Decoding Microsoft Office: Which version does what?

Microsoft doesn't make it easy on mere mortals who want to understand which edition of Office software fits their needs. Here's help.

By Elsa Wenzel, PC World |  Enterprise Software, Microsoft Office, office 2013

  • Office Home & Student for $140 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote)
  • Office Home & Business for $220 (adds Outlook)
  • Office Professional for $400 (adds Publisher and Access)

Alternatively, you can get the applications with one of several Office 365 subscriptions, below. If you're one of the few people who work off the grid, Office 2013 is best for you. But for the majority of users--those who can't work without Internet access--Office 365 offers more practical options, and its options tend to be a better deal.

Office 365

Office 365 is the umbrella brand covering both Office 2013 software and its related online tools. It's cloud-connected and always on, with updates released on a rolling basis. By default, you save your data to the cloud: Consumers share to the SkyDrive storage service, while businesses stash and share data via SharePoint. For Apple aficionados, Office 365 includes Office for Mac. Here's a guide to choosing the version of Office 365 that will best suit your needs:

Does your whole household use Office? This one's for you. Office 365 Home Premium costs $100 per year, with installs for five PCs or Macs in addition to mobile devices. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access come with it, as doe 20GB of SkyDrive additional storage and an hour of monthly Skype calls.

Office 365 University includes all of the above but with two Office 2013 licenses per user. It comes at a steep discount for students, faculty, and staff: only $80 for four years.

Microsoft has not yet announced anything about Office 365 for government or nonprofits.

Office 365 Small Business Premium will be available "with new capabilities" on February 27, alongside the two following business packages. The apps included are Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. It costs $150 per person annually.

Office 365 ProPlus is the same as Small Business Premium, but expanded for 25 user accounts, with five installations per user, available February 27, pricing to be announced.

Office 365 Enterprise: It's basically ProPlus, plus Exchange Online, with archiving for company email, as well as SharePoint and Lync for collaboration. Also available February 27, pricing to be announced.

Office for Mac

For those who haven't pledged allegiance to either Redmond or Cupertino exclusively, you'll get Office for Mac included with an Office 365 subscription.

Office RT


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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