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What is Office 365?

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office365Jamie here. With my new Office for Mac 2011 Accreditation, I got the lowdown on the new Office 365 product and the changes being implemented concerning licensing for Office for Mac 2011. Microsoft won’t be releasing the next Office for Mac until 2014. They are trying to drive people to use their new Office 365 product instead, and after comparing the options, I have grown to believe it is the best option for a majority of Home Users.

The biggest change in new Office for Mac 2011 licenses is that you can no longer purchase a 3-pack. The new rule is one license for one Mac computer. It is not transferable, and only available on-line, meaning no more discs. You can purchase a back-up disc for an additional fee.

Office for Mac 2011 Pricing:

  • Home & Student is $139.99 per license
  • Home & Office is $219.99 per license

*no option for a bulk discount

Office 365 is Microsoft’s new subscription-based structure which runs a neat and tidy $99 a year for Office 365 Home Premium, or $79 a year if you qualify for an Education Discount. This subscription guarantees free upgrades. The license allows you to run Office 365 on up to 5 PCs or Macs, and provides 20 GBs of SkyDrive storage, Microsoft’s new cloud-based online storage solution.
The subscription also gives you access to the new Office on Demand service, which provides full web-based versions of Office applications to Internet-connected PCs running Windows 7 or 8. They even throw in 60 minutes of Skype World Minutes a month to sweeten the pot.

If you are looking for a Office 365 solution for your business, the options depend on the size of your business. The business subscription includes such features as document sharing through SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint Team Sites, creating and editing documents directly on the web, HD Video conferencing, public websites, and the ever popular Social Integration so colleges can follow documents and you can integrate directly with Facebook.

Compare business plan features and pricing options.

In the end, Office 365 is a cost-effective solution if you have more than one computer, since you won’t ever have to upgrade all the machines ever again.

3 Responses to What is Office 365?

  1. Raj September 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Hello and thanks for your clear explanation. I like the concept however as we deal with confidential patient information I am really reluctant to put it out there in the cloud.


  2. alicia September 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    Hi Raj,

    It’s a fair concern. If you’re dealing with confidentiality, it’s important that any cloud-based strategy you choose is secure. In reality, cloud-based solutions are not much different than any other file server, but because it’s outside your company’s walls you have to make sure you have a secure connection, password-protected, and that the host encrypts the files (which all the major companies, like Microsoft, Apple, and Intuit, do).

    Alicia 🙂

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