Office 365 can be somewhat pricey, with an annual subscription of $70. However, a free trial is available. Students and employees may gain access to Office 365 for free through their university or company and may have options to purchase a subscription for their home computer at a discount. Outdated versions of Microsoft Office may be found from online sellers at a cheaper price. Though they won’t have the latest features or possess the online capabilities of Office 365, they could serve as adequate training tools. 

What is Office 365?

Office 365 (also known as Microsoft 365) is a cloud-based subscription service that includes Microsoft Office’s suite of programs along with other online services such as free cloud storage and web hosting. Since Office 365 functions with the cloud, users always have access to their documents so long as they have an internet connection. The service is compatible with PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones.

Microsoft Office is a popular suite of productivity programs that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. These programs are used worldwide by businesses across industries for their ease of use, accessibility, and collaboration features. The programs offer a variety of functions, such as word processing, spreadsheet creation, promotional material design, and team management. Office 365 combines these valuable programs into a single service that offers the advantages of online document sharing. Microsoft Office cloud services include Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange.

Read more about what Office 365 is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Office 365?

Office 365 gives users full access to Microsoft Office’s suite of programs. These include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. These programs allow users to create professional documents and reports, spreadsheets and databases, presentations, emails, and promotional materials. Office 365 also provides Microsoft Office cloud services, including Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange. Businesses worldwide use these programs for workplace productivity, team collaboration, and management. 

Office 365’s collaboration tools allow teammates to edit documents simultaneously in real-time online. Teammates can use the Teams app to text chat with one another and ask questions without leaving their computers. Documents can also be assigned to teammates as tasks and linked in their virtual calendar or Microsoft Planner, making them easily accessible and trackable in their workflow. Documents are shared easily with a link without downloading or emailing files. Office 365 is an essential business asset for facilitating collaboration within and across departments. 

As an online service, Office 365 offers several advantages. Users can access Office 365 from any device without needing the program installed. This enables users to work anywhere they like and prevents them from being chained to any singular device. Files and documents can also be stored online without taking up computer storage. Updates are applied automatically to the software without users needing to download them manually. The online features of Office 365 go a long way toward improving accessibility and usability.

In-Depth Review of the Cost

Office 365 is available as a free trial for one month. Once your trial is complete, you can purchase Office 365 for a yearly personal subscription of $70. If you have multiple people in your household needing Office 365, an entire family of up to six people can purchase an annual subscription of $100. Both subscription plans allow Office 365 to be downloaded to up to five different devices. 

A monthly payment plan is available at $6.99 for a singular subscription or $9.99 for a family. A singular plan comes with one TB of cloud storage, while a family plan comes with six TB. 

Students in college can get Office 365 for $2.99 a month. This is the equivalent of a personal subscription plan. To qualify, students must provide their information to verify that they are actively enrolled in a college or university. 

Free alternatives to Office 365 include Office Online, OneDrive, and the Microsoft Office mobile app. These applications are run by Microsoft and are free to use. However, none of these applications possess the full features of Microsoft Office software and lack the full collaboration features of Office 365. While most basic tasks and file sharing should operate perfectly on these applications, more complex tasks may prove tricky or impossible.

If you want the full features of Office 365 but are still looking for a discount, Microsoft Office releases a new version of its software every year. Older versions of Microsoft Office may not have the latest and greatest but will still possess the more robust features that other applications lack. However, Office 365 is an online service. While you can find older releases of Microsoft Office Suite sold by third-party retailers, they will not give you the online features of Office 365. The free online applications (Office Online, OneDrive, and the Microsoft Office mobile app) are the closest you can get without paying full price. 

Why Learn Office 365?

Office 365 is used by over a million companies worldwide and across various industries. Businesses use Office 365 for team management, document creation, spreadsheet organization, database building, and creating promotional materials. Even if your job doesn’t require proficiency in Office 365, you’ll likely encounter at least one Office 365 program in your office and should acquire a basic understanding of it.

Job seekers significantly benefit from learning to use Office 365. Training in Office 365’s suite of programs can help applicants stand out in a competitive market. Though the programs are easy to learn, they also contain powerful features that only advanced users can take full advantage of, increasing both the productivity of their workflow and the office as a whole, especially when collaborating in a team. Businesses know this and prize expert knowledge in their employees. Your dedication to learning new skills will make your resume stand out.

Even if you already possess a secure job position, Office 365’s suite of programs contains known productivity tools. Learning these programs improves daily productivity and workflow. Professionals who become certified in Office 365 tend to see raises and increased salaries.

Read more about why you should learn Office 365

Free Introductory Office 365 Course Online 

Not ready to dive into an entire course? Prefer an overview of Office 365? You can start learning Office 365 for free online. Noble Desktop offers free seminars in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. In the Top 10 Beginner Excel Tricks You Need to Know, you’ll learn beginner techniques that introduce you to Excel and teach you productivity hacks within the program. In the PowerPoint Presentation Design seminar, you’ll learn how to make a professional and eye-catching presentation within the program. These seminars are the perfect method for introducing you to Excel and PowerPoint and giving you examples of the power of Office 365. 

Noble Desktop offers additional Office 365 classes that teach Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook. After these seminars, should you wish, you can continue your education with additional Excel and PowerPoint classes. Bootcamps in both subjects are also available that combine multiple courses into one comprehensive learning package. These courses and bootcamps are open to beginners and guide students to mastery of the programs. 

Read about more free Office 365 videos and online tutorials.

Learn Office 365 with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers in-person and live online training in Office 365. Courses include training in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook. You can choose between individual classes of various skill levels or bootcamps, which offer in-depth, comprehensive learning. When it comes to becoming an expert in a new skill, bootcamps are a fast and affordable alternative to college. Noble Desktop’s classes are small, taught by expert instructors, and include free retake options.

The Excel Bootcamp guides students from beginner to expert techniques. You’ll learn functions, formulas, Pivot Tables, macros, and additional expert tips and tricks. By the end of the course, you’ll be a true Excel master. The PowerPoint Bootcamp is a similar course that provides complete mastery of the program. You’ll start with the basics of customizing images, shapes, text, and animation before moving on to advanced techniques such as template creation, importing charts from Excel, and inserting multimedia. By the end of the course, you’ll be a wizard at creating professional and visually stunning presentations and slideshows.

If you like the idea of the comprehensive learning offered by bootcamps and are looking for further training in Office 365, NYIM is an affiliate school of Noble Desktop. It provides a Complete Microsoft Office Bootcamp that covers the four major programs – Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook.