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January 30, 2013 at 8:11 AM

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Hoping Microsoft gets Office 365 right this time

Turns out software companies want to be more like newspapers. Microsoft launched the new version of Office 365, at the subscription price of $99.99 per year.

Office 2013, the traditional version of the software, costs $140 in comparison and can be used as long as your computer lives. Google Docs is the competitor to both with its the lightweight online word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software.

Here is the news side's report on Microsoft's Office launch by Janet I. Tu.

Microsoft has long pushed the model of selling software as a subscription instead of a one-time purchase, and has been successful at convincing its big-spending business customers. But it has lagged behind its competitor Google in packaging software as a subscription to individual buyers.

Google, the Mountain View, Calif., search company, has been selling Apps for $50 annually per person to businesses and individuals who want a secure, private and ad-free version of Google Docs, email and collaboration software.

The first version of Office 365 launched in June 2011, and cost $6 per month. I subscribed for six months, but only because I kept forgetting to cancel my subscription. The software was a hot mess. Figuring out how to collaborate on documents was an existential exercise in frustration.

I'm hopeful that Microsoft has cleaned up Office 365 in this launch. They need to get it right. The Microsoft Business Division, which makes Office, accounted for $24 billion in sales in fiscal 2012 and $15.7 billion in operating profit. The business division was responsible for 32 percent of the company's total sales that fiscal year.

I love the old school version of Office, and it's the main reason I've never given my heart fully to my iPad. I'm a grown woman. I can't take notes on a cartoon version of a legal pad in Comic Sans font, or whatever that font is called. Office is what won me over to buying the Surface. The Surface is woefully lacking in apps, so I'm still a heavy iPad user, but I love my Word.

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