Microsoft is making Office 365 more flexible by removing the limit on the number of devices that the software can be installed on. Until now, Microsoft Office 365 Home could be installed on ten devices, while the Office 365 Personal was limited to one PC or Mac and one tablet.
Office 365 – no limits on installation
Microsoft’s latest decision underscores the fact that users nowadays use more than one device. Though the company is removing the restriction on the number of devices that the software can be installed, it is limiting the number of devices that someone can use the Office software on simultaneously.
“Starting October 2, subscribers can install Office on an unlimited number of devices—and be signed into their accounts on up to five of those devices at the same time,” Microsoft said in a blog post.
This new limit is regardless if you are logging into a PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone. Following the new limit, if you attempt to sign into a sixth account, you will get an error message forcing you to logout of another existing device.
Microsoft’s new Office 365 rules will be applicable from October 2, allowing users to install the software on an unlimited number of devices with a limit on using five devices at the same time. It must be noted that you can use Office even without signing in, but Microsoft Office 365 will occasionally remind you to sign-in.
Microsoft’s reminder will tell you that if you don’t sign in you “might lose some subscription features.” One can use Microsoft Office 365 without an internet connection for 30 days, but after that, the software will turn into read-only mode. You will have to go back online to restore it.
Currently, Microsoft Office 365 Home costs $100 per year, and offers several apps in the package, including Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, on ten devices, or an arrangement allowing five users to install on two devices each. On the other hand, Office 365 Personal costs $70 annually, and allows a user to install the software on two devices.
Other changes to Office 365
Apart from the changing subscription limit, another thing changing for the Office 365 Home is the five-user rule. Now, the Office 365 Home subscription extends to six licenses, suggesting a family (or a group of friends) can now share an account for $100 annually, and each user gets 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage and full Office apps.
The latest plan is even better than the $70 per year for an individual Office 365 Personal account. Also, the company is integrating its Office 365 Home subscription with the existing Microsoft Family service, allowing users to share their account with other members of the family.
Apart from these changes, Microsoft is also making it convenient for the users to manage their account. Since the launch of Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions in 2014, a user was allowed to use Office.com/MyAccount for all account management. Now, the company is allowing users to manage their Office 365 subscription directly from the Microsoft Account portal – “the single place to manage all your Microsoft subscriptions, redeem your Microsoft Rewards, and access other Microsoft benefits.”
Microsoft 365 Home and Office 365 Personal are meant for consumers only, not for businesses. “The service/software may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities,” reads the Microsoft licensing agreement.
Microsoft Office 365 – rising clout
All the Microsoft Office 365 changes will go into effect from October 2, and the current Office 365 subscribers do not need to do anything to avail the new changes. These new changes will help make Office 365 more user-friendly. Microsoft Office 365 has about 31.4 million paying subscribers, and hopefully, the new changes will push the number further up.
Microsoft Office 365 commercial revenue increased by 42% in the fiscal third quarter, while the consumer Office sales was up 12%. Talking of other segments, the commercial cloud revenue gained 58% from the last year, while the productivity and business processes unit posted a revenue of $9 billion, an increase of 17%.
Revenue from Azure was up 93%, while Surface revenue increased by 32%. LinkedIn revenue was up 37% to $1.33 billion. Overall, Microsoft topped expectations, reporting a net income of $7.4 billion, or 95 cents a share and revenue of $26.8 billion. Wall Street was expecting the company to report earnings of 84 cents a share on revenue of $25.77 billion.