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Cheapest Way to Buy Microsoft Office


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One of the more common requests we get are for quotes on Microsoft Office. The usual reasons are:

  • Our version of Office is no longer supported or doesn’t work with other software
  • There is no standardization causing confusion and productivity loss for employees
  • We’re having problems converting or opening newer Microsoft Office documents

Hands down Office 365 is the best way to purchase Microsoft Office, either separately or bundled subscriptions like Office 365 E3. This approach is the most cost-effective and provides an always current version of Microsoft Office for up to 5 devices per user.

Office 365 Enterprise E3  ($240 per user per year)

Office 365 Pro Plus ($144 per user per year)

Let’s take a typical scenario of an organization with 100 users and a mixture of Office 2003, Office 2007, and Office 2010. You basically have 4 purchase options:

  1. Retail boxes from a retailer like Best Buy ($399.99)
  2. Open license from a distributor ($508)
  3. Open license with Software Assurance upgrade protection ($803)
  4. Office 365 subscription that includes Microsoft Office (starting at $144 per year)

Microsoft Open License Estimated Retail Price List is published publicly.

Retail boxes are difficult to manage with the separate keys for each license and cost nearly 3 times of an Office 365 subscription with no upgrade protection. Similarly, an Open License is approximately 4 times the cost of an Office 365 subscription and no upgrade protection.

Given the rapid pace of technology only increasing, it’s unlikely that you can wait 4 or 5 years to upgrade any more. Open Licenses with Software Assurance definitely make no sense with a 2 or 3 year renewal, at almost 6 times the cost for the same upgrade protection provided in Office 365.

So, the choice boils down to buying Open licenses you own versus renting a monthly Office 365 Subscription:

$50,800 – Office Professional Pro Plus for 100 Users Open License

$14,400 – Office 365 Pro Plus for 100 Users per year

Office 365 is only a fraction of the cost annually for 5 times the value. Be a hero with your management and show them the cheapest way to buy Microsoft Office.

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