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Are you ready to rent Microsoft Office rather than buy it?

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Big push ... Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives his presentation at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8.

Big push ... Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives his presentation at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8.

With the launch of Office 365 Home Premium, Microsoft is offering month-by-month subscriptions for home users.

Subscription pricing models have always been attractive for businesses but now they seem to be the way of the future for many consumer products and services. Large businesses have enjoyed this kind of flexibility for a while when it comes to paying for Microsoft Office, but today's launch of Office 365 Home Premium brings subscription pricing to home users. Keep in mind this is for "non-commercial use" and there are different plans for business users.

For $12 per month or $119 per year, Australians can install Office 365 Home Premium on five computers, which can be a mix of Windows and Mac. This isn't a stripped-down, browser-based Office suite such as Google Docs. You get full Office 2013 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher and Access to install on your computer as if you'd purchased them outright. Microsoft also throws in access to basic, family-friendly collaboration tools.

To sweeten the Office 365 deal, Microsoft throws in 60 minutes worth of Skype calls, an additional 20GB of online SkyDrive storage and "Office on Demand" which lets you run full versions of Office programs on any PC via the internet. It's also compatible with Office Web Apps so you can edit your documents in a browser.