New Office 365 Personal plan targets individual iPad, PC users


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If you were looking to try out Office for iPad, but didn’t precisely feel like shelling out the full $10-per-month or $100-per-year for an Office 365 Home plan, then may Microsoft interest you in a slight discount? The company this week launched a new Office 365 Personal Plan at a lower price point.

Not that much lower, though: The Personal plan runs $7 per month, or $70 for a year-long subscription. And that lower price comes with more restrictions: Unlike the Home plan, which allows you to run Office 365 on 5 PCs or Macs and 5 Windows tablets or iPads, the Personal plan—as the name suggests—works only on a single PC or Mac in addition to one tablet. If you’re a student, you also have access to a four-year Office 365 University subscription for $80, which offers most of the same benefits.

Otherwise, the Personal plan is pretty close to the Home plan: Both give you access on smartphones and to online versions of the office suite, and both provide you with offline storage as well as 20GB of extra OneDrive storage per user. Plus, for the chatty among us, both plans come with 60 minutes per month of Skype calling anywhere in the world.

While some who were on the fence about trying out Office 365 might be swayed by the discounted plan, it does still seem on the pricey side: You can only deploy it on a fifth as many devices, but it’s a bit steeper than a fifth the price—though, granted, you get most of the Home plan’s other features as well.

Though Office for iPad has racked up plenty of downloads since its release, it’s unclear how many of those Microsoft has managed to convert into paying users. Given that much of the company’s bread-and-butter clientele have access through their organization (as we here at Macworld do), individual iPad users may not have been as swayed by Microsoft’s subscription business model, especially when compared to Apple’s iWork suite. Still, the cheaper price of the Personal plan may make some converts, even if it seems unlikely to sway users of competitors.

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