Microsoft introduces Office 365 Personal

Microsoft is adding a new option to its Office 365 family, which currently has 3.5 million subscribers. In a blog post on March 13 the company revealed that Office 365 Personal would be available in spring, which is typically in the April to June timeframe.

“Office 365 Personal is a new, great option for people interested in using Office 365.  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 US$69.99/year (about S$90) or US$6.99/month (about S$9),”  said blog post author Chris Schneider, listing suggested pricing – the actual pricing will vary by country.

“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,” he said.

Office 365 Personal will include the Office apps, 20 GB of OneDrive storage and in qualifying geographies, 60 minutes of Skype international calling per month. Any Windows device that is touch enabled and has a detachable keyboard qualifies as a tablet, it was clarified in the comments section.

The existing Office 365 Home Premium subscription for households will continue, but will be renamed “Office 365 Home” when Office 365 Personal becomes available.

If Office 365 Personal is priced at about S$90 for a single user, you may be better off keeping to Office 365 Home Premium. A quick visit to the Microsoft Singapore store shows that Home Premium offers more value if you have more than one laptop and would like more than 20 GB of OneDrive storage.

The package that is currently available at the Microsoft Singapore store for S$138 a year covers Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, OneNote, Publisher, and 60 Skype minutes a month for five PCs or Macs, plus select mobile devices.

Office Mobile for iPhone and Android is available at no extra charge for Office 365 Home Premium subscribers via the iTunes store and Google Play, and each person with whom the subscription is shared gets his or her own 20 GB of OneDrive storage (up to five per household).

Of course, the pricing and what is offered could be different by the time Office 365 Personal is available. It may be worth the buyer’s while to look at both packages before making a final choice.

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