Microsoft Office is one of the most used and respected office suites in the world, with over 1.2 billion users. The suite, depending upon the eversion you get, includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Some versions include Access and Publisher and Outlook. OneNote comes in Home and Student versions. If you want a suite of programs that can perform all the functions you need in word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and more, Microsoft Office continues to be your best choice. Recent editions of Office have only increased its ubiquity and usefulness, although you can still get earlier versions and may want to stick with an older version.
When you are preparing to purchase a new suite, you sometimes run up against a familiar problem with Microsoft products: there are many to choose from. The best way to navigate around this issue is to go to SoftwareKeep USA, where you can get expert advice on your purchase and find clear explanations of just what each suite has to offer. If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to the differences between Office 2010, 2013, and 2016, check out what we have to say.
Each edition of Office (2010, 2013, etc.) has several different suite versions. Microsoft tailors these versions to the needs of different clients. There is Home & Student, for instance, which only offers the basic core programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) and Home & Business, which offers those core programs and Outlook email so you can keep up with your business email at home.
The versions include:
- Home & Student: the core programs
- Home & Business: core programs and Outlook
- Standard: core programs, Outlook, and Publisher (only available with volume licensing for businesses)
- Professional: core programs, Outlook, Publisher, and Access
- Professional Plus: all of the above programs and some extra programs and features (different in different editions)
There are now further options for Office 2016 in the Office 365 versions, which are subscription based. After you choose which edition you are interested in, you will also need to decide which version of that edition suits you best.
The Office 2010 suite was extremely popular when it was introduced and remains a popular option. It has all the basic features you have come to expect in Word, including the ribbon interface of program options (Open Document, Copy, Paste, etc.) at the top of every document. Office 2010 also has some limited document co-authoring abilities, although this feature is much improved in later editions. There are also some excellent security features that were new when introduced in 2010, such as the Protected View option on documents, which is now quite common. Overall, Office 2010 is a stable, still-popular option if you are looking for an Office suite that can do all the basics without any of the newer features. If you simply need a word processor or spreadsheet program that is straightforward and intuitive, then Office 2010 is a cheap and worthwhile option. This is still a viable, affordable version of Microsoft Office and support through Microsoft will continue through 2020.
The main addition Office 2013 makes to your Office suite experience is more integration with the online world. Office 365 was introduced with 2013, for instance. There is far more cloud-based support than in 2010, which means you can begin to see some of the benefits of cloud storage. In particular, you can access not just files, but application settings and preferences through OneDrive. Another major improvement is the incorporation of more communication-based programs (which will become a priority in 2016), such as Skype and Yammer.
Office 2013 also has more touch-based features for those working with tablets. Finally, there are improvements in what Word and PowerPoint can do for you. Word received a new read mode, as well as the ability to insert video and audio clips from online sources. Meanwhile, PowerPoint received a presentation mode, as well as new slide designs, animations, and transitions. With support from bing.com and Flickr, there are also far more image options for your presentation needs. If your Office needs include more online integration through the cloud and more presentation ability, then Office 2013 is an excellent choice. The cost is still lower than the current version and brings you more features than 2010. It’s a great midpoint choice for your business.
Office 2016 is the latest edition of Office, and it comes with a lot of new features that can radically improve your work. For instance, the new Tell Me function in your programs saves you time when looking to perform a particular action. Simply type the words in and the action pops up. With Insights, you have far easier search options. Just highlight a word and right-click for Smart Search. That will bring up definitions, imagines, and even articles from the web. Outlook has a new Clutter feature which sorts through your emails based on priority, to make sure you get to all the important messages first. Meanwhile, Excel is far more powerful. With the ability to pull data from outside the document through Power Query, you can quickly begin analyzing new data from websites, Access, and other databases.
There are also new chart options and the ability to predict future data results. Perhaps the most impressive and useful new feature, however, come on the communication end. It is now possible to co-edit a document in real time, while also chatting about the changes. Sharing documents through OneDrive is now extremely easy as well. If you need top-of-the-line functions to get ultimate efficiency in your work or studies, you can’t beat Office 2016. The program suite is faster, ever more intuitive, while also giving you the ability to draw in data quickly, analyze ever faster, and communicate and edit like never before.
Which Version is Right for You?
The differences between the three editions listed above can be summarized like this:
- If you need basic programs for basic needs, Office 2010 is a great choice
- If you need more online integration, require cloud storage, and want more presentation options, 2013 is perhaps your best option
- If you want the latest features with the most efficiency and communication ability, you have to go with Office 2016
If you’ve got a small budget and just want the best version of Office to fit that budget, 2010 is a good choice. If you want to step it up a notch, go with 2013. Of course, SoftwareKeep USA recommends the current version to be up to date with all the power you need to run any business.
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