Can someone provide me with info on how Office 365 works?

Dec 9, 2015
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I currently have Office 2010 installed on both my laptop and my desktop PC. I'm retired so my need for these applications is somewhat limited but in order to remain supported I probably need to upgrade to a newer version. I know from several articles that Microsoft makes enhancements to Office 365 that will not be included in Office 2019 and based on the cost of 2 copies of Office 2019 it's making some sense to me to consider Office 365 as I could share the other 4 copies you get with a subscription with other members of my family.

The thing that I'm curious about is how you install and use Office 365 in comparison to how one would install and use Office 2019. Is this a case where you download a copy and install it on your PC like Office 2019 and thru some validation process like Quicken if you don't pay your annual subscription fee the product is somehow disabled or is this a case where there is noting installed on your PC and you run everything from the cloud? My reason for asking is that prefer having products I use installed on my PC that I can use offline and even though it would be more expensive I might want to still buy Office 2019.

If someone can provide me with a brief overview of how Office 365 installs and is used I would appreciate the info.



Microsoft MVP
Mar 2, 2012
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Office 365 can be downloaded & installed in essentially the same was as, say, Office 2013-2019. Subscriptions are available on an annual or monthly basis. If you don't keep your subscription up-to-date, Office will stop working. Users occasionally find that
Office 365 stops working just because they haven't connected to the internet for some time and, when they next go to use
Office 365, it thinks the license has expired. Easily-enough overcome by re-connecting to the internet.

The cheapest multi-user edition of Office 365 is Office 365 Personal ( You might want to check whether which edition meets all potential users' needs.
Mar 4, 2016
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You can either subscribe through your Microsoft account with a credit card or buy yearly Office 365 codes and add them to your account to redeem subscription time. Microsoft charges $70 per year or $7 per month for Office 365 Personal. Microsoft also offers a one-month free trial of Office 365 Personal, so you can try it before paying anything.

The Office 365 package includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. However, it also includes Outlook, Publisher, and Access. In addition, you get 1 TB of online storage space in OneDrive and 60 minutes of Skype minutes every month. You can use these minutes to call phones from Skype.

You can only download and use Office through Office 365 if your subscription is current. If you stop paying for the subscription, you lose access to your Office applications.

When you subscribe to Office 365, you can install Office on either a PC or Mac. If you switch from a Mac to a Windows PC, or vice versa, you don’t have to pay anything extra. Just deactivate the license from your Windows PC and install it on your Mac.

Office 365 Personal allows you to install Office on one PC or Mac at a time, plus one tablet—either an iPad, Android, or Windows tablet.

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