It's been over three months since Office 2013 reached release-to-manufacturing status. Now, the new productivity suite is officially available to purchase. Microsoft is offering a handful of retail editions, just like with Office 2010, but it's also introduced a subscription scheme that gives users complete access to Office on any platform, plus some nifty extras, for $99.99 a year.
You can find out all about the new Office editions here on the Microsoft Store. For the lazy, we've put together an at-a-glance breakdown of the different editions:
|Home and Student 2013||Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote||1 PC||None||$139.99|
|Home and Business 2013||Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook||1 PC||None||$219.99|
|Professional 2013||Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access||1 PC||None||$399.99|
|365 Home Premium||Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access||5 PCs or Macs||20GB SkyDrive,
60 Skype mins.
There's a version of Office 365 for college students, too. It costs $79.99 for four years and runs on up to two PCs or Macs—but you need valid student identification to get it. (No, your old student ID from the 90s probably won't do.)
If you'd like to try before you buy, Microsoft lets folks sample Office 365 Home Premium free of charge for one month. You'll need to sign up with your Microsoft account and enter your credit card details. If you don't cancel by the end of the trial period, you'll be charged $9.99 a month until you do. A no-frills trial might be nicer, but at least there's no risk of ending up with a surprise $99.99 charge on your credit card bill.
Still not convinced? Microsoft has supplemented its press release with a sales pitch from its very own Steve Ballmer. Take a look:
How can you say no to Ballmer's raspy tenor and intense, eyebrow-less gaze? I know I can't.