Word vs Word

I’ve always been the sort to acquire standalone versions of software rather than to delve into subscriptions. But lately, as I have been trying to sort out more general stuff, like compatibility issues with the likes of MS Office 2021, it is occurring to me to rethink the philosophy.
My first round of “checking the Math”

So I, basically, need 3 versions of MS Office (Home and Student is fine).
That’s 149 x 3 = $447 for about 4 years of supported (i.e. updates and security) software.

Now take MS 365 Subscription
Let’s say the Family version:
That’s, I think, 99 bucks a year for installation on up to 5 devices x 2 to 6 users. … I think,
So that’s: $99 x (4 years support time frame) = $396 for a bucket load of installs

I only really need 3, and if I am not mistaken my methodology as applied to the 365 Personal at 69 bucks makes my Math … even more interesting.

Am I missing something?

P.S. not a Microsoft Sales Employee :sunglasses:

Nope. You’ve pretty much got it. I did the same math a few years ago (3 people and 4-5 computers), which is why I’m using a 365 subscription.

Another big plus is that subscribers get new features as they are developed. A standalone license gives you bug fixes and security updates but no new features until the next version is released (requiring a new license).

Finally, I also appreciate the fact that if you let the subscription lapse, the software doesn’t lock you out of your documents. An unregistered installation can open, view and print existing documents (but won’t let you edit or save anything). So your data isn’t held hostage.

Also, be on the lookout for deals when buying a subscription. My last renewal was via Costco: I paid $85 for a 15 month family subscription (vs. MSRP of $99 for a 12 month subscription). I’ve also seen discounts on Amazon from time to time.

IMO, if you need more than two licenses, a subscription is a definite money saver in the long run. Some people object to subscriptions as a matter of principle, but to everybody else, I think it’s a good deal.


Or there’s LibreOffice, which costs nothing at all! Works absolutely fine for my purposes. I’m retired so nothing mission-critical. The discussion forum has proved helpful with any problems.

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This is what I’ve been doing the last few years, I’m now on a Personal plan but was able to get another year’s subscription for £45 via Amazon versus £60 if I’d bought it through Microsoft. I guess Microsoft is happy as long as I keep using their software.

For anyone about to mention LibreOffice, if this was just for creating my own documents I’d be using Pages, but since this is for work and I need to exchange documents with others, using Word reduces (but doesn’t eliminate, alas) the number of potential incompatibilities.

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A caveat, though: I subscribed via Amazon for a couple of years. The first year I got a $50 Amazon.com gift card as a rebate, which technically made the family subscription half price. The second year (Dec 2020, 10 months ago at this posting) it was a much smaller discount, but it was convenient to renew it.

Except, it wasn’t. The 3rd party sales mechanism that registers Amazon digital licenses with Microsoft ran into a SNAFU that meant Microsoft thought the license was registered and expired all at once, and neither would take responsibility for fixing it. Amazon offered to refund the license, and I purchased a new license direct from Microsoft, full freight.

When it works, it’s as @jmhbpc and @Shamino describe. I will never, ever purchase an Adobe subscription because of its restrictive and greedy design. The Office 365 sub, on the other hand, strikes the right balance between meeting Microsoft’s desire for a revenue stream and returning value for the use of the software to the licensee. In my opinion, of course.

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Ebay sellers also offer physical card versions for heavy discounts. You pay them, they email you the code from the physical card (i.e. no wasting time to receive the actual physical card in the post!) to add to your current/new subscription.

You can stack up to 5 years of subscription (i.e. 60 months) on your MS account.

Make sure you get the Home (6 large devices) cards not the Personal (1 device) cards, of course. If you do get a code for a year of Personal, AFAIR it only adds pro-rata ~6 months to a full Home plan you already have. (something like that; please check yourselves, lol!)

Thanks for the prompt.
I guess your comments mainly are in regard to license cards, which I had not really heard of, and the discounts, there in.
The MS website

indicates Use the subscription on up to 5 devices at the same time

I am, basically, waiting to pull the trigger on a purchase when I feel confident I can actually install it on Big Sur. It’s theoretically possible, but I have no direct knowledge to that fact :thinking:

Well…Big Sur, several MacOS predecessors, iOS, iPadOS, and any Windows computers you happen to have lying around. That includes Windows running under virtualization on a Mac that also has Office installed.

If I’m misunderstanding your last comment, I apologize, but that’s how all of mine are rolling at the moment. And it’s a Family vs. Personal license: my spouse has license 2, which is spread among 3 of her devices. Which leaves me three more licenses.

No misunderstanding I think, but I still have not rallied another go-round since my initial endeavors for the MS upgrade

Not to mention, proverbially speaking, umm, since I am actually mentioning it.
I am a bit concerned about the rather exorbitantly high level of problematic experiences/review for the iOS version of the suite of apps

Plus I am curious as to the reliability of MS Subscription Program … it seems
good part of the negative reviews on MS 365 program relate to poor management and customer support for glitches in that system.
The one good thing about a standalone version and license is that the license is locked in, and not subject to possible anomalies due to expiry dates, re-installs, and such

You’re probably over thinking this.

I really wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve added many years to my account…erm, over the years, and it pretty much works as expected.

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Point taken,
yes, I do that

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