Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2013 - 365 vs 2013 - Geek Guru

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Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2013 – 365 vs 2013

In this series of posts, we’re providing some insight into the most recent Office suites from Microsoft, Office 2013 and Office 365, their pricing structures, similarities, differences, content and what various parts of each package could do for your business.


Office 365 subscription packages come with a multitude of features that can be incredibly useful, but there are also drawbacks, just as with Office 2013 per-pc installations.

One main feature is that your software will always current. If Microsoft were to release Office 2014 or 2015 in future and you had an active subscription to Office 365, you would be entitled to use the most up to date version of Office available. This kind of deal is especially useful if a product is coming to the end of its lifecycle; you won’t have to pay again to upgrade the software when a new version comes out – although you may need to transition to a new subscription model or system.

Another feature is that all packages of Office 365 allow for full access to the main suite of apps (with the exclusion of InfoPath and Lync) and so do not impose any limitations on the use of Publisher, Access or Outlook.

With Office 365, however, unlike its per-PC counterpart Office 2013, you will need to connect to the internet with your Microsoft account every 30 days in order for the software to stay active – so for machines that do not have a regular internet connection, Office 2013 is most likely still the best option.

Subscriptions to Office 365 also need to remain active to ensure that the software is useable. If the subscription to Office 365 lapses or the account gains restrictions for whatever reason, the use of your Office suite will be limited. Restricted copies of Office downloaded using a 365 subscription enter into a read-only mode which means that you can open, print and view documents, but not save them or create new ones. You are, however, given the option to enter a licence key to reactivate your product, so should you choose to purchase a copy instead of having a subscription, your installation of Office will reactivate according to the restrictions on the copy of Office 2013 that was purchased.

The ability to dynamically add or remove users and reassign licenses in the admin control panel with Office 365 means you can swap licenses around as people leave or join your organisation, or add more if your organisation grows – although if it shrinks, you will need to contact Microsoft Customer Care to get the license removed, as there’s no easy way to do this online. Doing this with a normal per-PC activation is easy – you just let the new employee use the activated copy of Office 2013, as license keys are not tied to users. With the traditional licensing method, there is no way to partially or wholly refund a purchased copy of Office 2013 if you find you no longer need it, so you’ll be stuck with a license you’re not using.

The subscription model also allows your business to spread the cost from month to month if necessary, reducing the initial outlay that sometimes comes along with updating volume licensed software for many users.

Next time, in the final post in this series, we’ll be looking at some more of the benefits and drawbacks of using Office 365 or Office 2013, to help you choose the version that’s right for you or your business.


If you need any further advice or information on choosing an Office 2013 or Office 365 package that’s right for you, of if you need advice or a chat about anything IT-related, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll do everything we can to help!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at

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Posted on by Emily
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