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4.0 out of 5 stars
Platform: PC|Edition: Home|Change
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on 26 November 2014
I previously bought Office 365 Home & Business (which costs double). I then bought this for a couple of other PCs only to find it has exactly the same programs. There is no difference whatsoever! Why pay more? This is the one to buy.

Uninstall your previous Office version first or you may have problems. I only made that mistake once and it did cause conflicts. I backed up my Outlook PST file in case it got obliterated but it was fine. It's still worth backing up, just. in case. Just write down it's previous location so if you need to put it back, Outlook can find it. PST files can get gargantuan in size. One of mine was over 50Gb. I just copied that one to another location on my HDD in case it got damaged during the upgrade.

Of course none of this is an issue if it's a fresh install on a new computer.

For a small business like mine with 14 computers, this is a bargain for £12 a year per PC. I've bought 3 of these now so even the parents have a full version of the latest Office that I renew for them every year.

I am a seasoned IT person and even I found it tricky to install in the beginning. By my third install I had it sussed.

One downside is that Office 365 does need to be connected to the internet. I have one computer with a dodgy Ethernet adapter that doesn't always connect to the internet first time. If you open Outlook without realising you are not connected to the internet it has a hissy fit ant tells you it can't authenticate and that your product may not be valid. I can't open Outlook on this machine unless I am sure I am already connected to the internet.

Sometimes on a first install it tells you your product is not valid when you open Outlook. If this happens, close Outlook and open Excel. If you open Outlook again now, all is well. No idea why but it's an easy fix and the issue does not recur.

I've installed it 14 times now so am happy to help anyone with questions if I can :)
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on 29 January 2013
On the Microsoft site it states that the yearly cost is £79.99 and the monthly price is £7.99 - so you get two free months if you buy a yearly subscription.

This is not for everyone but if you have several PC's (up to 5) and use several Microsoft packages then this is a good deal.
You get fully installed versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher for use on up to 5 PCs or Macs and 5 phones.

* Now each user (up to the maximum of 5 users) gets 1TB of OneDrive Storage.
* Each user (up to the maximum of 5 users) gets 60 minutes of Skype per month

I currently have Office products on two PC's, couldn't justify putting it on others. These include 2 copies of Outlook and the basic Home & Student Office. This cost about £240 which is the cost of three years of Office 365 Home Premium and I would update this whenever the next version comes out so that's roughly every three years.

So for roughly the same price per year as I currently pay (£80) I can get everything I currently have, plus Publisher, Access, OneDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype calls per month and I can install it on another three PC's.

It looks pretty attractive to me and once my preview runs out I will be subscribing.


1) I've seen people mistaking what this product actually is mostly down to Microsoft confusingly reusing "365" in its name.
This is a full installation like with traditional versions of Office - it is not an online version.
You can use this fully offline but obviously if you are using OneDrive to save your documents to then you will require internet access.

2) Also because it is a subscription model you can in the future let it lapse.
If you do this the Office suite will still be on your device ready for re-activation in the future but you will still be able to use it in a reduced functionality mode. You can read/view all your files but you will just not be able to edit them.

3) We should all know by now that there are free office suites available like Google Docs, Libre Office, Open Office.
However there is no denying that Microsoft's Office Suite is the industry standard and provides more functionality that a lot of workers and students may find they require. For a lot of light users Microsoft Office has, and will always be overkill but that does not make it a bad product or overpriced - you get what you pay for.

4) I should also point out that you can install this on up to 5 devices but if you change your mind and want to install it on another, you can simply via the web deactivate a version on one of your existing devices and activate the new one. This can be done whenever you want, so effectively you can install it on more than 5 devices - as long as you toggle their activation states.

Expiration Process:

About two weeks prior to expiration you get a yellow coloured global message bar popup underneath all of office's ribbon menus reminding you that your subscription is nearly ending.

After your expiration date passes the yellow bar changes to a red global message bar which says:
"PRODUCT EXPIRED To keep using Microsoft Outlook Preview without interruption, choose an option below to reactivate [More Details]"

I purchased the above item and tried to activate the product via their website but was surprisingly told that I had to un-install the preview version first. I had presumed that upon using a valid serial key the preview version would just change to full but this is not the case. After un-installing and re-installing via the website everything seems to be back to normal - all the previous settings are still intact.

It's an easy process but a bit annoying that I had to un-install and reinstall.

It's safe to assume that the above process will be nearly the same when the full licence expires in a year, although it is unlikely to then require the un-installation process.

Jan 2014 - UPDATE

The subscription allows you to install Office on up to 5 devices with up to 5 users. These installs can be used for anyone you wish in your household or a combination of users.

So for example, say there are four people in a family.
On their main family PC they can set it so everyone could use it.
Then on their personal laptops they could have it so only they could use it.

Five installs on five computers with four users.
They could also allow a fifth person to use any or all of their computers - say a grandparent.

Each user who shares the subscription benefits (max 5) gets their own free OneDrive storage but can only manage their own install via their account page.

March 2014 - UPDATE

You can now install on up to 5 PC's or Mac's AND ALSO up to 5 tablets.

The new iPad version will be free for reading and presenting purposes however a Microsoft Office 365 subscription is required for creating new documents or editing existing ones.

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will all be included with Office for iPad running iOS 7.0 or later - OneNote is already free on iOS 7.0
Office Mobile for iPhone and Android phones available free for everyone

July 2014 - UPDATE

OneDrive storage has been increased to an additional 1 TB extra storage for each user up to the maximum 5 users.
I also altered above info to reflect name change from SkyDrive to OneDrive.

27 October 2014 - UPDATE

OneDrive now supports up to 10GB files.

27 December 2015 - UPDATE
OneDrive storage has been reduced from October 2014's "Unlimited" to 1Tb per user (up to max of 5 users)

P.S. A big thank you for everyone's kind words on my above review.
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on 10 February 2014
Thought long and hard over this but finally took the plunge. We have a mixture of Mac and PC at home as well as PC at work and I was fed up with not having the same versions of Word and Excel on each. Compatibility problems with Excel finally put me down this route. Sure, the subscription costs will probably rise but there is a lot of cloud storage on offer here as well so it actually makes the software look pretty good value. It's a bit of a quirk having to pay postage for a small cardboard box containing a credit card sized piece of card with the product key on it, but once you laugh this off......... The download took about 35 mins and the install under 10. In 45 mins therefore, I was up and running and it looks great.

It is a big download so beware if you've got a slow connection and also watch if you're limited as this could end up costing you a fair bit extra for going over your allowance.

I might add a bit more to this when I get my PC and laptop installations sorted as well, but so far I've nothing but praise for what I've seen so far.


Downloaded to a PC but ran into a few difficulties. Fortunately, it's obviously a common glitch as there was a simple fix (go into the program settings on Windows, find Office and opt for an online repair). What was astonishing was the speed of the download; it only took a few minutes and everything was up and running after doing the online repair. Still very happy with this product so far.
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on 15 April 2014
The subscription model doesn't bother me and the cloud based storage should be helpful. However, what is so disappointing about this software (not App) is whoever thought that the colour scheme and button layout was a step forward. The buttons have gone, replaced with featureless blocky graphics that simply aren't as communicative as what went before. The whole scheme is now white (or grey if you can work out how to change it). Hence in Outlook, reading panes merge into emails and calendars without the semi 3D colouration of, say 2007. At first glance it is all very confusing. No doubt I will acclimatise. But if something looks confusing to a consumer, it is poorly designed. This is poorly designed. This is a recurrent theme with MS isn't it? Win 8 is fast and stable and good in so many ways, then wrecked with a stupid Start screen and Metro. This Office 13 could have been excellent if someone had simply decided that the presentation of 07 worked.
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on 12 March 2014
I have just renewed my subscription for this product. I find Microsoft software expensive but necessary as it is used so widely, especially Office. Office 365 helps minimise the cost and it is useful to be able to put the licence on different computers. I like the cloud based backup.
I usually use a Mac and I increasingly am thinking of moving to the Mac versions of these products, (which now come free with new Macs). Compared with other users I use products like Word in a relatively uncomplex way so I could change to Apple software. At present I will stay with Office 365 for the rest of the licence period and enjoy its benefits.
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on 1 May 2015
I have 4 pc (2 windows and 2 Macs) plus a number of tablets / mobile devises in the house hold. The subscription service is brilliant value as it will only cost for £210 for three years.

Previously I have been buying 4 single Microsoft office licences for the total of £600, yes you do keep the licence and will last for ever, however like many users I like to upgrade when new version comes out therefore I will only get three years use as new version are normally release every 3 years (longer for MAC version)

With 365 I'm actually paying roughly 390£ less than I would have been previously during the 3 year period.
Another bonus with version of 365 this can also be used on 5 mobile devices, plus you get 60 minutes skype call per month and 1TB one drive storage. Better still you will get new version of office at no extra charge when they are released :Office 2015 for Mac due in Mid 2015 and Office 2016 for windows due in October 2015.

If you in a household with multiple computers and mobile devices who like to have the latest software as soon they are released then you should go for this 365 subscription service.
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on 23 July 2015
We have a number of computers in the family - one each for me and my wife - and one each for two kids (surprising how much homework is computer dependent these days). In addition I have a laptop I use regularly and there are various ipads across the family.

Hence Office 365 has been a perfect solution for us - it is installed on all five computers and also on the ipads.

Most people will be familiar with the standard office applications - ie Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc. However OneNote has been a revelation - I gave up Evernote within days of using OneNote - and now do a lot of my research / investigation on ideas around OneNote.

OneDrive has also been another revolution in the family - it allows us to be assured that the computers are automatically backed up and also synchronised. Forgot Google Drive or DropBox - for us OneDrive has completely replaced those solutions and saved us from worrying whether the kids have remembered to save and backup.

To give but one example:
- on the way home from work my wife rang me to say that our son had switched on his computer but could not find some project work he had spent several weeks working on
- sitting in a railway station several miles from home I was able to log onto OneDrive from my laptop (using my ipad as a hotspot) and able to find that my son had accidentally deleted his project - I found it in the trash can on OneDrive and was able to undelete it - a few seconds later it reappeared on my son's computer at home

Across the various userids and computers we seem to have several terrabytes of capacity on OneDrive - and frankly use a mere fraction of it.

Also worth mentioning is that Office 365 users get an hour of Skype to fixed line / mobile calls (including international) per month.

If one merely combines the Skype usage and the OneDrive capacity frankly Office 365 offers stunning value.

My laptop is an Apple Mac and frankly Microsoft has done an excellent job upgrading the mac experience to be similar to the PC experience (though for 'real work' I still prefer to run Word or Excel on a PC).

Similarly I would highly recommend installing OneNote on any ipads - it comes in incredibly useful - and automatically syncs with OneNote on your PC. This is incredibly useful.
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on 4 April 2013
Great product, easy to implement, provides up to date software.
Only complaint is that it is only for Win 7/8 and makes using it on old PC's and its use up to the max.of 5 PC's difficult.
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on 3 June 2014
I know most people won't feel like they own something when you go for a subscription but having taken the plunge last year, I think this is by far the best option.
When you get a new machine it's simple to transfer from old machine to new, and add a copy on your laptop, or a machine at work, or, if you use them, on a tablet etc.

Ok, you don't have a disc, but often they are a liability anyway. Why? Because, anyone familiar with using Microsoft stuff know that they regularly mess up and rush stuff onto the market that isn't up to the job and if you have forked out a small fortune for a version that is poor, you are stuck with it.
This option on the other hand keeps you up to date with the latest version, at no extra cost.
I've had no trouble loading via the net onto any machine whatsoever and have often chopped and changed. You can even go to your friends and load it on their computer temporarily if you wish and then just disable it when you get home and put it back on your own.
Totally flexible, good value and hassle free, if you have doubts, then fear not, it's a great way to go with Office.
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on 9 April 2014
Shopped around for this and it's the best price on the market. Some are competitively priced but only last for six months, so read the small print. This one is a year. Easy to register and up and running in no time.
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