Microsoft Office 365 And Office Online
With the popularity of now working in the cloud and the abundance of free Office software online from Microsoft's competitors, Microsoft has completely been forced to change the way it prices and markets it's newest Office software. With the transition to Office 365 for business users, the option of purchasing Office 2016 for a single PC outright is now only reserved for home users. Microsoft is also now offering both a monthly and yearly subscriptions to their new Office 365 which includes the most current versions of Office. Once you purchase a subscription to their new Office 365, you not only get premium access to all Office features online, but you can also download all Office software applications to your hard drive and work on files locally in areas where you would not have an Internet connection. In order to sign up for their new Office 365, you must have a Microsoft Account formerly known as a Windows Live ID and .NET passport before that. Microsoft Accounts are free of charge. In fact, if you are running Windows 8 or if you plan on upgrading your computer to Windows 10, Microsoft now requires that you have a Microsoft Account in order to log into the desktop. If you have not set up a Microsoft Account beforehand, Windows 10 will give you the option of doing so when you first set up your new computer. When setting up a Microsoft Account, you can either use the e-mail address that you currently have, or you can sign up a new one using either the old @hotmail.com domain or the new @outlook.com domain on Microsoft's new outlook.com service.
The new free Office Online
For those of you who just need an online place or cloud to store and manage your office documents and print them our, Microsoft now offers a free Office Online, which is simply a reduced online cloud version of their new Office 365 software .
These are reduced online versions of Word, Excel, Power Point, One Note, OneDrive, Outlook, Contacts, Calendar, Sway, & Docs.com software apps.
You can use the free Office Online features on OneDrive to edit documents and save them via their OneDrive online file storage service, but to print them out, you must have a .pdf file reader such as Adobe Reader installed. Again, you must still have a Microsoft Account in order to use this free service. As part of the free Office Online, Microsoft has also upgraded it's @hotmail.com web mail platform and they are now calling it @outlook.com.
Visit the product page for more details.
Update - Thursday, December 3, 2015
One Note Desktop is now Free!! With the release of Windows 10 and the new Microsoft Edge browser, Microsoft has now made both One Note desktop software and the One Note app for free use and download from the Windows Store. For more information about OneNote, Microsoft has established this page.
To The Cloud...Those Windows 7 commercials...A cheaper alternative to manage Office Online documents and files.
For users of Windows 8, Windows 7:
Microsoft offers the OneDrive App for your desktop, which allows you to open, view, and edit your files stored in the OneDrive cloud locally from your desktop. It will also save and sync them back to the OneDrive cloud.
For users of Windows XP and Windows Vista:
The OneDrive Desktop App is not currently supported on Windows XP or Windows Vista and probably won't be since Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014 and with Windows Vista now being in the extended support phase.. You must use the following third party applications instead:
NetDrive - Another software alternative that you can use to manage documents on OneDrive and other online file services.
GoodSync - Another software alternative that you can use.
Students and staff at schools, colleges and other higher institutes of learning - Read This!!!
As of December 2014, Microsoft is now offering a free subscription to their Office 365 product for students. They're calling it "Office in education" for students who attend certain schools that have decided to partner with Microsoft in offering this. Visit this page for more details and to see if your school is on the list and find out if you're eligible. Once at this page, enter your school assigned e-mail address (usually @ dot edu) in the box. You should also check with your school's IT department as well. Most schools and colleges have a link to their IT Department on their web site, but this can sometimes be referred to as the Instructional Technology Department as well.
If your college or school does not partner or participate with Microsoft in offering a free 4 year subscription to their Office 365 product, Microsoft also offers a Professional Academic Version of Office 365. They're calling it Office 365 University at the reduced subscription price $79.99 for a 4 years as of this writing. The subscription is good for four years. In order to qualify for this pricing, you must either have an e-mail address (usually @ dot edu) or you must be able to prove to Microsoft that you are a qualifying student at an educational institution and you must also have a Microsoft Account in order to apply under these circumstances.
Open Office.org - For those of you who cannot afford a user license for Microsoft Office or do not wish to use the free Office Online service, I have found Open Office to be a great alternative to Microsoft's version and it will even open most documents that were created with Microsoft's version. The only drawback is Open Office does not use the same default file save format as Microsoft's version does and you have to use the "Save As" every time you need to save a document in a different file format. The only other problem with Open Office is that it does not include an e-mail program similar to MS Outlook, however, there are some free alternatives to Outlook that are available. For more details, please visit my e-mail accounts page. I have them listed there.
LibreOffice - I have not personally test this program, but I do see from it's web site, that it is another free MS Office alternative to those who can not afford a user license. If anyone has used LibreOffice, I would welcome your feedback on it.
Other Free Online Cloud Storage Services
There are simply too many others to mention here, so for other free online cloud storage services, this site maintains a huge list of other free online cloud storage services.
Last modified Tuesday April 24, 2018 04:57 AM US Eastern Time
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