Don’t Buy Office 2016! Here’s Why You Don’t Need It

Joel Lee 16-03-2016

Back when Microsoft Office 2016 debuted, it was met with a lot of mixed feedback despite all of the new features and updates 13+ Reasons You Should Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 Microsoft Office 2016 is here and it's time for you to make a decision. The productivity question is -- should you upgrade? We give you the new features and the fresher reasons to help you... Read More . For some, the issue was that they would never use half of the newly-added bells-and-whistles, while for others, they were still upset that Microsoft Office lacked this or that feature.


Now that it’s been out for several month and received a number of interesting updates, the question remains: Should you buy the standalone package version of Microsoft Office 2016?

As someone who actually respects the Microsoft Office suite and what it provides, I’m going to have to say no for several reasons.

Why Microsoft Office 2016 Isn’t Worth It

The biggest draw for the standalone package version of Microsoft Office 2016 is that it’s a one-time purchase, unlike Office 365 which can only be had through a monthly subscription 11 Frequently Asked Office 2016 Questions Answered Office 2016 is looming and raises many questions. Do you have to buy a subscription, can you upgrade now, and can you go back to Office 2013? We compiled frequently asked questions and provide the... Read More . But what is the actual cost of that convenience?

1. It’s Expensive

There are three versions of Microsoft Office 2016 Which Office Suite Is Best for You? You'll be pressed to find an occupation that doesn't require word or number processing of some sort. And you may wonder, is Microsoft Office really the best solution? Here are your options. Read More  you can buy: Home & Student ($150) which has Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote; Home & Business ($230) which has that plus Outlook; and Professional ($400) which has that plus Publisher and Access.

Most people probably don’t need Access Excel Vs. Access - Can a Spreadsheet Replace a Database? Which tool should you use to manage data? Access and Excel both feature data filtering, collation and querying. We'll show you which one is best suited for your needs. Read More , but Outlook is important, so you’ll probably want to get the $230 package. Mac users can only get the $150 package at this time. Note that individual apps can be purchased for $110 each if you only need one specific app, and remember that OneNote 2016 is completely free OneNote Is Now Truly Free With More Features Than Before Evernote no longer rules the roost of note taking apps. Microsoft recently announced OneNote would be more free than ever before. Let us show you what this means in terms of features and functionality. Read More .


Meanwhile, Office 365 includes all of the apps. Personal costs $7 per month (or $70 per year) to use on a single computer, while Home costs $10 per month ($100 per year) to use on up to five computers. In short, Office 2016 Professional is about equal to ~5.7 years of Office 365 Personal; or more if you purchase a monthly subscription and pause it for periods when you’re not using Microsoft Office or any of the attached benefits.

2. No Free Trial

Office 2016 doesn’t come with a free trial, which is strange because past versions of Office did. In fact, past versions actually came with a 60-day evaluation period, which is crucial for seeing if you actually need the new features or not.

On the other hand, you can try Office 365 Home for one month without paying a cent. Why doesn’t Microsoft offer a similar free trial for these standalone packages? It doesn’t make sense to me, and just seems like an unnecessary hurdle for potential customers.


3. No Cross-Platform Options

These days, it’s common to sync and share work between your PC and your mobile devices, which is why Microsoft is working so hard on their mobile office apps How Microsoft Took Over My Android Phone It's honestly surprising how many Microsoft apps are available for Android -- and they're really good! Read More . The truth is, they’re currently beating out all of their competitors The 8 Best Office Suites On Android For Getting Work Done It is possible to get real work done on Android, but you've got a lot of options now when it comes to office suites. Let's examine the best of them. Read More .

And while these apps are available for free, they’re limited and restricted unless you have an Office 365 subscription. Why doesn’t an Office 2016 purchase unlock full access to the relevant mobile apps? I don’t know, but that’s how it is.

4. Office 365 Has Other Goodies

When you buy Office 2016, that’s all you get. Maybe that’s fine in your mind — you get what you paid for, after all — but you can’t ignore the fact that Office 365 comes with a few bonuses that, for some reason, aren’t available to Office 2016 buyers.

Most notably, Office 365 Personal comes with 1 TB of OneDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype time for one user, while Office 365 Home comes with the same benefits for up to five different users.


Office 365 also comes with regular updates and free Microsoft technical support by phone or chat. When Microsoft releases a new version of Microsoft Office, anyone with an Office 365 subscription will be eligible to upgrade at no extra cost; it’s part of the service.

5. What You Have Is Good Enough

Compared to previous versions, Office 2016 has a lot of smart and subtle changes A Microsoft Office 2016 Preview: Smart & Subtle Changes Office 2016 for Mac was just released and the Windows version will follow in the fall. We show you the new look and features of the world's most popular productivity suite. Will you upgrade? Read More  that may tempt you into upgrading, but what you really need to ask yourself is whether or not you need those new features. You probably don’t, and while they’d be nice to have, foregoing them could be the best thing for your wallet.

Truly, whether you have Microsoft Office 2013, Office 2010, or even Office 2007, you can still do what you need to do: create and edit Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and more. And if that’s all you need to do, why drop cash on features you’ll probably never use?

Note that Office 365 lets you upgrade older versions of Office to 2016 Upgrade to Office 2016 for Free Today with Your Office 365 Subscription Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows has landed and it brings many smart new features. If you have an Office 365 subscription, you can get it now for free and we show you how below. Read More , but you might not be able to downgrade to your previous Microsoft Office suite, if it turns out you don’t want it.

Viable Alternatives to Office 2016

If you need a software suite that includes word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation apps, then there are a few alternatives you can explore that will give you what you need without costing a single cent. They may not be as good as Office 2016, but you do get what you pay for.

1. Office Mobile

If you don’t need more than the absolute basics, then the Microsoft Office mobile apps are actually quite good.

We mentioned them above, but even if you don’t have an Office 365 subscription that lets you take full advantage of all features, they’re still useful and productive.

Obviously you probably don’t want to do any word processing or spreadsheeting on a tiny smartphone, but if you have a tablet and an external keyboard that you can connect Need An Affordable Keyboard For Your Tablet? Here Are Some Good Options If you're getting a fair bit of use out of your tablet and looking for a keyboard to go with it, you may have no idea where to start. There are plenty of options out... Read More , then this is absolutely an option that could work out well.

2. Office Online

Microsoft actually offers free online versions of their office apps on a service called Office Online Don't Pay for Microsoft Word! 4 Reasons to Use Office Online Instead Microsoft Office Online offers free web versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Here's why you should give it a try today. Read More  (formerly known as Microsoft Office Web Apps). It’s stripped down and lacks a lot of the advanced features that make Office 2016 and Office 365 worthwhile, but it’s not bad by any means.

There’s no offline version, so that could be frustrating depending on how often you find yourself without Internet, but it’s one of the few legal ways to use Office for free 6 Ways You Can Get a Microsoft Office License for Free Free Microsoft Office licenses are hard to get, but they do exist. This article covers six ways to get Word and Excel for free. Read More , so at least that’s something.

3. Google Docs

Not long ago, we declared that Google Docs was actually better than Microsoft Office in several areas Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word: The Death Match for Research Writing Online solutions are becoming the norm. We decided to see how Microsoft Word stacks up against Google Docs. Which one will do the better research paper? Read More , making it a viable alternative that you can use for free. It does have its fair share of flaws and downsides, of course, but it’ll be hard to find anything better.

Google Docs can be used offline, but it’s more of a last resort feature than something you should rely on. Want to maximize your productivity? Keep on top of these time-saving Google Docs tips 10 Google Docs Tips That Take Seconds and Save You Time Learn some secrets that'll boost your Google Docs productivity with the help of these quick and simple tips. Read More  and you’ll make your life much easier.

4. LibreOffice

For a desktop alternative to Microsoft Office, you first consideration should be LibreOffice. Not long ago, it was on the up-and-up but exactly great Is the New LibreOffice a Better Microsoft Office Alternative? LibreOffice, a long-time contender of Microsoft Office, just received a makeover and important updates. After being held back by niggling bugs over the years, has LibreOffice finally found the winning formula? Read More , but with its most recent update, LibreOffice is finally proving itself to be on par with the current king atop the throne Is LibreOffice Worthy of the Office Crown? LibreOffice is the king of free office suites. It's unlikely to replace Microsoft Office in a business environment, but it's an excellent alternative for casual users. Here's what's new in LibreOffice 5.1. Read More .

This open source suite comes with tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, diagramming, flowcharting, databases, advanced math equation editor, and professional quality charts. Very much worth a look if you don’t want to pay anything.

Office 2016: Not Entirely Worth It

To recap, if all you need are basic office functions, then you’ll do fine with one of the free alternatives listed above. If you want the full suite, but want to get the most bang for your buck, Office 365 wins hands-down. As of now, Microsoft Office 2016 only makes sense for businesses.

If you do get Office 2016, check out these excellent tips for learning the ropes 9 Tips to Learn All About Office 2016 Microsoft Office 2016 is among us. How are you mastering the latest version for the sake of your productivity? We tip you off to the best links for Office learning. Steal a march with these... Read More . There are a lot of new features to explore! And if you decide that Office 2016 isn’t right for you, here’s how to downgrade back to Office 2013 How to Downgrade from Office 2016 to Office 2013 & Block the Upgrade You don't want to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 or you were upgraded automatically? We show you how you can downgrade or stay with Microsoft Office 2013, whether you're a home or business user. Read More .

What do you think of Office 2016? Would you rather spring for Office 365 instead? Or does it make more sense to go with something like Office 365? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credits:hand refusing by Fleckstone via Shutterstock

Explore more about: LibreOffice, Microsoft Office 2016, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Office Online, Microsoft Office Tips.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. me
    December 26, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    almost everything Microsoft has created since 2010 is terrible
    I am not sure if it is that
    1) they are using failed MS technology to revitalize the idea, WPF is an example of this.
    2) they are completly out of touch with their users
    3) they want you to buy another product
    4) they just dont care
    5) if it is Satya Nadella has made microsoft into a third world nation where so many good developers have quit
    I would say - all of the above.

  2. Rex
    June 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Office 2016 sucks on purpose. They are trying to push people into the subscription based option. I'm also going to blame all the bad shit on the people who just have to have a new looking app. For years after a program was introduced it was tweaked to fix problems and make it better. Every damn release now days the baby is chucked out with the bathwater. They start from damn near scratch because of the people that want something new. Now you add in the desire of software companies companies to obsolete their own products to create revenue and you have the shitty state of software we are in.

    It's a damn shame that tech companies are spending all of their effort trying to trick and force people into buying their "new" products instead of making their once good products even better.

    To answer all of the prepubescent twenty somethings muttering "you're just old", you're just wrong. New doesn't mean better and products should evolve to become more productive and actually faster not just different.

  3. Burp
    June 10, 2018 at 3:39 am

    LibreOffice or bust!

  4. Sunil
    November 23, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    I am not an MS fan. In 2010, I decided to try open source solutions in an effort to minimize my MS investments. First I tried Open Office for a few years, then I tried LibreOffice. They were ok to fair for basic work with docs 10 pages or less, but I'm a power user and I really missed many MS touches. I've had many time consuming problems formatting large documents (>20 pages) with features like columns and pictures. Plus, I found that some files just do NOT work well between open formats and MS formats requiring tedious manual editing to get files to look the same. I've determined that the "free" software was actually costing me more in terms of the time that I was investing in trying to use the tool versus using a higher quality tool in the first place. Alas, I've decided to pay for an MS Office Pro perpetual license product (

  5. Linda
    October 21, 2017 at 4:27 am

    I use Word Perfect Office and didn't install Microsoft Office on my new computer. However, now I need to use Powerpoint to edit some ppt files. Then I see there's this subscription thing. I'm not cool with this concept -- Like other commenters, I want to buy something once and not have to keep buying it over and over. Then it dawned on me that I had bought Office Home and Student 2010, so I dug in a drawer and found it and decided to install it. HOWEVER, when I try to start PowerPoint, I get several messages: my license to the software I purchased has expired, and most of the features of the PowerPoint program have been disabled! So my question is, were I to purchase Office 2016, who can say I will be able to use it in a year or two? I haven't read the fine print, but my guess is that Microsoft will disable anything it wants when it wants.

  6. Sharon
    August 29, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Do you reply to these?
    On my home computer I have and used word/excel 2003 forever. (well ok since 2003.) I think I've just re-installed everytime I got a new computer. Now I need a new computer/laptop and decided I wanted one with the latest office software. well that would be with a subscription which I do not want. Like another user I am fine using the stand alone stuff for many many years. Now my understanding of the subscription is it gives updates - but if you buy 2016 on it's own it doesn't. Why? Shouldn't some earlier versions be supported if oh say a hacker figures out a vulnerability? I LOVE excel and do not want to use anything else. All the online stuff is crap because that is not what I want. (google sheets better? WHAT? really? my 2003 version is better then google sheets!) What I want is something I can use offline.... FOREVER. If I wanted. If I never want to upgrade again... for one price. Do I expect it to be supported forever? no. But I do expect it to be supported for a few years at least. The big thing... if you buy a subscription to office if you stop the subscription *you can no longer edit files!* I don't want to pay for "using software" like you would a service. (like for example my ADT security screening that's a service.) I want to pay for a program that installs on my computer and if I never go online again or change the dates (ie so it doesn't connect to subscription or count down or any of that crap) that I can still use it. For as many years as I want to. One price. Because if I do the subscription, 2 or 3 years from now something may happen and maybe I can't afford it. I'd rather pay 300-400 NOW and not worry about it later. So - what is the LAST update you recommend that is available that I can buy without a subscription? 2016? 2013? 2010? If 2016 is that bad - what is the alternative without a subscription? Note this has to be something I can transfer from computer to computer... I don't know if I have the 2003 discs anymore - or even if I can install that on a new computer. Has Microsoft screwed me (and other people like me who don't want a subscription and want a tangible hard copy of a program... if not on a disk on a usb or something.. NOT just a download off a site?) Thank you.

    • Conway Costigan
      September 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      I totally agree.

      My home machine bought in 2002 runs Win 2k pro with Office2000 - there is no 'significant' difference between using that and my 2017 work machine running Win10 and O2016, except my home machine is faster.

      Insignificant differences are O2016 has ribbons, worse colours, a couple of useful excel features (and many many non-useful or just different ones), that's all.

      Subscription service means we are dependent on the unknown future behaviour and indeed existence of Microsoft, global data centre operations, and no DP breaches or internet infrastructure issues.

      Does no one else see the elephants?

  7. J
    July 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Duuude... LibreOffice all the way.

    • SanMIlly
      July 20, 2017 at 3:59 am

      *Guys who need office 2016 product key can google "aakeys" to get one, 100% working.*

  8. John Idontpayfullprice
    July 3, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    One of the worst write-ups I have ever read, what this Microsoft paid fool fails to you that Office 365 is the latest version of Office 2016, they are the same. I had office 2007 for a while before I upgraded to 2010, why would someone want to pay Microsoft monthly or yearly fees, when there is nothing special about office 365? I had a year free and 6 month code to use 365, after this was up I went back to my office 2010 pro. I just ended up paying $9.95 for office 2016 pro, so yeah you can keep your advice to yourself, because guess what? I'll be using it for the next 3 years it will end up costing me $3 per year vs $100 per year your way!!!!

  9. Squalle
    June 18, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Last I tried LO, the spreadsheet program didn't do near as much as Excel does. For basic users, LO or Google Docs may work just fine. But for more advanced users, it's hard to beat Excel (and this is coming from a MS hater!)

    As for the rest of Office, I could go with any of them that are listed above. I very rarely ever use a word processor. If I'm writing text, it's in a note app or a plain old text editor. And I don't use any of the others much either, if at all.

  10. Bleron Mehmeti
    April 20, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    that's why i bought office 2010 (one time buy) for only 45 euros about 48$

    it has every thing you need and this is the program i'm used to all my teachers had it

  11. Eric
    December 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I used Office 2000 for nine years. It did everything I needed and I did not like the redesigned ribbon menu as much. Finally changed because it didn't seem to work well with Windows 7. The notion of buying new productivity software every couple years just to get new features is fallacy. But more concerning is the idea of putting yourself in a position where Microsoft can pull the plug at any time. Office 365 is a terrible, terrible business model.

    • MS_is_alternative_science
      April 26, 2017 at 8:07 pm


      and still so many of the same problems found in previous versions.

      i was looking around the web for a reason as to why my outlook 2016 rules fail.

      MS almost has NO 'killer' apps left. Once openOffice or LibreOffice gets the corporate nod, there will be no reason to stay on MS operating systems.

      Worse yet, this push to the cloud over the last ten years was a largely crappy decision made by the ultra wealthy, and their sad followers. I can run a 200+ core system in HA\Failover on a single 3U server rack, and it will only get smaller, fitting nicely next to the other gear in SMB offices (alarms, hvac, access control, fire systems, etc), and better yet, running infrastructure as code (automated sys admin recipe's) to automate essentially bare-metal configuration solutions.

      The IT industry is too bureaucratic, full of followers who think the old style of doing things is the only way -- otherwise the c-levels get a headache thinking about actual IT science. And they wonder why its so expensive

  12. Jason210
    December 20, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Libre Office is excellent for writing documents on a desktop. Why anyone would want to pay continuously for the privilege to use Microsoft Office is beyond me. Wake up people.

    • Barry Trotter
      March 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Because libre office is slow and terrible.

      • You must be a liberal
        March 13, 2017 at 10:34 pm

        no, it isn't, you are too slow to just learn new software.

      • You must be a liberal
        March 13, 2017 at 10:34 pm

        you are slow

    • Andrea
      March 29, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      For me personally, I need to have grammar and punctuation checker because I want to write novels and get them published. I don't want to pay for Microsoft when it's a lot of money and a continuous payment, so I'm looking for alternatives. I don't have cable or wifi, so I can't use the Internet on my computer for alternatives (I'm using my phone). I got WordPerfect x7 yesterday. It has everything Microsoft has, but it has a really bad grammar checker. My stepsister told me Google Docs is a good alternative (for those who want or need punctuation and grammar checker and don't have the money for MS) and it's free. You just need Internet to download it.

  13. Saldatoccio
    December 14, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    I got the following things FOR FREE from Microsoft:

    - Office 2016 on my desktop PC (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Outlook, ...) + mobile device, including Android ones
    - 1TB of storage on OneDrive
    - 60 minutes of international calls through Skype

    And after 1 year I'm supposed to pay approx 69$/year... Something that I'll do for sure, because it's a bargain. If you can live with Google Docs or LibreOffice instead of the full Office 2016 suite, well, good for you.

  14. Joe O.
    December 6, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    wtf? WRONG! Most Students can get Office 2016 for free from their School or work. Also, even if you leave or graduate, you can sometimes purchase the license at a very low discounted price. Most places offer $14.99. Everyone should always look in to that first.

    • Hepler
      April 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      Hey kid, want some hard drugs, it's free for now.
      MS is fostering dependency by providing Office and others programs free or at lower prices to students and non-profits. Really pretty clever marketing, IMO.

  15. bromberg
    October 28, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Your article suggests that Office 2016 does not come with updates - is that really true?

  16. Mickael
    September 17, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    To answer all the questions like: "Why Office 365 has ....... but Office 2016 does not?"

    Simply, because they want you to transfer to O365.

    Which they have a hard time doing, apparently :D

    • Joel Lee
      September 20, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Yeah, it really seems to be that way. I hope that they continue with the desktop apps though. It would be very stupid of Microsoft to eventually move EVERYTHING to the cloud 100%.

  17. makeuseof commentor
    August 16, 2016 at 3:52 am

    The reason I prefer Office 2016 is that I fundamentally hate the whole concept of Office 365. These are tools I use on a daily basis, just as important as any of my pens, pencils, and papers, so by what logic should I "rent" this? If you look at 2016, assuming you plan on keeping office for more than a year, it's clear that Office 365 is far more expensive, even if 2016 costs more from the get-go.
    There are some reasons for a subscription office- corporate offices, for one, would need it- but I see no good reason for a consumer-based subscription Office "service". The day that they get rid of the lifetime plans is the day I stop buying new versions of Office. Software as a Service is a concept that simply doesn't make sense in most cases, but in this case especially.

  18. jw
    August 5, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    What about OpenOffice...?

    • Patrick Saunders
      October 22, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      OO development is patchy at best. It seems to be heading to a dead end.

  19. Lynn
    July 26, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    It's a horrible release. There are so many bugs. Outlook search doesn't consistently work and the rules really don't work. Excel data disappears. The whole office is complaining about this product.

  20. Pieterjan
    June 20, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Office 2016 sucks. uses 60% of my cpu when word is focused.

    • Joel Lee
      June 24, 2016 at 1:45 am

      Yikes, that seems high! Are you using an old machine? If not, I hope you can find a solution to that. I'd be mad if an office app ever used that much CPU.

  21. Anonymous
    March 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    I'm a troglodyte when it comes to using the cloud to store information. I have more than enough storage and use an NAS to access from an outside location. What advantage is there for me in using the cloud?

    That being said, please explain why 365, which charges annually, is better that 2016 which charges once, from a financial stand point.

  22. Anonymous
    March 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Google Drive and Libre office get on well, ODT as a file type is superior to docx. Great article, does justice to users ;)

  23. davi
    March 21, 2016 at 5:09 am

    although I installed office 2016, I actually like office 2010 better. The color of office after office 2010 (2013 and 2016) looks like a bad taste from Indian, it looks so ugly. And for word, they took away the traditional text boundary function and replaced with a bad one, another taste from India, i guess?

    • ash
      March 22, 2016 at 8:11 am

      India!? why such racist comment. if you dont like 2016, uninstall and use version you like.

      • niemam
        July 17, 2016 at 8:28 am

        This is an aesthetic typical for Asian software so I see no isue with davi's comment.

    • Anonymous
      March 22, 2016 at 9:47 am

      The only thing ugly here is bigotry. Shame, davi.

  24. Donald Siegfried
    March 20, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Said goodbye to the MS products years ago - been using Libre-Office now for all my former MS Office apps and haven't looked back once - except for Publisher! Damn propriety file formats. Only reason I still have Office 2010 on my system yet.

    • Anonymous
      March 22, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      "Propriety" file formats? As in well-mannered and polite? I think you meant *proprietary* LOL.

  25. Anonymous
    March 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I absolutely love my Office 365 Personal subscription. I use Excel on my desktop for budgeting my paychecks, so I plug in my take-home pay, plug in any bills I'm going to pay and then plug in my itemized shopping lists. Once I'm finished, I access the file on my cell phone and take my lists with me. I can update price changes for groceries and other items on the fly, and I know before hitting the checkout if I'm over budget and need to remove an item or two from my shopping cart.

    I did notice that WPS Office was missing from the alternatives list. The free version doesn't have all the latest bells and whistles of Office 365, but it does have desktop and mobile apps and can also access Microsoft's OneDrive.

  26. Rocco Rizzo
    March 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Libre Office or Open Office has long been my office of choice.
    Always compatible without all the bloat of Microsoft.

    • Anonymous
      March 22, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Until LibreOffice added the code that OpenOffice's management didn't want to accept, neither suite was compatible with Office XML (DOCX, XLSX, PPTX) formats.

  27. Nancy
    March 18, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I'm perfectly happy with Office 2010 which I could load into 5 computers .... if I had 5! and yes I still use Windows 7 as I like it.
    I'm not one to jump on the "newest and latest thing bandwagon" until all bugs have been worked out and endless updates and service packs added.
    Won't be buying Office 2016 until I have to move to Windows 10.

  28. Perry Bruns
    March 18, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I can't recommend Office365, because if you stop paying, all your files become read-only.

  29. DoktorThomas™
    March 18, 2016 at 5:01 am

    The biggest flaw in Office is Microsoft. The software could be a success if its designers dropped Microsoft.
    As for sales now or future, I am not buying it. Period. Been screwed too many times with evaporating keys . . . Just say NO! to all things Microsoft. ©2016

  30. Anonymous
    March 18, 2016 at 1:30 am

    I can't say I'm that surprised about the lack of a trial - most of the pirated copies of earlier versions seem to be constantly resetting free trials. It must have been a tricky decision though - how are people going to be sucked in by the new bells and whistles if they don't see them in action. Perhaps they're counting on people being exposed at work.

    For me it's too expensive - I use Access so it would be the big money package; but use very little or Word's capabilities as it is - so more functions would probably just be more stuff I've forgotten it even can do.

  31. Barry
    March 18, 2016 at 12:23 am

    As a frugal person, for a decade I used free word processing software. But often such software had major disadvantages, worst of all, most free software crashes quite often.

    I finally blew a fuse, reached beyond my Calvinism and purchased Office 2016 (18 months ago now). It has been heaven not to have any document fall over even once. Plus I receive five copies, plus access to OneNote with 1 TB capacity. My wife delights in Word 2016, as does my grandson.

    Office 2016 is worth every cent compared with the drive-you-crazy free word processing software.

    • Sue
      November 27, 2017 at 1:12 am

      What does it mean to have a document "fall over"?

  32. not-a-365-fan
    March 17, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Wow, this article might as well have been well been written by the MS accounting department.

    Office 2016 vs 365 is a very complex buying decision.

    Lets look at your points

    #1 2016 is "more expensive" than 365
    Your first assumption, about Outlook. Does a home user really need Outook. I have been able to do just fine with Hotmail and Gmail native email tools. If you are talking about a business, then Outlook is a reasonable requirement, but you are comparing to the wrong 365 bundles.

    The simplest case is 1 computer in the house. Then you are talking US$150 Home and Student vs 365 Personal at US$70. After 2.1 years, (2 years 2 months) 365 becomes more expensive.

    2 computer break even at 3 years. But that assumes that you will be upgrading to the next version as soon as it it released. Many people don't.

    3 computers break even at 4.5 years, which is a more reasonable upgrade cycle.

    So unless you have 4 or 5 computers (maybe 3) in your home. And this assessment only works because MS "improved" the 2013 license terms when 365 was released to limit the 2013/2016 license to install on only 1 machine, instead of 2 or 3 as it had been in the past.

    Look at it the other way. If you had 1 computer in the house since 2003 (much more reasonable assumption till 2007? or so) and bought Home and student every time it came out from 2003 to 2016 you would have spent US$600. If you had a 365 subscription it would have cost you US$1300 ... (Personal only came out with 2016). Or for a Personal subscription it still would have cost US$910.

    And if you bought the local install, you would still have use of all 4 version (2003 having only recently gone out of support). You would have had control of when the new version was rolled out, not MS.

    #2 No free trial for 2016 is because MS want's to make 2016 as hard for people to get as possible. Have you tried to find 2016 on the Web site. But the no free trial is a red herring anyway. the core functionality of 2016 and 365 is the same, so you could use the 365 trial for testing purposes.

    #3 No Cross Platform options. That is partly true. Some of the cross platform Office apps are currently free so they are also available to 2016 owners. As well there is the Office Online offering with it's limited functionality (cr)applets.

    #4 Other goodies. How many users need more than the 5 GB of Free Onedrive space. You can't count on the 1TB allocation, up until last fall the space was "unlimited". Plus, MS is scanning any file you upload to onedrive. Ostensibly, to prevent "unacceptable" content like pron. But if a file you upload triggers their filter you could lose access to your email account and therefore Office 365. Then fight with them to get access back to the product you paid for.

    Skype. How many people actually use that skype time? I have no idea, it would be interesting to see some numbers.

    "Updates", they go to both versions. Granted, 365 does sometimes get new features that 2016 won't see. Free support applies to both versions.

    "Free Upgrade" for 365. Sure that is "better", but the roll-out is controlled by MS. People with 365/2013 had to wait a while after 2016 went GA before they eventually got 365/2016. And what if you want / need to keep the older version for compatibility with addon tools that have not kept up with MS. Oops, you lose functionality!

    "free updates". Haven't you been keeping touch. MS gave 365 a "free update" that converted pens to default INK from previous default of POINTER. Many people with tablets, like the Surface have complained that their tablets were effectively unusable without the pen touch capability. It has been almost a month now.

    #5 That applies to both 365 and 2016 and is actually the best argument for delaying the "upgrade".

    #6 Office Alternatives. Again that applies to both versions. More so on a cost basis for 365 than 2016.

    Conclusion: Sorry, Office 2016 is no longer the "best" alternatives for businesses. MS has "improved" the 2016 install process so that it requires the activation and email account at the START of the install rather than at the end, after the software was simply installed. This makes it effectively impossible for the IT department or a 3rd party to do mass installs of Office 2016 on many machines.

    Throughout your article you have said you don't know why 365 has some feature while 2016 does not. Every time the answer is simple, "bottom line" simple. MS makes more money with 365 in the medium to long run so they are doing everything they possibly can to hinder and limit 2016 licenses when compared to 365 to "encourage" people to switch to 365. Doesn't take much imagination to figure this out.

    • Douglas Lawson
      March 20, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      You nailed that on the head... The situation also changes even more drastically when you consider business needs... Needless to say, SAAS is hardly a more "cost-effective" approach.

  33. Andrew Gulak
    March 17, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    The one reason you shouldn't buy Office 2016 is because Open Office.

    • Barry
      March 18, 2016 at 12:26 am

      Andrew, I used three different editions of Open Office over the past decade. I was forced to leave each due to hassles, particularly word processing documents falling over.

      Word 2016 is rock solid in comparison.

      • Andrew Gulak
        March 18, 2016 at 12:53 am

        Fully expected the user name of that reply to be B. Gates. I only use it for word processing (maybe 6 years I've known about it) and it's never let me down. In fact, I access files off my phone via OneDrive, and fax and print with next to no trouble at all with formatting issues. I am a firm supporter of open source software.

        • Barry
          March 18, 2016 at 1:43 am

          Andrew, cynical throwing mud at me smudges your contribution. As a 76 year old who has been using a PC daily since 1989, who is a devotee of free software via Gizmo Richards, I tell of my experience with free word processing software as experienced. Your experience is different. I accept that reality. Please accept mine without sneering.

        • Andrew Gulak
          March 18, 2016 at 11:01 am

          Yeah ummm wow. Ok so apologies are in order I guess. That was intended as nothing but a gentle tease.

        • Barry
          March 18, 2016 at 11:51 am

          Andrew, you apology is a kind courtesy. Thank you. Barry

    • Douglas Lawson
      March 20, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Libre Office IMO has grown to be quite a viable alternative. I'm not a fan of Open Office anymore since the split. Microsoft office itself still tends to work better & more reliably, but Libre Office is fast becoming an alternative I'm willing to push my more "frugal" clients too, and I love the idea of more clients going with Open-Source software. Warms my heart!

      • Anonymous
        March 20, 2016 at 2:36 pm

        I had no idea this was available for the Windows platform now! I thought it was strictly a Linux thing. Next time I have to install I'll give it a try. Thanks.

    • Brian
      March 21, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      Open office calc sucks the interface and shortcuts are completely different and it does not have nearly has mean options. It takes me three times longer to make a simple cash flow model than in Excel. I will go with Excel any day of the week over the free alternatives for modeling.

  34. Dick
    March 17, 2016 at 11:19 am

    o365 home - The office suite, always up-to-date, a terabyte of Onedrive, 60 mins of Skype for each of 5 users and mobile access is just too good to be true for the price - and do shop around on price, I got it a bit cheaper on Amazon.

    My guess is they'll hike to price in future years - the trick is maybe 10% increase every year, not enough to worry about but it's like compound interest calculations, after about 8 years you find the annual cost has doubled.

  35. Anonymous
    March 16, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    My needs have pretty much been met since Office 2003. Thank you.

    • Anonymous
      March 16, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      ... except that Office 2003 has compatibility issues with Windows 10. Even if you're someone who doesn't want to use Windows 10, your choices going forward largely involve using a virtual machine or WINE to maintain a compatible system.

      • Douglas Lawson
        March 20, 2016 at 2:33 pm

        I've installed Office 2003 on plenty of Windows 10 PCs without issue. Outlook has a brief install glitch, but works perfectly fine. I don't like it compared to other versions, but if it works...

    • IdeaStormer
      March 18, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Exactly, I don't see why people need to upgrade past what they need, who really uses even 10% of the features of any of the Office suite apps? Why does a word processor need a backend compiler? (Visual Basic if you're wondering) At some point apps don't need more features, they need to optimize what they do and end there, ok some fixes for new OS versions but that should be it. Not add more bugs... I mean features. Or is word processing changing so much a bevy of new features are needed... nope, some people do fine with the lamest word processor named Latex (which is used by publishers over Word). Maybe people should concentrate on writing and not word processing, notepad or wordpad are good enough for the majority of those forking over hard earned money on something you will only use 10% of its features. But I'm sure there's a long line of people wanting the latest version because... actually I can't think of a reason anyone would need a new version of Office except to say they have the latest version.