Which Version of Microsoft Office is Right for You?
Microsoft Office - A complete breakdown
We all know choosing the right version of office can be difficult and frustrating, because there can be so many versions to choose from! Here are the versions and what they bring to the table, to help you determine which version fits your needs for the 2010/2013/2016 editions:
- Office Home and Student - Often considered the "entry level" edition, Home and Student provides you with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Those are all the essentials with word processing, spreadsheets, and slide based presentation capabilities.
- Office Home and Business - Do not be intimidated by the name association of "business", many home users will be satisfied with this version. Like Home and Student, this suite provides Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint as well. However, this version also includes Microsoft's email client Microsoft Outlook. Outlook is the preferred email client for many businesses and homes as well, it allows you to manage contact lists, add signatures, set up auto forwarding and many other features.
- Office Professional - This is one of the higher tier suites that Microsoft offers. The programs included in this suite include Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. Access can be used to create databases to keep business data structured and organized. Publisher is a desktop publishing software that allows you to create professional documents and marketing content.
Microsoft Office 2010 vs 2013 vs 2016 vs 365
So now you've chosen your version of office, now you have to choose the year you want to use. Another conundrum without a doubt, but in the following breakdown we will try to give you all the details on the varying versions and why one edition might suit your needs better than another edition.
- Office 2010 : Os compatibility: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server (2003, 2008, 2012, Terminal Server).
- This is currently the oldest version that will still receive full support and troubleshooting from Microsoft. This was the generation that the creative ribbon and customizable ribbon was first introduced, simplistic in design. The user interface was cleaned up, and introduced 64gb compatibility.
- Who it is best for: Those with older hardware or operating systems, or those used to the look and feel, and are generally just more comfortable with 2010 (keep in mind support for this edition will be phased out before the others). The biggest advantage of Office 2010, that most people find most beneficial, is that YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE A MICROSOFT ACCOUNT.
- Office 2013: Os compatibility: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server (2008, 2012, 2016 Terminal Server).
- Office 2013 is often considered the most popular edition in the current market, it incorporates all of features that everyone enjoyed about Office 2010, with many improvements - some of the most noticeable being the ability to edit PDFs in Word, ability to save your files to the cloud via Skydrive (now OneDrive), and the implementation of OneNote - a great note taking program especially if you have any touch devices like a tablet.
- Who it is best for: Office 2013 provides a lot of new features throughout all of the programs within the suite, from Word all the way to Publisher. If you have newer hardware, or any touch compatible devices, this might be one of the better options for you. If you have software that is contingent on using office 2013 or is not compatible with 2016 (usually only applies to businesses using legacy software), then 2013 would probably be the best fit for what you are looking for. Plugins/extensions are also more commonly written for this version, so if there is a third party plugin you are looking for for your office program, chances are that it will be written for this edition primarily.
- Office 2016: Os compatibility: MAC OSX 10.10 or later, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server (2012, 2016).
- This is Microsoft's most current version, with the latest and greatest features as well as hardware compatibility. It also features the best touch integration we have seen from an Office suite yet. Every suite has been upgraded to fully integrate with windows 10 and give both the power user and the casual user full control.
- Who it is best for: The 2016 edition really is the most versatile version that we have seen from Microsoft yet. With so many features that IT pros, the casual user, the hard working student, or the heavy duty business person all will find easy to use, it can be simple and complex at the same time. The user on the go (via tablet or cell phone) also gets full advantage of everything the 2016 edition has to offer, while not having to worry about subscription renewals.
- Office 365: Os compatibility: MAC OSX 10.10 or later, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server (2012, 2016).
- There are different versions of office 365, and they range from the simple every day user to the heaviest enterprise office user. This is a subscription based service, which you can essentially "lease" monthly or annually. It will always download and maintain the most current version of office for you as well. With versatile tools even for the heaviest organizations (part of the enterprise editions), such as Power Business Intelligence which can intuitively predict trends and analyze patterns of your business data. There are options for every user from top to bottom of 365.
- Who it is best for: Those looking for the latest and greatest, most cutting edge software that can accomplish the most. Also those that are looking to switch licensing to newer versions when they come out will not only have the updated version installed via 365, but will find it is cheaper than purchasing new perpetual licenses (i.e. you had 2013 for 3 years, but with the release of 2016 and windows 10 integration you find 2016 the best option for you and you would like to upgrade).