Office 365: $99 Subscription, Files Saved Online

Dennis Faas's picture

After months of hype, Microsoft has finally released a subscription edition of Office 365. The new package represents a huge change from the past, when consumers simply bought a physical copy of the Office software and installed it on their machine using a disc.

Instead, buying Office 365 means signing up to pay an annual subscription fee. Currently, it costs $99 for the Office 365 Home Premium edition.

Subscribers will automatically receive any software updates released during this time (and this could include significant new features in addition to bug and security fixes).

Access Your Office Documents From Anywhere

While you can still save documents on your computer, when using Office 365 your documents are also automatically saved on Microsoft's servers. That means you can access them from any machine with Internet access.

It also means that you can collaborate on editing a document with other people without the need to send email attachments back and forth. Microsoft is keen to stress that you'll still be able to access download documents, even if you stop subscribing to Office 365.

Another new feature: Office 365 runs through your web browser and doesn't require standalone software. That could be a big help in cases where people are using mobile devices that don't have a lot of storage space.

No Sign of Office 365 iPad App

The browser access means you can use Office 365 on a tablet computer such as the Apple iPad. Microsoft says Office 365 will automatically adjust the settings to display larger "press-able" icons rather than the small icons designed for clicking with a mouse. (Source:

Still, many analysts are wondering if Microsoft will produce a dedicated application for tablets that is even easier to use on small touchscreens. Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer refused to discuss the matter, telling reporters: "I have nothing to say on the topic." (Source:

It appears the hold-up may not be related to a technical problem with producing a dedicated app. Instead, reports suggest Microsoft isn't willing to play by Apple's rules, which could mean having to hand over 30 per cent of the Office 365 subscription fee.

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