Essential Guide

The essential Office 365 migration guide

A comprehensive collection of articles, videos and more, hand-picked by our editors

Comparing Office 2013 and Office 365 pricing, packages

We explain the differences between Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2013, including the evolution of Office and Microsoft Office pricing.

Before Microsoft Office, people bought programs, such as word processors, as individual products. Microsoft introduced a bundle of applications called "Office" in 1989. (By the way, that first version was for the Macintosh. Windows did not become an important operating environment until 1990.) That is how it started and how it became a massive hit with users.

Later, Microsoft came up with a BackOffice suite of server applications that worked with the Office desktop applications. These included Exchange email, Windows Server (Windows NT Server at the time) and SQL Server relational database. Over the years, Microsoft added other back-end components, such as SharePoint Server, for collaboration between users and groups, and Lync Server, for unified communications.

That was a useful and intuitive model, and it was generally easy for IT and licensing professionals to understand.

How did we get from a fairly simple set of offerings -- bundles of desktop productivity software designed to work with bundles of server software -- to the confusing array that Microsoft offers today?

Cloud computing is transforming how a myriad of computing services are delivered to users. It also creates a conundrum for Microsoft, in terms of how to package and market the front-end and back-end features that users want at a price they're willing to pay on a on a subscription basis. To help make the shift, Microsoft needs to try to serve the needs of IT pros who do not trust moving their critical data and applications to the cloud.

The company offers both classic on-premises Office packages and three editions that are provided on a subscription basis. Two of these are designed for the small-business, home-business markets, but the third, Office Professional Plus 2013, is built for enterprise use.

One of the benefits of the subscription model is that users run the latest code, which is automatically installed, whereas local, on-premises deployments require periodic manual updates.

“Microsoft Office has faced competition from inexpensive or even free desktop applications, such as Google Docs and IBM SmartCloud Docs, that run inside a browser.”So, beginning with Office 2010, Microsoft provided a streamlined set of browser-based productivity applications. The Office Web Apps are not full-featured products like Microsoft Office, though they are gradually moving in that direction.

What are the details of Office 365 features, and how is Microsoft Office priced?

With the arrival of managed hosting, Microsoft initially offered back-end server services under the name Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). BPOS would allow Microsoft to sell hosted server software services on a subscription basis.

That changed again with Office 365, in 2011. Office 365 is the follow-on to BPOS.

Despite the Office moniker, most editions of Office 365 do not actually include Office 2013 productivity applications.

With Office 365 Small Business Premium, subscribers are entitled to locally install and use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access and Publisher. These apps can be streamed to a different device if the user's normal PC is unavailable. This version of Microsoft Office includes Lync unified communications on multiple PCs or Macs, but without support for SharePoint, SQL Server and Exchange. The small business package costs $12.50 per user per month or $149.99 annually.

Meanwhile, Office 365 Midsize Business and Enterprise Plan E3 lets IT shops run Office Professional Plus 2013 as a subscription that includes the desktop productivity suite and cloud-based server applications such as Exchange, SharePoint Server and Lync unified communications.

However, that edition costs $20 per user per month for the cloud services, plus the cost of an Office Professional Plus 2013 subscription. A license for an on-premises installation of Office Professional Plus 2013 starts at $508, which allows the user to install it on up to five devices, according to Microsoft's volume pricing lists for December obtained by TechTarget.

Microsoft has not yet revealed all of its pricing and packages for Office 2013. More information is expected to be revealed when Office 2013 reaches general availability. Office Professional 2010 -- the previous version -- costs $399.99 for a single PC.

This was last published in January 2013

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Essential Guide

The essential Office 365 migration guide

Join the conversation

64 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Which is a better deal - Office 2013 or Office 365?
Cancel
Office 365 - The usability from one devise to another plus data banking in the cloud
Cancel
365 is too expensive. No need to change off what we use–it works. Don’t need to "keep up with the Joneses."
Cancel
I can install it locally and The company where I work got a good deal for us if we buy Office 2013 for Microsoft.
Cancel
Office 365 is the way forward. No more desktop suites are required in this world . Everything shall remain in the cloud
Cancel
With 365 you always have the latest version no worry about falling behind. In the long run it will be more cost effect. Lower initial costs and the license transfers to a new PC when you need to update your hardware.
Cancel
I already use Office 365 and I’m very pleased with it.
Cancel
Office 2013. I live being able to pay once and not to worry about do I have the money forever to keep paying.
Cancel
Office 2013. You are in control of your data, and full use of the office products, whether online or not. Never have and never will trust anyone with my data, you can’t convince me no one on the back end will not be foraging through my information, NSA anyone, or just the nosey geek working in the data center.
Cancel
Our Data is too confidential to put up into the cloud
Cancel
no in cloud
Cancel
cause its mine and i can use on my pc
Cancel
We will deploy Office 2013 after Service Pack 1 is released. Currently completing Office 2010 deployment in 2013. Will seriously at Office 365 with the version released after Office 2013 asthe bugs should all be worked out by then.
Cancel
The 365 does not make sense, way more expensive than maintaining my Office Plus Volume license with SA.
Cancel
I'm using Office 2013 today because it's part of our Microsoft Software Assurance maintenance plan. It's a local install, though. No SaaS/Cloud for us just yet!
Cancel
As a California school district, the cost, even at $20 a system I am looking at $100k annually to maintain licensing. We spend $20K for the VL licensing $80K is a person's job here
Cancel
We have already moved to the Office 365 environment for email and sharepoint.
Cancel
Well I still haven't seen anything that makes me want to upgrade from office pro 2007, my business does not use the cloud, nor would it be prudent to store our data in the cloud. With an interface similar to windows 8, even more reason not to move to either of these versions. While we do use Smart phones, we haven't found any use for Tablets for business purposes. My Business is Firearms my data is far to sensitive for insecure unreliable devices.
Cancel
I am OK with Office 2010, no need to upgrade. Also budget restrictions apply!
Cancel
I will continue to use Office 2007
Cancel
May I add a short comment?
My understanding is that a license for an on-premises installation of Office Professional Plus 2013 needs to be assigned to just one device. The user right to install the product on up to five devices is only allowed when an E3 or E4 Online plan is chosen.

Cancel
hosted exchange with office 2013.
Cancel
Content with Office 2010 thanks
Cancel
I want my apps close to me and all my work closer. I am not a proponent of the cloud for storing data. For now things appear safe and reliable but I don't believe it will remain that way. Even AWS has been down a few times in the last year. Also no matter if there is a DOS attack or I just can't get on the internet for whatever reason I can still work if I am using Office 2013.
Cancel
Because the cloud versions are not as complete as the desktop versions.
Cancel
Because we have an EA with Microsoft.
Cancel
Desktop 2010 is fine for now. I don't want to get involved with offsite storage.
Cancel
we are currently using installing office 2010 and we don't see a need to go to office 2013 or 365 at this time
Cancel
No need for Office 365 in office environment. Cost will be known. Office 365 will be good for travelers.
Cancel
How do you run a cracked version of Office 365?
Cancel
Need the integration into Visio and Project
Cancel
Too expensive
Cancel
Currently the only department that absolutely, positively must use Office is the Finance people (who seem to want to use a spreadsheet for everything... including simple lists, simply because it puts things in nice columns).

Formal documents and manuals are handled by Marketing using a combination of Office for Mac, and Adobe products.

All the other aspects for R&D, IT and Manufacturing have needed collaborative access to documents for a while and migrated to GoogleDocs 5 years ago. It's not as complete, or capable product but it is easily accessible and lends itself to collaboration well.

Note! The content of GoogleDocs generated contain no proprietary material or references that would compromise company security or safety. If it later needs to be turned into something of a more official nature, it gets exported and transferred from the 'techies' to the wordsmiths in Marketing for development into a real document.
Cancel
Just too expensive when something else works almost as well for free!
Cancel
Our Office 2007 & 2010 packages are still serving us well. The money has already been spent here. We can't afford to upgrade every time a new office package comes along.
Cancel
At some stage we will be looking at one of them - we are currently Office 2007 with some on Office 2010. It will all be down to cost and what benefits that each product could bring, the storage of most documents will have to be internal for most of our users though we are happy the security of documents in their cloud.
Cancel
I'm using office 2003
It is too cost prohibitive to keep upgrading all the time already have product that works why try to fix
cloud issues internet connectivity can be lost in severe weather vehicle accidents
so the connection to application that is needed may not be avilable 24hrs 365
Cancel
I plan to upgrade with the 365 Home Premium, so long as I can use it without being connected to the Internet.
Cancel
Microsoft are forcing Australia to use the one provider who can then charge whatever they like as we can't go to a competitor.
Cancel
Being able to edit/create office files offline is a great asset to be able to do
Cancel
Cheaper and better control
Cancel
Cloud from Microsoft is too expensive!!
Cancel
Because we have an EA agreement with Microsoft and our security techs are really leery of anything "cloud-based".
Cancel
owning is better than renting
Cancel
Physical presence of the application "on desktop" is a controlling factor in asset capital expense.
Cancel
Not sure what Office 2013 really provides other than more cloud services like SkyDrive. Also, it sounds trivial, but I really hate the 2D, white color scheme. it's so bland and unfinished looking.
Cancel
The price of an E3 license includes a subscription to Office 2010 so for $240 a year you get cloud+Office on-premise.
Cancel
Concerns over security, ownership and bandwidth will stop me using cloud based services
Cancel
I have a O365 Subscription but only b/c the hosting was cheap for what I got, I transferred my domain and DNS for my web site hosting and basically got the rest for free! Now my site was a basic site no Shopping cart, or crazy code behind, but still it paid for itself, now on the other side of things ""owning is still better than renting"" but only if you need control and customization... If it is simple users doing simple tasks, I personally see a future of the hybrid model. That's basically what windows 8 is, you have the table features, mixed with some cloud services, but yet the ability to run in desktop mode...
Cancel
will not use a subscription based or cloud based service
Cancel
We'll NEVER use cloud-based services for day-to-day data-centric office productivity (like MS Office). Too risky and too costly with no perceived or actual benefit (we have an EA).

And why would we bother with Office 2013 when the majority of our day-to-day user base is extremely comfortable (i.e. productive & familiar) with what they use now?

Heck – we still use Office 2003 and when we do eventually update, we’ll skip 2007 and go straight to 2010, though no one is looking forward to the ribbon-based UI (let-alone what ever frippery is delivered with 2013).

So, why pick up all the downsides (like training and increased support and broken apps, and …) by installing a product which nobody wants and no one needs and no one will be any more productive with?

Just BTW - we're going to give Windows 8 a miss too!
Cancel
As a ms software house, it would be silly not to investigate 365's impact and viability
Cancel
Why pay for something year after year and that updates when you don't want it to? End users want familiar, stable software. Few like moving to new versions - they do it mostly because they're forced to!

Microsoft just don't get their user base.
Cancel
We only refresh our Office apps every 5 years. ROI for Office suite is 20 months.
Cancel
2010 is more than I need
Cancel
Do not want data in a public cloud. Costs
Cancel
Let's see. I pay Microsoft $149.99 per year to have all my documents on their servers for Office 360 or $600 per year for my 4 users in my home and have no control over how they use the data in it, or how they must allow the government to peer into all my files should they decide they want to snoop. Also I have no control over how I set it up and what add-ins I place on it and how I trick it up to help me do my work the way I want to do my work. Why would I do that?
Cancel
keeping enterprise data secure
Cancel
Its price is good to be used at home. For work Office 2013 still seems like to be the only option.
Cancel
I've been using Office 365 (and the old BPOS for Exchange) since the beginning. These posts about security concerns are completely unfounded in this discussion - using Office 365 Enterprise, Small Business Premium or Midsize all include the latest version of Office for a reasonable cost. I love the idea that I don't have to continue to update and patch 143 computers as updates come out and that the latest software is continually streamed to every computer. Plus since I get up to 5 uses for each license I have the added perk for my users that they can install it at home to use at no cost.
Most of my company's and users' docs are still stored either locally or on my server as they have always been, but I now also have the option of using SharePoint and Public Folders for collaboration that helps me maintain sharing rights and version control without having to host SharePoint Server.
In my case a win-win-win scenario
Cancel
Don't trust the cloud or Microsoft...
Cancel
TCO
Cancel
Firstly, I normally use a satellite link to the internet which is costly for daytime downloads, has a frustrating lag when obtaining data from the internet and is sometimes quite erratic. Also, I am often on the road where I use wireless communications (when I can receive them) and they are even worse then the satellite link.
Cancel
I use 2010 and haven't been convinced to upgrade to 2013, and store my docs on the cloud in another server, but don't see a need for sharing things actively in the cloud.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchVirtualDesktop

SearchWindowsServer

SearchExchange

Close