Tech Tip: What is the difference between Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365?

Microsoft Office 2013 is a package of tools that help you do your work. They include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, etc. We are all familiar with these tools because they have been around a long time and haven’t changed much. You can use any of these software applications on desktops, laptops and to even open documents on your phone. You can also download Office 2013 for Apple products like an iPad or a Mac. The software lives in an actual place on your device, like your desktop.   

Office 365 is the avenue that allows you to use those tools in the Cloud. That means you can access any documents, email or Office 2013 product from anywhere, anytime on any device (laptop, iPad, desktop, smartphone). To the rest of the world, it’s not an actual application. It’s just the portal that gets you to your applications more quickly, more easily and more securely without having to login to the King County system to do your work. You just do it!  

Office 365 allows seamless updates which means they can be deployed to everyone at the same time and no one is left behind with out-of-date software.  It’s like updates automatically sent to your smart phone – patches, fixes, etc.  

So – there is one of life’s great IT mysteries solved. It’s actually more complicated than this, but this is the basic explanation. If you do have an IT question, submit it to the IT explainer-in-chief, KCIT Communications Manager Jamie Holter.

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