Thanks to the pandemic, you’ve probably spent more time on your work or personal computer this year, so you may need some simple tools like Microsoft office 365. Microsoft office 365, formerly known as Office 365, is a service that extends the functionality of conventional office applications. If you don’t want to pay, there are a few options for getting the service and its famous software for free.
Microsoft’s collaboration software package, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint, costs $150 for a one-time download (as Office 365) or between $70 and $100 per year for subscription plan access through devices and family members (as Microsoft 365). Microsoft is also planning to release a new standalone version of Microsoft Office for both Windows and Mac later this year, for a one-time fee with no subscription needed.
Here are the free versions of Office 365, Microsoft office 365, and their currently available applications online.
If you are not Teacher or Student
Microsoft 365 is available for a one-month free trial to anyone who wants to check it out. You must enter a credit card, and if you do not cancel before the end of the month, you will be charged $100 for a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Family (formerly called Office 365 Home).
If you don’t need the complete suite of Microsoft 365 software, the good news is that you can get a lot of them for free online, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, Calendar, and Skype. Here’s how to get your hands on them:
- Go to Office.com
- Go to your Microsoft account and sign in (or create one for free). You already have a Microsoft account if you have a Windows, Skype, or Xbox login.
- Choose the software you want to use and save your work to OneDrive in the cloud.
Whether you’re a Teacher or a student
If you’re a student, instructor, or faculty member with a school email address, you’re likely qualified for Microsoft’s Office 365, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, and other classroom software, for free.
All you have to do is fill out this form on Microsoft’s website with your school email address: Get started for free with Microsoft Office 365. Thanks to an automated authentication procedure, you’ll always be given access right away. It may take up to a month to confirm your eligibility if you attend a verification-required institution.
With a valid school email address, recent graduates who want to stick with Office 365 can get Office 365 Personal for $12 for a year.
Is the free edition without a catch?
Wait a minute, you might be thinking if I can get all of those apps for free, why should I pay for Microsoft 365 in the first place? The explanation for this is that the apps’ functionality is limited: They just work with your web browser, and you can’t use them unless you’re connected to the internet. There are also fewer features than incomplete versions of Microsoft 365.
However, there are also some advantages, such as the ability to share links to your work and communicate in real time, which is close to G Suite software. If you only need the most basic versions of these applications, the free versions should suffice.