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How to Legally and Economically Purchase Microsoft Office

How to Legally and Economically Purchase Microsoft Office


Microsoft Office, as the most powerful office software suite, has become an essential application for almost all computer users. However, the price of licensed Office is expensive, bringing financial pressure to many users. As legal users, while enjoying the efficient experience of Office, we should also respect software copyrights and purchase Office through legal means. Below I will introduce in detail several legal and economical ways to purchase Office:  


  1. Subscribe to Office 365 cloud service. This is undoubtedly the most cost-effective way to use licensed Office. Office 365 provides the latest desktop apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and allows activation on multiple devices, including PC, tablets and phones. It also comes with 50GB to 1TB of online cloud storage, and services like online collaboration with Office Online. Pricing is paid monthly or yearly, with the home edition only costing a few hundred dollars per year, and enterprise premium editions only costing tens of dollars per month. Subscribing through Microsoft official website ensures you always get the latest updates.


  1. Purchase one-off license for Office 2019 or 2021. These perpetual license versions require a one-time upfront payment, allowing permanent use. The price is lower, suitable for home and student users who only need desktop apps long term. Currently Office Home and Studenteditions cost between $50-100. The difference is Home requires a Microsoft account while Student requires verification of student status. Home allows installing on multiple devices while Student is limited to one.


  1. Purchase second-hand Office perpetual licenses. If you own discontinued Office software from an old computer, or over-term edition licenses from certain organizations, purchasing them second-hand is also a cost-saving approach that embraces open source sharing spirit. However, you need to confirm the authenticity and source to avoid obtaining pirated software. Second-hand Office license discs are typically priced at $5-20 on the second-hand market.


  1. Use free Office Online editions. If you only need basic document editing functions, you can directly use the free Office Online products provided on the official Office website, with basic editing features on Word Online, Excel Online etc. There is also free storage allocation. Of course the features are much simplified compared to desktop, but definitely workable for daily tasks.


  1. Students can ask schools about discounted Office education licenses. Many schools purchase discounted Office 365 or one-off licenses for enrolled students, which can also be used legally for 3-5 years. Students should leverage campus emails to consult with the IT department about these benefits.


  1. Pay attention to Office promotional offers on the official site. Microsoft occasionally provides limited-time discounts on Office, like back-to-school offers. It’s reasonable to seize these opportunities for some cost-savings. Subscribing to Office promotional alerts is also a good idea.


No matter enterprise or personal users, purchasing licensed Office is a responsibility we should fulfill, to enjoy work efficiency and also support innovation. I believe with time, Office pricing will become even more affordable, let's look forward to that day together.