5 Office 365 Myths Dispelled

Dan Price 24-10-2016

Office 365 is the future of the Microsoft Office suite. Yes, you can still buy standalone licenses in shops and online, but they’re no longer a cost effective solution.


Even though Microsoft clearly wants everyone to make the jump to the subscription version, it hasn’t done a great job of educating people about what it entails. There is a lot of misinformation 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 out there — it can be confusing for those who aren’t tech-savvy.

The problem is now so acute that Microsoft has recently published an ebook to dispel some of the myths about Office 365. In this article, I’m going to take a closer look at some of those myths, add a couple more you need to be aware of, and explain why you shouldn’t be worried about making the switch.

Myth 1: Office 365 Can Only Be Used Online

This is probably the most prevalent of all the Office 365 myths, and it’s easy to understand why it began.

Microsoft refers to its Office 365 apps as “cloud-based”. Although it’s technically true, the term “cloud” typically makes people think of online-only services like Google Drive or Salesforce. In reality, all the apps are downloaded from the web and installed on your local machine.

But there is a small catch: you’ll need to go online at least once every 30 days to let the software “phone home”. Failure to do so will leave you with reduced functionality How to See If Your Office 365 Subscription Is Active Not sure if you activated your Office 365 subscription? Want to check and make sure? Here's how to do it easily. Read More .


The online-only version of the suite 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 , Office Online, is free to all users.

Myth 2: Using Office 365 Is a Security Risk

Office 365 is tightly integrated with OneDrive How to Save Your Office 2016 Documents to the Cloud Store and organize your files in the cloud. Use cloud services like OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive to make your files available anywhere and to anyone. Read More . You can save your documents on your own computer, but Microsoft tries very hard to convince you otherwise. That concerns a lot of people.

We live in an age of data hacks and cyber-criminals. Barely a week goes by without hearing news of a social media provider getting its passwords stolen or a retail outlet losing its customers’ details.

Office 365 Save Document


Is it concerning? Yes. But should you be worried? No. Your home computer is far more vulnerable than a tech giant’s servers.

Think about it. What security do you have in place at home? At best, the vast majority of you will have a free antivirus, only a tiny percentage of users pay for a premium security suite. Lots of people don’t even use a router in their internet setup Why You Should Use a Router Even With Only One PC Every household with internet access should be using a router, even if there's only one PC connected to the network. Here are a few compelling reasons why. Read More !

Microsoft has a full-time team working to keep you safe and they stay abreast of just about every regulation and compliance law you can think of.

Myth 3: Microsoft Shares Data With the Government

There’s an oft-repeated trope that says services like Microsoft and Google own any data that you put on their servers. Even worse, some people genuinely believe that they’re watching your every move, meticulously reading your email to granny and looking for signs you might be about to drop a bomb on Canada.


Nothing could be further from the truth. Microsoft is explicit in their approach to data ownership and usage. Here’s a quote from their website:

Microsoft does not mine your data for advertising or for any purpose other than providing you services that you have paid for … If you ever choose to leave Office 365, you take your data with you.

Furthermore, Microsoft is the first major cloud service provider to adopt the international standard for cloud privacy. It has five key principles:

  1. You are in control of your data.
  2. You know what’s happening with your data.
  3. Microsoft provides strong security protection for your data.
  4. Your data won’t be used for advertising.
  5. Microsoft encourages government inquiry to be made directly to you unless legally prohibited. They will challenge attempts to prohibit disclosure in court.

Myth 4: Office 365 Lags Behind Competitors

There are a few competitors to Office 365 5 Reasons You Should Use iWork Instead of Microsoft Office If you're an Office veteran or a complete newcomer, iWork is well worth your consideration. Here are all the benefits of iWork. Read More . Perhaps the most well-known among home users is Google’s suite of products.

Make no mistake, Google’s service is fantastic. It’s free, easy to use, and more than adequate for a lot of basic tasks. But Google also benefits from a reputation of being innovative — people automatically think that everything they produce is on the cutting edge.


Google Docs Icons

In reality, the Microsoft offering has a lot more features 10 New Microsoft Office 2016 Features to Increase Productivity Microsoft Office 2016 receives new features all the time. They are available first to Office Insiders and Office 365 subscribers. We show you the best new Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook features and how to... Read More , a lot more apps, and a lot more development going into it. After all, the Office line of products is Microsoft’s biggest money-maker — they have to stay ahead of the competition.

If you’re still not convinced, take a look the development roadmap for Office 365. It’s impressive seeing how fast new functionality is announced and then released.

Myth 5: It’s Unpopular and No One Else Is Using It

For a lot of people, the idea of spending money on a service like Office 365 is still hard to grasp. They don’t think anyone else is doing it, and they’re not willing to make the jump.

Office 365 Buy

The figures tell a different story. Office 365 has only just celebrated its fifth birthday, but in that time it’s gone from nothing to 80 million paid subscriptions. The term “paid subscriptions” is an important one — each home user can share their single subscription with up to four other users. The total number of people using Office 365 is actually a lot, lot higher.

What’s Stopping You?

If you still haven’t made the jump from regular Office Don't Buy Office 2019! Here's Why You May Not Need It Should you buy Office 2019? We don't think so. Here's why Office 2019 isn't worth it, and what to try instead. Read More to Office 365, consider this: Office 365 Home is $99.99 per year for five users. The service is updated constantly so you’ll always have the latest software available. In contrast, Office Home & Student 2016 is $149.99 for one PC and you will not get any free upgrades.

If you’re still unsure about whether to invest in Office 365, I’d love to know why. Is it too expensive? Are there still some myths that concern you? Are you happy with Google’s free offering?

Get in touch with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Related topics: Microsoft Office 2016, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Office Online, Microsoft Office Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Conway Costigan
    September 19, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    So you are saying O365 is $500 for 5 years, O2016 is $149.
    O365 is $1000 for 10 years, O2016 is $149.
    Enough said on that.

    Plus 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.

    And the advantage to O365 is one can easily use multiple devices to access the same data and don't have to bother taking one's own backups.

    Consequently, I can't understand why anyone would ever consider O365 for personal use.

    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.

    Does no one else see the elephants?

  2. Eddie G.
    October 31, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Sorry, but I'm not buying it (no pun intended!) I've seen where MS will make things "difficult" for someone whose subscription might lapse or who might not have renewed what needed renewing. Now is all that worth the hassle? I don't think so...Oh sure your license kinda does the same thing....(every what?...4 years?) and the same with your passport, (after 10 YEARS!) but to have to "remember" to update or reach out to your Office server every 30 days? nah, its not worth it. You'd be better off with Goggle Docs or (my personal favorite!) LibreOffice....because suppose you don't touch your PC for a'd still be able to use the office suite and not get any issue with reading, editing, etc. Also in regards to the whole security debate? Nope. there too you're better off saving all your important documents on your PC and not any cloud server. See, while you might be more vulnerable with your direct connection to the Internet, and a half paid for subscription for an anti-virus, you have to always look at this from a hackers point of view: what makes a more appealing target?? the servers for this Office 365 cloud service WHICH IS ALWAYS ON!!......or the lady who MAY or MAY not be awake at a certain time of day, or who might log off in the middle of an email,?....hackerwise, the little old lady offers very high "potential" gains, but because there's no definitive schedule and you don't want to go "knocking" and find out no one's home for the next week because they're on vacation. or she's in the hospital..orwhat have you. Yeah....nah I'll stick with LibreOffice and will save my documents on the 2TB external drive I have, something I can lock up and can protect myself. No thanks MS.

  3. Jack
    October 29, 2016 at 8:58 am

    My biggest problem with going over to 365 is that it is a subscription service that only gives you a years worth of updates. However you buy the CD version of Microsoft Office 2016 it is covered for updates until 2025 (extended).

    I am pleased for those who can afford to get the subscription but there are many (including myself) who are not working and or on low income. And the purchasing of a CD/DVD is more cost effective.

    October 25, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    The big problem I have with Office 365 is that if your subscription lapses--or if there are problems verifying it--your files become read-only. That's a dealbreaker.

  5. dragonmouth
    October 24, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    "Myth 3: Microsoft Shares Data With the Government"
    Is the admission by Yahoo that they were providing emails from millions of accounts to the government also a myth?

    • Tina Sieber
      October 27, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Yahoo is a different company.

      Microsoft is setting up huge data centers across Europe to evade the US government. If you're a US citizen, the NSA remains a problem and Microsoft might not be able to escape them.

      Outside the legal restrictions in the US, Microsoft is doing everything it can to enable users outside the US to keep their data private and safe. I think it's credible when Microsoft says that the company does don't mine your data for advertising and I think Microsoft is making a genuine effort to be transparent. Innocent until proven guilty I guess.