Office 365 Home Premium With Free Extra Skype and SkyDrive Available Worldwide

Microsoft Office is now available as a software service--Office 365 Home Premium--so everything from your documents and family calendars to shopping lists roam with you whether you are on a PC, phone or tablet -- all for US$99.99 for an annual subscription, or $8.34 p/m.

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Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium, a cloud service designed for busy households and people juggling ever-increasing work and family responsibilities is now avilable worldwide in 162 markets and in 21 languages.

The new Office 365 Home Premium includes the latest and most complete set of Office applications that works across up to five devices, including "Windows tablets, PCs and Macs", and offer extra SkyDrive 20GB storage and 60 free Skype calling.

The new Office 365 is priced at US$99.99 for an annual subscription (or US$8.34 per month).

For the first time, "consumers can subscribe to Office as a service instead of purchasing Office as a piece of software to install," Stevea Ballmer stated.

So, what happens when your subscription ends? Apparently, "all your Office applications (Word, Excel, etc) will enter a "read-only reduced functionality mode" which allows users to view and print documents but will not allow editing or creation of new documents."

In that case, customers will have to either "purchase a new subscription via Office.com," or they can just "install an old version of Office or use Office Web Apps on SkyDrive."

Simultaneously, also released today was, "Office 365 University for college or university students, faculty and staff at a price of just US$79.99 for a four-year subscription (or US$1.67 per month)."

Microsoft also said that it'll now deliver many new features and services to the cloud first, transforming the company's traditional three-year release cycle. "Now, new features and services stream to subscribers as soon as they are ready, keeping subscribers always up to date while eliminating the hassles of upgrading," said Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office Division.

Globally, the company also released updated versions of the traditional Office 2013 suite: Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013 and Office Professional 2013

Office 365 for businesses will be released globally with new capabilities on Feb. 27.

Office 365 Home Premium offering includes:

  • "latest Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access
  • One license for the entire household to use Office on up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs or Macs, and Office on Demand available from any Internet-connected PC
  • Additional 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage, nearly three times the amount available with a free SkyDrive account
  • 60 free Skype world calling minutes per month to call mobile phones, landlines or PCs around the world
  • Future upgrades, so you always use the latest time-saving technology."

http://www.office.com.

Update 01/31: Morocco's Office of Vocational Training and Employment Promotion (OFPPT), a public training institution that offers vocational education across 35 fields of study via 327 training institutes across Morocco, has chosen Microsoft Office 365 to help enhance its education and vocational training solutions.

In addition, "OFPPT will work with Microsoft to create 100 new Microsoft IT Academies across the country," Microsoft in a press release announced.