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Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365 Subscription Plans Unveiled for Consumers (Update)

By Michael Low, Ng Chong Seng & Sharmine Ishak - on 30 Jan 2013, 3:00pm

Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365 Subscription Plans Unveiled for Consumers

Will you be getting the new Office? <br>Image source: Microsoft

Update: Added photos from today's launch event

First unveiled to the world in July last year, Microsoft’s newest Office productivity software suite has landed in the hands of enterprise customers since December through Microsoft Volume Licensing. General availability however is pegged at Q1 2013. Well, that day has finally arrived, as Microsoft today released the consumer editions of its new Office in Malaysia. Office 365 was launched at Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur on January 30, 2013. During the launch, Microsoft employees gathered at the shopping mall's LRT station for a group demonstration, where they showed the benefits of working with Office 365, which allowed them to work on their favorite devices anywhere and everywhere they like.

(Left) Danny Ong, Microsoft Malaysia's Chief Marketing & Operating Officer and Microsoft employees show off the brand new Office 365

Unlike previous Office releases, Microsoft hopes that most users would get the new Office through an Office 365 subscription, instead of going the traditional, boxed copy with DVD route. Along with the various Office 2013 editions, the Redmond-based company has two Office 365 subscription plans for consumers, one of which being the Office 365 Home Premium that targets households. This plan allows Office to be used on up to five PCs or Macs (in any combination) and five mobile devices for all users in one household. In addition, you get an extra 20GB of storage space on SkyDrive, 60 minutes worth of Skype talk time every month, and version upgrades for all the Office apps.

Designed for flexibility, productivity and seamless usability, Microsoft's Office 365 allows users to work anywhere at anytime they want

The other Office 365 subscription plan announced today is Office 365 University. Available as a four-year plan, it’s meant for students, faculty, and staff in institutions of higher learning (e.g. colleges or universities). Before one can subscribe to Office 365 University, a verification process will be done to determine eligibility. The difference in the number of installations permitted aside, this plan gets you the same benefits as Office 365 Home Premium (use on mobile devices, Skype world minutes, additional 20GB SkyDrive storage, version upgrades), but at a much lower cost. How much lower? How does RM219.99 for four years sound?

The launch event saw Microsoft employees gather at the Suria KLCC LRT station to showcase the portability of Office 365

Here’s a table showing the different consumer SKUs for the new Office announced today:

New Office Consumer SKUs at a Glance
  Office.com Price No. of Devices Apps
Office Home & Student 2013

Retail: RM349
Online: RM339.99

1 PC Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote
Office Home & Business 2013 Retail: RM889
Online: RM869.99
1 PC Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook
Office Professional 2013 Retail: RM1,579
Online: RM1,499.00
1 PC Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access
Office 365 Home Premium Retail: RM259 (for 1 year)
Online: RM249.99/year or RM24.99/month
5 PCs or Macs + 5 mobile devices (1 household) Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access
Office 365 University

Retail: RM249 (for 4 years)
Online: RM219.99/4-year

2 PCs or Macs + 2 mobile devices (1 user) Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access

Besides a new user interface to keep up with the Modern-style-driven Windows 8, the new Office is cloud-connected (documents save to SkyDrive by default) and has hooks for social networks. And through the Office Store, you can download little 'apps' for your Office 2013 apps to expand their functionality.

Boxed copies of Office 2013 and Office 365 subscriptions will be available at authorized retailers across 162 countries, as well as online at Office.com. And as you may notice from the table above, the estimated retail prices are different from what are currently listed on Office.com. Like previous versions of Office, the latter tend to change now and then depending on prevailing exchange rates. But if you're going to buy the new Office now, it looks like it's slightly cheaper to do so online.

Interestingly, over at Office.com, you can also find individual Office 2013 apps for sale. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access cost RM429.99 each, while OneNote itself costs RM279.99.

The atmosphere of the launch was festive, as employees handed out balloons to passers-by

The other Office 365 business and Office 2013 pro offerings will be announced on February 27, 2013.

For more information regarding Office 2013 and the new Office 365 subscription plans, check out our FAQ here.

Source: Microsoft