New Office 365 coming for small/medium businesses on Feb 27

The launch of Office 2013 and the new Office 365 is a big deal for Microsoft. How big? Big enough for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to make a rare post on the company blog to talk up the launch of the new software suite, and Office 365 Home Premium in particular.

Ballmer’s blog post points out that Office 365 Home Premium is the first time a regular consumer can buy a version of Office as a service, for $99.99 a year, rather than just a standalone software product (although Microsoft is still offering the option for buying such software as well). Ballmer says that those customers will like a number of things about Office 365 Home Premium, including constant updates, Windows 8 touch support and more.

Ballmer’s post added:

These are some of the reasons we’re seeing such strong momentum with our business customers. In fact, since we launched Office 365 for businesses only 18 months ago, 1 in 5 of our enterprise customers now has the service, up from 1 in 7 a year ago. Smaller businesses are also choosing Office 365 at a rapid pace, with a 150 percent increase in the number of small and medium-sized businesses using the service over the past 12 months. These businesses will get to enjoy the new Office 365 service for businesses beginning Feb. 27.

Ballmer ended his post by saying, “Today’s announcement of Office 365 Home Premium is our next bold step forward. It’s a productivity service that is a trusted and integral part of our always-on, always-connected lives.”