Microsoft Launches New Subscription-Based Office

by Nate Wooley | January 29, 2013 11:50 am

Microsoft MSFT[1]For the first time since 2010, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT[2]) 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[3]. 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[4]) 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[5]) devices.

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