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By Vijaykumar Meti | January 31, 2013 1:15 AM PST

Microsoft launched an online version of its flagship Office application Jan.29, to rival 'Cloud storage' system Google Drive.

Aptly christened Office 365 Home Premium, the Cloud service is designed for a growing number of people who expect the work station to be at their fingertips on all occasions.

It allows users to access World, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and other apps on up to five devices including Windows Tablets, PCs and Macs and comes with an extra SkyDrive storage and Skype calling at subscription charges $99.99 annually.

Speaking during the Office online version launch, Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, Microsoft said: "Today's launch of Office 365 Home Premium marks the next big step in Microsoft's transformation to a devices and services business. This is so much more than just another release of Office. This is Office reinvented as a Consumer Cloud Service with all the full-featured Office applications people know and love, together with impressive new Cloud and social benefits."

Also, the company highlighted how it can deliver many new features and services to the subscribers as soon as they are ready. The new version of Office is also a service and not a piece of software that can be bought in the shops. It constantly gets updates and can be used on several devices at once.

"This is a major leap forward," Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office Division said, adding: "People's needs change rapidly, and Office 365 Home Premium will change with them."

Simultaneously, Microsoft also released the University edition of Office 365 for college or university students, faculties and staffs at subscription charges of $79.99 for four years. 

Coinciding with the launch, the company also released findings of a global survey (comprising study sample of 10,000 people based in over 20 countries) which showed, nearly 60 percent of people said they do not have the time to do the things they want to do, and more than 80 percent said they could save one or more hours a day if they were better organized. Office 365 Home Premium is designed to help people be more productive from virtually anywhere and provides the flexibility to do the things they want.

"Between kids and career, I'm never completely at home or completely at work - and thanks to technology, that suits me just fine," said Jen Singer, an author, blogger and mom of two teen boys. "With Office 365 Home Premium, I can work around my kids' schedules, so I can drive the soccer carpool, coordinate errands while at a doctor's office and still hit my deadlines at work. And, with one subscription for everyone in my family, it's an absolute steal."

The Office 365 Home Premium is available in 162 markets in 21 languages with latest and most complete set of office applications (World, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access).

Not Available On iPad And Android Devices 

Microsoft is yet to launch an Office online version that is compatible with Apple Inc's iPad or iPhone and with smartphones or tablets that run on Android operating system. 

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