Microsoft discouraging people From buying Office 2019, and instead encouraging them to buy Office 365, may make Microsoft “Crazy Like a Fox”. What Options Do I Have?

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Recently Microsoft has introduced its latest version of Office called Office 2019.  Microsoft calls Office 2019 the “perpetual version” of Office. You pay for it once and own it forever. It doesn’t get upgraded until the next major version is released, typically not for several years. You can use it on only one computer. Prices vary depending on the version, for example, $150 for the Home & Student version, $250 for the more powerful Home & Business version, and a variety of pricing plans for enterprises.

Office 365, the subscription version of Office, by way of contrast, gets continually updated, and has many powerful features that the perpetual version of Office will never get, such as collaboration with co-workers via Excel, Designer and QuickStarter design tools for PowerPoint, and a number of researching and editing tools for Word. The price varies, depending on which Office applications you want, and how many devices you want to use it on, from $70 a year for Office 365 Personal to $100 a year for Office 365 Home, plus a number of different pricing plans for enterprises.

Office 365 has 155 million commercial users and 33.5 million consumers who subscribe to it. That’s a lot of people. But it’s dwarfed by the approximately 1 billion people around the world who instead use the perpetual version of Office.  Microsoft has been encouraging people to go to the Office 365 product.  Jared Sparato, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, kicked off the campaign with a blog post that pretty much says everything Microsoft has to say about its view of Office 365 versus Office 2019: “The Twins Challenge: Office 365 crushes Office 2019.”

In the blog, he first extols the benefits of Office 365, which, he says, include apps that “keep getting better over time, with new capabilities delivered every month. Most importantly, Office 365 is connected to the cloud, so you can access your content from any device, coauthor with anyone in real-time … and use the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to create more impactful content with less effort.”

As for Office 2019, he points out that its apps are “frozen in time. They don’t ever get updated with new features, and they’re not cloud-connected. Also, Office 2019 doesn’t support real-time coauthoring across apps, and it doesn’t have the amazing AI-powered capabilities that come with Office 365.”

I, Don Gibbens, am personally using the Office 365 product.  It makes sense to me to have the “latest and greatest” and to have it on all my devices, being able to not have to pay for Five copies of the same!   I also have to have it, because many of my clients are using the Microsoft Office and I need to know it.  I know, though, that I will be paying $100 a year for this privilege, which will add up over time, perhaps costing me far more in the long run than just having Office 2019!  This is where Microsoft may be “Crazy Like a Fox”,  knowing I will “spend more” than the one time purchase over time!

But what if I want to only occasionally use a Word Processor, or make a Spreadsheet, and do not need the power or complexity of Office 2019 or Office 365?  What if I am short of Coin, and can’t afford to spring for Office 2019 or Office 365?  Then consider alternative Office Solutions, like LibreOffice.  It is Open Source, meaning free or near free, and is at least 90-95% compatible with Office.

In fact, in the Refurbished computer systems I make available to people, I put LibreOffice in.  The cost of Office 2019 or even Office 365 is most often at or near the cost of the equipment!

Do you have questions or do not know what direction to go?  Allow me to help you!