Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium takes to the cloud

Cloud service works across Windows tablets, PCs and Macs – and gives you free Skype minutes and SkyDrive storage

Microsoft has taken to the cloud with Office 365 Home Premium, with a £80 annual subscription netting you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access on up to five devices – including Windows tablets, PCs and Macs.

That sounds like a lot – well, it is a lot – but it does net you 60 free Skype world calling minutes per month and access to 20GB of SkyDrive storage – with your documents and settings automatically saved to SkyDrive. You also get access to future upgrades to the Office suite – which, since Microsoft is abandoning its three-year release cycle to prioritise the cloud, means you'll get new features first.

Those features include Read mode in Word, Resume reading in Word and PowerPoint, and Flash Fill in Excel. The latter is a "data assistant" that uses pattern analysis to detect when you're retyping entries from another column and enters the rest of your data. Sounds potentially useful, but it could be the next Clippy the Office Assistant.

Microsoft's also releasing Office 365 University for students, faculty and staff at the reduced price of £60 for a four-year subscription.

For those without their head in the cloud, Microsoft has released the updated Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013 and Office Professional 2013, with Office 365 for Business coming on February 27th.

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