Microsoft prices Office 2013 at $99.99 — a year

Microsoft today announced pricing for its Office 2013 software suite, which consists of touch- and cloud-optimized versions of standbys such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

So how much is the modernized software package going to set you back? Well, that depends, because Microsoft is selling Office to consumers on a subscription basis.

People can choose to pay $99.99 a year for a single subscription that covers up to five users or devices, an extra 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage (on top of the free 7 GB of space), 60 minutes of Skype calls per month, and premium licenses that ensure households get as-they-happen software updates.

Above: Office 365 Home Premium. Click to enlarge.

This Office 365 Home Premium package includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Publisher, and the other goodies mentioned above. Microsoft is hoping it can lure families into these annual subscription plans by touting the package as the end-all, be-all solution for the connected home.

“Subscriptions open a host of possibilities, and subscribing to Office 365 will be the best choice for many — especially families, people with multiple devices and small businesses,” the Office team said in a statement.

Folks can instead opt for the nonfrills, single person Office Home and Student 2013 package that costs $139.99. But this has a bunch of catches. With the one-time price option, you won’t get software updates, the additional SkyDrive space, those handy Skype calling minutes, or Outlook, Access, and Publisher. If you want Outlook, you’ll need the pricier Office Home and Business 2013 version, which costs $219.99. Microsoft also has an Office Professional 2013 edition, which tacks on Access and Publisher and goes for $399.99, according to The Verge.

Microsoft is also selling Office 2013 to small businesses on a subscription basis. Office 365 Small Business Premium costs $149.99 per user, per year and comes with all the Office apps, 25 GB Outlook mailboxes, video conferencing features, and premium app licenses.

A preview of Office 2013 was released in July.

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