It’s still not clear when exactly Microsoft is going to release Office 2013, but at this point the leaks are so prolific, it may as well make a clean breast of it. In the last few days alone, more about the pricing has been ‘leaked’, and now word that some home users will also be able to get their hands on the new suite.

Office 2013 In HUP

At this point, so much has come out about Office 2013 that all that really remains to be done is to confirm the information that has been making the rounds since late last year, and even earlier.

That said, Microsoft has announced that certain business users will be able to get it as part of its Home Users Program (HUP), which enables the employees of enterprises with a Microsoft Software Assurance deal to buy it off the enterprise. Office 2013 is now part of the program and is available all around the world to these users for US$ 9.95 or £8.95 in the UK. Users get Office Professional Plus which comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, Lync, OneNote and InfoPath.

Workers can also buy Office for Mac Home & Business 2011 for US$ 9.95, which comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Software obtained through HUP is intended for use on workers' home PCs or Macs and depends on the company’s continued participation in the program. And no, you can’t just claim to be an employee of one of the benefiting firms. To participate in the scheme users have to be given a password to enter the HUP website and buy it.

For the rest of us on the sidelines, we’ll just have to wait and watch, but by previous Microsoft timings, the new releases generally come close to the addition of software to the HUP schemes.

Office 2013 Pricing Revealed

The other thing that has emerged during the week, and which is closely related, is that more pricing options appear to have been confirmed by Microsoft. According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, the new pricing is largely in tune with pricing that was leaked in October. Earlier this week, she says, a slide confirming those prices was sent to some of its partners.

Learning Opportunities

Microsoft has, since last summer’s preview, made much of the fact that the online versions and subscription versions of its Office products makes both functional sense and financial sense, and has since then been actively encouraging people to go this route.

The prices that have been leaked confirm that it wouldn't really make sense to buy it outright completely. As an added incentive, Office 2013 on a subscription basis will also entitle users to multi-device installation, something that the full purchased version precludes.

So, according to the leaks, Office Standard 2013 will be priced at US$ 369 and Office Professional Plus 2013 at US$ 499. This means that form everything we know so far, pricing should be as follows:

  • Microsoft Office Standard 2013US$ 369
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013US$ 499
  • Microsoft Office Home & Business 2013 US$ 219
  • Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 US$ 139
  • Microsoft Office RT 2013 (Windows RT tablet version) US$ 139

Most are not available yet commercially --  to those that don’t have access to the HUP scheme, for example -- but with the official launch, the new version will be available for purchase commercially, if you don’t buy a machine onto which it is already loaded.Microsoft will also make its updated Office WebApps available at that point.