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Which Mircrosoft Package should I get?
Thread poster: Luke Hubbard

Luke Hubbard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:00
German to English
+ ...
Dec 5

Hi,

I'm in the process of ordering a new laptop and I can have Microsoft Office installed on it for when it comes. However, I'm not sure which package to opt for. Can you please tell me which packages you all use?

Thank you

Luke


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:00
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Lot of choice Dec 5

2007 or higher will do the trick.

 

Luke Hubbard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:00
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
should have been clearer Dec 5

Thank you Robert. What I should've made clear was whether I should get the Home/personal or Business package?

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:00
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Non-subscription Dec 5

Luke Hubbard wrote:

Thank you Robert. What I should've made clear was whether I should get the Home/personal or Business package?





I recently bought the non-subscription version of Office 2016 for Mac (home/personal - it does everything I need as a professional translator). There is absolutely no difference between this version and the previous versions that I also use; indeed, in many ways this version isn't as good.

The only thing you get with a subscription version is that you have to shell out more money every year. All you get is upgrades (which never make much difference and which you can get with the non-subscription version anyway).

So if you want to keep your outgoings under control I would suggest going for the one-time, non-subscription download.

[Edited at 2018-12-05 11:19 GMT]


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Version Dec 5

Difficult to tell you what to choose from a company it's tempting to call Muckrosoft. I bought Office 365 Personal via chat two months ago, but they are incapable of producing correct reverse-VAT invoices. I've been trying for two months to get through to someone at Microsoft who understands anything about VAT billing, but so far without luck.

The chat and phone 'support' you get with the Personal plan is as good as not having any support. The agents don't know anything and just waste your time while trying to even understand what the problem is and keep putting you on hold without solving anything. Once they've understood the problem after approximately one hour, they don't know if it can be fixed or if it's a bug and don't know what to do about it. Unless perhaps you need help with simple questions such as 'how do I create a file?'

The business version costs twice as much. Does that mean you get support that actually delivers and correct invoices? I don't know.

As for the software itself, version 2010 was much better than the current version 2019, which is unstable (crashes and stalls/loops) and less user friendly than version 2010. If I migrated today, I would have stayed on version 2010. I also get annoying dots under text in Outlook and Word that come and go as they please, and nobody at Microsoft has any idea what they mean or why they are there.

In fact, I'm so annoyed with Microsoft that I wish I could dump Office and never need to use it again. A potential alternative is LibreOffice and Thunderbird. You don’t get any support, but if Microsoft makes you pay for support you don’t get, then it may be better just not to pay anything.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
This version? Dec 5

Tom in London wrote:

There is absolutely no difference between this version and the previous versions that I also use; indeed, in many ways this version isn't as good.



What's the antecedent of the second 'this'? It's not quite clear which version isn't as good.

It's also contradictory. If there is 'absolutely no difference', how can one version be better than the other?

icon_smile.gif

In the long term, the cost of the subscription and the cost of buying new versions when they are released probably works out at more or less the same, although if you just buy a non-subscription licence, you have the choice of skipping one or more upgrades, which may be cheaper in the long term (but then you don't always have the latest version – which again may be an advantage if the latest version is bug-ridden and generally worse than the previous one – after all, we're talking about Microsoft).


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:00
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Other package Dec 5

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

A potential alternative is LibreOffice and Thunderbird. You don’t get any support, but if Microsoft makes you pay for support you don’t get, then it may be better just not to pay anything.


I would change to LibreOffice if it was compatible with SDL Studio. Unfortunately it isn't (and probably with more CAT's).


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
A pirate one Dec 5

But seriously, when I saw this query, the first thing I had to do was Google "which version of MS office am I using?"... And it turns out I have the 2016 version on this computer. I think it's just a normal version, not specifically for"business", which sounds as if it would likely be full of functionalities that turn out to be absolutely no use to me 99% of the time...
The last time I bought a desktop PC, less than a couple of years ago, I installed the 2010 version, as I work with Wordfast Classic and later versions of Office will not work with Excel and WFC.
When buying a new laptop, I usually go for whatever is cheap and on offer in retail stores, but they are usually stuffed with bloatware, so I take it to my tech guy and get him to format the hard disk, remove all the preloaded nonsense and install only the software I want to work with (a basic version of MS office, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, WFC, Nitro pro, Adobe… etc.)
Also, if I'm going to use a computer for entertainment purposes like gaming, watching movies or listening to music, I prefer to have a dedicated machine for that and keep my work setup separate, to avoid wear and tear.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:00
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Let me explain Dec 5

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

.... If there is 'absolutely no difference', how can one version be better than the other?



There is absolutely no difference between my version of what I wrote and your version of it.

Smiley THAT.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:00
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
365 Dec 5

Its more convenient to pay once a year than using a non-subscription software. With the latter you end up paying suddenly a lot for an update of your outdated software. If you are out of luck at the same time you'll need to invest in other items too when your account is low.
After all Bill Gates needs to make a living too.


Dan Lucas
 

Ian Mansbridge  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:00
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
Business Dec 5

As far as I'm aware, the Home licence of Word cannot be used for professional use according to the T&C. Of course, Microsoft are unlikely to come knocking on your door, but in the interests of ensuring everything was above board and ethical I went for the Business version.

B D Finch
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Unclear Dec 5

Ian Mansbridge wrote:

As far as I'm aware, the Home licence of Word cannot be used for professional use according to the T&C. Of course, Microsoft are unlikely to come knocking on your door, but in the interests of ensuring everything was above board and ethical I went for the Business version.


Yes, that's a bit unclear. For the business versions, their overview says, 'licenced for commercial use', but it doesn't say under the Home and Personal versions that they can't be used for professional purposes. According to legal definitions, freelance translation isn't strictly a 'commercial' occupation either but a liberal profession.


neilmac
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
We can't really say Dec 5

Ian Mansbridge wrote:
As far as I'm aware, the Home licence of Word cannot be used for professional use according to the T&C.


Yes. The Home version and the Personal version may not be used for "commercial, non-profit or revenue-generating" purposes. I suspect they mean "non-profit organisation" when they say "non-profit". I'm not sure what is the difference between "commercial" and "revenue-generating".

wwkmsrmwf78tgcevf5ti.png

However, I can't confirm if I have the Business edition or the Home edition. When I go File > Account in my MS Word 2016 (which is the equivalent of going Help > About in all other programs in the universe), it only says "Subscription Product, Microsoft Office 365" and it tells me that the product contains Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher and Word. Since the Business version does not come with Publisher, I guess I can deduce that have the Home version installed, but it doesn't say so anywhere on the dialog (but if I log in to https://account.microsoft.com/services/ with the correct e-mail address, I can see that I have the "Home" version).


[Edited at 2018-12-06 10:41 GMT]


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Commercial and revenue-generating Dec 5

At https://account.microsoft.com/services/ it tells me which version I have.

'Revenue-generating' would seem to cover most translators, and 'commercial' ensures that loss-making companies such as Tesla and Netflix are included too.

When I bought it via chat support, the agent did nothing to make sure I got the appropriate version for a freelance activity, but this limitation might explain the lack of proper invoicing.

I found a more comprehensive set of T&Cs at https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/servicesagreement/ :

'Office Services. Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, Office 365 University, Office Online, Sway, OneNote.com and any other Office 365 subscription or Office-branded Services are for your personal, non-commercial use, unless you have commercial use rights under a separate agreement with Microsoft.'

The German one is here:

https://www.microsoft.com/de-de/servicesagreement/ :

'Office-Dienste. Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, Office 365 University, Office Online, Sway, OneNote.com und alle anderen Office 365-Abonnementdienste oder Dienste der Office-Marke sind für Ihre persönliche, nicht kommerzielle Nutzung vorgesehen, es sei denn, Sie besitzen gemäß einem getrennten Vertrag mit Microsoft Rechte für eine kommerzielle Nutzung.'

They just say that these products are for non-commercial use, but nowhere in the text do they define what 'commercial' means, and translation is not considered a 'commercial' activity in some jurisdictions.

Someone asked at https://answers.microsoft.com/de-de/msoffice/forum/all/microsoft-office-nutzung-für-freiberufler/fb6924bd-7d6c-4d6e-b28b-87fe73d0d733?auth=1 if 'commercial' in German includes freelancers, and a volunteer moderator answered that it does, but that obviously has no legal effect.

On the other hand, this website clearly distinguishes between freelance and commercial activities:
https://www.service-bw.de/en/lebenslage/-/sbw/Freelance%20or%20commercial%20activity-5000334-lebenslage-0

The French version at https://www.microsoft.com/fr-fr/servicesagreement/ is similar:

'Services Office. Office 365 Édition Familiale, Office 365 Personnel, Office 365 Université, Office Online, Sway, OneNote.com et tout autre abonnement à Office 365 ou Services Office sont destinés à une utilisation personnelle et non commerciale, sauf si vous disposez de droits d’utilisation commerciale en vertu d’un autre contrat conclu avec Microsoft.'

Under French law, a freelance activity (liberal profession) is officially called 'non-commercial', so the French T&Cs don't exclude freelancers.

So it's still quite unclear. Sometimes T&C writers at large corporations are so unaware of the world outside their office that they forget that there is a category of freelancers or other small businesses in some jurisdictions that fall in between private individuals and commercial limited companies. American law probably doesn't have the distinction between commercial and non-commercial revenue-generating activities, so if they just translate their T&Cs literally, without taking local legislation into account, we end up with such confusion.


 

Georgi Kovachev  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 22:00
Member (2010)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
What about an alternative to Microsoft Office? Dec 5

Hi,
It's a bit off topic, but I know of an alternative to the Microsoft Office suite and wonder if anyone has tried it. Here is a link: https://www.ashampoo.com/en/usd/pde/1238/office-software/office-2018.

It costs only $30 and the licence is provided for five devices. The developer claims that it is 'Fully compatible with Microsoft Office documents from version 6.0 to 2016' and that it 'Opens and saves DOCX files of Microsoft Word 2010 lossless'.

I use Microsoft Office Home & Business 2010, but would definitely try this one when I need to change my computer – hopefully in not less than a couple of years icon_smile.gif


 
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