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Microsoft 365 Online Business Essentials

Online Office apps, email and collaborative tools

per user/mo

With an annual term (27% savings)

1 TB secure OneDrive storage

Meet, chat and collaborate with your team, customers or suppliers with Microsoft Teams

Professional Email with 50 GB email storage

99% uptime guarantee


Microsoft 365 Business Professional

Office apps on 5 devices, web apps, email and collaborative tools

With an annual term (44% savings)

Microsoft 365 Desktop Apps: Download Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint to 5 devices, plus get web and mobile apps

Microsoft 365 with Advanced Security Bundle

Office apps on 5 devices, web apps, email, security and collaborative tools

With an annual term (34% savings)

Advanced Email Security

Choose your best plan:

Choose your best plan:
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Microsoft 365 Online: Web versions of Word, Excel, Teams and more
Microsoft 365 Mobile: Apps for iPhone, Android and Windows phones
1 TB secure online storage via OneDrive
Microsoft Teams: meet, chat and collaborate with your team, customers or suppliers
Domain-based email
Storage for email, contacts and calendars
World-class data security and spam filtering
Sync across all devices
Advanced Email Security

All plans include:

Get all the latest, regularly-updated Office apps

And, every time Microsoft releases a new version, it gets delivered to you automatically, at no extra charge. No big upfront cost now. No big upgrade cost later. Just a low monthly price so you'll always have the latest version.

Feat Office 365 Latest Updates

Your anytime, anywhere office.

Icn Office 365 Device To Work

Put your mobile device to work.

Mobile versions of Office apps are specifically designed to give you a consistent experience across all your devices. If you've got an iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows device, the mobile Office apps let you access, edit, share and store files just as easily as with the desktop versions.

Icn Office 365 Take Office Anywhere

Take your office anywhere. Really.

With Microsoft 365, everything's within reach because it seamlessly integrates with OneDrive, a secure cloud storage service. Store all your files and access online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Best of all, it works the same on a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone.

Img Office Keep Files Safe

Keep files safe. In the cloud.

Hard drive crash. Email virus. Coffee spill. Stuff happens. But with 1 TB of secure online storage with OneDrive, your files are always safe and always accessible.

Get added protection for your business email.

Icn O365 Email Backup

Email Backup

Ever accidentally delete an email or attachment that was critical to your business email account? Email Backup lets you restore it with just one click.

Icn O365 Advanced Security

Keep the wrong people from intercepting your small business email and getting access to your company’s – or your client’s – confidential information.

Email that works. For you.

Make a great first impression..

Show customers you mean business with official email addresses that speak volumes before you say a word. Create professional addresses — like yourname@, sales@, or support@ — that all route to your primary inbox.

Stay in the loop.

Microsoft 365 and GoDaddy keep all your devices in sync, from your laptop to your tablet to your smartphone, so you're always on the ball. Plus, shared online calendars put every team member on the very same page.

Get worry-free migration.

New apps to grow your business..


Microsoft Bookings

Allow customers to easily schedule appointments from a customizable web page.


Microsoft Teams

A collaboration tool that combines workplace chat, meetings, notes and attachments.

More than 10 employees?

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We love to help. Seriously.

Still not sure what you need? Give us a call. We’re happy to help, even if you’re not a customer. Call us at  (02) 8042 8920 and we'll chat — or get back to you as soon as we can.

Frequently asked questions

What is included with microsoft 365, what happened to office 365 plans, my business has an existing office 365 business subscription. what does the change to microsoft 365 mean for me, why should i buy microsoft 365 from godaddy if i already have office apps on my desktop.

If you purchase our Advanced Security or Business Professional plan, you'll get the latest Office apps, featuring the latest versions of the desktop applications you know and love — Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access (PC only), OneNote and Publisher. And whenever Office apps are updated, you will automatically receive the latest upgrade at no additional charge so that you always have the current version of Office apps. 

Our Microsoft 365 plans give you the ability to easily and securely share and collaborate on documents using OneDrive for Business and Online Office apps. With Online Business Essentials and Business Professional you can also create a domain-based email address and share calendars and contacts with people inside and outside of your company. Finally, unlike the Microsoft 365 you currently have, Microsoft 365 from GoDaddy gives you real-time meeting and screen sharing.

With the Advanced Security or Business Professional plans, can I download the 5 installs of Office on my employees' computers?

Will the excel, powerpoint and word programs i already have installed on my computer work with my cloud storage and office online, will the latest version of office apps work on my computer.

To use the 5 desktop downloads you get with the Advanced Security or Business Professional plan, you must be on one of the following operating systems:

PC: Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2016. 

Mac: the most current version of macOS and the previous two versions

If you are running a different operating system, remember that you can still use Office Online, browser-based versions of your favorite Microsoft tools like Excel, Word or PowerPoint, which are included with the Online Business Essentials or Business Professional plans.

I am part of a larger organization - can I use Microsoft 365 from GoDaddy?

What is the cloud, i have a mac. can i still use microsoft 365 from godaddy what about the advanced security and business professional plans, what is office for ipad, what is office online, what is online document collaboration.


Get the help you need 24/7. Call our expert Guides on (02) 8042 8920. We're here for you every step of the way.

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Payment options for your Microsoft business subscription

Check out all of our small business content on Small business help & learning .

You can use a credit or debit card, or bank account to pay for your Microsoft business subscription. For qualifying customers, you can pay by invoice via wire transfer. If you have a billing profile, your options are slightly different. For more information, see How to pay for your subscription with a billing profile . If you're not sure if your account has a billing profile, see Understand billing profiles .

Just want to find out where to send your invoice payment? If you currently pay your invoice by wire transfer, see Where do I send my wire transfer payment?

If you need help with the steps in this topic, consider working with a Microsoft small business specialist . With Business Assist, you and your employees get around-the-clock access to small business specialists as you grow your business, from onboarding to everyday use.

Before you begin

Directives from the Reserve Bank of India

Currently, some credit card transactions, especially transactions exceeding 5,000 INR, are blocked due to a directive by the Reserve Bank of India. This might affect automatic payments, which means that you might have to make payments manually in the Microsoft 365 admin center. This directive doesn't affect usage charges.

Learn more about the Reserve Bank of India directive for recurring payments .

As of September 30, 2022, Microsoft and other online merchants no longer store credit card information. Microsoft has removed all stored card details from the admin center. To avoid service interruption, you must add and verify a payment method for all subscriptions.

Learn about the Reserve Bank of India directive for card storage .

Because of the removal of credit card information, when you view your list of payment methods, the Expiration Date and Status columns only say "Unknown."

UPI and NetBanking payment options

The admin center supports two alternate payment options for customers in India:

UPI and NetBanking are only supported for one-time transactions for existing customers only.

How do I make a payment with UPI or NetBanking?

After you submit the payment, allow time for the payment to appear in the admin center.

How am I refunded if I made a payment with UPI or NetBanking?

Refunds are treated as a regular charge and are refunded to your bank account.

Paying by credit or debit card, or bank account

Paying by bank account is not available in some countries or regions.

You can pay for your subscription with a credit or debit card, or a bank account. When you pay with one of these payment methods, we continue to charge that payment method until the subscription expires, or is canceled. You can manage payment methods whenever you need to. You can also choose to receive your organization's invoices as email attachments .

Paying by invoice

If you're a new customer, paying by invoice isn't available as a payment method. However, you can buy subscriptions with a credit or debit card or through a partner or reseller.

If you're an existing customer, and you meet the eligibility requirements described below, you can contact support to help you change a current subscription to be paid by invoice. If you want to buy a new subscription, and you meet the eligibility requirements, you might be approved to change your payment method to pay by invoice. Contact support to find out if you can pay by invoice, and to help you buy a new subscription using the pay by invoice option.

Eligibility requirements. To be eligible to pay by invoice, you must:

Customers who live in Brazil can pay for a subscription with a Boleto Bancario. If you have selected this option, the billet for payment is sent to the email provided during subscription purchase within 10 working days after the order date. The due date is 30 days after the order date. If you don't receive your Boleto by email, check your spam folder or contact support.

If you prefer, you can pay by electronic transfer between accounts. The Agency and account number are at the bottom of your invoice. You must enter your invoice number in the Transfer identification field.

If you pay by invoice for your subscription, you get an email when your billing statement is ready to view. This email doesn't contain a copy of your billing statement. However, you can choose to receive your organization's invoices as email attachments . Your billing statement includes details about your options for making a payment, and where to send it. If you enter a purchase order (PO) number when you buy a subscription, the number appears on your billing statement. For information about accessing billing statements, see View your bill or invoice .

What if I have an outstanding balance?

If we're unable to charge the payment method on file, we send an email that lets you know there's a problem. The email briefly states what the problem is and includes a link where you can check the outstanding balance. We continue to retry the transaction every few days for 30 days, during which time the subscription is in a grace period. Every time a transaction fails, you receive an email alert about the failure.

If you personally added the payment method that has a past due amount, you can use Settle balance to make a payment. The payment method that you use to pay the overdue amount becomes the new payment method for all subscriptions that used the declined payment method.

If you didn't add the payment method used to pay for the subscription, you must replace the payment method with one you previously added, or with a new one.

Where do I send my wire transfer payment?

Check your invoice for payment instructions for your country or region. If you're not sure how much you owe, you can check your bill and billing history online on the Invoices tab of the Bills & payments page.

If you must pay the membership fee for the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) program (Action Pack subscription, Silver or Gold competencies), see Pay competency fees for information about how to make an MPN payment.

Wire transfer payment processing time

Payments made by wire transfer have processing times that vary, depending on the type of transfer:

If your account is approved for payment by wire transfer, the instructions for payment are on the invoice.

Can I pay my invoice online?

You can't pay your invoice online. You must remit payment via wire transfer.

Can I change from my current payment method to paying by invoice?

You can only change to paying by invoice if you meet the eligibility requirements described in the Paying by invoice section above. You must first pay any outstanding balance on the credit or debit card or bank account before you can change to paying by invoice. Contact support to see if you can change to paying by invoice.

Can I change from paying by invoice to using a different payment method?

You can't automatically change from paying by invoice to paying with a different payment method. Instead, you must buy a different subscription paid for with a credit or debit card or bank account, move all users to the new subscription , and then cancel the old subscription .

Related content

Manage payment methods (article) View your bill or invoice (article) Understand your bill or invoice (article)

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Additional resources

Microsoft 365 Premium for Australian Businesses

With Microsoft Teams, bring your team together when working out of the office via chat, calls, video conferencing and sharing files capabilities, all in one place!

Take your office anywhere with Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook you already know, but Microsoft 365 offers a lot, lot more. With fully integrated video conferencing, chat and file sharing, you can easily and securely collaborate with almost anyone, anywhere, on any device.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium lets you choose the right subscription pricing for your Australian business, pay for it monthly and add or remove users depending on how many people you have at the time. That means you can be flexible and take pressure off your cash flow.

In a world where work is now something you do, not somewhere you go, Microsoft 365 gives you the latest online tools, 24×7 support and 99.9% uptime guaranteed, so you get more done.

Perfect for remote working

Stay connected at your desk or on the go with video conferencing, chat and file sharing.°

One license, many devices

One license lets you work across any 5 Windows, iOS or Android phones, tablets, laptops or desktops.°

Automatic feature updates

The most-up-to-date versions of your apps automatically update as soon as they're available as part of your selected pricing.

Explore Microsoft 365 Business Premium apps


Microsoft Teams is a “collaboration hub”. It is THE place where you can connect with your colleagues or customers across Australia or beyond. With Teams, you can chat, call or host web conferences from anywhere as well as edit and share documents right within the app!


OneDrive is the leading online cloud storage service allowing you to host and share files. Keep your personal documents or drafts private and accessible anywhere or share your chosen content with your Australian colleagues or customers.


SharePoint is the document sharing platform making all content accessible across various teams. It provides a digital central location for all your folders.


Exchange is the mail and calendar server allowing you to access both these services from anywhere, anytime, on any devices.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium plans

Buy the full Office license with all the most up-to-date productivity apps to create, edit and share docs from multiple devices.

Apps for Business includes

  1TB online storage

  Microsoft 365® installed on up to 5 devices

  Business App: Suite of Microsoft Office® and productivity apps such as Word®, Excel®, Power Point®

Microsoft 365® online only version of website apps & email

Online Business Basic includes

  50 GB of email storage

  Professional email that matches your domain Microsoft Email Exchange®

  Calendar, contacts and tasks

  Microsoft 365® (online only) web-app versions of Excel®, Word®, PowerPoint® and more.

  1 TB online storage with OneDrive®

Microsoft 365® on 5 devices, web apps & email includes desktop apps

Same as Online Business Basic package, plus

  Microsoft 365® installed on up to five devices

  Suite of Microsoft business and productivity apps

We'll set up your email for you! We understand just how critical email hosting is to your Australian business so we step in and set it all up for you. Simply tell us the mailboxes you need upon registration, and we'll do the setup and turn on your professional email(s).

Compare M365 Business Premium plan features

Apps for business, business basic, business standard, email on any device, shared calendars, desktop office apps, online office apps, file storage (onedrive), document sharing platform (sharepoint), chat, calls and video conferencing (teams), schedule and manage appointments (bookings), automatic new feature updates, security and privacy controls, phone and online support, 99.9% uptime guarantee, pay monthly.

* Per mailbox/license.

We do the technical stuff so you don’t have to

We do the technical stuff so you don’t have to

If you need to migrate your Gmail, Hotmail or any other email account to Microsoft 365 Business Premium, we’re here to help. We can get you up and running quickly to minimise disruption to your Australian business.

We're here to help. Got any questions?

Call 1300 638 734 or enquire below..

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is internet access required for microsoft 365.

Internet access is required to install and activate all the latest releases of Office suites and all Microsoft 365 subscription plans. For Microsoft 365 plans, Internet access is also needed to manage your subscription account, for example to install Office on other PCs or to change billing options. Internet access is also required to access documents stored on OneDrive. It is also recommended you connect to the Internet regularly to keep your version of Office up to date and benefit from automatic upgrades.

You do not need to be connected to the Internet to use the Office applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, because the applications are fully installed on your computer.

Does Microsoft 365 have any minimum system requirements?

Office applications are tailored to work best on each platform and device. The Office applications available for Mac users and the version numbers may be different from those available for PC users.

With the latest application updates Microsoft has focussed on making a seamless Office user experience between devices.

A touch-enabled device is required to use any multi-touch functionality. But, all features and functionality are always available by using a keyboard, mouse, or other standard or accessible input device. Note that touch features are optimised for use with Windows 10, Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is a platform that enables the user and connected accounts to chat, email, share files and calendars, video conference and create events while utilising a suite of Apps such as Word, Excel, SharePoint and PowerPoint. These types of functions.

Is Microsoft 365 a subscription service?

Yes. There are a variety of plans that can unlock the entire catalogue of Microsoft 365 Apps. You also must factor in the amount of space measured in gigabytes that you will require to run your business.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a centre where users and work colleagues can interact with each other via video, email and voice call one another. Using One Drive users can share files in a variety of formats including Word and PowerPoint. Video conferencing is another function of Teams that’s lets up to 250 people participate. In these conference calls users can screen share, voice and text chat and share files.

° Selected plans. Please refer to each plan’s details for inclusions.

Build your business online with a website

Build your business online with a website

We offer everything you need to launch and support your professional website. You'll get peace of mind with a great-looking site, fast and reliable website hosting, and rock-solid security.

microsoft 365 business plans australia

Microsoft 365 review

Still the best when it comes to workplace productivity, collaboration, and communication.

Microsoft 365

TechRadar Verdict

If you’re starting from scratch, Microsoft 365 is the best choice in productivity and communication software.

Superior interoperability

Highly secure cloud storage

Limited support for Access and Publisher

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Most people will be familiar with Microsoft’s flagship suite of productivity software, Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab) . It includes household names such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as lesser-known products such as Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive.

For many years, it has been the standard in productivity software, which is still the case today. However, there are also a lot of changes within the Microsoft 365 universe.

In the past year, Microsoft has deepened its commitment to a subscription-based pricing model and phased out many of its standalone products. This is because Microsoft 365 is designed to work as an ecosystem rather than an assortment of separate applications. Appropriately combined, Microsoft 365 provides businesses with a comprehensive, all-in-one digital workspace, including communications, cloud storage, backup and syncing, and productivity apps. 

In this in-depth article, we explore all facets of the suite’s flagship platforms and discuss why it might be worth investing in Microsoft 365 for your business.

We think it is the best office software (opens in new tab) available in 2021, but if you’re not convinced, you might want to check out our guide to the best alternatives to Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab) .

Plans and Pricing

Microsoft 365 pricing is straightforward, and there are several options for businesses. Four are suited to small- and medium-sized organizations, two are oriented toward large enterprises, and three are designed for first-line workforces. All plans are bought on a subscription basis, with either monthly or annual payments. 

Small- and medium-sized businesses can choose between four plans: Basic, Standard, Premium, and Apps. With each of these plans, every user receives 1TB of OneDrive storage space. 

Basic costs $5 user/month and includes OneDrive and Teams along with online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It isn’t truly a Microsoft 365 subscription because it doesn’t include desktop or mobile apps, but it may suit some organizations' needs. 

Standard costs $12.50 user/month, and includes all Microsoft 365 desktop and mobile apps, including Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, OneDrive, OneNote, and Teams. 

Premium costs $20 user/month and offers all the apps included in Standard plus advanced cyberthreat protection and administrator controls. This is ideal for organizations managing sensitive customer or financial data.

Apps costs $8.25 user/month and is suited to businesses wanting the Microsoft 365 apps discussed in this article without some of the more advanced collaborative and cloud-based features.

For Enterprises, there are two options: E3 and E5.

The E3 plan costs $32 user/month. It includes all Microsoft 365 apps, unlimited OneDrive storage, plus a range of cyber auditing, data protection, and identity and access management functionalities not included in Microsoft's business plans. 

The E5 plan is the company's most expensive, coming in at $57 user/month. For this considerable price, you get access to everything Microsoft has to offer. That’s everything included in the E3 plan plus even more advanced and comprehensive account management solutions, usage analytics, and threat protection. It is suited only to large organizations with hundreds of employees.

If you simply want a Microsoft 365 subscription for your first-line workforce, there are also options for this.

The Microsoft 365 F3 plan costs only $10 user/month, while the Office 365 F3 plan and Legacy F1 plan cost $4 user/month.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is perhaps the best known of the Microsoft 365 platforms and is for many people the definitive word processing app.

In 2020, Word is still one of the best apps for writing, no matter the genre. It comes with an extensive (and at times overwhelming) set of features, a vast range of templates, and the performance and reliability one should expect in a Microsoft product. In short, if you need to write or edit a text-based document, there is little you won't be able to do on Microsoft Word.

The platform comes with best-in-class collaboration and review features, making it ideal for team-based use within organizations, particularly when used alongside OneDrive and the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite. Multiple people can co-author documents, access previous versions of a file, track changes, and provide real-time feedback to collaborators. OneDrive makes it easy to send links to colleagues that allocate the appropriate level of permissions within a Word document. 

Another strength of Word is its sharing and exporting features. Users can export documents in several file types, including OpenDocument Text (.odt), Portable Document Format (PDF), and Microsoft Word format (.docx). Each of these formats is widely supported and means you will very rarely, if ever, have compatibility issues. This separates Word from a competitor such as Apple Pages that suffers endlessly from compatibility woes. 

Although we simply can't list all of Word's fantastic features, some of our favorites include built-in speech-to-text, automatic translation, and the immersive reader mode. The addition of 3D graphics is another feature that separates Microsoft Word from the rest of its competitors. 

Although the platform does feature some annotation and drawing capabilities, Word works best for text-based projects. If you want to express your creative side, you'll want to check out Microsoft OneNote. 

Microsoft Word apps are available on most platforms, including Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. Although it works best on desktops and iPads, its mobile apps are useful for making last-minute changes to documents while on the go or for jotting down important ideas.

To dive deep into the platform’s strengths and weaknesses, read our recently updated Microsoft Word review (opens in new tab) . 

Microsoft OneNote

OneNote is Microsoft's note-taking app, and it has been designed with both students and professionals in mind. Although it looks great on paper and boasts an impressive range of features, it has struggled to achieve the popularity of other platforms such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Nonetheless, OneNote has found a home amongst students and academics. We think it is one of the best note-taking platforms and is under-leveraged in business and organizational contexts. 

One of OneNote's greatest strengths is that it enables you to organize your notes comprehensively. Top-level parent categories are known as notebooks. Within notebooks, you'll find sections and then individual pages. We've used several note-taking apps and believe OneNote is the best for keeping your thoughts and ideas in order. 

Another strength is that you can access your files when you need them, because full integration with Microsoft OneDrive means your notes, sketches, and brainstorms are available across all your devices through the power of cloud sync technology. And with software available on iOS, macOS, iPadOS, Windows, and Android, we're sure that accessing your files won't be an issue. There is also a web app for taking notes while on the move. 

Most likely, you’ll need to share your notes with colleagues or clients, and fortunately, OneNote makes this straightforward. It is possible to invite other users to view and edit a notebook, even if they don't have their own Microsoft 365 subscription. It's also possible to export specific pages in PDF format, which is ideal for attaching notes to emails in Microsoft Outlook. 

OneNote's user interface is also impressive and feature rich. It enables users to write and highlight text, sketch free-hand, insert images, graphs, stickers, equations, and even add audio clips to their notes. These features, along with many we don't have space to mention, are why OneNote is one of the most powerful note-takers available in 2020.

Our OneNote review (opens in new tab) examines in detail exactly why OneNote excels and how you can leverage this software within your organization.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel. The name alone fills many people with excitement and others with dread. However, we don't think anyone should be intimidated by Excel. It is easier to use than you might think and more powerful than you ever could have imagined. In only a few hours of training, you will be confident enough to create and leverage advanced spreadsheets on the platform. 

With Microsoft Excel, you can work with over 17 billion cells in a single spreadsheet. This compares to only 5 million with Google Sheet. Such raw computing power means that even large organizations with extensive databases can rely on Excel to get the hard work done. 

Another strength of Excel is its extensive list of functions, now numbering over 450. These enable users to manipulate and visualize data in innovative ways to provide rich insight into their data. Experienced users can also design and implement their own macro functions using VBA code. 

As with all Microsoft 365 apps, compatibility is not an issue. Apps are available on almost all operating systems, and users can export their spreadsheets in three formats: Microsoft (.xlsx), OpenDocument Spreadsheets (.ods), and Portable Document Format (.pdf). It is also possible to open Excel documents on other platforms such as Google Drive. 

It's not all good news, though. Although Microsoft did add co-authoring in recent years, this area is still a distinct weakness of the platform. In order to collaborate in real-time, all users need a Microsoft 365 subscription and the latest version of Excel. This precludes employees from working with many people external to your organization. However, when co-authoring is possible, it is reliable, responsive, and incredibly useful.

Microsoft OneDrive

Cloud storage has exploded in popularity in recent years, and OneDrive is Microsoft’s entrant in this fiercely competitive market. It is among the best cloud storage platforms (opens in new tab) for both consumers and businesses. 

Not only is the platform a secure place to store your essential data and documents, but its interfaces are straightforward and easy to use. Thumbnails are displayed for a wide range of file formats, while intelligent AI search functionalities make it easy to find what you're looking for. 

However, what really makes OneDrive stand out is its full integration with all other Microsoft 365 apps. This deep integration makes Microsoft 365  an ecosystem of digital productivity, rather than just a bundle of individual applications.

Firstly, OneDrive is secure. All files are encrypted, both in transit and at rest. This alone makes the platform more secure than many competitors and means anyone stealing or intercepting your data will receive nothing but indecipherable text.

However, Microsoft goes even further. The Personal Vault is a sub-folder providing end-to-end encryption for your most sensitive files. So no one, not even Microsoft, can decipher or access this data. 

Administrators can also strengthen their employees' accounts by enforcing two-factor authentication and periodic password changes. 

This advanced security architecture means businesses both large and small can trust OneDrive with their most essential documents and files.

Secondly, OneDrive is easy to access and use. Apps are available on most devices and work reliably. A responsive and well-designed web app is also available, which we think is one of the most impressive cloud storage web apps we've analyzed. 

Finally, the platform works alongside all other Microsoft 365 apps. It is the default save location and enables users to collaborate in real-time with colleagues. As changes are made on another device, they will simultaneously appear on your device. This means OneDrive is more than just a cloud storage platform, but also a cloud-syncing platform. 

While we're on the topic of collaboration, let's also talk about shared files and folders. OneDrive enables users to share both files and folders using custom links. These shared files and folders will then appear in a dedicated folder found on both users' OneDrive home screen. So if you're an organization where team-based work is essential, Microsoft 365 will be ideal. 

If you want to know more about OneDrive (opens in new tab) , our review has all the answers.

Microsoft PowerPoint

For more than two decades, PowerPoint has helped everyone design compelling and appealing presentations, from elementary school children to Fortune 500 executives. We still think it is the best platform for creating presentations, and we'll tell you why. 

PowerPoint provides several tools to inspire inspiration. The most obvious is Microsoft's extensive range of templates, which are free for Microsoft 365 subscribers. Employees can also use the presentation coaching tool, which will provide advice and feedback on your pace and style of presenting. 

Another powerful feature (also available in Microsoft Word) is the ability to insert and manipulate 3D images. 3D files can be rotated, inverted, or tilted to maximize their utility in a presentation. This separates PowerPoint from most of its competitors. 

Like with other Microsoft 365 apps, users can collaborate and provide feedback in real-time. OneDrive integration also makes it ideal for designing and managing presentations in a business context. 

However, there is a limitation: collaboration on PowerPoint is only possible on the web app, not the desktop or mobile versions of the software. This is a fairly significant limitation, and is disappointing considering how well the platform performs in all other categories.

If you’re itching to know more about the platform, our Microsoft PowerPoint review (opens in new tab) was recently updated and explains everything you need to know about the software.

Microsoft Teams

Teams is the newest addition to the Microsoft family, but arguably the most important. In short, Teams combines audio and video conferencing (think Skype) with workplace communications (think Slack). It is a central destination for coordination and communication, which is integral to business efficiency as we increasingly work remotely. 

Like OneDrive, Teams is designed to be the glue that brings together all the other apps and features of the Microsoft 365 suite. It leverages cloud technology to help employees work collaboratively in real-time across several platforms.

The video conferencing features of Microsoft Teams are impressive, enabling employees to organize and conduct one-to-one conversations or company-wide meetings. It is even possible to organize webinars and information sessions with up to 10,000 participants. Within calls, participants enjoy screen sharing and call recording, live captions, background blur technology, and chat functionalities.

Communications channels sit alongside video conferencing and enable users to communicate in groups dedicated to different topics, such as a team-based project, company-wide announcements, or the office Christmas party. This keeps messages on-topic and enables employees to compartmentalize their communications. 

There’s so much to know about Microsoft Teams that we couldn’t list it all here. However, our in-depth Teams review (opens in new tab) does the job for us. 

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is a staple of the Microsoft suite and has helped users organize their emails for decades. Although it isn't as popular as Google's Gmail or Apple's Mail, we think it is one of the best email clients, particularly if you already use other Microsoft 365 apps. 

Spam and malware blockers are included, although that is standard with most email clients. Businesses can also use group inboxes, which enables multiple employees to send and receive emails from a single email address.

However, one feature we particularly like is the categorizing of emails into folders: the focused inbox and the other inbox. The focused inbox collects messages that the platform's algorithms believe are particularly important or urgent, making it easier for employees to respond to the most important emails quickly. 

And of course, Outlook is designed from front to back to integrate seamlessly with other Microsoft 365 apps. So if you're after a straightforward, integrated, and responsive email client, Microsoft 365 is one of our top recommendations.

When it comes to customer support, Microsoft is one of the best in the business. Even with consumer plans, the company is always quick to respond and diligent in troubleshooting issues. When we contacted the company via its online chat window, we received a response and answer to our question in only four minutes. 

While some apps enable users to access support directly in app, we recommend heading to the Microsoft support website. This extensive library of how-to guides, video tutorials, and community forums has the answer to almost all possible issues. It is the best online support center we've seen for this software category, and there is a significant amount of business-specific advice and support. 

Businesses can also contact Microsoft by phone and online chat, with the more premium plans understandably offering a more timely and responsive service. Microsoft's knowledgeable technicians and cybersecurity experts are also on call as part of the advanced cyberthreat detection services offered in premium plans.

So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to Microsoft 365. We think this digital ecosystem is the best office software money can buy, and we hope you agree.

Microsoft 365 combines feature-rich document creation and productivity apps such as Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel with the power of cloud technology in OneDrive. And we can't forget Microsoft Teams, the all-in-one digital communications platform that ensures your employees will be operating as effectively as possible. 

We’ve also outlined the many different subscription options available to businesses. There's a plan for all organizations, whether it be a small team of five, a multi-location team of 50, or a large-scale enterprise with hundreds or even thousands of employees.

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Microsoft's Office apps are still the best

Edward Mendelson

Bottom Line

Microsoft AU$99 Per Year
Cloud-Based Apps
Desktop Apps
Free Version Available
Imports From PDF
Links to Live Web Data
Mac App
Mail App Included
Mobile Apps
Online Collaboration
Opens/Saves Microsoft Formats
Records Macros
Windows App

Microsoft 365—the current name for the apps and services formerly known as Office 365—is the behemoth of office suites and the one every competitor tries to match. It runs almost everywhere, with full-featured editions for Windows and macOS, surprisingly powerful apps for iOS and Android, and slick web-based versions. Microsoft 365 has all the collaborative features found in cloud-only suites like Google Workspace, plus all the benefits of disk-based apps: speed, security, and the ability to work offline. Microsoft’s apps aren’t perfect, and a few features are awkward and unwieldy, but you’ll need strong reasons to choose anything else. Microsoft 365 is an Editors' Choice document-editing suite.

How Much Does Microsoft 365 Cost?

A Microsoft 365 Personal subscription costs $69.99 per year and includes access to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote , Outlook, and Skype apps for one user on up to five devices. It also gets you 1TB of OneDrive online storage. You also get Sway for interactive online reports and presentations, forms for creating surveys and quizzes, and Microsoft's to-do list app , To Do . The Microsoft 365 Family tier provides access to the same apps and supports up to six users, each of whom gets their own 1TB of OneDrive storage. The premium version of the Microsoft Family app is included in this subscription tier, too.

Early in 2023, Microsoft announced an even cheaper option, Microsoft 365 Basic , which gets you 100GB of OneDrive storage and includes only the web and mobile versions of the apps, but it costs just $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year.

Microsoft Office all apps

These prices are roughly comparable to Google Workspace , which changes $6 and $12 per month, respectively, for its Business Starter and Business Standard plans. Microsoft’s prices are notably higher than SoftMaker Office , which runs between $29.90 and $49.90 per year, but SoftMaker doesn’t include web-based apps and only offers a beta version of an Android app.

Microsoft also supports multi-factor authentication logins for web access, which is a security feature we like to see.

You can purchase a standalone version of Office Home & Student 2021 (classic versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote) for a one-time cost of $149.99. If you opt for this edition, you don't get automatic updates or any OneDrive storage.

Microsoft 365 Business plans start at $5 per user per month and the top-end Business Premium plan costs $20 per user per month. All Business plans add Teams, SharePoint, and Microsoft Exchange cloud services over the Personal plans. Windows-only apps Publisher, for creating layouts too complicated for Word, and Access, for building databases, are part of the Business packages, too. Business Premium users get mobile-device management tools and the Azure Information Protection service.

You can use Microsoft 365 on the web or download apps for Windows, macOS, Android , and iOS devices. Microsoft’s macOS version runs natively on both old-school Intel Macs and the latest Apple Silicon (M1) Macs. On Intel machines, Microsoft’s apps sometimes slow down when I’m impatient to get to work. On an Apple Silicon (M1) Mac, Microsoft’s apps run at breathtaking speed, a tribute to Apple’s hardware and Microsoft’s up-to-date engineering.

The right office suite for you may very well depend on the platforms and devices you use. Microsoft still does not offer versions of Office apps for Linux platforms—hopefully, the release of Edge for Linux is a sign Microsoft will more broadly support those systems. There's nothing to stop you from using the web-based version of any office suite on Linux. The open-source LibreOffice and SoftMaker Office offer dedicated apps for that platform.

Google Workspace is the closest rival to Microsoft 365, but its apps are online-only, unless you set up your documents in advance so you can open them in a browser when you’re not online. LibreOffice doesn’t offer mobile apps except through a third-party version called Collabora Office. Softmaker Office, like Microsoft 365, offers both desktop and mobile apps, but doesn’t offer online apps. Corel WordPerfect Office is a desktop-only suite.

These Office Apps Are Packed With Features

Microsoft’s core apps—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook—have been growing and changing for almost forty years, and they’re stuffed with features that can sometimes make them seem heavy and unwieldy compared to relative newcomers like Apple’s Pages and Numbers . Also, Microsoft still uses a single app, Outlook, for the email, contacts, calendar, and to-do-list features other vendors, such as Apple and Google, have separated into smaller, sleeker apps that work together smoothly.

Microsoft Word templates

As far as the design of Microsoft's individual office apps goes, the company has clearly outdone itself. They’re easy on the eyes, highly customizable, and offer a spacious interface that feels at home in modern hardware in ways rival apps don’t. Microsoft keeps improving its Dark mode support , and the latest enhancements include subtle color-shifting effects. These are available now in the beta channel and will probably soon arrive in the release version. Another neat trick is that if you change a setting, such as the default color scheme, on one platform, the change automatically gets applied to all your Microsoft apps on other platforms. The ribbon can still be confusing—I have to keep reminding myself to go to the Insert tab to edit an existing header or footer—but a “Tell me what you want to do” icon on the top-line menu lets me jump instantly to the feature I want.

A Familiar Office Suite Keeps Improving

Word and Excel are probably the most-used apps in the suite, and for good reason. Both run well, are highly polished, and get frequent updates that make them easier to use. For instance, while Excel already towers over all rival spreadsheet apps and has no trouble handling enormous worksheets without strain, Microsoft keeps adding features. One recent addition is the LET function, which enables you to use named variables inside a formula and insert that function multiple times in a worksheet; this makes calculations faster and easier to maintain. This is typical of the types of updates Microsoft 365 subscribers get, but which don't get added to the standalone Office version.

Both Word and Excel also offer conveniences you won’t find with any competitor. For example, Word makes it possible to type long documents in a viewing mode that shows the actual formatting on the page but hides the white space at the top and bottom of each printed page. That way, a sentence that extends across a page break doesn’t have two inches of white space between the beginning and end of it. Double-click on the space between pages to turn on this feature.

Microsoft Word options

Here’s another example with Excel. If your worksheet has a list of people with their first names in one column and their last names in another, you can quickly build a column where each cell contains each person’s first and last name. Start by going to an empty column and typing the first person’s first and last names in the first cell. When you move to the next cell and begin typing the second person's first and last name, Excel offers to fill in the whole column with the first and last names of everyone else on the list. That's a smart and handy productivity feature.

Excel also gives clear feedback before actually applying an automated feature. For example, when you Autosum a column of figures, Excel displays the formula it will insert into the current cell. Or, when you use the above technique for combining first and last names in a single column, Excel first displays the combined names in gray and gives you a chance to stop the action.

Microsoft Excel charts

Excel supports dozens of third-party extensions and features for performing specialized functions. For example, a new Money in Excel feature partners with the Plaid service for convenient personal money management.

PowerPoint is the only presentation app comparable to Apple’s KeyNote in terms of features. Like its counterpart, PowerPoint lets you manage and edit videos inside the app, without using a separate video-editing app. It also lets you add online videos to your presentations. As with KeyNote, you can waste endless hours in PowerPoint customizing transitions and making other subtle changes. For those not working in the Apple universe, PowerPoint is a top choice among desktop-based presentation apps for creating dazzling effects.

Copilot Will Bring ChatGPT AI Productivity Smarts

At a March 2023 presentation, Microsoft announced that generative AI capabilities thanks to its investment in OpenAI's ChatGPT would be coming to the productivity suite. This will enable you to, for example, use a few words to generate a presentation based on documents and media in your OneDrive online storage. In the same way, it will be able to generate business proposals, charts, or highlight summaries from large Excel sheets. Like the ChatGPT-powered Bing search, Copilot will also be able to generate emails in Outlook based on text prompts and using earlier emails. It can also produce summaries of important emails you may have missed while away. Note that, as the name Copilot implies, you'll need to vet anything created by the AI, since, as we know, those systems are not immune to errors. For more, read Microsoft's New 'Copilot' AI Can Create a PowerPoint and Even Attend Meetings .

Automation and Hidden Complexity

Some of Word’s automated features can be annoying, however. For example, you may not want Word to format ordinals (the letters that follow the numbers in 1st and 2nd ), but Word superscripts them automatically unless you backspace over the ordinal number and type it again. If you want to turn off this automated feature, you’ll need to know enough about Word to go to the Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options > AutoFormat section. Not many ordinary users will figure this out. Word has other bad habits too, such as inserting horizontal lines when you type a series of hyphens—another automated format feature that requires multiple steps to turn off. Word’s massive Options menu gives you some idea of the dozens of settings you can use to fine-tune the way Word formats and manages files.

If you use Word’s powerful Styles feature, in which you choose a set of layout and formatting options that can easily be applied to a section of text, you’ll find Word sometimes, but not always, removes existing formatting (like italics) when you apply a style. In situations like this, Word seems unpredictable. That’s mostly because Microsoft doesn't document the rules it uses when applying styles. For instance, Word will remove any existing formatting when applying a style if the existing formatting affects more than 50% of the text in the paragraph. I know this only because an anonymous source deep inside Microsoft whispered it to me years ago.

In the course of Word’s almost four-decade history, many of its most powerful and once prominently displayed features have gradually disappeared from the interface but remain available to expert users who know where to find them. For example, Word pioneered the use of variables in fields. If you place the title of your book in a field called BookTitle, Word uses whatever's in that field in place of the actual title everywhere in your document. If you decide to change the title later on, for example, from War and Peace to Captain Underpants , you could simply change the content of the field to update every instance. In the current version of Word, this feature isn't available in Word’s ribbon toolbar; the help system at least tells you which keystrokes to use to manage it.

How Good Are Microsoft 365's Mail and Web Apps?

Outlook manages to pack all its many features into an impressive package, but it can feel a bit overwhelming. For personal use, I prefer leaner apps like the open-source Thunderbird, commercial newcomers like Mailbird on Windows, and Apple Mail on the Mac. Even Windows 10's built-in Mail app has merits. But for corporate use, Outlook’s one-stop interface for managing mail, calendars, and contacts offers power and flexibility rivals don't.

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft’s browser-based apps stand out for their elegance and usability, surpassing even the minimalist design of Google's Workspace suite. Like Google’s apps, Microsoft’s apps let you dictate text through a microphone as well as transcribe text from an existing recording. For me, Microsoft’s voice-to-text feature worked impressively well from mobile apps on a phone or tablet, but I could never get it to work inside a desktop or laptop browser on either a Mac or a Windows machine.

I had endless trouble even accessing my Office documents through most browsers I used on a Windows or a Mac device. I could open and edit in Firefox or Safari, but Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge browser said they couldn’t find the address of the remote files. This seems to be a longstanding problem, and before you commit to using Office through a browser, you should see whether you have the same problem.

Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace let you collaborate in real-time through a browser in similar ways, with plenty of visual cues to indicate what your colleagues are doing. If you store your documents in OneDrive, Microsoft enables you to collaborate with others in the desktop apps and take advantage of all of the convenience and power those desktop apps offer. Google Workspace can't match that capability. LibreOffice, in contrast, has collaboration features only in its Calc spreadsheet, without real-time collaboration.

Using Microsoft 365 With Your iPhone and Android

The mobile versions of the core Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps are surprisingly powerful and elegant. If you don’t want to clutter your phone with the full feature sets of separate mobile versions, you can download a combined iPhone app called Office with the main features of the separate apps.

Microsoft Office iOS apps

The separate mobile apps—I tested only the iOS versions—feel like native mobile apps, not miniaturized versions of the desktop apps. They have more usable interfaces than Google’s counterparts. The Microsoft apps also include many nifty features I value on the desktop, like a Welcome Back banner that tells me where I was working when I last saved a file and the ability to export in multiple formats.

Mobile Outlook and OneNote round out the offerings, but you may also want Microsoft Lens, a mobile scanning and OCR app that lets you photograph text with your camera and insert it into an office document. I got mixed results when I snapped photos of books, but it was better than nothing, and the smooth integration with Word and Excel is a major plus.

New Name, Same Excellence

Microsoft’s Office apps are the best at what they do, bar none. If you want to exchange editable documents with anyone else, you’ll almost certainly want to send your documents in a format compatible with Microsoft's apps—a reasonable way to ensure everyone else can work on them. The only serious glitch I've found with Microsoft’s suite was the spotty online access I experienced on many browsers during testing. If you need to get serious work done in documents or worksheets, Microsoft’s suite is not merely worth the money, it's also an amazing bargain. For all these reasons, Microsoft 365 Personal is an Editors' Choice winner.

Google's Workspace is another top pick—and an Editors' Choice winner—for users and businesses who are comfortable with a cloud-first document-editing approach.

Michael Muchmore contributed to this article.

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About Edward Mendelson

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