Microsoft Office 2013 | Office 365 editions & pricing explained

Microsoft Office, one of the most office productivity suites has released its latest version. Office 2013 is easy to use, reliable and will therefore continue to be the ultimate choice of many people. The various editions of it are just capable of offering all the applications for every need and every lifestyle. These new editions bring with them a wealth of benefits and new features. If you aren’t sure which edition is suitable for you, what is its structure, price details and its benefits, this post will be able to help you out.

When new version of Office 2013 was announced, only the consumer preview version was made available for public use – although TechNet and MSDN subscribers did have access to the RTM versions. While the pricing structures for Office 2013 and office 365 were already available, after much waiting Microsoft has also made available and revealed the final versions and the pricing structure for its Office 2013 packages via official Microsoft Online Store.

office 2013 editions Microsoft Office 2013 | Office 365 editions & pricing explained

Which Office edition should you select

On first note, there are 2 different of Office suite available, the regular desktop version – Office 2013 that you can buy as a stand-alone application/software and the new Office 365 line of applications which are subscription-based services. The main difference between the two models is that, the latter makes multiple installations cheaper as Office 365 covers up to five desktop installations (PC or Mac) versus a single installation for the stand-alone Office 2013 license.

The Office 365 subscriptions such as Home Premium subscription allows sharing across 5 different devices, while the other – Office 365 Small Business Premium subscription enables each user to take advantage of Office on up to five different devices at the same time. You might want to check out this post on How To Choose Your Office 2013 For Small Business Package.

Moreover, the subscription based model offers all the major Office apps including Outlook, Publisher and Access that are limited to some editions of Office 2013.

We feel that for a single user with one device, Office 2013 is sufficient to cover all the needs via its supported applications, but for a small business or family looking to employ Office across multiple systems, the subscription pricing makes more sense.

Having said that, let’s see what are different models included in Office 2013 and Office 365, their pricing, structure and applications supported.

Office 2013 Editions

Office Home & Students 2013

  • Cost: $139.99 or INR 5499.
  • Supported Office applications: PowerPoint, OneNote, Word and Excel

Office Home & Business 2013

  • Cost: $219.99
  • Supported Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook

Office Professional 2013

  • Cost: $399.99 or INR 24999
  • Supported Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access

Office Professional Plus 2013

  • Cost: Volume Licensing
  • Supported Office Applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, InfoPath and Lync

These come with only one user license, and sadly, you do not get any complimentary cloud storage or upgrades to future versions.

Businesses and consumers planning to get online subscription-based offerings, here’s what Office 365 has to offer:

Office 365 Subscription scheme

Office 365 Home Premium

  • Per year cost: $99.99 or INR 4,199.00 per year or INR 420.00 per month
  • Supported Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access
  • Included Perks: 60 minutes of free Skype calls per month to 40+ countries, Office on demand, SkyDrive with 20 Gigabyte of storage.

There’s also a ‘University’ version for college students and faculty. It costs $79.99 for a four-year plan.

Office 365 Small Business Premium

  • Per year cost: $149.99
  • Supported Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, Lync
  • Perks: 60 minutes of free Skype calls per month to 40+ countries, Office on demand, SkyDrive with 20 Gigabyte of storage

Please note, Office 365 Pro Plus and Enterprise are only available for volume licensing.

Office 2013 or Office 365 – Which to buy

From the above description it is clear, instead of paying $219 for Office Home and Business 2013, you pay $99 per year for Office 365 Home Premium which offers more features than Home and Business. And if you happen to forget to renew your subscription, Office 365 will continue to run in the read-only mode. So, why not pick up the subscription model. The choice is yours! But if you use Office for 3 years or more, on a single computer only, buying Office 2013 may make more sense. If you are planning to use Office on multiple computers, the subscription model may work better for you. So you will have to do the calculations for your personal needs and then take a decision about it. You can check out our Office 365 review.

To my mind, it seems Microsoft is looking to change the way it sells its popular productivity suite. It’s trying to drop the “pay once, for one machine” approach of the past and adopt subscription scheming. Probably because one-time sales are not as lucrative as subscription-based services. Plus, the stand-alone versions often sold as one-time sales products may not get upgraded many-a-times, as people continue to use the older versions of Office.

Office 2013 or Office 356 Trial

You can try Office 365 Home Premium for one month or  Office Professional Plus 2013 for 60 days. Go here for details.

If you have any inputs to offer as to which Office 2013 one should go for, please do post in the comments.

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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
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