Looking at updating or buying Microsoft Office? You may be wondering what Office 365 is and if it’s right for you or your company. In a nutshell, Office 365 is a month-to-month or one-year lease of Microsoft Office Professional with a few bonuses, (an extra 20GB on Microsoft SkyDrive per user, Office on smartphones and tablets and from any internet-enabled computer, 60 Skype minutes, business class e-mail, and a public website that is easy to setup and maintain with no hosting fees.) Let’s look at a few more of the benefits you can get by choosing Office 365.
Price for a start, Office Professional 2013 weighs in at a hefty $499; this includes the full suite of Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Outlook, and Publisher, and you may only install it on one computer system. Office 365, on the other hand, is a $19.95 per month subscription. If you pay that subscription annually, you save a bit more at $50 a year. The best part about this is, not only does this end up being one quarter of the cost of Office Professional, but Office 365 allows you to install full versions of the entire suite across five different computers, PC or Mac, for the same price. So if you need Office on your home office computer, your laptop, your kids’ school computer you are free to do that, and you’d still have two licenses left. Use all five licenses and you’re only paying $3.30 per month per computer. That’s giving free a run for its money.
As I mentioned earlier on, Office 365 also comes with an online service that allows you to connect to all the powerful apps that come with Office Professional from anywhere. So even if you don’t have your computer with you, you can open up a document stored on SkyDrive from anywhere and work it; Nice if you’re out of the house and away from your computers. In older versions of Office 365, you were limited to these online apps, but now you get both, the full installable version of Office Professional and the online “virtual” edition, so whether you’re connected to the world wide web or not, Office is right at your fingertips.
Finally, one of the biggest benefits of Office 365 is also a benefit to Microsoft itself: Free updates. With Office 365, you get the latest versions, bug fixes, and security fixes immediately because you’re leasing the service. As long as you maintain your Office 365 subscription, you’ll be updated to the newest versions automatically and without needing to shell out the money to buy an upgrade. So if you’re looking for access to the Professional suite of Microsoft Office apps, you want to install to more than one device, or you think you might need Office while you’re out and about, Microsoft Office 365 can do what you need and comes at an affordable price.