By PowerBuy // 7 March 2013 // Related Categories:

Which version of Microsoft Office is right for you?

To cloud or not to cloud – that is the question you have to answer before upgrading to the latest version of Microsoft Office. For the first time ever Microsoft gives you a choice: buy Office 2013 outright and it’s yours or subscribe to Office 365 and pay a monthly (or annual) fee.

Here are five things you need to consider:

  1. Should Office sit in the Cloud, or on your PC? Office 365 lives “in the Cloud” and the files you access and save are stored on a remote server, not on your PC or local server. Office 2013 however is installed on your PC and your files are saved on your hard drive. Office 365 requires an Internet connection to synchronise your files and it’s a great way to “back up” your files without worrying about losing the data on your PC.
  2. Own or subscribe? You never actually own Office 365, you just rent it. Office 2013 however is yours to use forever (well, for as long as Microsoft supports it). Whilst the perpetual license option may sound more attractive you’ll find that more and more software brands are moving to a rental model via the Cloud (and one day soon perpetual licenses will no longer exist).
  3. Which programs do you need? Microsoft wants you to buy Office 365 so they include the entire range of Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access). Office Home and Business 2013, however, does not include Publisher or Access.
  4. Which is cheaper? Get your calculator out because this is where it gets confusing. Office 365 is $119 per year and you can use it on up to 5 PCs/Macs (plus mobile devices) for the one price. If you use it on all 5 devices then you are effectively paying $23.80 per device per year. On the other hand Office 2013 starts at $169 per device for Home and Student and up to $599 for the Professional edition, so at first glance Office 365 seems much better value. But if you intend to keep your PC for a few years then Office 2013 might be better value. In addition, keep in mind new computers usually come with “OEM” options which provides you with Office 2013 for less than half the price.
  5. Which has the most bells and whistles? When you buy Office 365,Microsoft includes 60 minutes of Skype calls per month plus 20GB of online storage. This is a nice differentiator to Office 2013 and it may be enough to convince many of us to move to the Cloud version.

Hopefully now you have made your mind up on whether or not to go to the Cloud with Office. 

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