I’ve had the joy and splendor to preview the entire office suite for the last few months; not because of choice but because it was free and I needed it for school. Microsoft announced that Office 365 will cost around $99/per year (or $9.99/per month) for the Home Premium version. Does Office really need to be updated that often to justify the annual/monthly cost?
Yesterday I got the dreaded e-mail. “Your preview will expire shortly, but you can buy it now!” Great. I just got the hang of the new design and now I have to either jump on board, or find an alternate way to apprehend a copy (I will not pirate it, promise.). I’m really torn due to how awesome the experience has been.
The suite itself has received a major face lift. If Windows 8 and Microsoft Office had a baby, you’d essentially get Office 365. The design itself is simple. But if you’ve been using previous versions for forever, there’s a slight learning curve to overcome; but most of the changes are subtle.
Far by the coolest thing about 365 is its integration in the cloud. I can edit a document on my Windows Phone, save it, and pick up where I left on my laptop. And if you decide to subscribe annually or monthly, you can install the entire suite to an additional 5 computers. Families are the ones who really benefit from the Home Premium plan.
The addition of 60 minutes per month for Skype seems a little odd. I don’t necessarily think about calling over Skype when I boot up Access. Perhaps they thought that with Skype minutes, the price tag seemed a little easier to swallow. Perhaps.
So, is Office 365 worth forking out $10 a month or $100 a year?
If you’re a student, mostly no. Office Home and School only comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. You only get one copy and it’ll cost a one time payment of $140. If a student is majoring in theater, and can get a student discount – it’s a steal. I feel like business, computer, engineer, and medical students will suffer without Access, Publisher, and Outlook.
Absolutely worth it. Most families have more than one computer and once your kids enroll in higher education – they’re going to need Office. It’s a win-win for everyone.
If your career doesn’t involve using any of these products or are still using an older version of Office, don’t worry about it. Keep on keeping on.