices aligned arrows going between different objects in a presentation suddenly start pointing into thin air or to the wrong boxes! Deadly when that presentation is covering the reasons why the customer should invest several million in your solutions!

        OO.o/LibreOffice are great products, when you can work solely in their eco-system and don't need to stray outside. Once you have to start sharing documents with others, they can make you look unprofessional and lose you more in lost business than you saved in licences!
        • Maybe it's not Open Office at fault

          You should always, if creating a presentation with OO, use Open Office for that same presentation. Even if the presentation is saved on MS formats. If you are at home and cannot afford the MS products, then save them as Excel format and refine them at the office. If you spend that much time on a presentation that means so much to you and your career, a bit of previewing the finished result would be better than complaining about the free product that helped you complete that presentation.
          • That's the problem...

            We had a presentation from the prospective customer in PowerPoint format, but my employer had OpenOffice on the computer in the conference room, very embarassing.
          • Another Idea

            You can also export your presentation to a PDF and run the PDF viewer in fullscreen. This is also nice if you don't want the client to have write access to your work just because you had to run the presentation from their computer.
          • easy fix

            Just have a copy of MS Office where you need it, in the confrence room where outside customers interface your company. Everyone else uses open/libre office. Not everyone needs to run MS Office.

            My company runs libreoffice presentations to thousands of people each year. There's never a glitch, but we use our own laptop running libreoffice.
      • Not when they require Java...

        ... To run. I cut that crap out years ago.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Office 365 University

      Microsoft Office 365 University for Students/Teachers subscription is $79.99 for a four year package. At
  • Apple Style pricing !!!

    Really, this is wrong. Why should people upgrade when they might have a 2010 copy with another licence on there? Should be a lower price and make it affordable to real people.
    • $25

      per year per machine is a very good deal.

      The last 2 iterations, I bought Home & Business, before that Professional. The 365 package for home users looks very good value.

      Obviously, if you have 2010 and don't need any of the new features, then not upgrading is better value. But I'll certainly be looking closely at the 365 deal.
    • What's the problem?

      Your question is why should people upgrade when another license is out there (and I assume active) No one is telling anyone to upgrade. If you don't want to, it is a matter of personal choice. If you haven't gotten this far, wait for (egads) until the 2010 license runs out and then buy yourself an upgrade to 2013....not sure where the problem comes in or WHY. If you don't have and don't want to own the package, go to hotmail and work for free on what's available, use Open Office or any other options that are available. No one is forcing you to buy anything.....
  • Most users buy Office with their PC so I am not sure that it matters

    If, Microsoft tries to get the consumers to subscribe to Office - the same way OEMs try to get you to subscribe to MacAfee Av software, Microsoft should expect some pushback ...

    ... but but if OEMs will still be able to offer consumers Office Starter or Home & Student, etc., then it doesn't matter. The point is that Microsoft does not want to keep selling shrink-wrapped Office at retail. Fine - as long as I can buy it pre-loaded on my new PC - or get it via Anytime Upgrade directly from Microsoft.
    M Wagner
    • Most PCs

      come with the free, limited version at the moment and you still have to buy the licence separately.

      That said, moving to a rent model is something Microsoft (and other companies) have been looking at for years. With cloud based incentives, it is becoming easier to entice customers.

      The benefits for the customer is they always have access to the newest versions, whilst Microsoft have a steady revenue stream.
  • In the long run, subscriptions cost you more money than purchases

    Since most people own there computers for three to five years, $100 per year is no bargain - even if you pay full retail!
    M Wagner
    • Depends on your household size

      Remember that 100 bucks is for up to five devices, which can used by different people in the same household.
      Ed Bott
      • Describe household...

        I assume you mean up to 5 people no matter where they live, is that correct?
    • it depends on what you need.

      for an individual you are correct, but for a family of 4 you would have to pay between $140 to $400 (depending on the version) for each person, so $560 to $1600 for that family of four. Even if you get the low end version, you can have the product for almost 6 years before the subscription becomes more expensive.
    • Subscription model includes upgrade rights

      Add Software Assurance cost to that retail box, and you'll notice the subscription makes sense both from a cost and technology perspective.