Microsoft has finally seen the light and has realised that in order to compete with Google it needs to give a lot more than email and cloud storage. Its Office productivity applications are still very much ahead of the competition and Microsoft has gone ahead and sealed the fate of others by giving them away for free. Yes, students, teachers, startups, businesses, young, old, rich and poor; all get access to the big 3 (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) in Microsoft Office Free.
So how does this work and what is really included? All you need to do is go to Office.com and signup for a Microsoft account. You can also head over to outlook.com and get your own email address which automatically gives you access to Outlook .com webmail, People (contacts), Calendar, OneDrive, Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote Online.
The online versions have fairly good (though not advanced) editing and sharing abilities. You can also download your files on the computer (it doesn’t seem this way if you look at their product comparison grid) or share directly with another person.
The comparison grid also shows that there is no access to office online on Smartphones in the free version which is not the case. WindowsPhone provides office integration and since the launch of this service, my devices automatically received access to the online versions. Previously I could only review and edit the files downloaded on my smartphone, now I can create them too!
TechVise Tip: To save a file as PDF, use the Print option. It will print the file to your home printer and give you access to a PDF that you can save on your computer!
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