Microsoft has often touted Windows 8 as an operating system for consumers. It has been arguably successful thus far, but Microsoft hasn't forgotten its bread and butter - the enterprise and productivity markets. For those consumers, Microsoft is finally launching the newest version of Office today.
Compared to past launches of Office, this one is a little different. Microsoft will be launching two distinct versions of its productivity software for different consumers. The first is the traditional Office 15 that customers will pay a one time fee for. The second is the cloud-based Office 365 that Microsoft has offered for some time now, but it now includes the updated Office 15 tools for Windows 8.
The traditional Office 15 will come in multiple flavors depending on the user's needs. The three versions available include Office Home & Student 2013, Office Home & Business 2013, and Office Professional 2013. What makes these stand out over previous versions of Office is that they're built specifically for Windows 8 and its new touch controls. Working on a text document or spreadsheet with touch controls doesn't sound super exciting, but at least it's an option.
Those wanting to get the newest versions of Office better be prepared to break the bank, however, as Microsoft's usual pricing is in full effect for the newest versions of Office. Home & Student 2013 costs $139.99, Home & Business costs $219.99, and Professional costs $399.99.
If you want a cheaper option, you'll want to go for Office 365 Home Premium. With the service, users will have access the entire software suite included in Office for $99.99 a year. With the annual subscription, you can also install Office on up to five devices. Students have it even better as Microsoft offers special pricing of only $80 for a four year subscription. University students, staff and faculty are eligible for the promotion.
For a limited time, Microsoft is also offering one month of Office 365 Home Premium for free. The free trial nets you the entire Office software suite, 20GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype calls. You can grab it here. Businesses can also try a limited trial of Office 365 with small businesses (50 or less employees) getting a 90-day trial and midsize businesses (50,000 or less) getting a 30 day trial. You can view all your options here.[h/t: Business Insider]