Windows 8 comes with Microsoft Word

Office 365 for Windows 8.1

Michael Rupp

Microsoft is continuing the online orientation of Windows 8.1 with the Office software: Office 365 Home Premium should be the affordable Office package for private users.

For tablet PCs with Windows RT, Word, Excel and Powerpoint are always included in the scope of delivery. Windows 8.1 and 8.1 Pro, on the other hand, come without Office software. If you want to edit texts, tables and slides, you need an Office package.

EnlargeNew licensing policy: office 365 Home Premium can be installed on up to five PCs and on five mobile devices.

For home users and families in particular, Microsoft offers Office 365 Home Premium, a relatively inexpensive subscription office package based on the scope of functions. For just under 100 euros a year, the entire family can use the same office work environment on up to five PCs and notebooks as well as on up to five mobile devices. For 100 euros, you can provide all family members with a complete office license for 12 months. On the one hand, this should facilitate the convenient exchange of documents, on the other hand Microsoft wants to get users used to the subscription service. The subscription to Office 365 Home Premium also includes 20 GB of online Skydrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype calls per month.

EnlargeYou log in with your Microsoft access data - your previous Windows Live ID also works.

Office for private users with cloud connection

Office 365 Home Premium includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access - each in the current 2013 versions. The applications themselves are identical to the programs from conventional Office 2013. Even the standard Office 2013 suggests the Skydrive drive as storage space when opening and saving documents. In terms of online connectivity, Office 365 goes well beyond Office 2013 and saves not only documents but also all settings in Skydrive. As a result, documents and settings should follow the user, regardless of which device he is currently working on. For example, you can start editing a table at home and then continue on the notebook on the go without having to copy the relevant file back and forth. Of course, this only works if you save your data on Skydrive.

Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Apps

EnlargeOffice on Demand from office 365 Home Premium uses a streaming method to start Word or Excel if required on a PC with Windows 7 or Windows 8 / 8.1 on which the relevant application is not installed.

Use Office 365 from the cloud as a stream in Windows

The online affinity of Office 365 goes one step further: If you are temporarily not working on your own computer, as a subscriber to Office 365 Home Premium you can also use the applications you need on a PC on which no Word or Excel is installed. Microsoft calls the process streaming: If the PC is connected to the Internet, you can use the download version of its Office applications in the browser. To do this, log on to the Office 365 website and start Word or Excel. The required program components are loaded from the server onto the PC, executed there and deleted again at the end of the work session. The speed of the stream depends on the speed of the internet connection. All documents stored on Skydrive are then available within the streamed Office application. The streaming of Word & Co. only works on PCs with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1.

EnlargeOnce the Office applications have been set up, there is no visual or functional difference between them and the modules from Office 2013.

Free apps for office use on smartphones

Office 365 users can edit documents from Word, Excel and Powerpoint with the “Office Mobile for Office 365” app on their smartphone and tablet PC. The free app is available for Android and iOS. This means that Office documents can be edited both online and offline - an Internet connection is only required for downloading and then for synchronizing the documents with the Office server. However, Office Mobile does not work as a completely independent app.

Office software from the cloud

Open source alternative: Libre Office

Libre Office is recommended as a conventional office suite for Windows 8.1: It offers a variety of office modules such as word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. It thus reliably covers all areas of everyday use. Typical Microsoft Office formats such as DOC / DOCX are of course supported.

EnlargeAfter logging in to the Microsoft account, an overview of the files stored in Office 365 and Skydrive appears.