Office 365 and Office 2013 bear many similarities as well as many differences. However, at a glance they may not seem very easy to distinguish and knowing which matter and which do not can a bit of a chore. This fact is especially so, if you visit the product page offered by Microsoft. The good news is that I have sorted through the information available and condensed it to just the parts that matter most. Below, I present to you my findings:
- Office on demand – Allows you to use office any computer by streaming it
- Always up to date – Automatically adds new features and security updates in the background
- Comes with 60 skype world minutes per month
- 100% offline – Once office 2013 is activated, you do not need an internet connection to use it*
- Permanent use – Your license for office 2013 lets you use it for as long as you’d like
PRICING and LICENSING
- Currently costs $10/month or $100 a year if paid upfront.
- Can be installed on 5 computers, which brings the price to $2/month or $20/year per computer.
- Office 2013 Home & Student costs $139.99. Doesn’t include Outlook, Access or Publisher.
- Office 2013 Professional costs $399.99.
- Office 2013 is only licensed for a single installation that is not transferable
A number of free alternatives are available that are similar to office 2013 and office 365
- Google Docs – Offers basic online editing and collaboration. Native open document standard and compatible with office formats as well
- Microsoft Skydrive – Offers basic online editing and collaboration. Native office format and compatible with open document standards.
- Libre Office – Standalone suite similar to office home & student. Does not include email editor or program similar to onenote
- Open Office – Very similar to libre office in terms of functionality and feature set.
Putting all of the individual features aside, I think that the big picture difference between office 365 and office 2013 is that 365 is a managed solution. In other words, your regular fee means that someone else, namely Microsoft, takes care of making sure that the program runs properly and is regularly patched and updated. If you manage any kind of personal and private information on your computer, you should be aware that some security experts cite hacking trends that seem to be targeting home users with versions of office that are not patched. PCWorld quotes Kurt Baumgartner as saying ” Microsoft Office has been a very popular target as an attack vector for spear phishing attacks in 2012.”**
*Note: You still need internet access in order to download any available updates offered by Microsoft