Differences in MS Office 365

I’d like to subscribe to MS Office 365 for the Word program. On ebay they range
from $30 something to $89. There’s even a lifetime subscription offered for only $3.00.
The boxes don’t all look the same. Aside from whether they’re premium or not,
or whether they can be used on one or five computers – does anyone know
what other differences exist between them? Are the cheap ones going to
work as well as the expensive ones?

I get a big discount for being a student. That might be one of the reasons.

why not consider open-office*(apache)* ! it’s always been free and can open most ms-word 'n ms-excel 'n ms-powerpoint documents. i mean … why give microsoft the satisfaction?

p.s. no idea about any $3 lifetime subscription … might be some type of scam … best shy away from that.

While that might be a scam, it also might be a confusion as to the decimal place. Is that three dollars or three hundred dollars? Not all countries use “.” and “,” in the same way.

Why don’t you just go to office.com, or is there something I’m missing here?

If you go on eBay and search for “Microsoft Office 365 Home Lifetime Subscription”, there are indeed many listings for <$20 and some <$10. I don’t know what’s up with that. Maybe they were licenses bundled with computers that people are reselling? Or stolen license keys?

I don’t believe there is any such thing as a lifetime subscription to Office 365, at any price.

A) You get products that work consistently. OpenOffice does not always format documents correctly.
B) You get 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage

The satisfaction is yours.

In regard to how many machines you can use it on, if you have a (valid) license, the machine doesn’t matter - it’s a web-based resource. You’re authentication information is your validation of licensing. That’s the main selling point of Office365 - if you’re a traveling consultant, for example, and need to fix that spreadsheet that you saved up there in their cloud, you can get to it. Even if your laptop is hosed or something.

Thanks, everyone. I haven’t gone to office.com because
I’d hoped to find a lower price somewhere else!

However, you can install it locally. The number of machines on which it can be installed depends on your subscription.

One reply on this thread on Microsoft’s online forum suggests these might be licenses provided to non-profit charities. They are “lifetime” in the sense of having no specific cutoff date. Obviously it would be illegal to resell such a license.

Office 365 is still mainly a Windows software installed locally. It’s a different way to sell the license. Traditionally you bought a specific version of Office, and you could use it forever, but if you wanted to upgrade to a newer version, you had to pay. Office 365 is an annual subscription - you use pay to use the software for a year. If new versions come out during that time, you get the upgrade for free. But at the end of the year, your Office stops working unless you renew the subscription.

Office 365 does include a web-based version as well, but I don’t think many people consider that the main selling point. I’ve been using Office 365 for many years and I’ve never used the web-based version.

C) Excel is good, while its equivalent Calc sucks. Aside from Apache, there is also LibreOffice, a different fork.

The lifetime 365 is extremely sketchy.

Microsoft licenses come in a lot of different formats, and they don’t really do a good job of keeping track who ends up using which. Frankly, they don’t care. It’s a form of price discrimination. Microsoft has always been lax about keeping up with pirates, because they would rather you pay very little (or nothing) to use Windows + Office instead of some other competitor. Then at work you just ask for Office because it’s what you know, and because bigger businesses will actually pay for the full license (and Microsoft does go after them). Even when someone offers you a free competitor, you’re like, nah, I’d rather pay for Office. The lower-cost home licenses are for people who can afford it, the pirated/free/questionable ones are for the ones who can’t, but either way they end up helping to legitimize Microsoft as the standard office suite. Adobe works the same way.

The license is probably bundled, educational, non-profit, or otherwise a discounted license. It’ll probably work. Even if it stops working after a year or two (unlikely), it’s still cheaper.

If you’re really freaking cheap you can also sign up for a 1-unit community college course, which will usually get you a student email and a free Office 365 account. Then you cancel the course and get a refund from the college and keep your educational copy of Office, usually good for a few years.

I got the whole office suite for $10 through some sort of program offered at my work. Every time there is a new version, we get the same offer for the next one. And I think we can install it on up to six machines.

I see, thanks. (The thought to get an O365 subscription from a third party actually never occurred to me.)

Yep, Microsoft Home Use Program. It is usually offered at almost every Federal Agency, not sure about State or Local. Really good deal!

Software licenses, especially subscription-model, are not normally discountable by resellers - partly because the manufacturer often imposes a retail price in the contract with the reseller, and partly because the margins on licence resale are very lean.

You might sometimes find that resellers ‘add value’ to the licence - by providing additional support resources or other ancillary stuff, but it’s quite unusual to find them undercutting the source.

There is a huuuuuuuuge grey market from non-authorized resellers though, which is where those questionable licenses come from…