Q: You know every time a business buys a new PC it seems there are always extra software programs that you have to get just to do simple office tasks like writing a letter or making a spreadsheet.
A: You’re right and today I would like to touch quickly on some of the options people have for office software applications.

Q: Well there are costly packages from Microsoft and others. Lets start at the other end of the spectrum…The Free End.
A: A very good place to start. If you are using a Chrome book or even if you have a gmail account you have access to Google Docs which is a full free office suite with Docs, Sheets, Slides, and of course gmail. In addition, there are very good packages from Open Office and Libra Office. All of these are full featured, all can read and write in the MS Office formats and all are free. There are also apps for your mobile devices, some of which are also free.

Q: I can vouch for what you say. I have used these packages and they are all good options. However, my business is based on MS Office and all the people that I deal with are using the MS Office Suite. It would just be easier if I could install the MS Office programs on my new computer. What are my options?
A: There are more options out there than you might think. First lets consider the purchase option which is Office 2016. You buy this once, install it on your PC and can use it for the life of your PC. Updates are automatically downloaded to your PC. There are 3 versions for home and small business use. Single user packages range in price from about $160 up to $400.

Next we have Office 365 which is a subscription service. The subscriptions allow use of the Office 2016 applications by multiple users using a software as a service model. Different plans are available for Office 365, some of which also include value-added services, such as 1 TB of OneDrive storage and 60 Skype minutes per month on the Home Premium plan. The prices for these packages ranges from $7 per month up to $13 per month. If you sign up for an annual subscription there is a 16% discount.

There is one other plan that I must mention and that is the Office 365 for non-profits. The Enterprise E3 plan is a full featured Office 365 package. The price is $4.50 per user per month. You do have to fill out a form to prove you are a non-profit. We have installed it at several organizations and it is really a good deal.

Q: Is everything smooth and easy with an Office installation?
A: There can be problems with getting your data moved from an older version to the new one and with the administration of users on the Office 365 for Business plans. We have installed these packages many places and can help with package selection, installation or administration. Call PC Applications @ 533-6510 or our web site PCAPP.com.