Author Topic: Confused about Microsoft Office options  (Read 7573 times)

shelivesthedream

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Confused about Microsoft Office options
« on: January 21, 2016, 02:07:21 AM »
We bought a new laptop and, while our previous laptop came with Office pre-installed, we only have a 30 day trial of Office 365. My husband will be a student for the next 18 months. What is our best option for buying Office?

Tyn

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 04:02:17 AM »
Check to see if your husbands institution has any sort of deals on Office for students (at my current Uni students can download it free for personal use, and where I was before offered substantially discounted copies). 

Another option might be to use Open Office instead at home depending on how much you need to do with it (document editing should be pretty similar, there are some differences with the spreadsheet program, but nothing too major), it's a free package similar to MS Office and there is some level of cross-combatibility.  You can definitely edit open office documents in MS Office but I can't remember if it works the other way around too (been a couple of years since I used it).

2Cent

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 05:22:52 AM »
You can use open office if you only write for your own purposes. If you are sharing documents or worse, you're giving presentations on other people's computers just pay whatever you have to and get MS office. There are just too many issues with fonts, images etc. and you don't want to stand there in your final thesis with an empty page where a picture should have been, or a text that runs off the screen.

For student discounts you can check here: https://products.office.com/en-us/student?ms.officeurl=getoffice365
All you need is a school e-mail address.

ooeei

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2016, 06:07:35 AM »
Check on the school's IT website and they should have a page dedicated to reduced price software available to students.

Jack

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2016, 07:59:22 AM »
OpenOffice is now called LibreOffice: https://www.libreoffice.org/

It's also closer in compatibility with MS Office than it used to be (and I'll also point out that different versions of MS office -- Mac vs. PC, or newer vs. older -- often have compatibility issues even among themselves!). Furthermore, the compatibility issues are mainly centered around Microsoft's proprietary and legacy formats (e.g. .doc or .docx, .xls or .xlsx, etc.). If you use the ISO standard office document format (e.g. .odt, .ods, etc.), which MS Office does support even though MS would prefer you to stay locked into their proprietary ones, you should have zero or very few problems with compatibility.

If you want to share documents, the best way to really guarantee that the formatting will be 100% correct is to export it to PDF first.

Rubic

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2016, 11:32:30 AM »
+1 for LibreOffice.

We have it installed on 80+ laptops at our offices and never worry about licensing, product upgrades, etc.

BDWW

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2016, 11:55:25 AM »
I'd vote for LibreOffice, too.

It's unfortunate that they had to change the name, because so many people still remember OpenOffice. And it still exists in some form, but LibreOffice is far improved upon it.

As a side note, docx and xlsx are technically ISO standards also. Long story short, MS basically bribed ISO to accept their formats as standards.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML



gliderpilot567

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2016, 12:48:02 PM »
Do either of you work and have Office at work? You might be eligible for the Microsoft Home Use Program. Ask your IT person if applicable. I bought the entire Office suite for $9.95 this way.

Otherwise the Open/Libre Office route works well. You can export to PDF for foolproof sharing, though that makes the files read only. PDF also has a slideshow mode that you can export to that is a reasonable substitute for PPT.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2016, 03:30:35 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I did briefly consider Open(now Libre)Office but this will be my work computer (work a lot from home) and his study computer, and I don't feel comfortable with compatibility issues for work (though it it were just for personal use I would definitely look into it). I'm going to call husband's university IT department and see if they have a discounted scheme.

Can I just check, though, that you can still buy an actual disk and install it and have it forever on your laptop, and you don't have to do it via subscription?

ooeei

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2016, 06:13:29 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I did briefly consider Open(now Libre)Office but this will be my work computer (work a lot from home) and his study computer, and I don't feel comfortable with compatibility issues for work (though it it were just for personal use I would definitely look into it). I'm going to call husband's university IT department and see if they have a discounted scheme.

Can I just check, though, that you can still buy an actual disk and install it and have it forever on your laptop, and you don't have to do it via subscription?

I believe you can still buy a "forever" version, although updates and support will be cut off after a certain timeframe (never been an issue for me).  Getting it on a disc will probably cost ~$10-15 more than the download, I'd just download it and make a backup somewhere, you could even burn it on a disc!

The subscription version is Office365, I don't remember what the "standard" version is called now.

Jack

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2016, 08:04:14 AM »
I did briefly consider Open(now Libre)Office but this will be my work computer (work a lot from home) and his study computer, and I don't feel comfortable with compatibility issues for work (though it it were just for personal use I would definitely look into it).

Seriously, compatibility issues are really overblown these days. I think you should use LibreOffice until you actually experience one (if you ever do), and then switch to MS Office if that happens. That and, if you're giving an important PowerPoint presentation in front of management or a big customer or something, test it on the computer the presentation will be running from first (which you should be doing anyway, even if you write it with MS Office).

I mean, I can understand how an average consumer sucka might not want to deal with the small risk and thus prefer to spend a bunch of money instead, but a mustachian should be able to handle it.

neo von retorch

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2016, 08:08:40 AM »
Look into http://onthehub.com/microsoft-office-2016/

Dreamspark.com also has software for students, though it's much more developer oriented (and all free.)

Rubic

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2016, 08:52:50 AM »
I did briefly consider Open(now Libre)Office but this will be my work computer (work a lot from home) and his study computer, and I don't feel comfortable with compatibility issues for work (though it it were just for personal use I would definitely look into it).

Seriously, compatibility issues are really overblown these days. I think you should use LibreOffice until you actually experience one (if you ever do), and then switch to MS Office if that happens. That and, if you're giving an important PowerPoint presentation in front of management or a big customer or something, test it on the computer the presentation will be running from first (which you should be doing anyway, even if you write it with MS Office).

I mean, I can understand how an average consumer sucka might not want to deal with the small risk and thus prefer to spend a bunch of money instead, but a mustachian should be able to handle it.

+1

You can use LibreOffice to save in Word/Excel file formats.  I do this all the time to send documents to attorneys and accountants without issues.  If this was a problem, I'd be forced to stop using LibreOffice because I can't afford to waste their time.  In the past I've even used OpenOffice (before LibreOffice became available) to read older Microsoft file formats that Microsoft users could no longer access.

To recap Jack's earlier advice, unless the text document requires collaboration, I always send it in pdf format.  Spreadsheets are usually sent to accountants in modern Excel format, because they want to verify formulae.  Also, any PowerPoint presentations are always converted to pdf, because you never know if you'll have to use someone else's equipment for the presentation.
 

JLee

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2016, 09:42:20 AM »
Do either of you work and have Office at work? You might be eligible for the Microsoft Home Use Program. Ask your IT person if applicable. I bought the entire Office suite for $9.95 this way.

Otherwise the Open/Libre Office route works well. You can export to PDF for foolproof sharing, though that makes the files read only. PDF also has a slideshow mode that you can export to that is a reasonable substitute for PPT.

I did that as well. 10 bucks, well worth it if you have any use for Office applications.

Samsam

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2016, 09:48:40 AM »
Students and teachers can get the online version for free:

https://products.office.com/en-us/student/office-in-education

"Familiar Office experience
All students get online versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. Some schools allow students to install the full Office applications on up to 5 PCs or Macs for free. If your school provides this benefit, you'll see the Install Office button on your Office 365 home page."

dragoncar

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2016, 02:35:54 PM »
Do either of you work and have Office at work? You might be eligible for the Microsoft Home Use Program. Ask your IT person if applicable. I bought the entire Office suite for $9.95 this way.

Otherwise the Open/Libre Office route works well. You can export to PDF for foolproof sharing, though that makes the files read only. PDF also has a slideshow mode that you can export to that is a reasonable substitute for PPT.

I did that as well. 10 bucks, well worth it if you have any use for Office applications.

Reviving because I'm getting a new computer.  Haven't bought office in over a decade.  If you leave your company do you have to erase the Home Use program? 

JLee

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2016, 03:18:55 PM »
Do either of you work and have Office at work? You might be eligible for the Microsoft Home Use Program. Ask your IT person if applicable. I bought the entire Office suite for $9.95 this way.

Otherwise the Open/Libre Office route works well. You can export to PDF for foolproof sharing, though that makes the files read only. PDF also has a slideshow mode that you can export to that is a reasonable substitute for PPT.

I did that as well. 10 bucks, well worth it if you have any use for Office applications.

Reviving because I'm getting a new computer.  Haven't bought office in over a decade.  If you leave your company do you have to erase the Home Use program?

I imagine that is in the license agreement somewhere.

dragoncar

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2016, 05:43:46 PM »
So I see Office 2013 on ebay for like $30.  Not sure if it's legit, but they say they provide a Microsoft download link and key.  Anyone buy an older version?  I mean I'm running 2000 fine right now so I don't GAF if it's old.

FerrumB5

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2016, 05:50:29 PM »
Was looking for it myself 2 months ago, turned out that I could have it thru work since I have up to 5 licensed installations. Ping your IT department if you have one

dragoncar

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2016, 06:27:12 PM »
Was looking for it myself 2 months ago, turned out that I could have it thru work since I have up to 5 licensed installations. Ping your IT department if you have one

I'm planning to leave soon, so I don't think that will work.  At some point they sent an email about that but stressed that I have to remain an employee

FerrumB5

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dragoncar

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2016, 07:41:16 PM »
BestBuy has it for ~$150 or so, but here's a cheaper version if you don't care about year/version: https://www.mychoicesoftware.com/products/microsoft-office-home-and-student-2010-1-pc-license?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googleshopping&dfw_tracker=16845-6871198593&gclid=CJiR6vf20dACFdY8gQodIqgHJg

or here, same 69.99: https://softwareempire.com/

You can get the new one (Office 2016) directly from MS for $119 right now

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2016, 07:02:15 AM »
Was looking for it myself 2 months ago, turned out that I could have it thru work since I have up to 5 licensed installations. Ping your IT department if you have one

I'm planning to leave soon, so I don't think that will work.  At some point they sent an email about that but stressed that I have to remain an employee

My work had this and then dropped off the programme. We got an email to say that we were obligated to uninstall it. It still works fine, over a year later. [I acknowledge that some people may have moral issues over this, I'm fine with my choices thanks]

catccc

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2016, 08:38:17 AM »
My last employer had the $9.95 office option, and it was a perpetual license, not the subscription access with a service period like office 365.  I left that job 3 years ago and I still have office 2010 on my personal laptop at home.

Up until a few minutes ago, I didn't think my new employer had it, because they never sent communications out that it was a possibility.  But I just went to www.microsofthup.com and entered my work email address, and lo and behold, I follow the link in the resulting email I received, and it says I can buy Office Professional Plus 2016 for $9.95.  (I believe this is a legit site, because it was linked from a www.microsoft.com page that had info on the home use plan https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/licensing-programs/software-assurance-home-use-program.aspx)

I was reading the faqs on the ms home use page and it says that my right to use the SW is tied to my organizations continued Software Assurance coverage.  But like Playing with Fire UK says, they can't force you to uninstall it, you have to do that on your own, since it will be installed on your machine.

So if your employer uses MS Office and has an enterprise agreement with Microsoft, which they most likely do for any larger organization, you probably can get MS Office for $10.  Visio and Project are also available for $10.  Not bad at all!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 08:40:14 AM by catccc »

Sibley

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2016, 08:47:23 AM »
I was recently told that Microsoft isn't checking duplicate product keys on 2007 and earlier versions anymore.

Tyler

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2016, 08:56:39 AM »
I really like MS Office, as I personally make use of advanced Excel features.  That said, I am fundamentally against annual subscriptions for things that don't require them and am irritated that they're moving that direction.  I'd recommend buying the Home version with a one-time purchase.  I bought an OEM disk on the cheap from Micro Center several years ago, and have used it to re-install whenever I've had to rebuild my computer.  I've had no issues. 

dragoncar

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2016, 11:32:10 AM »
My last employer had the $9.95 office option, and it was a perpetual license, not the subscription access with a service period like office 365.  I left that job 3 years ago and I still have office 2010 on my personal laptop at home.

Up until a few minutes ago, I didn't think my new employer had it, because they never sent communications out that it was a possibility.  But I just went to www.microsofthup.com and entered my work email address, and lo and behold, I follow the link in the resulting email I received, and it says I can buy Office Professional Plus 2016 for $9.95.  (I believe this is a legit site, because it was linked from a www.microsoft.com page that had info on the home use plan https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/licensing-programs/software-assurance-home-use-program.aspx)

I was reading the faqs on the ms home use page and it says that my right to use the SW is tied to my organizations continued Software Assurance coverage.  But like Playing with Fire UK says, they can't force you to uninstall it, you have to do that on your own, since it will be installed on your machine.

So if your employer uses MS Office and has an enterprise agreement with Microsoft, which they most likely do for any larger organization, you probably can get MS Office for $10.  Visio and Project are also available for $10.  Not bad at all!

Thanks for the link-- I'm eligible but yeah supposedly he license ends when I leave.  Maybe I'll just do this for now and re evaluate when I quit, because I can probably just use libreoffice at that point

My wife still wants office too, so we will have to see about that

trialbyFIRE

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Re: Confused about Microsoft Office options
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2016, 02:14:29 PM »
My last employer had the $9.95 office option, and it was a perpetual license, not the subscription access with a service period like office 365.  I left that job 3 years ago and I still have office 2010 on my personal laptop at home.

Up until a few minutes ago, I didn't think my new employer had it, because they never sent communications out that it was a possibility.  But I just went to www.microsofthup.com and entered my work email address, and lo and behold, I follow the link in the resulting email I received, and it says I can buy Office Professional Plus 2016 for $9.95.  (I believe this is a legit site, because it was linked from a www.microsoft.com page that had info on the home use plan https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/licensing-programs/software-assurance-home-use-program.aspx)

I was reading the faqs on the ms home use page and it says that my right to use the SW is tied to my organizations continued Software Assurance coverage.  But like Playing with Fire UK says, they can't force you to uninstall it, you have to do that on your own, since it will be installed on your machine.

So if your employer uses MS Office and has an enterprise agreement with Microsoft, which they most likely do for any larger organization, you probably can get MS Office for $10.  Visio and Project are also available for $10.  Not bad at all!

Thanks so much for the link! I just picked up a surface pro 4 and was looking at the various options for Office Pro. Had no idea this was an option, greatly appreciated!!!!!