Microsoft looks set to dominate the tablet office suite market now that Office 365 Personal is available for less than $7 per month. The new name and pricing structure means that there is one less obstacle standing in the way of anyone who is thinking about trying out Microsoft's office suite. At this price there is simply no excuse not to try it out for a bit!
But this is, of course, much more than a tablet-based office suite. For their money, user are essentially provided with two licenses meaning that the suite can be used on a tablet as well as on a PC. Two copies of Office for $6.99 a month -- it's very difficult to argue with that.
This is a great example of Microsoft reacting to the way people now work -- albeit a little late in the game. For too long now, Office has been a behemoth tied to the desktop, and this allowed something of an Office alternatives market to build up for tablet users looking to edit files on the move. Now, at long last, the company has answered the prayers that Office users have been making for years.
For the price of a glass of wine, your Mac or PC can be furnished with a copy of Office, and so can your favorite tablet -- be it powered by Android, iOS or Windows. Microsoft may be entering the iPad app game quite late on, but it is going in with gun blazing, making up for lost time.
The new Personal packages are a perfect solution to the low-cost solutions people are now looking for. A plethora of app store has made people get used to the idea of cheap or free apps, and it makes sense that Microsoft would react in this way. For anyone yet to try Office, there has never been a better time to do so. This is not a case of try-before-you-buy, but try-as-you-buy. Don't like it? Stop using it and stop paying. But the chances are that you will love it.
Anyone who has been an Office users for a number of years but has resisted moving to Office 365 will quickly realize that this is a case of buy one, get one free -- a deal that makes sense in anyone's book.
Office is already a force to be reckoned with, but the new low pricing structure means that usage figure are likely to go up even further. It will also be extremely interesting to see just how many tablet users pop up over the coming weeks, months and years, taking advantage of what essentially amounts to a free copy of Office.