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What's the biggest problem with cloud storage? There ain't enough of it, the storage space, that is. And Office 365? Why would you pay for a monthly subscription to Office when you could buy the software once (Office 2013) and own it forever?
How about 1 terabyte of cloud storage space, and Office 365, which comes with access to the mobile apps and the desktop version, all for as little as $6.99 per month? Paying monthly for a desktop app seemed ridiculous, but when Microsoft is tossing all of those extras in, for the same amount Google charges for the storage alone, this actually seems like a bargain.
And if monthly fees sound unappealing, Microsoft has a gift for you too: 15 gigabytes for free.
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Lets Start With Free
Previously OneDrive (known as SkyDrive in a former pre-trademark infringement life), offered 7 GB of space for free. Now, it's upped the free tier to 15 GB. Here's how it lines up with its major competitors:
|Free Space||15 GB||2 GB||15 GB||10 GB|
|File Size Limit||2 GB||None||10 GB||250 MB|
|Operating Systems||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, Blackberry, iOS|
The ubiquitous DropBox is slipping badly behind the competition, while Microsoft has basically price-matched Google in terms of free storage, though Google gets the edge in file size limits.
Is Paid Worth It?
If you're running solo, with only one PC or Mac, and one tablet, Office Personal, at $69.99 per year (or $6.99 per month) provides: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, OneNote, OneDrive (1 TB of space), 60 minutes of Skype, and of course: cloud syncing of settings and documents.
For $99.99 (or $9.99 per month), Office Home provides the same features, but on up to five computers and up to five separate accounts, each with their own 1 TB of space and own cloud syncing.
There is also Office 365 University, which at $79.99 for four years, is great for law students.
Is switching to a monthly subscription worth it? Considering competitors charge the same amount for the storage alone, and Office is the go-to suite for most law offices, the feature set certainly is compelling.
Plus, standalone Office 2013 for Business (which doesn't include Access, Publisher, or any of the cloud-based services) is $220 -- or the equivalent of three years' worth of Office 365 Personal.