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Overview of Office 2013′s 6 versions

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There is little doubt as to the most popular office production suite. Microsoft Office has been the program of choice for almost two decades and shows no sign of giving this status up in the near future. In late January Microsoft officially released Office 2013, and as usual released numerous versions aimed at meeting the needs of different users.

Here’s a brief overview of the different versions of Office 2013 released last month.

A tale of three Offices There are three different types of Office: Standalone, Subscription and RT. The standalone versions are similar to older versions of Office, as you will be able to buy these in stores. You pay once, and have access to the software that comes in that bundle, as you would with older versions. The only difference is that older versions came on CDs or DVDs, while the newer versions are really a code that you enter on the Microsoft website to download Office.

Subscription based versions are referred to as Office 365 for home, and are sold on a per month/year basis. You will be able to buy a year subscription in stores, which will come with an activation code you can enter in the Office site to download the software. This option is heavily integrated with the cloud and users will be able to store and access documents by signing into their SkyDrive account. You can also store files on your computer.

The RT version of Office is a tablet specific version engineered for use with touchscreen devices. This version comes installed on all RT tablets like the Microsoft Surface. This will only work on tablets running ARM processors and will only be available to users who buy a specific tablet. You won’t be able to buy the software in stores, or online.

Office 365 versions

  • Office 365 Home Premium – This version has two pricing schemes: USD$9.99 a month or USD$99.99 a year. Users who chose this option will be able to install it on five different computers, and will be able to use: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher. You will also get 20GB free storage with SkyDrive and 60 Skype minutes a month. Office on Demand – a ‘streaming’ version of Office that you can access over the Internet is also included.
  • Office 365 University – This version is the same as Home Premium but is for university students and staff. The subscription costs USD$79.99 for four years, and can be installed on two different machines. If you are doing a part-time course, you should also be eligible for this.

Office 2013 standalone versions

  • Office Home & Student 2013 – This is the more traditional version of Office which costs USD$139.99 and can be installed on one computer. Users who purchase this version will get Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote, but won’t have the cloud based Office 365 extras.
  • Office Home & Business 2013 – At USD$219.99, this version comes with the same software as Office Home & Student, and also includes Outlook. It can be installed on one computer. This is the likely version small businesses will purchase if they don’t want to pay for a subscription.
  • Office Professional 2013 – Like other versions of Office 2013, this is a single install and costs USD$399.99. Primarily aimed at businesses, this version comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher.

It should be noted that the standalone versions of Office have a perpetual license which means that you can use them for as long as you like.

Is this Office 365 for business? The new versions of Office, including Office 365 Home Premium are technically for home use. While this new version contains the name ‘Office 365’ it is actually different from the Office 365 used in businesses. If you currently use the business offering in your company (email servers, instant messaging, SharePoint, etc), there are new versions coming February 27. If you don’t use Office 365 in your business, and are just looking for a new version of Office, Home Premium could be a good option.

Looking to upgrade to a new version of Office, or would like to learn more about how they can help your business, contact us today.