Microsoft is making sure that almost has the access to the company's official office software rather than the pirated ones. And the first step taken to achieve this has seen the Redmond-based technology giant announce a plan on Sunday to offer a cheaper version of its popular Office suite of productivity tools.
As reports suggest, the current Office 365 offering, which comes as a cloud-based program, will now become available via a cheaper version called Office 365 Personal - set to be available this spring.
The new Office 365 Personal will now allow users to run Office applications on one PC or Mac and one other tablet. Users will be able to subscribe to the service $6.99 (little over Rs. 420) monthly, or annually for $69.99 (Rs. 4,278).
Microsoft has confirmed to InformationWeek that Office 365 Personal will offer users Office Mobile on a number of non-Windows smartphones, and that the company will announce specifics for the same soon.
Moreover, similar to the other variants of Office 365, Personal will offer 60 minutes of Skype calls per month, 20 GB of additional OneDrive storage, and access to the up-to-date versions of Office.
"For Microsoft, Office 365 represents several opportunities. First and foremost, it replaces traditional licenses, a one-time source of revenue, with perpetual subscriptions. Second, it allows the company to push new technologies more rapidly to users," the InformationWeek report states.
"The company recently integrated a number of analytics tools and collaborative functions into Office 365, for example, and Microsoft execs have spent months alluding to the promise of new interaction models, including touch and voice."
Furthermore, a report by Reuters also states that Office 365 will be available for iPad and iPhone as soon as new Microsoft President Satya Nadella approves their release. John Case, Microsoft's marketing chief has also hinted at some "pretty exciting plans" for Office and has agreed to the fact that there is an interest in using Office on the iPad.