Just over a week ago, Microsoft launched their latest shake-up of the Microsoft Office product range by bringing out Office 365 Home Premium. We’ve got the full details of what it’s about, what you get, and what it costs – read on to find out more!
What’s it all about then?
Office 365 Home Premium is a brand new way of delivering Microsoft Office to home users. Office 365, which is Microsoft’s ‘cloud’ platform, has been around for a couple of years now but has really only applied to business customers. The new Home Premium offering is Microsoft’s big push of cloud services for the domestic market.
Traditionally, you purchased your Microsoft Office package as a boxed product from a retailer and installed it on up to 3 computers. With the ‘Home and Student’ offering of the past 5 years, you got a copy of Word, Excel and Powerpoint for your money – plus the OneNote package (do many people actually use this??). When a new version of Office came out, you needed to buy this version as you had no upgrade rights. If you wanted to run Office on 2 PCs and 1 Mac then you also needed to buy Office for Macintosh, as your PC version wasn’t Mac compatible (or vice-versa).
So, what’s changed?
Well to start with, Microsoft have increased the number of computers you can run Office 365 Home Premium on – you can now run it on 5 computers at the same time, which is great for families where all the children have laptops.
Secondly, if you’re a mixed home environment with Mac and PC devices then you’re catered for. Any number of your 5 installs can be Mac based (currently with Office 2011 for Mac) or Windows based (Office 2013 for PC).
Thirdly, as and when new versions of the Office software are released, you should be covered for a free upgrade to these versions – which is great for keeping compatible with the latest formats, and great for those who like to have the newest features too.
Finally, and this is the big one, you now get the equivalent of Microsoft Office Professional (which would have set you back around £250 and can only go on 1 computer). Instead of just Word/Excel/Powerpoint/OneNote you now also get Outlook, Access (database designer) and Publisher – nice one Microsoft!
Wow, sounds pretty good – anything else?
Well, the delivery of these Office licences is also changed. You can now install the physical product just like before, or you can stream a ‘click to run’ version of Office onto a PC for a temporary period. This is most useful if you’re at a friend’s house and want to use the full Office package but don’t want to install your licence for them, or if you’re at a business centre or Internet Cafe.
You can also use a completely browser based ‘web app’ version of Office for editing your documents on the go – kind of like Google Docs, but by Microsoft.
Lastly, as the icing on the cake, those of you who are Skype users can get 60 mins of free ‘Skype Out’ credit per month. You also get 20GB of SkyDrive storage, which is Microsoft’s answer to Dropbox. This is useful for families who want to share documents and information and who are spread around. It’s also great for students to ensure they have a backup of all that coursework they will be writing in Office!
(Microsoft have integrated SkyDrive nicely into the Office 2013 for PC package, allowing you to save straight to your online cloud storage – and access it from the web apps. Nice touch.)
Well, that sounds expensive – what’s the cost?
Actually, it’s not as bad as you might think – especially when you consider the value of the expanded Office suite (Outlook and Access may not be to priority for many families, but Publisher is very useful).
The pricing is now a yearly subscription model, and a 1 year Office 365 Home Premium licence is £70 inc. VAT.
If you’re thinking of upgrading your Microsoft Office then now might be the time to switch to the new Office 365 Home Premium – and of course, we can help you with installation or just sell you the licence. Drop us a line if you’d like to discuss how we can help you get the latest, and definitely the greatest, Microsoft Office solution.