Are you considering buying or subscribing to Microsoft Office? You can defend yourself against the high prices: The increasingly rare, stand-alone versions of the software start at around $ 150. Microsoft Office app subscriptions start at $ 7 a month or $ 70 a year, and prices for professional versions are rising rapidly.
We got it: there is quite a bit of money to spend on basic productivity software. However, if you don't need the latest features, you can still save a significant amount of money on Microsoft Office. Here's how.
Use the free web and mobile apps
Microsoft has gradually expanded the number of apps that you can use online for free and now offers an impressive suite that can be easily merged with downloaded apps when required and has numerous functions for an average project.
It is also very easy to sign up. Go to this website, select the app you want (scroll down for all options) and sign in to your Microsoft account to get started. If you don't have a Microsoft account, signing up is easy. Because you need Office Online, you should still create an account. That way, you can use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Calendar, and other traditional Microsoft apps. You also get access to other niche apps like Sway, an interactive reporting / presentation app. People, an expanded, Skype-friendly contact list; and Docs.com to upload and share documents.
So if all of this is available here for free, why does the rest of this article exist? While these apps are useful, they only work for very basic functions. They don't offer all the features of Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365), and of course you need an online connection to use them. It works for simple tasks like putting together a simple document – but not for more complex ones.
Get office apps about your school
If you are part of an educational organization (student, faculty, or staff), take the time to enter your school email address on this website and see if you can get a free version of Office. Microsoft is expanding the Office 365 Education program to all students, but your school must be enrolled first to be lucky.
If your school is not part of the program, an administrator can easily enroll you. The benefits are basically the same as the trial version of the software, with a separate class notebook for class management, unlimited online meetings, and options for customizing the intranet.
If you've just graduated, you may not be able to get Office apps for free, but at a very low cost. With the Alumni Discount, you can purchase Office 365 Personal for 12 months for just $ 1 a month. This is particularly advantageous for beginners in their professional environment.
Try a free 30-day trial of Microsoft 365
Free trials are still a thing and Microsoft Office apps are no exception. If you want to try Microsoft 365 for free, you can – for a whole month. Just go to the free trial and sign up. With the trial version, you can download Microsoft 365 for up to six users and on Windows, Macs and mobile devices. You also get 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage that anyone can experiment with. The trial version includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and other apps.
The downside is that you only get one month of service, which is obviously not an advantage if you need long-term access. Another limitation is that Microsoft requires your financial account information before downloading and automatically charges you after the month, which can make it difficult to break away from Microsoft 365 (what it's about). This way, you can try the full version of Microsoft 365 to see if it offers enough to be worth the price. However, you can cancel them if you don't want to be charged.
Note: Some product offerings can be a bit tricky, e.g. For example, the "Test Microsoft 365 Personal free of charge" hook in the Microsoft Store. Be warned that this still applies to the one-month trial, even if it doesn't come out right and says so. Don't try the free product key sites, which tend to be patchy and rarely available.
Sign up for a review (30 to 60 days)
The Microsoft Evaluation Center is a program that you can use to test certain Office apps for a certain period of time. The only Office evaluation program offered by Microsoft is for Office 365 ProPlus, which lasts 30 days. It's basically another way to get a free trial, but with more specific and comprehensive software.
However, please note that this is an evaluation period, so the service will stop after the specified period. Microsoft can also use this service to fix the problems in newer apps. So don't expect everything to be perfect the first time.
Don't forget that you can use free Microsoft Office alternatives
If you need Office-like apps and need them quickly, there are many free versions and alternatives. These apps usually have interfaces that are very similar to Office apps, and their files can often be easily transferred to the Office suite.
This makes these solutions great when necessary – or only when you need to save some money.