Why Office 365 is a better deal than Office 2013

Microsoft is offering the new Office suite in two versions, but it has stacked the deck to make your buying decision a no-brainer.

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

Depending on how many computers and devices you want to install Office 2013 on through Office 365, and which version of Office 2013 you're comparing to, it will take somewhere between one and a half to 20 years ($400 multiplied by five to install Office 2013 Pro on five machines comes to $2000--or 20 years of Office 365) for Office 2013 to become the more affordable choice.

The only scenario that truly makes sense for Office 2013 is if you only need the software in Office 2013 Home & Student, and only on a single PC. In that case, you can spend the $140 and be done. Once you throw in a second PC, though, or if you need the additional tools like Outlook, Access, or Publisher, the math is heavily skewed in favor of the Office 365 subscription.

The beauty of Office 365 is that you get more than just Office 2013 for your money--it also comes with benefits that Office 2013 lacks. It comes with an additional 20GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes per month of international Skype calls. Office 365 also has a new feature called Office On Demand that enables you to stream virtualized versions of the full desktop software to any Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC.

But, even for other platforms or mobile devices there are Web-based versions of the Office applications, and as long as you store your files in SkyDrive you can access them seamlessly from virtually any Web-connected device. The world doesn't end if your laptop is stolen or destroyed, and you can still edit a crucial client presentation even if you don't have your PC with you.

Even if you only need the applications in Office 2013 Home & Student, it would cost $700 to put that software on five machines, and it would take seven years to break even on the cost of the Office 365 subscription. By that time, there will be a new version of Office (or two, maybe three). If you buy Office 2013 Home & Student, you'll still have it in the year 2020. But, if you subscribe to Office 365 you will always have the most current version of Office available.

Microsoft has set things up so that the decision is already made. You are free to purchase Office 2013, but Office 365 has very clear advantages, and it makes more sense financially in almost every scenario.


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