A new, individualized subscription to Microsoft Office 365 could be a boon to small business owners. Last week Microsoft announced the debut of Office 365 Personal, a more affordable way for individual users to access the cloud productivity suite. Subscribers can install and use Microsoft Office 365 on one desktop computer and one tablet for $70 per year, or $7 per month. Meanwhile, the Office 365 Home Premium subscription – formerly the cheapest subscription option – will still give you the ability to install the suite on up to five computers and one smartphone or tablet for $100 per year, or $10 per month.
The new Office 365 Personal subscription includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher and more, and keeps your files backed up and synced across all Web-connected devices with 20GB of space on Microsoft's OneDrive cloud-storage platform, plus 60 minutes of Skype calling each month. Microsoft is touting it as a good option for individual consumers who want to access the cloud-connected Office suite, but it could also really benefit small business owners who want access to the service without breaking the bank. The new subscription option is reportedly coming soon, but Microsoft hasn’t announced exactly when it will become available.
Meanwhile, small business owners can continue to purchase beefier subscription plans for their offices. For $12.50 per user per month, you get business-class email, online conferencing, file storage and sharing as well as desktop versions of the full Microsoft Office suite.