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How to Try Microsoft 365 for Free | A Basic User Guide

Today, I come bearing gifts to anyone who is interested in my offer to try Microsoft 365 for free. Especially, in order to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps without spending a cent. But, how is that even possible? 

Of course, I know, you’re are already thinking that the prospect of how you can try Microsoft 365 for free and use it without an overwatch sounds kind of farfetched. But, it’s not all true. For one thing, if there is a legal way that you don’t have to pay, you’ll find it here.

How to Try Microsoft 365 for Free

Absolutely, let’s get this over with already. Shall we? Well, well, in that case, one way is to simply get the free trial of Office 365 if you don’t have it already. And although this is limited, you’ll get a greater chance to try it before you buy.

In addition to that, there’re other notable ways to get a full free Office 365. Some of which I am going to discuss with you in this article. But, wait a minute! What the hell does Microsoft 365 offer? That makes me want to go for it? Relax! Let’s first have a sneak peek into what it entails.

What is Microsoft 365? 

Notably, Microsoft 365 is the new user application platform by Microsoft. Designed to help you achieve more with innovative Office apps, intelligent cloud services, and world-class security.

Before the change of name to Microsoft 365, the application platform was initially named Office 365. And according to Microsoft, they changed the name to be more reflective of the range of features and benefits in the subscription. Particularly, to meet the unique needs of individuals and businesses.

In general, the Microsoft Office Suite is a package of office productivity software released by Microsoft and is available for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS. With the current versions for Windows and Macintosh being Office 2016.

What is Microsoft 365? 

But, if you don’t want to shell out the cash, there are a few ways you can get the service and its apps for free. Bearing in mind, there is a lot that comes packed in Microsoft Office Suite of productivity software. Including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint.

Typically, it costs $150 for a one-time installation (as Office 365). Or roughly, between $70 and $100 every year. And that’s for subscription service access across devices and family members (as Microsoft 365). Microsoft also recently said it would release a new standalone version of Microsoft Office for both Windows and Mac.

How to Try Microsoft 365 for Free

In simple terms, if you’re staying at home for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, you might be in need of some basic user tools. May it be on your personal computer, or even your work computer, nothing is more resourceful than Microsoft 365.

As for the new Microsoft Office, no subscription is required — but that’s at some point in 2021 ( way far ahead, right?). For this reason, that’s why you need an alternative route.

What is Microsoft 365? 

As it’s formerly known as Office 365Microsoft 365 is a service that debuted in April that adds more features to the office software.

You’ll have access to the latest AI-powered apps and 1 TB of cloud storage per person if you’ll try Microsoft 365 for free. Together with premium mobile features to stay on top of things wherever you are on any device.

Related Topic: Windows 10 | Why is it the Best Alternative to Windows 7?

Also, make life more creative, organized, and secure when you install Office apps on your favorite devices. Including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. And as you bring your ideas to life, now it’s easier than ever to write, design, and share seamlessly across your devices.

You get smart assistance features as soon as they are released in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint so you’re always working with the latest. With that in mind, below are the options to download Microsoft 365, Office 365, and their apps that you can find online for free right now.

1. Get the free trial of Office 365

As I mentioned earlier, this is the topmost and the easiest option for free Office 365 versions. A road map to get acquainted with premium versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. But, it only lasts for a month. After that, you’ll have to begin a subscription or use one of the other methods here.

NB: You will have to provide payment information to sign up for the free trial, though you won’t be charged until the trial expires. When it does, you will start getting billed automatically. And in that case, always remember to turn off recurring billing in your Account Settings unless you want to start paying.

Unlike the online version, when Office 365 is installed locally you have full document editing capabilities offline. You can share the free Office 365 trial version with up to five other people. Each person gets 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, plus the ability to sync and share files across Windows, Apple, and Android devices.

This is a great option, but only for the short-term. You only get a single free trial per email and credit card, so unless you try to bend the terms of the license agreement, it’s a one-shot deal. Or is it?

2. Get Office 365 through your school

Microsoft offers Office 365 Education for free through many schools and universities. If you are a student or educator, and your institution is eligible, all you need is a valid school email address. Truly, this is a free version of Office 365, and you should enjoy this benefit for as long as possible.

In addition to your familiar MS apps, it comes with tools to encourage collaboration in the classroom, like Access, Sway, Teams, SharePoint, Stream, and Flow. Every so often, Office will verify you are still an active educator or student. An as soon as your Office 365 Education plan expires, applications will become view-only after 30 days.

Please note that after the 60 days grace period, you will lose access. So, to keep working, you will need to subscribe to Office 365, or back up your files and use Office Online. If you used to be a student, see if your school address will work. And if not, you can access the alumni discount they offer for Office 365 Personal.

3. Purchase a PC with Free Office 365

On the contrary, here’s an option that is not going to be right for everyone. But if you are in the market for a new computer, this could be an answer. Some PCs come with one year of Office 365. This sometimes includes ultra-affordable laptops, and you still save $99 annually on an Office 365 subscription.

One thing to make sure of is that you are getting what you want. Some computers will only come with Office 365 Personal, and others may not even have an OS installed. Read the fine print and confirm everything is set up as you expect. You can as well opt-in for its online services.

For example, Office Online is entirely cloud-based and works on most browsers. As long as you have the internet, you have access to familiar MS Office tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. And as well as Sway, OneNote, Outlook, Calendar, OneDrive, Forms, People, and Skype. Simply create an account and log in from anywhere to collaborate with anyone.

Also, the Office mobile app works on Android and iOS on your phone or tablet. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are combined into a single app that syncs with all of your devices that use Office. Similar to Office Online, the mobile app is okay for personal needs but quickly reveals itself wanting at the enterprise level.

4. Get the free trial of Office 365 ProPlus

Remarkably, Microsoft also provides evaluation versions of its products to potential customers through its Evaluation Center. Whereas, you can test-drive the latest features and services the company offers, including Office 365 ProPlus.

NB: Since Office 365 ProPlus is the same as the trial version of Office 365, the ProPlus trial requires payment information and bills you after a month. But, since it is an evaluation version, Microsoft is still working out the kinks of this software. Things may not work perfectly, so be prepared.

Having said that, to twig around ProPlus, first, you’ll need to register an Office 365 ProPlus account and qualify for an evaluation account. And once you have access to the full evaluation version of Office 365 ProPlus, you can share and manage up to 25 users.

NB: Although it comes incorporated, G Suite Business isn’t free. But, its pricing is competitive and the functionality works well for agile companies.

It comes with all of the premium Office tools, not just web apps, and Skype for Business. Streaming installation for up to five computers per user allows everyone to work offline with full editing capabilities. This is Microsoft’s way of hooking enterprise customers, and it is a sleek toolkit for any company.

But, if you are not looking to pay once the trial is up, you will have to backup and switch to something else.

If you’re looking for something else, consider choosing a different office application. Over the years other companies have released rival office suites to help with productivity. Some of which is paid-for and some of which is free – sometimes with the same company offering both.

All of these alternatives to Microsoft Office offer a similar range of software applications. Mainly based on creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. And they’re completely free office suites that sport good compatibility too.

Some of the best Office alternatives are;
  • LibreOffice is a free and open-source office application for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other operating systems. It’s similar to the desktop versions of Microsoft Office. And it can even work with and create Office documents in common file types. Like DOCX documents, XLSX spreadsheets, and PPTX presentations. LibreOffice was based on OpenOffice. While OpenOffice is still around, LibreOffice has more developers and is now the more popular project.
  • Apple iWork is a free collection of office applications for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users. This is Apple’s competitor to Microsoft Office, and it used to be paid software before Apple made it free. Windows PC users can access a web-based version of iWork through the iCloud website, too.
  • Google Docs is a capable collection of web-based office software. It stores your files in Google Drive, Google’s online file storage service. Unlike Microsoft’s Office web apps, you can even access Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline in Google Chrome.

There are many other alternatives, but these are some of the best. You’ll find more listed in this article.

Which plans are available in Microsoft 365?

When you try Microsoft 365, you’ll get Microsoft 365 Home Plans — for Family, and Personal. Microsoft 365 Business Plans — for Basic, Standard, Premium, and Business Apps. As well as Microsoft 365 Enterprise Plans — for Office 365 E3, E5, F1, and Enterprise Apps.

It’s also important to realize, many Office 365 subscriptions automatically become Microsoft 365 subscriptions. And all this happens upon activation if you try Microsoft 365 with no further action.

Whereby, Office 365
  • Personal becomes Microsoft 365 Personal,
  • Home becomes Microsoft 365 Family,
  • Business Essentials becomes Microsoft 365 Business Basic,
  • Business Premium becomes Microsoft 365 Business Standard,
While Microsoft 365
  • Business becomes Microsoft 365 Business Premium or Microsoft 365 Apps for business,
  • Office 365 ProPlus becomes Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise,
  • There are no is no changes to Office 365 for Enterprise Plans: Office 365 E1, Office 365 E3, and Office 365 E5.
Download Microsoft Word: Write, Edit & Share Docs on the Go

For your information, with the Microsoft Word App (available on Google Play), you can still make all your quick work a little bit easier.

And as such, you can read and edit documents attached to emails, collaborate with your team, and bring your office wherever you go with Microsoft Word. The Word app from Microsoft lets you create, read, edit, and share your files quickly and easily.

Takeaway,

Anyone can get a one-month free trial of Microsoft 365 to try it out. However, it does require you to enter a credit card. And if you don’t cancel before the month, they’ll charge you $100. Not to mention, for a whole one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Family (formerly called Office 365 Home).

Fortunately, if you don’t need the full Microsoft suite, you can access a number of its free online apps. Including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, Calendar, and Skype. Right at the comfort of your office, school, or even home computer.

Here’s how to get them:
  • Go to Office.com.
  • Login to your Microsoft Account (or Create one for free).
  • And if you already have a Windows, Skype, or Xbox login, it means you already have an active Microsoft Account.
  • Select the App you want to use, and save your work in the cloud with OneDrive.

I know by now you may be saying, wait a minute — if I can get all of those apps for free, why pay for Microsoft 365 in the first place? The reason for this is pretty simple. There is a limitation in the functionality of these apps.

First, they only run through your web browser, and you can’t use them if you aren’t online. Secondly, there are also fewer features than the full Microsoft 365 versions. All in all, if you’re looking for basic versions of each of these apps, the free Office version should work well for you.

Finally, I hope if you have not started yet, you’ll get easy now that you have some basic knowledge on how to try Microsoft 365 for free. But, if you’ll need more support, please Contact Us or even share your opinions in the comments section.

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