Your content and applications should be available to you wherever you are and on whatever device you are using in a way that is consistent and familiar to you.
As a PC user, Mac owner, and someone who needs to access documents between various machines both on and offline, I couldn’t be more pleased with this morning’s launch of Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium! This new modern Office solution allows me to use applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote across PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones while documents are stored in the cloud via SkyDrive. It’s an innovative new product that ultimately allows me to be more productive whether working at home, collaborating with colleagues in person, or on the go with any of my devices.
How does it work?
After you install Office 365, access your documents by signing into any of your Microsoft accounts (formerly known as Windows Live ID) including SkyDrive, Hotmail, XBox, Office.com, and Windows 8. Streamlining usernames and passwords with other Microsoft properties is just smart and I was so thankful to not have to create yet another user profile that I would be sure to forget.
Immediately upon launching the application, the Office experience is all about the user. I like that I can view the documents I accessed most recently on any device.
My favorite templates that are remembered thanks to cloud-based settings that are synched between SkyDrive and your local drive and roam with your user profile.
I also appreciate that Office remembers where I was last working in any document whether accessing it on my office computer, downstairs on our HP ENVY TouchSmart, Surface Tablet, or Windows Phone. Whether editing a Word document or putting together a slide in PowerPoint, Office saves me time by knowing where I left off so I don’t have to waste my time searching when I’m ready to get back to work.
I’m also loving the fresher look at the markup feature that I often use in Word. Since Office 365 will pull in your contacts from Outlook, a co-worker’s avatar appears next to their comment!
What about accessing my documents when offline?
While offline, Office creates, saves, and opens files from the local SkyDrive folder. Notifications within Office let you know if you’re working offline. If necessary, Office alerts you if there are changes to your file that are pending upload to the cloud. Files are always saved locally so there’s never any worry about losing data. Another helpful tip: Exit your Office apps together and whenever you get your connection back, Office uploads changes to the cloud automatically!
What is the limit of devices of my Office 365 Home Premium subscription?
Since Microsoft recognizes that a single user owns multiple devices, a Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium subscription comes with a 5 user license. This allows users to install Office on any combination of PCs and Macs whether they’re desktops or tablets and for each user to sign in with their logins to use their individual settings to access their documents. As new technology is added into the home, subscribers have the flexibility to switch devices that are part of the home license.
How much does it cost?
Users who are used to purchasing a copy of Office should note that the new Office 365 Home Premium is an annual subscription. The price is $99/year. This breaks down to $8.33/month or $1.66 per device/month, making it an affordable option when you look at the per device cost. For more information, read the details about Office 365 subscription options.
What happens to my stuff when my subscription runs out?
According to Microsoft:
As the expiration date approaches, you will receive notifications in the Office applications and via email that alert you to the upcoming expiration. Once your Office 365 subscription expires, the Office software applications enter read-only reduced functionality mode, which means that you can view or print documents but will not be able to create new documents or edit existing documents.
To return to full Office functionality, you can purchase a new subscription from Office.com or any participating retailer. You can also return to using an older version of Office or use the free Office Web Apps on SkyDrive for basic editing.
What else comes with Office 365 Home Premium?
- Office 365 comes with the Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher.*
- Ability to use Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs shared among all users in the home. Subscribers also have flexibility to change their 5 devices at any time, and full featured Office applications are available for temporary use on any PC.
- Nearly 3 times the amount of SkyDrive storage with an additional 20GB over the 7GB you get for free.
- 60 minutes of Skype world calling per month to keep in touch with family anywhere.**
- Premium licenses that are always up-to-date with latest new features and services released regularly. With the new Office, new capabilities will be added multiple times per year.
* OneNote, Access and Publisher available for PC only.
** Skype account required. Excludes special, premium and non-geographic numbers. Calls to mobiles are for select countries only. Skype available only in select countries.
I just bought Office 2010 or Office for Mac 2011! Does this mean I need to buy something new?
Not to worry! According to Microsoft, If you purchased Office 2010 or Office for Mac 2011 between October 19 and now, you qualify for a free download good for one year of Office 365 Home Premium or the equivalent Office 2013 offering, when available
I am a Microsoft Office Ambassador. I received Office 365 Home Premium for review purposes and am compensated for my participation in the program but all opinions are my own. Images courtesy of Microsoft. Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.