Help Me Choose: Productivity software

The new Office productivity software combines the latest Office applications with offerings like Skype world minutes and SkyDrive online storage. In addition, Microsoft now offers subscription versions of Office for home and school, designed for the way you use Office today.

When you’re deciding which version of Office to buy, consider how many computers or mobile devices you’d like to use the applications on and which applications you need.

5 devices and all Office applications

• If your home has multiple devices and you want all the applications, choose the Office 365 Home Premium subscription, which can be shared across 5 PCs, Macs and mobile devices. That way you can switch between devices and pick up right where you left off.

1 PC and essential Office applications
• If you want the latest versions of the essential Office applications for one PC, choose Office Home and Student 2013.
• If you want the latest versions of the essential Office applications for one PC, including Outlook to keep your home and work life organized, choose Office Home and Business 2013.
• If you want the latest versions of the essential Office applications for one PC, including Outlook for email and Publisher to create marketing materials, choose Office Professional 2013.

Note: Office Home and Student 2013 is for noncommercial use only. Office Home and Business 2013 and Office Professional 2013 are ideal for commercial use.

What’s included

  • Updated applications — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access and OneNote* (included applications vary by suite - please check what’s available by clicking on the Feature Comparison tab).
  • Personalized settings and documents are available every time you sign in.
  • New support for touch and stylus* in addition to keyboard and mouse on touch-enabled devices.
  • 7GB of SkyDrive® storage, enabling you to save to SkyDrive automatically, and easily access and share documents from almost anywhere* .
Comparing Office suites against Office 365 Home Premium

Pick the right Office for you.

    Home & Student 2013 Home & Business 2013 Professional 2013Office 365 Home Premium
Licenses 1 PC 1 PC 1 PC 5 PCs or Macs
plus select mobile
Core Office applications:
Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
Digital notebook:
Email, calendars and tasks:
 Yes  YesYes
Publishing and databases:
Publisher,* Access.* 
Office on multiple devices:
Install Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs and on select mobile devices when available.*
Personalized experience:
Always have your applications, settings and documents accessible when you need them.                                                                   
Office on Demand:
Stream full-featured Office applications*  to any internet-connected PC with Office on Demand.* 
SkyDrive® + 20GB storage:
Save documents online to your SkyDrive for easy access and sharing virtually anywhere.* 
Easy annual subscription:
Includes ongoing access to version upgrades, multiple device installs and access to multiple languages. 

1. What version of Windows do I need to run Office 365 or the new Office suites?
    Windows 7 or Windows 8 is required.

2. What is the difference between the Office suites and Office 365 Home Premium?

  • Office suites are designed for use on a single PC and cannot be transferred to a different PC.
  • Office 365 Home Premium is a subscription service that includes all Office applications. It can be installed on up to 5 PCs and includes more cloud services, such as extra SkyDrive online storage* for home use.

3. Can I open Office 365 or Office documents using earlier versions of Office?

    Yes, you can open, edit and save documents, workbooks and presentations that were created in newer versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint by installing the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack

4. Do I need to buy Office for my Windows RT device?
    No, Office Home and Student 2013 RT comes preinstalled.

5. Does Office come with discs?    
    Discs are not included. The suite is preinstalled on the PC at the time of purchase and available for download.

6. What is "the cloud"?
    Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the internet).

7. Are the Office applications installed on my PC or are they actually in the cloud?
    For all editions, applications are installed on your PC.

8. What is the minimum hard disk space required to install Office?
    3.0 gigabytes (GB) of hard disk space must be available to install Office.

9. What is SkyDrive?
    SkyDrive is online (cloud) storage that you can upload your files to and then access those files from anywhere. Office 365 Home Premium comes with 20GB of SkyDrive storage.

10. What are Skype world minutes?
    Skype is an application that lets you call phones and other Skype accounts over the internet. Skype world minutes are used to pay for the charges you incur for calling a phone in another country. Your Office 365 Home Premium subscription comes with 60 minutes per month to call phones in 40 countries .

11. Which of the following is a key feature that is unique to Office 365 subscription in comparison to Office suites?
    Product upgrades are included as long as the customer has a current subscription.

12. Why isn't OneNote included with the system?
    OneNote is not part of the factory-installed version of Office; however, it is installed on your system. It will not be visible in the "Tiles" section but go to "Desktop" and you will see it listed under the desktop applications.

13. Did you know that with Office you can:

  • Access information anywhere using your SkyDrive account. The new Office is cloud-connected, and your documents are accessible from any device.
  • Keep your hands free by privately viewing speaker notes, upcoming slides and presentation time through new features in PowerPoint Presenter View.
  • Use touch to take notes, write emails and access features with Office and Windows 8.
  • Easily access recent documents in the cloud or from the newly designed Start screen.
  • Simply sign in to Office and documents are easily accessible. When you come back, you pick up where you left off.
  • Capture, organize and share information in a digital notebook, including notes, photos, web pages and media — accessible across devices from anywhere.
  • Save to the cloud with SkyDrive to access documents from almost anywhere.
  • Save documents online in SkyDrive when signed in to Office. When offline, documents are saved to a SkyDrive folder on the local PC.
  • Office responds to touch and stylus as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse, so you can easily create, edit and read documents and presentations.
  • An enhanced reading experience, regardless of screen size, makes it simple to zoom in and out, and use touch to turn pages.
  • Format and rearrange data easily — no formulas or macros required.


  • For touch features, a touch-enabled device is required.
  • For cloud services, syncing documents online and any application that requires an internet connection, internet and/or carrier network connectivity is required and charges may apply.