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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. I'm Jess Stratton. This week, I wanted to take a moment to explain and show you how Microsoft Office 365 works. Specifically, if you're a household, you may have heard of it being advertised and you may know it's different than going to the store and buying the boxed version of the Office Suite. So what is it, exactly? Well, the software is exactly the same as the boxed software. It's the licensing structure that's different. Personally, I think it's really neat. You're essentially renting the Microsoft Office Suite, so you'll always be entitled to the most up to date versions of the software.
I pointed my browser to office.microsoft.com, and I clicked on products to get to the Office 365 launching page. So here's where you can see that there's a family version and an individual version. If you purchase the boxed software directly, it's a few hundred dollars for just one person to be able to use it. And you'll have to buy it again when Microsoft comes out with the next version. So the licensing structure of renting Office, makes a lot of sense and I personally think it's a fantastic way, to get your entire family all on the same version and current, and, on the same bill.
There's two different licenses of Office 365 for residential use. There's Office 365 for families, and for individuals. For a family, for $9.99 a month or $99 a year, you can install the most up to date version of Microsoft Office on up to five different desktops. Now when I say desktop, it can be Mac, PC or a mix of both. In fact, I'm going to click over here into my Account page and I can see the allocation. For example, on top, Office 365 Home.
And I can see that it's for five PCs or Macs and up to five tablets. So you can also install the mobile versions of Office, and they have new apps for iPad, on up to five different tablets and smartphones. So this is great for a family. With the Office suite, your entire family can have the full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, Access and Outlook. And you also get 20 gigabytes of storage on OneDrive, which used to be called Microsoft SkyDrive, to store all of your Office documents.
I've done a Monday Productivity Pointer on SkyDrive, so you can watch that and see what it's about. Finally, as an additional benefit, you get free time to make telephone calls from your computer to up to 60 countries with Skype. So I can see here's me as a user. And it's telling me over here on the right-hand side what each person gets. And then if I go down one more, I can see the install information. And here's where I can see the current allocations, meaning who of my family members have installed it.
So here's one user where it's installed. I have a current invite to somebody else. And here's where I can click to add additional family members to send them invites to download and install the software. I can see tablet installations, I can see what version and what computer name is actually using the software. And I can choose what I want to install, Office for Windows or Office for Mac. So as you can see, it's really easy to differentiate what you're installing and where. I can also deactivate an install, if I want to allocate it somewhere else.
For example, if I'm moving to a new computer. I'll scroll down a little bit, and here's where I can see how to get Office on iPads and other mobile devices like Windows phone, Android phone, iPad and iPhone. Finally, I can activate my Skype world minutes to get those free 60 minutes that I'm entitled to. I can also cancel my subscription right here from this little account landing page. So it's a great overview to see what's going on and who has what installed, and how many licenses I'm currently using.
Not to mention, even if you don't have your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone with you, you can sign into Office 365 Online and work on a cloud version of the software. Anybody can use Office Online for free. But if you're taking advantage of using OneDrive to share and store all your files, you can access those. And it's fully functional, just like as if you were sitting in front of your computer. Except you're on a browser. Now, the personal version of this software has the exact same entitlements except just for one computer and one tablet instead of five.
And it's currently priced at $69 a user. If you're a small business, there's a licensing for your users also. And if you come down here back to that Microsoft Office 365 page, you can instead click on Office 365 for Business, and that's where you can see those plans. So, I was just talking and focusing on households right now. So as you can see, renting Microsoft Office using Office 365, can be a great alternative to constantly having to buy the box version of it and additional licenses for more family members.
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