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Microsoft Launches New Subscription-Based Office

It allows users to access documents from up to five devices


Microsoft MSFTFor the first time since 2010, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is releasing a new version of its Office software.

Called Office 365, it’s designed to appeal to the new, mobile customer base, Reuters reports. The software will feature Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint in a subscription-based, cross-platform service. Users can subscribe for $100 per year — always getting the latest version — and can access the software and their documents from up to five authorized devices.

By changing its software and business model, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft hopes to compete with rival Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) freely available Google Docs system. In a statement, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said: “Today’s launch of Office 365 Home Premium marks the next big step in Microsoft’s transformation to a devices and services business.”

The new Office is designed for devices running Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, including desktop PCs and the Surface tablet. However, it won’t run on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices.

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