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Microsoft Office 2013 or Microsoft Office 365?

A client recently inquired whether they should purchase Microsoft Home and Business 2013 or Microsoft Office 365 Small Business Premium. While this client primarily uses Word and Excel and may not currently need everything that comes with Office 365, here is why we still recommend it.


Microsoft Home and Business 2013 $219.00 (For a single PC; 1 User on 1 PC) Download at Amazon.com.

  1. Includes a single install of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook.
  2. The software can be installed on one PC.


Microsoft Office 365 Small Business Premium $15/month or $150/year if pre-paid annually (1 User on 5 PCs).microsoft 365

  1. Includes Office Professional. Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access and Lync.
  2. This includes five local installs that do not require you to be online once they are installed. You obviously need to be online to download, install and activate.
  3. Office 365 Small Business Premium also includes web versions of Word, Excel, etc. These require you to be online. However, the programs do not need to be installed on the PC or tablet you are working on.
  4. Office 365 has an online version of Outlook that runs very similar to the one on your desktop including emails, contacts, calendar, etc. Again, this requires that you are online but you can access Outlook from anywhere with this.
  5. Office 365 includes Hosted Exchange. All of the features found in a server based Exchange such as shared calendars, permissions, etc.


Here are some of the factors that may influence your decision to go with Office 365:

  1. You need Office programs beyond the ones included with Home and Business. For example, you need Access or Publisher. Buying these separately or buying Office Professional would add a lot to the cost and would justify just getting Office 365 in the first place.
  2. You need to run office on multiple PCs. If you want to install Office on your office PC, laptop PC and home PC, go with Office 365. It allows you up to five installs for YOU personally. That is much better than buying Home and Business three times.
  3. You need one of the add-ons to Office 365. This would include Lync or Sharepoint.
  4. You need the mobile apps
  5. You want to always be up to date. Being a subscription, Office 365 is continually updated. If a new version comes out, you get it.


Office 365 costs more in the long run but you get a lot more. The question for you, if you only need Word and Excel, is whether that extra “stuff” means anything to you and whether it makes it worth the extra annual cost. It took us a while to warm up paying annually, but we really do prefer the options that come with Microsoft 365.

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One Response

  1. Office 365 support and services are all about creating custom solutions with flexibility for the businesses. Swiftly switch your business to Microsoft’s Office 365 and reap its wide range of advantages. And remember, Office 365 services are more than just a set of tools. Look at its unbeaten benefits to the small organizations.

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