Help Me Choose: Productivity software

The new Office productivity software combines the latest Office applications with offerings like Skype world minutes and OneDrive 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.

Multiple devices and all Office applications

• If your home has multiple devices and you want all the applications, choose the Office 365 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.
Note: Office Home and Student 2013 is for noncommercial use only. Office Home and Business 2013 is ideal for commercial use.
Comparing Office suites against Office 365 Home Premium

Find the Office that's right for you.

Home &
Home &
Office 365  Home**Office 365
For Households with Students sharing one PC. For households and home offices sharing one PC.Offices for families. Get installed applications on multiple devices, online storage, and more.Office for you. Get installed applications on multiple devices, online storage, and more.
 Installs: PCs or MAC®Only PCOnly PC PCs or MAC®Only PC
Installs: Tablets - TabletTablet
Core Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint,
OneNote  Core Office applications
 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Email, calendars and tasks: Outlook
Emails, calendars & tasks
 Yes Yes Yes
Desktop publishing & databases: Publisher, Access*
Desktop publishing & databases
   Yes Yes
Easy smartphone access: View and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the fly*  TabletTablet 
Skype 60 minutes/month to phone in 60+ countries    Yes Yes
OneDriveOneDrive online storage : Save documents online for easy access and sharing virtually everywhere 
  1 Terabyte OneDrive
storage for up to 5 users
1 Terabyte OneDrive
storage for 1 user
Easy subscription: Renewal requiredOne time purchaseOne time purchase 1 year 1 year
Automatic updates: Always have the latest Office

Office 365 is the smart way to buy Office.

Available as an annual subscription, Office 365 gives you the latest installed Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, plus cloud services so you can use Office across all your favorite devices. Upgrades are included, so everything stays up-to-date.

Full installed applicationsAccess across devicesPremium services
full microsoft officeaccess across devicesPremium Service

  • Get full, installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote*, Publisher*, and Access*
  • 5 PCs or Macs + 5 tablets + Access on Android phones, iPhones, and Windows Phones*
  • Extra 1 Terabyte of storage for each user (up to 5 users)*.
  • 60 minutes of Skype™ calls each month to phones in 60+ countries
  • Always have access to the most up-to-date version of your applications and services as soon as they're available
With the latest Office, your favorite applications are even smarter.


Add pictures, videos, or online media to your Word documents with a simple drag and drop.
Show your style and professionalism with templates, plus save time. Browse Word templates in more than 40 categories.


Recommended Charts helps you visualize data quickly and effectively in Excel.
In Excel 2013 each workbook has its own window, making it easier to work on two workbooks at once. It also makes life easier when you’re working on two monitors.

Power Point

Reply to comments right next to the area you're discussing, so it's easy to see who's commenting about what in PowerPoint.
No more eyeballing objects on your slides to see if they're lined up. Smart Guides automatically appear when your objects are close to even, and tell you when objects are spaced evenly.


See your Outlook schedule, an appointment, or details about a contact without changing screens.
The People Card collects all the key details about a contact in one place: phone, email, address, social media, and more. From the card, schedule a meeting, send an instant message, or call – a one-stop-shop for all communication.


OneNote lets you capture, organize, and share all types of information —photos, web pages, and media–in a digital notebook that can be accessed virtually anywhere.
Smoothly draw, erase, and edit with your finger, stylus, or mouse on any touch-capable device. If you need to share handwritten notes and care about legibility, OneNote can convert handwriting to text.


Publisher is the simple path to professional publications that make an impact.
Use Publisher to search your online albums on Facebook, Flickr and other services and add pictures directly to the document, without having to save them first.


Access lets you build a database fast to organize data, accessible anywhere online.
Never again get "lost in the data." A standardized app framework makes navigating apps familiar and easy.


With Office 365, you get an extra 1 Terabyte of online storage per user so you can access your photos and documents from anywhere, on most devices.


With Office 365, get 60 Skype world minutes per month to call phones in over 60 countries*.
What is Office 365?
Office 365 is a subscription version of Microsoft Office. An Office 365 subscription gives you full, installed versions of familiar Office applications across your devices, and includes 1TB of online storage (plus additional subscription benefits) so you can access your files and get things done from virtually anywhere and any device. Each Office 365 subscription includes the latest versions of Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook for PC, Mac, tablets (Windows tablets, Android tablets, iPads) and smartphones (iPhones, Android phones). Plus subscription benefits such as Skype world minutes and OneDrive online storage. Subscribers will also receive future rights to version upgrades as well as per-use rights across multiple PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. The Office applications you can use across PCs, Macs and tablets vary by platform and device.

What is Office 365 Personal?
Office 365 Personal is a subscription version of Microsoft Office and is the best value for a household. Install full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access on up to one PC/Mac, plus one tablet, plus one smartphone. It includes 1TB of online storage so you can access your documents, photos and more from virtually anywhere and any device Plus 60 Skype world minutes/month. Subscribers will also receive future rights to version upgrades as well as per-use rights across multiple PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. The Office applications you can use across PCs, Macs and tablets vary by platform and device.

What is the difference between Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home?
Office 365 Home is for an entire household; Office 365 Personal is for an individual. The key difference is the number of devices on which you can install Office and ability to share subscription benefits.
With Office 365 Home: Install Office on up to five PCs/ Macs, five tablets, and five smartphones with up to 5 terabytes, to share across your family. Get 60 Skype world minutes/month per user for up to 5 users in your household.
With Office 365 Personal, install on one PC/Mac, one tablet, and one smartphone, plus get 1 TB OneDrive online storage and 60 Skype world minutes/month.

What is the difference between Office 365 and Office Home & Student 2013?
Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal include additional installed applications plus other subscription benefits that are enabled over the Internet, including online storage with OneDrive and Skype world minutes for home use. Office 365 subscriptions can be used on PCs, Macs, and tablets and are available as an annual or monthly subscription.
Office Home & Student 2013 and Home & Business 2013 include applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook; they are available as a one-time purchase for use on a single PC. Office for Mac 2011 versions are also available.

How do I know if my computer can run Office?
You can install Office on PCs or Windows tablets running Windows 7 or higher, and Macs with Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. Office for iPad can be installed on iPads running iOS 7.0 or higher.

Can people with an earlier version of Office open documents I created using Office 365 or Office 2013?
Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 365, or Office 2013 users can open documents created without any additional action. Customers using earlier versions of Office may need to download and install a compatibility pack.

Do I keep control of my documents with an Office 365 subscription? What happens if I cancel my subscription?
Yes. Documents that you have created belong fully to you. You can choose to store them online on OneDrive or locally on your PC or Mac. As the expiration date approaches, you will receive notifications in the Office applications and via email, alerting you to the upcoming expiration. If you choose to let your subscription expire, the Office software applications enter read-only mode, which means that you can view or print documents, but you can’t create new documents or edit existing documents.
To return to full Office functionality, you can purchase a new Office 365 subscription. You could also return to full functionality using an older version of Office, or you can use Office Online for free for basic editing.

Is Internet access required for Office?
You do not need to be connected to the Internet to use the Office applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, because the applications are fully installed on your computer.
Internet access is required to install and activate Office. For Office 365 you will need to go online to manage your subscription account, for example to install Office on other machines, or to change billing options. You will also need to connect to the Internet regularly to keep your version of Office up-to-date and benefit from automatic upgrades. Internet connectivity is also required to access OneDrive.

Will Office be identical on a PC, Mac and mobile device?
No. Office applications are tailored to work best on each platform and device. The Office applications available for Mac users and the version numbers may be different from those available for PC users.

What are Skype world minutes?
With Skype you can makes calls over the Internet through your computer, mobile phone, and other devices. Call, video call, and instant message other people with a Skype account for free, or you can use Skype world minutes to call friends or family whether they have a Skype account or not on their mobile phone or landline.
You can use Skype world minutes from any device where you have Skype installed, whether it’s your mobile phone, tablet, TV, or other device, subject to country/region availability. Each active Office 365 subscription is entitled to 60 Skype world minutes per month; this allowance resets each month.

What is OneDrive?
OneDrive is an online storage service that you can use to store documents, notes, photos, music, videos, or other types of files. With OneDrive you can access your files from nearly any device and you can share them with others. All OneDrive users receive 15 GB of storage with OneDrive for free. An Office 365 subscription gives subscribers an additional 1 TB of OneDrive online storage.

How do I install Office?
To install Office 365, visit on the PC or Mac that you want to install Office on, sign in with the Microsoft account that you used to purchase the subscription, and then follow the onscreen instructions to install Office.

Which versions of Office applications are available for Mac? For Windows?
Office applications available for a Mac are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. Publisher and Access applications are not available for Mac. Current Office application versions for Office 365 are Office 2013 for Windows and Office 2011 for Mac. Customers with an active subscription will be entitled to the newest versions when available.