Microsoft will soon be offering a new version of Office at a lower price: Office 365 Personal, which will cost $US70 a year or $US7 a month.
This version will allow a person to install it on two devices,”one PC or Mac and one tablet,” Microsoft’s Chris Schneider explains in a blog post.
It’s curious that Microsoft is making this distinction … a PC and a tablet, given that the Windows 8.1 operating system runs on both.
Now, it’s true that Microsoft also has a tablet-only operating system, Windows RT, but RT already comes with a version of Office. That’s one of its selling points.
A Microsoft spokesperson explained that the key thing is that it won’t be allowed to be installed on two PCs. One of the two devices has to have a touch screen. That means that Microsoft is cool with a Mac and a Surface. Or a Windows PC and a Surface. But not a Windows PC and a MacBook.
We also can’t help but wonder if this announcement is a hint that the rumoured Office for iPad is indeed coming in the spring.
Because if this version doesn’t work on the iPad, then $US70 a year seems steep. You can pick up the Home and Student version of Office 2013 for just over $US100 on Amazon these days and never pay for it again.
(Note that the $US70 price is just the target. Retailers might charge less.)
Your other options for getting the latest version of Office are: $US99 per year for a version that allows you to install it on up to five devices, Macs and PCs. Students can also buy a two-device version that covers four years for $US80.
And if you don’t need all the fancy features that Office offers, you can always go with the absolutely free and open-source alternative, LibreOffice.org. It can open MS Office documents and works really well, too.
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