How and where to buy Office 365 and Office 2013

Updated at 2:27 p.m. PT: This story has been updated to further clarify the differences among the Office options.

Along with all the new features, the latest version of Microsoft Office, released today (read CNET's review), is now available as a standalone suite and by subscription. The options are tailored toward different use cases, depending on your productivity requirements.

Office 365 Home Premium, $99.99 per year, five PCs/Macs/Windows tablets: This is the "Microsoft recommended" version of Office. It comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access, 20GB of SkyDrive storage, 60 … Read more

YouTube to try out paid channel subscriptions, says AdAge

Would you pay to watch a YouTube channel?

The company is aiming to introduce paid channel subscriptions this year, according to a story out today from AdAge.

Citing "multiple people familiar with the plans," AdAge reports that YouTube has already talked to a small selection of producers about developing channels that would require a fee. The first such channels would reportedly cost users between $1 and $5 a month, according to two of the sources.

The paid channels would likely be created by large media outfits, such as Machinima, Maker Studios, and Fullscreen, whose current channels have already … Read more

Computer prodigy Aaron Swartz remembered

Monday's CNET Update:

Stories from today's tech news roundup:

- Internet activist Aaron Swartz, 26, committed suicide. He faced $4 million in fines and 50 years in prison for chargest hat he stole millions of academic papers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and from JSTOR. In the wake of his death, MIT is conducting an investigation of the school's role in the events before he took his life. Researchers have paid tribute to Swartz by posting links to copyright-protected papers on Twitter, to honor his campaign for open access to documents on the Internet.

- Samsung'… Read more

Text and call for free with Libon

Libon is a communications app that lets you make free calls and texts with other Libon users, create custom greetings, and offers a subscription service that unlocks certain features, but gives you limited talk time.

Like popular chat app Whatsapp Messenger, Libon lets you chat with other friends who have the app, but you also have the ability to make free calls to other Libon users with HD-quality sound.

Main features Upon launch, you'll see the app's home screen with icons for seeing the latest notifications, your contact list, your recorded greetings, a call button, and a write … Read more

DirecTV to hike subscription rates in February 2013

Ever-higher subscription fees for satellite and cable are a fact of life, and DirecTV confirmed as much by announcing rate increases yesterday that will take effect in February 2013.

The average subscriber's bill will go up about 4.5 percent, although the individual increases vary quite a bit. The entry-level Choice package goes up a buck from $63.99 to $64.99, while the top-end Premiere package goes from $119.99 to $124.99. An HBO subscription goes from $15.99 to $17.99.

Here's the full rate card with the new pricing.

DirecTV claims that its own … Read more

Apple Newsstand ropes in longtime holdout WSJ

Longtime holdout of Apple's Newsstand service, The Wall Street Journal changed course today, and is now offering a complete version of its paper through the paid subscription service.

The Journal has had a reader app on the App Store since early 2010, but did not allow users to subscribe using their Apple ID and linked credit card account, something that gives Apple a cut of the profit. That business model, along with a system that requires users to opt-in to sharing some of their demographic information, has been irksome for some publishers.

The new service, which went into effect … Read more

Washington Post said to add paywall for online news

It's looking like one of the last vestiges to provide free online national news may be coming to a close. Joining its other paywall comrades, the Washington Post is said to start charging for its online content in 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Inside sources told the Journal that the details are still being ironed out, but most likely the D.C. paper will start charging a subscription fee by next summer.

It's no secret that the newspaper industry is in dire straights. Several papers, like the Rocky Mountain News, have gone belly up and many … Read more

Spotify tops 1 million paid U.S. subscribers in one year

NEW YORK -- Spotify now has 5 million paid subscribers around the world, a number that includes 1 million U.S. customers, the company said today. It has 20 million active users worldwide, said CEO Daniel Ek.

At a press event here, Ek said that the company hit 1 million U.S. paid subscribers in a year when it took others a decade to accumulate that amount. That seemed like a thinly veiled shot at Rhapsody, one of the oldest music subscription services.

Among the news items from the event: Metallica announced that all its music is now available on Spotify.Read more

Battle begins between Foursquare, Yelp

Tuesday's CNET Update is rating you on a 10-point scale:

Today's tech news roundup looks at the growing competition between Foursquare and Yelp. Foursquare launched a new 10-point ratings system for local businesses, which is what Yelp has been doing. But Yelp has been creeping in on Foursquare's territory recently by highlighting friend activity. Yelp also rolled out an app update that displays restaurant menus and reviews of each menu item.

Amazon is now offering a payment option of $8 a month for Prime, the same price as Netflix and Hulu. The yearly $80 subscription is still … Read more Record club for the 21st century

If there's one thing music lovers enjoy, it's discovering new favorite artists, and there are now a wealth of online services that offer this. I was first exposed to digital music subscriptions in 1999 when They Might Be Giants released "Long Tall Weekend" via eMusic. It was one of the first Internet-only releases, and while listening to those files now shows the limitations of MP3 at the time, eMusic rebooted a concept that had fallen into disaffection: the "record club."

The first major record club began in 1955 by Columbia Records and was a way to sell music directly to the customer often with a "record of the month" suggestion. While the service and the others like it have faded from popularity, digital music sellers are now trying something similar.… Read more