Whether you're writing your autobiography, creating a spreadsheet for your ever-shrinking household budget, or making snazzy PowerPoint presentations to impress your boss, Microsoft Office 365 is essential. Since the shift from Microsoft Office to the subscription-based Office 365, it's become more expensive to stay in Microsoft's ecosystem.
We are constantly looking for the latest deals on your favorite software suite, and it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Microsoft Store isn't always the cheapest place to buy it.
It doesn't help that there are so many variations of Office 365, and it's not always clear which you need. You get access to all the essential programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and OneDrive, and you can usually get around 1TB of storage through OneDrive per person. The main difference in versions is how many people can share your access.
The best thing about Microsoft Office 365 is how versatile it is nowadays, and it's not just limited to the confines of a Windows PC. You can use the software across your PC, Mac, or even iOS and Android devices.
Here's our list of the best places to purchase Office 365 right now and where to get the best prices.
Direct from the source
You can of course buy your subscription directly from Microsoft, the Personal version is limited to just one person, but other than that you get all the other benefits the program has to offer including regular updates and such. The subscription will cost you $69.99 a year, or $6.99 a month if you'd rather the short-term commitment.
The cheapest instant delivery
You can easily shave $10 off the yearly subscription by purchasing from Amazon. You can access all the apps on more than 1 device, but this is still the personal version for one email address only at $59.99 for a 12-month subscription. You must remember to cancel before the year is up to prevent renewal if you wish to look again for a better price.
If you're not in a rush...
Walmart is actually the cheapest place to bag an Office 365 subscription right now, as long as you're not in a hurry. You can get $27.99 shaved off the yearly subscription if you don't mind waiting up to 3 days for delivery, as they have it at $42.99 for a limited time.
Sharing is caring
Office 365 Family has the benefit of a free trial month so you can see if it's right for you and your brood. Once the 30 days are up, it will cost $99.99 a year, or $9.99 a month. With Office 365 Family you can share amongst up to 6 people, so for multiple users this really is the better value subscription.
Not another subscription
If the idea of another subscription fills you with dread, you still have options. Microsoft Office Home and Student will get you all of the basic Office apps in one payment of $149.99. Still, you won't get the full benefits of an Office 365 subscription such as use over multiple devices, cloud storage and regular updates. For some, the trade-off is worth it for a simple one-off payment.
When you really mean business
While very similar to other 365 subscriptions, you get a few extra features with this designed for small businesses. This subscription is really only good for one person, but you get a license that can cover it for a business with up to 300 people. You also get Business Bookings and some extra services like Microsoft Teams, Sharepoint, and Exchange. You can trial the Basic, Standard and Premium versions for free for 1 month.
Office 365 for Students
Office 365 is actually free if you are a student or teacher, and have an eligible email address, so for a personal subscription, you can save $69.99 a year by registering here for free access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams.
Office Online is free
Don't forget that you can use all of Microsoft's Office apps online, completely free. They are web-based but you can create and edit documents, workbooks and design presentations using just your browser. Simply sign into the Microsoft Office website to get started. No installation is required; you can collaborate with others online and get 5GB of free cloud storage on OneDrive.
The free service does have its limitations, the most obvious being you cannot use the programs offline and will need a reliable internet connection. You also won't get all the features a subscription to Office 365 provides on some apps, such as using macros or advanced formatting.
Choosing the best version for you
With Office 365, it really comes down to what you want to use it for and who is likely to need access. If it's just for your own use but you want to use across multiple devices, an Office 365 Personal subscription will be the best option. For me, my whole family use Word, Excel, Teams and other apps for work and school, so the Office 365 Family subscription gets more than enough use for all of us. I'd always encourage shopping around for your subscription, as it's often cheaper pretty much anywhere else but Microsoft, and if you can afford it an annual payment works out the best value.
We'll update this page each month with the best prices, so you can be sure we'll point you in the right direction for the best value.
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Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.