Tech Tip: Follow-up to the difference between Office 2013 and Office 365

This is a follow-up to the August 3, 2016 Employee News Tech Tip “What is the difference between Office 2013 and Office 365?” Regarding the home version which employees can download from Microsoft at a discount:

  1. Do the two co-exist – the Office suite together with Office 365? Office 365 is a subscription plan. It means you get the latest Office products and regular upgrades as they come out. Alternatively, you can go out and buy a one-time purchase of MS Office. Then you get no upgrades. So for King County, you can download an earlier version (e.g., MS Office 2013) and because this is part of the Office 365 plan you can choose at a later time to upgrade (to Office 2016) at no cost. With Office 365, you also have the capability to install the version of Office you choose on up to 4 additional computers at no charge. Again, if you chose to go out and buy a standalone copy of MS Office, then you could only install on one computer.
  2. With Office 365, do you still have Office loaded on your hard drive? I.e. if you don’t have internet access, can you still work on an Office document? Yes, Office gets loaded on your hard drive.
  3. Do you have to “download” both the most recent Office suite as well as Office 365? No. You are choosing the Office suite (version) that you want as part of your Office 365 subscription plan. See the answer to 1 above.
  4. Am I remembering this correctly: That I downloaded/registered Office 365 on a home computer a few years back, but then still had to update and pay for the updated Office suite when it came out? I.e. Office 365 does patches but doesn’t update the suite when a whole new edition rolls out (eg. Office 2015 or Office 2017)? You can upgrade at any time, but it is not automatic.

For questions about Office 365 and the Office suite, and how to access them as a King County employee, contact Jamie Holter at