Microsoft Office is the most well-known productivity software suite, and its latest version, "Office 365 Home Premium," just launched with a bit of a twist. For starters, the entire program is downloaded and constantly updated, just like an app.
"Office 365 Home premium is going to come as a subscription to customers now. So people will pay $99.99 a year, annually, for 'Office 365 Home Premium' and they'll be able to install that on up to five devices, including PCs and Macs," Jevon Fark of Microsoft said. "'Office 365 Home Premium' will come with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher."
The subscription also comes with an extra 20 gigabytes of storage on Microsoft's online cloud storage service, SkyDrive. Since the documents will be stored in the cloud, all devices that run "Office 365 Home Premium" will always be in sync with one another.
"Applications and settings that you're used to in Office are going to follow you on up to five devices. So you can move from one computer to the another and expect to see your recent documents and your settings, perhaps even your custom dictionary," Fark said.
Many who follow this space agree, with more competition than ever for Office from companies like Google, going to the cloud was something Microsoft almost had to do to stay on top.
"We're still using Microsoft Word, so many people are still using all the Office applications and the barrier has been pricing and remembering where the disc is," Lance Ulanoff of Mashable.com said. "You don't have to do that anymore. It makes an Office suite more like security software."
There is also a university edition of "Office 365 Home Premium," which for customers who prove they are students, lets them use it on up to two devices for four years for about $80.