Microsoft Office 2013: What to expect on the pricing front

Microsoft Office 2013: What to expect on the pricing front

Summary: Microsoft's Office 2013/new Office should be launching soon. Here's what we know so far about prices and packages.


As expected, Microsoft is pricing its next-generation Office 2013 line-up in a way to try to convince users to pay an annual subscription fee -- with multiple-device-installation rights as a carrot -- instead of buying the Office 2013 software outright.

Microsoft is believed to be ready to launch its next-generation Office product within the next few weeks, possibly before the end of January. The newest version of Office -- known both as "the new Office" and "Office 2013" -- will be commercially available on that date. In preparation for the launch, Microsoft has been educating its reseller and integrator partners as to what to expect, pricing- and packaging-wise.

A chart detailing some of the expected Office 2013/New Office prices leaked in October 2012. When I asked Microsoft at the time (and a few times later) to confirm the prices, company officials declined to do so, leading some to speculate that the leaked pricing might not be final.

However, it turns out these prices for some of the "hero" Office 365 and Office 2013 SKUs, were, indeed, accurate. Microsoft shared this slide with some of its partners this week:



Everything here that is labeled as an Office 365 SKU will be priced on a subscription basis. The SKUs listed along the bottom are non-subscription, buy-once/install-on-a-single-device prices.  (Microsoft officials disclosed the planned pricing for a few of its upcoming Office 365 SKUs last year.)

But as of now, we know for sure that Office Standard 2013 will be priced at $369 and Office Professional Plus 2013 at $499, based on this week's partner disclosure. (We already knew Home & Student 2013 would be $139 and Home & Business 2013 would be $219.)

The packages listed on the slide above are not an exhaustive list of the coming Office 2013/Office 365 SKUs. This looks to be the complete Office 2013 line-up, based on what I've seen updating lately as part of Patch Tuesday:

  • Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013
  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013
  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT
  • Microsoft Office Personal 2013 (available in Japan only)
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2013
  • Microsoft Office Professional Academic 2013
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 (for volume licensees only)
  • Microsoft Office Standard 2013 (for volume licensees only)

Microsoft released to manufacturing (RTM'd) its latest Office client and server products on October 11, 2012. Since that time, the Softies have made the final bits available to subscribers on MSDN, TechNet and its volume licensing center. The products still are not available commercially to those without access to those channels. But as of the upcoming launch, the new Office will be preloaded on certain new PCs and available for purchase commercially.

Microsoft also will start making its new Office services -- its updated Office Web Apps, Office 365 and its Microsoft-hosted Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online offerings -- at that time, officials have said.

The company is putting a heavy emphasis on convincing not just business customers, but also consumers, to go the subscription/service route, rather than purchasing a single copy of one or more Office products with perpetual-use licenses. On the consumer front, the Office team is trying to make it more enticing for users to pay a "rental" fee for the new Office, allowing them the right to download Office products locally on up to five PCs and Macs and use them  for a year. This is what's known as Office 365 Home Premium.

On the business front, Microsoft also is trying to convince customers to go the service/subscription route. Microsoft officials said late last year the company would be offering a number of new Office 365 SKUs and pricing plans. These should become available simultaneously with the Office launch in late January.

In addition to the aforementioned Office 365 Home Premium, the new Office 365 SKUs, last we heard, includes:

  • Office 365 Small Business
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium
  • Office 365 ProPlus
  • Office 365 Midsize Business
  • Office 365 Enterprise

Microsoft began preparing some of its Office 365 partners in earnest for the upcoming launch last week, providing them with guidance about how the company plans to update its cloud-hosted suite that competes with Google Apps.

Topics: Cloud, 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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  • University pricing

    I thought the pricing for Office 365 University was just $1.67 a month? That's what their blog states:
    • price increases

      the way things are going for MS lately, they need to start raising prices to compensate.
      • The academic price is more than likely, just a maintenance cost,

        and what the students get will be priced at 'giveaway" levels.

        It's doubtful that MS stands to make any money from the academic packages. Your FUD makes no sense.
        • Just like...

          ...religions, Microsoft knows that catching them young is the best way to keep them the rest of their lives.

          Even if they have to give away one version to get them hooked for life, it's a small loss with a great gain.

          Hmmmm... Come to think of it, I think drug dealers use the same mentality too.
          • Here you have it folks

            Microsoft basically gives stuff away to help out students, and we have people comparing them to drug dealers.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Hmmmm

            And Apple or Adobe or others don't give discount pricing to students? Hell even car manufacturers do so.
          • Start Them Young

            Same way you get liberals.
          • Start Them Young -- 2

            Tomcam … gotta agree with you. First thing you've got to do is to educate them. THEN get them to think for themselves. That's the BEST way to get Liberals!! :-)
          • Start Them Young -- 2a

            A liberal that thinks for itself? That's a contradiction of terms.
          • Nonsense

            Granted, I realize you're incorrectly using the term "Liberal" to describe what are really "Progressives," but that's really no excuse. True liberals were men like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison--men we see only once or twice in a generation.

            Conservatives and Progressives, on the other hand, are both hopeless.
          • Thomas Jefferson would be turning in his grave, if he knew your referring

            to him as a liberal. Liberal today is not what is used to be, and liberalism today can be easily equated to progressive policies and to socialism. However, the liberals of today can more easily be confused as communists, if one were to look at what the profess, compared to what the USSR was some 50-60 years ago.

            Nikita Kruschev was correct when he said: "We will bury you!", referring to destroying the U.S. back in the 1960s. Little did he know that, his goal would be carried out by the people who now claim to be liberal, but are completely the opposite of what liberalism's original meaning meant.
          • How soon we forget

            Remember, it was a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, that broke up the big industrial monopolies, established the US parks system, established laws to protect the ecology, stopped unfair labor practices and more.

            Oh how we've changed.
          • Hmmmm

            Better than a Conservative that doesn't think!
          • Hmmm

            Isn't your statement redundant?
          • tomcam: "liberals" is the wrong term to use on those people,

            and "ignorant" and "clueless" would be more like it.
          • yeah, whereas...

            ... in my experience most people who's faith in God is genuinely alive and not just religious habit discover, often after years of straying, the way they were shown at first was the right one.
            "How come I settled for this rubbish for so long? This is way better than what I thought was best for years"
          • The Quality of a ZD Net article . . .

            is reflected in the commentary which follows it. . . .

            Homo Sapiens are natural complainers. They enter this world crying, complain about everything all their lives and when they're wealthy, healthy, retired and still in possession of all their faculties, they bitch about the weather. . .
          • Zorched: Believe it or not, that is the current goal of Apple and Google

            and Microsoft, and any other company that wants to build a loyal following and a continuing client base.

            What you see as "evil", is actually a mission by those companies. Heck, even in politics, those are the same goals. That's why democrats want to build a loyal following by creating a dependent society. That dependent society wont have any other choice, but to vote for democrats, who promise to give them the "free stuff" that wins votes.
          • Microsoft Office 2013: What to expect on the pricing front

            gates, jobs, and ellison are the best salesmen of our generation ...
          • How about Apple

            Apple used to give their computers away to schools for free thinking that the computer that one learns on is the one they will buy when they leave school.