One Time Purchases
Office 2007: support ended on October 10, 2017. Continuing to use it is risky both in terms of reliability and security.
Office 2010: support will end on October 30, 2020. Copies can be purchased on eBay for about $50.00.
Office 2013 (Service Pack 1): support will end April 11, 2023. Copies can be purchased on eBay for about $50.00.
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2016 & 2019: both can be purchased for about $150.00. These Home and Student packages do not contain Outlook and can only be installed on one computer. They are licensed for non-commercial environments only.
Microsoft Office Home and Business 2016 & 2019: If you are in a commercial environment and want a one-time purchase, you will need to purchase one of these packages. Each is $249.99 and can be installed only on one PC. Outlook is included.
Office 365 Personal: This package includes Outlook and costs $69.99 per year. It is for a single user and can be installed on one PC (Windows or Mac) plus that user’s Apple or Android devices. It is licensed for non-commercial users only.
Office 365 Home: This package includes Outlook and costs $99.99 per year. It is intended for a family and therefore allows installation on up to 6 PCs (Windows or Mac) plus everyone’s Apple or Android devices. It is licensed for non-commercial users only.
Office 365 Business: This package costs $99.00 per year per user and can be installed on up to 5 PCs (Windows or Mac) and Apple and Android devices. It is licensed for commercial users only. There is a lot of confusion regarding this package. Some at Microsoft will tell you that the 5 additional PCs can be anyone in the organization while others at Microsoft will say that it is intended for single users and their exclusive-use devices (e.g., desktop office PC, portable laptop, iPhone, iPad). It is definitely a grey area, but if you want to be perfectly legal, be prepared to pay $99.00 per year for you and each of your employees.
Office 365 Business Premium: includes all of Office 365 Business plus Microsoft Exchange email hosting and a variety of other team sharing technologies. It is $150.00 per user per year. It is licensed for commercial users only.
Office 365 Business Essentials: This is a cloud-based package which includes Microsoft Exchange email hosting and web-only versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. It is $60.00 per user per year. It is licensed for commercial users only.
There are two very well respected open source Microsoft Office alternatives called OpenOffice and LibreOffice. They are completely free without any licensing restrictions whatsoever. They support the Microsoft Office file formats, so are therefore very viable alternatives to paying Microsoft’s fees and licensing restrictions. However, they do not include an email application and are independent implementations and therefore will look similar, but different, when compared to the Microsoft Office applications.
You might be wondering why I highlighted commercial and non-commercial throughout this blog. I have a customer that was recently approached by a law firm hired by Microsoft to audit and potentially fine companies that are using non-commercial versions of Microsoft products in a commercial environment. In this particular case, the customer was using Microsoft Office 365 Home in their business, and yes indeed, the law firm was legitimate and they were fined. So beware!