Free Microsoft Office OnlineIf you didn’t already know, Microsoft Office offers a FREE online version of its most widely used basic software, including Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. You might be wondering why anyone would pay for a licensed copy when it’s offered for free, but reality is, we all have different needs when it comes to productivity software needs. What’s the difference between the free Office Online and Microsoft Office 365? Quite a bit, actually.

Free Microsoft Office Online – What’s Free?

The free version of these online office programs provide enough functionality to satisfy basic users. Students and home users can usually get all their needs met with the free online version. The caveat, however, is that you must be connected online while using the programs, and don’t count on benefitting from the higher functionality you’d get if you paid for it. The most obvious downfall with the free Office Online version is that you must be connected to the internet to use the programs. In most cases, however, you can usually find free WiFi available if you don’t have internet at home.

What’s Different Between a Paid Version of Office and the Free Version of Microsoft Office Online?

The free version of office doesn’t have all of the functionality of its paid counterparts. If you’re using Office programs for more than just the basics, or have a need to work when internet is not available to you, plan on outright buying a license or subscribing to Microsoft Office 365. (If you’re wondering which paid version is right for you, check out this article.)

The subscriptions don’t cost a lot and they offer many extra useful benefits, but if you don’t need the other functions and have internet access, the free version might be all you need.