Office 365 Home Premium benefits extended

Microsoft has introduced new features to Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium (image: Microsoft)

Microsoft has introduced new features to Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium allowing one subscription to be used by five people across five different devices, making it cost-effective and easy for more family and friends to benefit from the program.

Microsoft has introduced new features to Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium (image: Microsoft)
Microsoft has introduced new features to Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium (image: Microsoft)

Office 365 Home Premium was launched in the first quarter of 2013 to provide an ideal and affordable way for families to stay up to date with the latest in Office technologies. “In the past, it has been common for families and friends to share a single desktop computer. We know that today this is a declining trend particularly because of the high growth of mobile device adoption in Africa. But this shouldn’t mean abandoning the advantages and cost-savings of shared technology resources completely, especially with the power of the cloud, which enables sharing across different form factors and geographies,” says Marc Israel, Office Division Group Lead for Microsoft West, East and Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands. “With the new benefits to Office 365 Home Premium, we’re pleased to be able to offer both cost-savings through sharing a single subscription, and the freedom for it to be used across multiple devices.”

The program has also been upgraded to provide each user their own 20GB of OneDrive, formerly SkyDrive, and this benefit was previously only accessible to one subscriber. So the whole family gets 100GB additional storage as well as 60 free Skype world calling credits. In addition to these benefits, the family gets five installs of the latest Office suite (for PC and Mac) with the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access as well as five installs of Office Mobile for tablets and smartphones. “There is now even more value and flexibility for the whole household with increased OneDrive online storage and shared installation access,” says Israel.

In addition to increased affordability, the extension makes it easier for families to safely save, sync and share documents, photographs, passwords, and other important information. “I absolutely love Office 365 Home Premium. It’s easy to use, intuitive and with this new feature I can safely store everything in the cloud and access it from anywhere, which makes my life so much easier,” says Damian Sheldon, a current Office 365 extended user. “What is even better is that it has eliminated the need of using an external hard drive, so I no longer have to worry about the drive getting damaged and losing all my information and data.”

Adding users is as easy as sending an email and the main subscriber just needs to sign in to their account page and select to share their subscription benefits. This allows extended users to access any of the subscriber’s installs and manage them as their own, while using their individual Microsoft account rather than that of the subscriber. But the main subscriber still has the control to limit installs and can deactivate them while allowing the extended user to keep their SkyDrive storage.

An additional benefit is that once a household member accepts the invitation to share the Office 365 Home Premium benefits, they no longer need the subscriber to activate the Office Mobile app on their device. “To get Office Mobile, the household member simply downloads the Office Mobile for Office 365 mobile app from the Google App Store or the Apple App Store onto their phone and activates it using their Microsoft account,” Israel says.

Other new features include Office updates that will be provided through the subscription at no additional cost and updates will occur regularly and automatically over the cloud.

“The cloud makes it simple, affordable, and seamless to constantly receive the latest features and security updates, without the additional cost of purchasing new software every few years,” says Israel.

Staff writer