On January 29th, 2013 Microsoft released Office 2013 to the general public and made some important changes to Office 365. I wanted to take some time to explain the changes. Please know that the information is new and that it’s possible (yes, possible) that I wont get this all correct – this blog entry will change over time to reflect any updates. I will check my facts and sources to do my best to be as accurate as possible. If you need any clarifying questions answered, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-774-9187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some topics that I will attempt to clarify in this blog entry
Office 365 – what’s in a name and how has it changed?
What is the difference between Office 365 and Office 2013?
Licensing options available for Office 365
Office editions available, including Office 2013 and Office 365
Office 365 has essentially been a brand name that encompassed the cloud-hosted business server products we associate with Office 365: Lync, SharePoint and Exchange. NOW, however, Microsoft is using the brand name of Office 365 to include the subscription based product without these server products. This is very important. Naturally, you must be asking – so what is Office 365 without servers? The answer is that it is the Office Suite you have known for years. The licensing and delivery of the product is what has changed. Office 365 without servers is simply Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc) licensed as a User Subscription License (USL). This means the user can load Office on multiple devices (limited to 5 devices per user). Office 365 is a subscription paid annually or monthly depending on your preference and long as you are subscribed to the product you will get upgrades through the portal located at https://portal.microsoftonline.com.
So what’s the difference between Office 365 and Office 2013? Office 365 is a subscription based product as aforementioned. Office 2013, however, is purchased through Volume Licensing and/or FPP (Full Packaged Product – like you see at Best Buy or at our site). The licensing for Office 2013 is essentially perpetual, which is to say once you buy it you own the rights to use it perpetually. Office 365 is a subscription, so you can use it as long as you are properly subscribed.
There are key differences in what you get as well. For example, with Office 365 you will get Skype Calling minutes every month and also SkyDrive cloud storage for your data (files, pics, docs, etc). One of the other nice features you get with Office 365 is the Office “On Demand” feature. While both methods of licensing (subscription & perpetual) allow you to download Office to your device and run it locally, it appears only Office 365 subscriptions will allow you to use the “On Demand” version, which is 100% browser based. This allows you to use Office no matter where you are as long as you have a browser and internet co