It shouldn’t and needn’t be so complicated; but it is.

Good examples of simplicity is Ronseal. The tins do exactly what it says on the tin…

Ronseal tile paint,

Ronseal antimould paint,

Ronseal cupboard paint,

Ronseal wood filler,

Ronseal fence paint,

Ronseal floor paint,

Ronseal damp seal.

No guesses in what each one does. Now try the following.

1 – Microsoft Office 365 Home, (5 Installs)

2 – Microsoft Office 365 Personal, (1 Installs)

3 – Microsoft Office 365 Business, (5 Installs)

4 – Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium, (5 Installs)

5 – Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials, (Online access to Office only)

6 – Microsoft Office Home & Student 2016, (1 Installs)

7 – Microsoft Office Home & Business 2016, (1 Installs)

8 – Microsoft Office Professional 2016. (1 Installs)

Exactly. Microsoft clearly haven’t taken the Ronseal approach.

What’s made it a bit of a minefield is that they offer a combination of one-off purchases and subscription-based Office software.

The advantage of going for a subscription is that you’ll always have access to the latest version of Office when it’s released and on some of the subscriptions, you can install Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets including iPad, Android, or Windows, plus 5 phones. I’ve marked the number of installs after each link.

If you had a fully paid version of Office and wanted to upgrade to a later version, you’d have to pay an upgrade fee.

So from the above list, numbers 6, 7 and 8 and all one-off payments. You buy it – you own it.

The others are all subscription-based and you have the option of paying monthly or yearly.

One thing to bear in mind with a subscription; if you decide to stop payments at any time, the software will no longer work.

As to what each package offers in terms of applications and other functionalities, just click on the relevant package in the list for full details. Hope that helps.