MS Office is most likely one of the first things that come to mind when you think of good office suites. It has everything you’ll possibly ever need and even more and nothing indicates that things would change anytime soon. There are different versions available so everyone can choose the best one for his needs.

For example, if there are more people in your household who’d be interested in using MS Office, there are special Office versions dedicated for families – these are extremely cost-efficient when it comes to price to license ratio. Another thing to consider when choosing the best Microsoft Office Suite is if you’d rather pay for the software once and use it without limits, or pay a monthly fee and access the most recent Office version.

Finally, some Office bundles may come with apps that you won’t need – it could be a wise move to think about the matter thoroughly, so you can decide if some extra programs are worth your money. It may turn out that you don’t need them, which should save you some money.

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Microsoft Office Professional 2021 Plus 94% Read more
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Let’s take a little look at different Office versions to find out which MS Office Suite is right for you.

Releases, does the number really matter? (2016, 2019, 2021)

MS Office comes in many different versions and finding out which is which may be confusing for those who don’t follow the latest news from Microsoft. Since Office 2016, new iterations of the software can be treated as standalone updates for the 2016 version. Office 2019 and Office 2021 are the major releases – each major release brings a lot of new features and improvements to the table, which makes every new major release a thing that’s worth considering buying.

The thing is, Microsoft allows people to access Office apps in two ways. One is to buy a lifetime license for MS Office, and the other is to subscribe to the Microsoft 365 service. If you’re going for a lifetime license, you will pay only once and you’ll be able to use the software indefinitely. However, there’s a catch – you won’t be able to upgrade your version to the next major release.

This means that although you can buy the most recent Office bundle, it won’t stay fresh forever. With each major release, there will most likely appear entirely new and useful tools and features and you won’t have access to them unless you’ll buy the new version of MS Office. In this case, yes, the number matters – each new number indicates a new major release of MS Office, and you’ll have to stick to the one you already bought before unless you’re ready to pay the full price again for the new version.

In the case of Microsoft 365, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee, but in return, you’ll be given the privilege of using the most recent Office apps all the time without virtually any restrictions. In this case, the number does not matter and shouldn’t concern you, because no matter what is the current release, you’ll always be able to access the most recent version of MS Office.

Do you need Home & Student or Home & Business?

If you want to get MS Office as a lifetime license, you’ve got two main options: Home & Student or Home & Business. There’s not much difference between the two, but the business version is significantly more expensive. Why’s that?

It all comes down to the type of license under which each of these two versions is being sold. Home & Student is meant exclusively with personal use in mind while Home & Business can also be used by companies and institutions. If you’re planning to equip your company with an Office suite, getting the Home & Business edition will be mandatory. Otherwise, Home & Student should suffice.

The Home & Business edition also includes Outlook, a powerful and multi-purpose e-mail, calendar, and meeting manager, which doesn’t appear in the Home & Student edition.

Microsoft 365 – Office in the Cloud

Microsoft 365 is a solid alternative for those who want to always have access to the most recent Office apps available. Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service that allows people to use the entirety of MS Office Suite for a monthly fee. Microsoft 365 comes with premium versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other programs. However, that’s not where the goodies stop – as an active subscriber, you’ll also get access to a variety of different options and features, such as the possibility to use OneDrive cloud storage. With Microsoft 365 you’ll get 1 TB of storage in the cloud, where you can safely store your Office documents without worrying about losing them.

Microsoft 365 suite is the most complete Office experience up to date – with MS365 you don’t have to worry about upgrading your software to the latest version, because you’re automatically getting access to the most recent releases.

What are the different Microsoft Office Suites?

Just like the MS Office that’s being sold in form of a one-time purchase,  Microsoft 365 service comes in several different variants, which makes it possible to pick the version that’s best suited for your personal needs. The two main versions of Microsoft 365 you’re going to be interested in are Microsoft 365 Family and Microsoft 365 Personal.

The main difference between the two is the number of licenses sold in each bundle. Personal is meant to be used by just one person while Family was made for up to 6 people. Considering the current pricing, getting a Family version if you’ve got a few interested people is a huge money saver – instead of getting a Personal edition for everyone, pick the Family version and you’re all going to save a good amount of money in the process.

Microsoft 365 is a great choice no matter if you’re a professional or a hobbyist – the bundled Office apps are an easy way to create advanced and rich documents that will impress both your co-workers and friends alike. And if you’ve got an issue, there’s always online support ready to give you a helping hand and find a solution to your problem – a truly premium service for a reasonable price.

Conclusion

Microsoft knows perfectly well that different people have different needs. Selling MS Office in just one available variant would make it too expensive for some people to enjoy Office Suite. It surely would’ve been unaffordable for some people. By limiting some of the functionalities and leaving only the most essential programs and options, Microsoft created different Office versions so even those who don’t want to spend too much on a solid Office software bundle can get something out of it.

Depending on your particular situation, you may want to go for either a one-time purchase version or a subscription-based service. Paying once for a lifetime license is a great value with a relatively harmless drawback – you just won’t be able to upgrade to a new version for free, but instead, you’ll have to either stick to the old version you’ve already bought or pay the full price for the new one. If you’ve got some extra money to spare, going for the subscription model may be more beneficial, as it gives you access to the most recent Office apps without any extra costs.