What software are you using for your email, spreadsheets, writing text and more? The two big dogs are Microsoft’s Office 365 (O365) and Google’s Google Apps. We’re going to look at Office 365 Home subscription services and give a run-down of what it is, what you get and what it costs.
Subscription services, sometimes called SaaS (software as a service), are pretty mainstream. How many of us have a monthly or yearly subscription to services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Hootsuite and more? Office 365 Home is a subscription you buy yearly for $99, not monthly.
With the Office 365 Home subscription, you get the software and service not only for you, but you can share it with up to 4 other people.
What You Get With Office 365 Home
The graphic below shows that you get Office 365 Home for 5 people. Each person gets:
- the full installed Office 2013 on their local computers (automatic software updates for everyone)
- they can use the 1 install across all their devices if they use the same login Microsoft account
- they each get 1TB online storage – this is a major benefit because everyone with the consumer OneDrive is being notified from Microsoft that their storage is going down to 5GB. Simply having O365 boosts you to 1TB of OneDrive storage
- 60 minutes of Skype each month (this would be calling from your computer to any phone)
What You Get With Office 2013
You get the full installation of all the Office 2013 products on your computer, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. Updates are automatically handled via your Windows Updates.
Here’s something I noticed about the Office 365 subscription I bought – looking at my account page, I’m noticing I can share an Office 2013 install with 4 other people AND I can share Office 365 with 4 other people.
The image below shows two parts of my subscription that can be shared separately. Right now, 4 people are using the Office 2013 installation and a different 4 people are using the Office 365.
Confusing? This is what I’ve discovered…
The people I shared an Office 2013 install with but not the Office 365, do not have the 1TB of storage or the Skype minutes.
Look at the two images below – the first image says 4 have installed Office 2013 on their PC/Mac and 4 have Office 365. They are not the same 4 people.
Sharing Office 365 Home and Office 2013 Separately
I started investigating the O365 and Office 2013 differences when I heard from my sister that she’d gotten the email from Microsoft saying she was using over 11GB of OneDrive storage and in July, she’s going to lose all but 5GB of that storage. Since she has an Office 2013 subscription, I couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t have the 1TB of storage. That’s when I started looking into my Office 365 and Office 2013 subscriptions and found I could share O365 and Office 2013 separately!
I found I had shared only the Office 2013 install with my brother-in-law’s email address and that’s why my sister did not have the extra storage.
To fix this, I’m sending to my sister’s email address, a sharing link for Office 365. When she gets the email, clicks on the link and signs in with her Microsoft account (that I set up for her), then her storage will increase to 1TB. She is already using OneDrive to automatically upload and store her iPhone camera pictures and this will give her all the space she needs – even with taking pictures and videos every day of her new granddaughter!
Office 365 Home – A Bargain!
For $99/year, using Microsoft’s SaaS makes a lot of sense – I’m getting the latest Office software updated regularly. I have 1TB of storage for all of my stuff times 5. If you have multiple Microsoft accounts as I do, you can share the other storage or installs with those accounts, or you can do as I have and share them out.
Take a look at the Microsoft site and compare and contrast the offerings and choose what’s right for you. Leave a comment about O365, Google Apps or whatever is working for you.