Microsoft Office 2013 pricing leaked

Software giant seems to be pushing users to think cloud first with next release

Pricing for Microsoft's forthcoming Office 2013 suite has leaked, and suggests the firm will be pushing its cloud-based Office 365 platform to consumers and businesses.

The software giant is said to have sent out pricing details to retailers, which have been obtained by ZDNet.

Office 365 Midsized Business is likely to be one of the most widely used packages. Designed for businesses with between 11-250 employees, it will be available for $369 outright or for $15 per month via Office 365.

The Office 365 subscription aims to provide flexibility via the use of the Office Web App and will also bring additional benefits including 20GB of SkyDrive storage and incremental upgrades as and when they are released.

In terms of the price difference between the standalone and the cloud-based product, paying the subscription for this particular package will exceed the cost of buying the software after two years.

For enterprises with over 250 people, Microsoft recommends  Office Professional Plus 2013 – which will cost $499 upfront or $20 per month. Meanwhile, small businesses with up to 10 employees will be offered the Home and Business package for $219 or a monthly cost of $12.50.

For consumers, the Office Home Premium will cost $139 upfront or $8.33 per month for an 365 account.  Again Microsoft is pushing the subscription model with this one by allowing users to download Office products on up to five PCs/Macs and use them for a year.

With the standalone product, users will only be able to install the software on a single PC.

The pricing details are expected to be confirmed by Microsoft soon – and the Office 2013 range could even launch before the end of January to coincide with the release of the Surface Pro tablet.

UK pricing is expected to be in a similar price range, but as yet no figures are available.