Microsoft’s Office 365 Adds Extra Benefits

Image: Microsoft
Image: Microsoft

Since I was in high school (<cough> back in the ’80s <cough>), I have used Microsoft Word and Excel (and Microsoft Works; get off my lawn). The programs have come a long way since then, being virtually unrecognizable, side by side. But they’ve been my go-to programs for word processing and spreadsheet needs for decades.

Today, Microsoft Office includes many more programs, including Outlook, Power Point, Access, Publisher, and more. You can get all or some of them, depending on what version of Office you purchase. Microsoft still offers one-time purchases of Office versions, which you then own forever, but there are some distinct advantages to the annual (or monthly) subscription to Office 365.

Benefits of Microsoft Office 365

  • Your programs are always up to date, getting the latest version during your subscription period. Future upgrades are included.
  • By subscribing, you get fast help from Microsoft-trained experts by phone or online chat.
  • You can even use Office programs online at Office.com. If you sign in, it will save your settings, so your experience will be the same wherever you use it from. Also, if you save your files to OneDrive, you can access them from anywhere. OneDrive also lets you share documents with others.
  • One of the coolest (I think) features of Office 365 is the ability to share your annual subscription with others. This is especially handy when you have other family members who use Office programs, too. You can share it with up to four other members of your household, and the generous number of installs that you get with your subscription is shared among the users. (The Office 365 Home subscription comes with installs for 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets, and 5 phones.) Also, each person gets a whole terabyte of OneDrive storage. You read that right. You can use OneDrive to save your Office documents, but you can also use it for storing other kinds of files.
  • With your Office 365 subscription, you get 60 minutes per month of Skype calling to people all over the world.
  • And for those who like to be on the cutting edge of things, check out the Office 2016 preview.
Image: Microsoft
Image: Microsoft

There’s nothing quite like the promise of a blank page or an empty spreadsheet. Starting a new project always brings me glee, and whether you’re like me in that way, or you just use Office programs as tools, Microsoft Office 365 gets you what you need. These also apply to the stand-alone versions.

  • The Office website has handy visual Quick Start Guides for all of their programs, including Access Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Visio, and Word, all for the 2013 versions.
  • All the help you’ll need is available on the Office support page and on the FAQ.
  • If you’re new to Microsoft Office products, or just the particular product that you’re using, check out their training and tutorials. Microsoft offers a mountain of free help to get you up and running in your program of choice.

There are several ways to get Microsoft Office, which is available for both PC and Mac. Choose the best configuration for you!

Note: As part of the Microsoft Bloggers program, I have been provided hardware and software for the purpose of these reviews. The views expressed in these posts are my honest opinions about the subjects involved.

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Jenny Bristol is an Editor at GeekDad and a founding Director at GeekMom. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, losing herself in history, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.