Microsoft Launches Office 365 Home Premium For $99 Per Year

Office 365 Home Premium includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access, with free upgrades to those products, as well as 20 GB of storage on Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud offering and 60 free Skype world calling minutes per month, according to Microsoft.

The new offering will be available in 162 markets in 21 languages through more than 100,000 resellers, 450 retailers, direct from Microsoft or through the purchase of a new Windows 8 PC. Office 365 Home Premium is only available for the Windows 7 or Windows 8 platform, according to a spokesperson from Microsoft.

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Office 365 Home Premium is the first Office 365 offering targeted toward consumers. Versions for small business and enterprise users were launched in June 2011 in the U.S. and have been expanding globally since then. A new Office 365 offering for commercial customers is expected to be available Feb. 27, but Microsoft wouldn't offer more details on that product during a briefing for the Home Premium edition.

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Office 365 Home Premium fits a changing world in which the average user has three devices and needs access to information outside a standard 9-to-5 workday, according to the company.

In addition, as the Millennial generation starts to enter the workforce, they will expect instant access to not just their movies and music, but also their email and productivity tools. Office 365 Home Premium delivers that, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

As part of the refresh, becomes a hub where users can manage their Office subscription, add or remove people or devices from their license and access an Office store to download third-party apps that extend the features of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office features, according to Microsoft.

The apps vary in cost, with some being free, and include such add-ons as integration with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Bing search, maps and calendar. There's also access to a developer center to provide guidance on how to build apps for Office or SharePoint, according to Microsoft.