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Software giant Microsoft officially launched Office 365 in India on January 30. The productivity suite will be pitched as a service to a consumer. A definite first for Microsoft to take such an approach on a marquee product. Previously, Office 365 was only available to the businesses as a service.
The Home Premium SKU of Office 365 targeted at consumers, costs Rs 4,199 per year or Rs. 420 per month. However, the Rs 420 per month scheme will still mean a lock-in for an year, as the monthly scheme is only a mater of the cost-amount being debited in monthly basis rather then the yearly one.
The Home Premium addition of the Office 365 subscription will allow users to subscribe to Office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook Publisher. Subscription Office 365 will grant access across 5 PCs or Macs, with an addition of 5 mobile devices, although, only Windows phones and Windows RT tablets are supported, currently. What's more? Microsoft will also throw in a additional 20 GB of SkyDrive, online storage space, which is a lot.
Poteintial Rival: Google Docs?
Microsoft is not the only one that offers a cloud-enabled office suite. For instance, Google offers the free to use office suite Google Docs(basic), which can also be upgraded into premium version for business and high-end purposes. However, Google Docs offers only a browser based office suit, which needs internet connection.. Unlike Google Docs, Office 365 allows you to use it's apps even in the offline mode.
OpenOffice, another big rival of Microsoft, offers an open source office suite. However, OpenOffice, is a strictly an offline office suite and does not support use- anywhere, Web Apps or the online sync features that the Office 365 provides.
Other major features, Office 2013 offers, is a touch-friendly interface and a number of new features to all the apps, which makes it a lot simpler and faster to use.