Microsoft Office: What You Should Know

What Is Microsoft Office?

Introduced in 1988, the first version of the Microsoft Office productivity software included Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications. Today's versions of the Microsoft Office Suite are designed for a variety of users and computing environments, and encompass other useful, business-focused programs like Access, Outlook, Sway, Publisher, Skype for Business, Project, Visio and SharePoint. With your computer, Microsoft software and a printer, you have the tools you need to tackle a wide range of projects. And, of course, in this age of online threats and cyber attacks, having a dependable antivirus software is a must-have as well.

Choosing Microsoft Office Student, Home, Business or 365

Microsoft Office is available in two ways: a one-time purchase of a specific version, and as a subscription service. For the Student one-time purchase version, you will get Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. The Home & Business version has those listed above, plus Outlook. The Publisher and Access applications are available in the Professional version. Most subscription products include all the above-mentioned applications (Publisher and Access available for PC only), plus you can install the software on several different devices, automatically get regular updates, and qualify for Microsoft technical support. Also, when a new version of Office is released, as a subscriber, you're eligible to upgrade. The subscription also includes OneDrive cloud storage, which may be helpful in place of, or in addition to, an external hard drive for backing up information, organizing files, and storing data.

Will Microsoft Office Run on My Computer?

You can install Office on many devices, including PCs, laptops, Android tablets or Android phones running Windows 7 or later, and on your Mac computer, MacBook, iPad, or iPhone running Mac OS X 10.10 or later. Office applications may vary across devices because each is tailored to provide maximum productivity on each platform. Additionally, it may be helpful to know that documents created by these latest versions of Office can be opened by earlier versions of the software starting with Office 2007, without downloading a compatibility pack.