Since the release of Office 365 Home Premium earlier this year, I've touted this solution as an ideal and affordable way for families to stay up to date with the latest in Office technologies. This week, however, Microsoft elevated Office 365 Home Premium even further into "no brainer" territory with some useful changes that make this an even better value.
Microsoft revealed last month that Office 365 Home Premium is off to a great start with over 2 million subscribers to the service, which costs $99.99 per year. For this sum, a family gets five installs of the full Office 2013 Professional Plus suite—the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access—plus 20 GB of additional SkyDrive storage, 60 free Skype world calling minutes per month, and a bunch of other amazing features.
Check out my Office 365 Home Premium Review for the full rundown of features. But there is one more aspect to Office 365 Home Premium that's worth calling out: The subscription service also promises two things related to updates. One, that any future Office updates will be provided through the subscription at no addition cost. And two, that Microsoft will update Office 365 Home Premium regularly, and not just ever two or three years.
To that latter point, Microsoft has delivered over 100 new Office 365 features to individuals and businesses this year alone. (And the service just launched in January.) And some more changes are coming this week and then again next month.
Office Web Apps. A major update to the free Office Web Apps, as described in Office Web Apps Gets Real-Time Co-Authoring, Other Updates.
Subscription access. Starting next month, Office 365 Home Premium subscribers will be able to share their subscription benefits with up to four members of their household. Today, there is one subscriber account, and you can then install Office on the other family member PCs, after which they can sign into the suite to get a personalized experience. Any house household member can manage their own Office installs from their My Account page at office.com.
SkyDrive storage. While each Office 365 Home Premium subscription still has an associated 20 GB of additional SkyDrive storage, you can now allot that storage to any household member, and not just to the person who purchased the subscription, as before. This change will come with the subscription access changes noted above next month.