Microsoft teases a new, less expensive Office 365 subscription for individuals, and delivers Mac users a free OneNote app.
This spring, Microsoft is launching Office 365 Personal, a single-user version of the cloud-enabled productivity software suite for consumers that like to fly solo.
“It’s designed for an individual, allows for one PC or Mac and one tablet to be connected to the service and will be available for $69.99/year or $6.99 USD month,” said Microsoft’s Chris Schneider, a senior marketing manager, in a blog post. When it’s released, Office 365 Personal will be the least expensive version of the software for consumers.
Currently, Office 365 University is the company’s most affordable package for consumers (excluding the free, cloud-only Office Online product) at $79.99 for four years. It allows students to install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher on up to two Windows PCs or Macs and comes with 20 GB of OneDrive cloud storage for one user.
The Office 365 Home Premium package costs $9.99 per month. Office applications can be installed on up to five Windows PCs or Macs. Up to five users are entitled to 20GB for up to 20GB of OneDrive storage each.
According to Schneider, Microsoft realized that not everyone needs to juggle so many machines and users. “We recognize that there are households of all shapes and sizes and we’re committed to delivering the right Office for everyone—whether that be one person or an entire household.”
After the new plan launches officially, Office 365 Home Premium will undergo a name change by dropping the “Premium” and going by just Office 365 Home, announced Schneider. “Whichever Office 365 subscription you choose, you’ll get all of the subscription benefits including 60 minutes of Skype calling per month, 20GB of additional OneDrive storage and always be up-to-date with the most recent version of Office,” he added.
In related news, the company announced that it has finally released the Office note-taking app, OneNote, for the Mac. As a bonus, it’s free, David Rasmussen, Partner Group program manager for Microsoft, said in a statement.
“OneNote is now free everywhere,” he added, before noting that paid customers are entitled to premium features. Those perks include “SharePoint support, version history, Outlook integration and so on.” The free versions, including OneNote 2013 for Windows, contain all of “the core OneNote application capabilities,” he assured.
Microsoft used the occasion to expand OneNote’s capabilities. New features include a “send email to OneNote” option, an Office Lens camera-scanning app and the OneNote Clipper browser plug-in for Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Mac Safari.