Word 2013: Buying Office 2013

Lesson 1: Buying Office 2013


In January 2013, Microsoft released the latest version of its Office software suite, Office 2013. It also released Office 365 Home, a subscription-based version of Office. If you're thinking of purchasing or upgrading to Office 2013, there are several factors to consider, including the cost and features of each version.

All about Office 2013

The Microsoft Office suite is an essential collection of applications that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and much more. Office 2013, the latest version of the Office suite, includes some significant changes. Microsoft is now offering Office through a yearly subscription plan, and the company has heavily integrated it with its Microsoft account and OneDrive (previously known as SkyDrive). Therefore, it's important to understand the different services and available purchasing options before you buy.

Click the arrows in the slideshow below to learn about some of the Office 2013 services and features.

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Visit our Microsoft Account and OneDrive and Office Online tutorials to learn about these services in more detail.

Office 2013 purchasing options

If you're considering purchasing or upgrading to Office 2013, you'll need to compare different pricing options to help choose the Office that's right for you. Review the infographic below to learn more about the cost and features of the different versions of Office 2013.

infographic breaking down different options for purchasing Office 2013

Which version of Office is right for me?

If you're still not sure which version of Office you want, take some time to think about the features that are most important to you and how they fit into your budget. Below are some questions you may want to ask yourself:

  • Do I just need Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, or do I need the entire Office suite? If you only need the core Office applications, it may be best to buy Office Home & Student because it's the cheapest option over the long term. If you need advanced programs like Access, you'll need either Office Professional or Office 365.
  • Do I want to install Office on more than one computer? If your household has several computers, you may want to get an Office 365 Home subscription. Office 365 Personal and the nonsubscription versions can only be installed on one computer.
  • Will I do a lot of editing on the go? If you want to edit Office documents on the go, Office 365 may be your best option because it will give you access to Office mobile apps. However, keep in mind that you can do basic editing in a web browser with Office Online even if you don't own a copy of Office.

Student and business pricing

Microsoft offers discounts for the Office 2013 suite to college students and businesses. Check out Office 365 University and Office for Business to learn more.

How to buy Office 2013

Image of Office 2013 Product BoxsOffice 2013
  • Office 2013 and Office 365 are available directly from the Microsoft Store, as well as through retailers like Amazon.
  • Office 365 is also available for a free trial, which can help you decide if it's right for your needs.

For more help making a decision, you can always ask an associate at your local Microsoft Store for advice. Alternatively, you can call 1-800-MY-MS-STORE for more information about the product you're interested in.

Office for other devices

Office for Mac

Image of Office for Mac 2011 Product Box

Office 2013 does not include an update for the Mac OS X version of Office. Mac users can still purchase a single license of the existing version (Office for Mac 2011) or install Office for Mac 2011 on up to five computers with a subscription to Office 365.

A subscription to Office 365 also guarantees that you'll receive the newest version of Office for Mac whenever it's made available.

Office for mobile devices

Screenshot of Office for iPad

If you have a Microsoft account, you can use Office Mobile apps to create and edit Office documents from various devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. The basic editing features are available for free, but to use all of the features you'll need an Office 365 subscription.

Keep in mind that Office Mobile apps don't include all of the features found in the desktop version of Office. They will probably be most helpful for editing existing files on the go.