- Editor's Rating
- Calls for little upfront investment by consumers
- Can be installed on up to five devices
- Includes Web Apps and Skype
- Can be costly over the long term
- Software is never really "yours"
- Might not make sense if you don't own many PCs
Microsoft has introduced a new service that allows users to essentially rent a license for Microsoft Office 2013. For $8.33 per month ($99.99 per year) users can license up to five devices with Microsoft Office 2013 Home Premium edition. Users will be able to download seven apps which include: Word 2013, Excel 2013, Powerpoint 2013, Outlook 2013, OneNote 2013, Access 2013, and Publisher 2013. Office Web Apps will also be available, which are limited versions of the original apps and are available through a web browser. These web based applications can be accessed on any computer, not just the registered devices. Microsoft Office 365 offers an alternative to the standard software, and could be useful for professionals on the go.
The apps are similar to their regular software counterparts, Word 2013 and Publisher 2013 remain mainly the same as their predecessors, with updated user interfaces. Excel 2013 will be able to handle much larger spreadsheet file sizes, which will be useful for anyone who needs to access large spreadsheets. The Powerpoint 2013 app will be configured for widescreen formats, and will default to a widescreen template when launching the app. The Outlook 2013 app will be simplified to two panes, which will feature the inbox and reading pane, with a navigation bar to toggle between different folders. The app for OneNote 2013 will sync faster and is optimized for using a pen on a tablet screen, rather than a fingertip. And finally, the app for Access 2013 willbe easier to use with a simplified user interface.
While this service offers users less of a financial commitment, it can be expensive in the long run. The software is also never officially owned by the user, and might only be worth it if the user is on the go frequently or if they are trying to outfit a large amount of devices with the latest Microsoft Office 2013. For anyone who needs to access documents on the go from multiple devices across platforms, Microsoft Office 365 might be the way to go.