Office 365, how much it costs and how it works

Available with a trial version and later with a monthly or annual subscription, although designed to be used online, this suite can also be used offline, as the installation files are always saved locally.

Unlike the standard version, which can be purchased with a higher outlay but with a license valid for life, it has numerous advantages, including a greater number of apps included, a reduced economic outlay and the ability to exploit 1 TB of OneDrive space included with the subscription.

How it works

Purchase and installation

Office 365 is totally digital and does not include the purchase of a boxed version with installation disc and license code, but only the purchase of a subscription linked to your Microsoft account, combined with a download of a few GB of data.

For the download it will be necessary, after selecting the version of Office 365 that best suits our needs or the free trial version, to run the login con l'account Microsoft, or create a new one.

Both in the case of a purchase or a free trial, you will need to set up a payment method to your profile, if it has not already been done. Once the data has been entered, we will be able to download the .exe file (.pkg on Mac) who will download all the files necessary for the installation of the suite from the internet.

These are very large installation files, of several GB, which may require a more or less long download time depending on the speed of the connection. Once the download is complete, Office 365 will install automatically and we will receive a notification of successful installation.

For the Mac users in addition, it will be possible to download the Office 365 suite directly from Mac App Store, confirming the purchase with your Apple ID password or via TouchID / FaceID. Mobile device users Android and iOS instead, they must necessarily download the individual applications that make up the Office package from their respective stores: Play Store per Android e App Store per iOS.

In the event that the user has chosen the trial version and does not intend to renew it, it will be necessary to deactivate the automatic renewal of the subscription, following the instructions of the official Microsoft support, otherwise at the end of the trial period the subscription will be automatically started for a fee.

Offline use

Unlike other cloud or web applications that need a server to communicate with to work, Office 365 locally installs all the files necessary for its operation, and so it is It is possible to continue working even in the absence of a data connection.

In this case the cloud functions will be absent and you will have to download the files to work on your device before you cannot access the data network, but as soon as the connection is restored the automatic synchronization will take care of uploading all new cloud saves. This allows not only to be able to continue to work in the absence of a connection, for example on an airplane, but also to be able to maintain high productivity in the event of an Internet line failure.

Applications included

The Office 365 suite allows access to the latest versions of the Microsoft Office app, in Premium version, such as the Outlook mail client, the Word word processor, the Excel spreadsheet, OneNote as a digital notepad and Powerpoint for creating presentations.

To these basic options of the Office package are also added the App Access (in the Home, Personal, Business and Business Premium versions) and Publisher (in the Home and Personal versions), in addition to the OneDrive cloud storage service, always included in each version, which allows you to store up to 1TB of data in the cloud.

In addition to the Office Apps, Microsoft completes the package with Skype, in the Home and Personal versions, and with the professional applications Exchange, Sharepoint and Teams, in the Business Premium version, and with specific applications for classroom management in the Education version, so to offer a package of basic applications suitable for every area. Below we show you a summary table of the applications included with the various versions. To know in detail the apps and services included, as well as all the subscription details, it is always possible to consult the appropriate summary pages on the Microsoft website.

For the duration of the subscription it will be possible to receive security updates and new versions of all the apps, without the need to purchase a new license for each new version. The apps included, in the Premium version, are valid for use on PC and Mac, as well as for Android and iOS mobile devices (except Access and Publisher), so that you can freely install the office suite on any working tool, always using the same subscription.

How much?

As for the versions dedicated to home use, the prices range from € 7 per month / € 69 per year for "Office 365 Personal", which allows a single user to be able to use the Office suite on all his devices, ai € 10 per month / € 99 per year for "Office 365 Home", which allows up to 6 users, which Microsoft specifies as "Family", to be able to use the suite on all their devices.

Business versions, on the other hand, include an “Office 365 Business Essentials” version, which at the extremely low cost of € 4,20 per month, excluding VAT, includes in addition to the Exchange, SharePoint and Teams business services, the OneDrive cloud space and the web and mobile versions of the Office package; an “Office 365 Business” version from € 8,80 plus VAT per month, which only includes Office applications but not ancillary services, with the exception of OneDrive; the more complete version "Office 365 Business Premium" from € 10,50 per month plus VAT which includes the entire business package.

Available for free, the Education version offers access to the entire Microsoft Office package in a free version for teachers and students of the institute. Two paid versions, the first from 2.45 € excluding VAT, per month for each user, includes the Bookings, Publisher and Access apps, while a version from 5.90 € excluding VAT, per month for each user, completes the offer by providing in addition a system of advanced personal and business data analysis with MyAnalytics and Power BI Pro applications.

For comparison, the classic version of Office - Office Home & Student 2019 - can be purchased with a one-time outlay of € 149, but includes only the Excel, PowerPoint and Word apps, compatible exclusively with PC and Mac, and security updates. Below is a summary table with the costs of all versions:

Office 365 Education

A separate chapter deserves theOffice 365 Education edition, provided free by Microsoft to faculty and students with an email address from their institution. In fact, Office 365 Education includes all the apps of the various versions of Office such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote e Microsoft Teams, as well as tools to use in the classroom.

In Microsoft's plans, this free version aims to allow students to acquire a range of application skills that employers believe most important, to prepare them optimally for the modern day work. Secondly, it is evident that Microsoft is trying to provide important help to educational institutions and students to be able to impose itself even more as a standard. Students who appreciate Office 365 today and learn to make the most of the capabilities of this software suite will surely be future customers of tomorrow.

In addition to the already complete free version, Microsoft also offers two subscription plans to have access to extra functions and applications. Office 365 A3 in fact, at a cost of € 2.45 per month per user, plus VAT, includes the two applications Access and Publisher, as well as Bookings, the application that allows parents, guardians and students to schedule online appointments with teachers. The more expensive version instead, Office 365 A5, at a cost of € 5.90 per month per user, plus VAT, includes advanced personal and business data analysis services, with MyAnalytics and Power BI Pro.

Below we show you a summary table of the main applications and services included with Office 365 Education, in addition to the various subscription costs. To know in detail the conditions, applications and services included in this suite, however, it is always possible to consult the appropriate page on the Microsoft website

Who should buy Office 365 subscription?

Microsoft is trying to push Office 365 a lot, offering its customers a better product with numerous benefits, which at the same time can be more profitable for the company. In fact, Office 365 undoubtedly includes more features, is constantly updated with new features and not just with security patches, as well as integrating a 1TB cloud storage service. However, some users may still prefer a more expensive and more limited version, but with a lifetime license.

Considering the annual price of the various versions of Office 365, compared to € 149 for Home & Student, we can immediately see how all those who need always up-to-date Microsoft Office apps for compatibility reasons have immediate economic savings, paying half to two-thirds of what they would pay by purchasing Office Home & Student annually.

Office 365 Home also, allowing the sharing with six users, allows a considerable economic saving for all those who need multiple licenses for use in the domestic field. Even those who want to defer the payment month by month instead of anticipating the entire amount could see an advantage in accessing the Microsoft Office apps via subscription.

On the other hand, those who, despite needing Microsoft Office, but are not interested in functionality updates, maintaining compatibility with new versions, assistance, 1TB of cloud space and all additional services, could have an advantage in purchasing Microsoft Office Home & Student with a lifetime license.

As for the institutions eligible to receive an unlimited number of free Education licenses, the choice seems almost obvious, a high-level Office suite such as Microsoft Office 365 at a given price is certainly an excellent investment, both for the work of the teaching staff and for the education of pupils. Even if you prefer alternative suites, it would certainly be useful and instructive to be able to access all Microsoft Office apps, which still today, in fact, represent the standard in this field. The paid versions also, despite the low cost, can allow access to useful tools in the school administration, with all the guarantee of operation that Microsoft is able to offer for its suite of office programs.

Microsoft currently seems to have declared war on the classic licensed versions of Office, trying to make the use of Office 365 in the cloud more convenient and rewarding, which can give the right compromise between customer satisfaction, maximization of earnings for the company and , thanks to the reduced cost that can be paid in installments, the reduction of customers who prefer alternative software or pirated versions.

This new business model can be unsettling for old users accustomed to classic licenses without expiration, accustomed to buying a product rather than an intangible service, but the future of services seems to have definitely vital towards the cloud and subscriptions, bringing advantages both for companies and customers.

Where to buy it?

You can buy Office 365 or if you prefer Office Home & Student 2019 in the various declinations from the following sites:

  • Microsoft Store
  • Amazon
Office 365, how much it costs and how it works

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