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Microsoft to launch cloud-based Office suite for businesses on 27 February

29 Jan 2013
Office 2013 logo

Microsoft launched Office 365 Home Premium, a cloud-based version of the firm’s productivity suite, and Office 2013 on Tuesday. But firms wanting the latest cloud service will have to wait until the end of February.

Office 365 Home Premium includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access, and works across up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs and Macs. It features 20GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of free Skype calling per month, and is priced at £79.99 for an annual subscription.

Microsoft was keen to point out that with the cloud-based version, users will get access to any software updates straightaway.

A new version of Office 365 for businesses will be released globally with added capabilities on 27 February. However, Microsoft did not share further details of these capabilities or pricing for firms.

Microsoft also released Office 2013 to consumers on Tuesday.

The Home and Student version is available for download or shipping from the Microsoft UK store priced at £110, while the Home and Business version can be purchased for £220 or the high-end Professional version for £390.

IT professionals and developers have been able to download Office 2013 via a TechNet or MSDN account since November 2012, but this is the first time general users have been able to purchase a copy.

Office 2013 was officially unveiled by Microsoft in July, and is described by the firm as "the most ambitious release of Office" it has ever delivered. It includes touch-optimised versions of the familiar Office applications to support Windows 8 and tablet devices, plus a greater emphasis on the cloud to store documents and settings.

Microsoft tried to encourage sales of the suite by offering anyone purchasing an eligible version of Office 2010 between October and April 2013 a free upgrade to the 2013 version.

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Madeline Bennett

Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN. 

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