Office 3013, Office 365 or Libre Office?

March 14, 2013

You used to be able to buy Microsoft Office Home and Student (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) 2007 or 2010 for about £70 – £90.  The 2007 version was licensed for 3 computers.  Furthermore, if a computer failed, you could transfer the installation to another computer quite legally.

What we have now is a choice of Office 2013 or Office 365.

The Office 2013 will cost you about £95 (dabs.com), it is licensed for 1 computer only and you are not allowed to transfer the installation to another computer on failure unless that occurs during the warranty period.

With Office 365 you will always have the latest version available as you pay for it by annual subscription.  It is cloud based software and you must therefore have a broadband connection.  Data is saved to the cloud (Sky Drive) and can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection.  The annual subscription at the moment is about £70 (dabs.com) but this allows you to use office on 5 computers including Macs.  Also, you have use of more Office applications; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Outlook and OneNote.  If you get the Home (non-commercial version) you all share the same data space and therefore there is no privacy.

One further option is that you could download and install Libre Office completely free of charge.  It has a word processor (Writer), a spreadsheet (Calc), a PowerPoint equivalent (Impress) and there are also applications for drawing, maths and a database.  It can be make compatible with Microsoft Office e.g. it can open/save documents with the doc or docx extensions.  If you are interested in trying Libre Office you can download it here.