Dear Computer Lady,
We have received a renewal request from Microsoft Office 365. We can’t find a simple explanation anywhere as to what this program is and /or why I might need it.
It must have come on my newest computer and I have no idea what it is or how it differs from my normal Microsoft Office 10.
Thank you in advance. You are the only media person we trust these days!
Howard & Lynda
Dear Howard & Linda,
Microsoft is now selling its office suite of programs (Word, Excel, Power Point, OneNote, etc) in two different ways.
You can buy it the old fashioned way where you purchase a product key that allows you to install Office on your computer and use it as long as you want.
Microsoft now has a newer, subscription based Office, called Office 365. The yearly cost is about half the cost of the one-time office purchase, but has to be renewed each year.
The obvious advantage to the old one-time purchase is that you can use it for as long as you want on your computer without a yearly fee.
The advantage for Office 365 is that you automatically get the newest version of Office, and it comes with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage for your documents. Office 365 also includes additional programs like Outlook, Publisher and Access, which would cost more in the stand-alone version.
Hopefully this helps you understand the difference, and helps you decide if you want to continue on with Office 365, or switch to a one-time purchase.
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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