The New Microsoft Office Is Here—And You Rent It
Office—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, the old frenemies—are out of beta and ready to buy. Sort of: you buy the newest version of Office like you buy Netflix or Spotify, with a subscription. And it makes a hell of a lot of sense.
Microsoft Office is usually a big purchase, or no purchase at all—sometimes it comes with your computer, or sometimes you’d have to shell out for the latest version. Not anymore: Office 365 Home Premium, which includes the kitchen sink, doesn’t need to come on a couple-hundred-dollar disc. You can pay for Office for as long as you need it, going month by month (for $10 a month) or pay $100 for a year upfront (and save a little). Either way, you’ll get a lot more from Microsoft than you have in the past: the entire suite (2013 on Windows, 2011 on a Mac) can be installed across five devices simultaneously (tablets, laptops, whatever), streaming versions of whichever application you happen to need can be beamed to any computer you’re on with an Internet connection, and all of your files will be synced as you work, whether you edit them on Office.com, your tablet, or your Windows Phone (if you’ve got one). You’ll even pick up an extra 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and an hour of free global Skype calling each month.
The subscription also incudes upgrades to any future versions of the suite, so you don’t need to fret about upgrade discs. A four year, broke student University subscription will also be on the table for a very binge drinking-friendly $80. If this sharing, streaming thing sounds like some sort of socialist plot to you, you cans pay a flat $140 for the home or $220 for the business editions, locking them to a single computer for all eternity.