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Understanding Microsoft Office Licensing

October 29, 2021
Read Time 3 mins

Answering Your Questions

When customers reach out to us for advice on which Microsoft Office license they should choose, we often get asked the same types of questions. For this blog post, we have decided to explore some of the most common questions. If we don’t touch on or cover a question you may have, please feel free to contact our team of experts and they will gladly assist. Contact us.

Covered In This Article:

What is the difference between Consumer and Commercial licenses?

Can I use my Microsoft 365 Personal License for my Small Home Business?

My License Allows me to Install Office Apps on up to Five Devices. What does this Mean?

If I don't have Five Devices, can my Friend/Family Member Share my Subscription?

Can I Install Office on my Mac?

Do I need Internet Access to Use my Microsoft 365 Subscription?

What is the Difference between a Perpetual License and a Subscription-Based License?

What Happens when my Subscription Ends? How can I Continue to Work with my Documents?

Commercial Licenses buble

In a nutshell, commercial licenses are designed for business/corporate use. These licenses have been designed specifically to enhance the productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of businesses/corporations with premium apps such as Teams and SharePoint. Consumer licenses are designed for day-to-day home/personal use and are impractical for business use.

Home business

No. As we mentioned earlier, consumer licenses are not designed for commercial use, even for a small home business. Even though you may only need Microsoft Office apps such as Outlook, Word, and Excel, you are missing out on premium business apps that are designed to support daily business admin and operations. For a home business, we suggest purchasing Office Home and Business 2021 or Office Professional 2021 licenses once-off. Another option is Microsoft 365 Business Standard, which includes additional features such as 1TB file storage and upgrades.

Install Office

This means that you can download and install the Microsoft Office apps available to you on 5 of your own devices. For example, if you have a laptop, tablet, and smartphone, you can download and install the required Microsoft Office apps so that you can access your files from any of your devices. This would leave you with the ability to install office on 2 other devices in the future.

No, single-use licenses (consumer or commercial) cannot be shared with other users. If you share your subscription, you are compromising the security of your personal files. An affordable consumer solution is the Microsoft 365 Family license that allows for up to 6 users, and each user can install Microsoft Office apps on multiple devices.

Yes, you can purchase Microsoft 365 subscriptions for both Mac and Windows. The apps are tailored to work best on each operating system. The apps available for Mac users and the specific features included may be different from those available for PC users. With Microsoft 365, you can be flexible. With your account, you are not limited to exclusively Mac or exclusively PC, so you can transition across devices. Perpetual licenses such as Office Home & Business 2021 and Office Professional 2021 are also available for Mac as well as Android.

Yes and no. You will need access to the internet to download the apps, but once installed you do not need to be connected to use the apps. Cloud services will only be available when connected, such as OneDrive. If you are working offline, your files will automatically sync to the cloud when you are connected to the internet. Note this is only if you make use of OneDrive. We also suggest connecting to the internet regularly to keep your subscription up to date.

Perpetual licenses like Office Home & Business 2021 and Office Professional 2021 are a one-time purchase for use on one device only. These licenses are not eligible for upgrades which means if you want access to new features you will need to purchase a new license. Microsoft 365 is a subscription that includes the most collaborative, up-to-date features. It includes the robust Microsoft Office desktop apps that you’re familiar with, like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. You also get extra online storage and cloud-connected features that let you collaborate on files in real-time. With a subscription, you’ll always have the latest features, fixes, and security updates along with ongoing tech support at no extra cost. You can choose to pay for your subscription on a monthly or yearly basis.

If you choose to let your subscription expire, the Microsoft Office apps enter read-only mode, which means that you can view or print documents, but you can’t create new documents or edit existing documents.

Before using or buying software, it is important to understand the license terms around it, and using software outside of the license terms is classed as piracy and could lead you or your business open to being prosecuted or fined. Therefore, the right licensing is important from the onset, as it can save your company money, improve the security of company data, increase productivity, and ensure that the company is legal.

We hope that through this blog post we have been able to help answer some of your questions. If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the legitimacy of your existing software please contact us

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