January 29, 2013, 3:27 PM — With Office 365 Home Premium, available today, Microsoft's office productivity suite inches as close to the cloud as possible without actually running in the cloud. The cloud orientation is reflected in the new Office 365 branding (borrowed from Microsoft's online services for business), the new application streaming delivery model (no installation discs), and new subscription-based pricing (whereby you can pay per month or year). For those who like having installation discs or who prefer to buy rather than rent, more traditional SKUs of Office 2013 are also available.
Office 365 Home Premium has been crafted to make the rent-as-you-go plan as appealing as possible to the masses who haven't yet abandoned Microsoft Office for OpenOffice, LibreOffice, or Google Docs. For $100 a year, you get five installations of Office 2013 Home Premium (traditional SKUs limit you to one installation) and access to Office resources in the cloud. These cloud resources include not only SkyDrive and the browser-based Office apps, but also personalized settings that follow you wherever you happen to be working and the ability to install temporary copies of the Office 2013 programs on demand on a PC that doesn't have it.
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