Microsoft are changing the way they provide their products to their customers. Over the next few years – they would like all customers to be signed up to a subscription.

As IT Support / Web Design & Development providers based in Liverpool, our customers always ask us the difference between purchasing a local copy of office and installing it on their computers or choosing the new subscription based solution and which is best for them.

This blog explains how things used to be, the new 365 subscriptions and how to make the decision on which is best for your business based on your current requirements.


How it used to be / Local install:

Over many years all software you purchased used to be supplied on physical media – i.e. CD. Since the turn of the decade and the increased use in cloud-based applications, this has changed. Microsoft has taken this new way of computing on board and their attempt to keep up with the times is to now provide all their software via the web.

But don’t worry about your product expiring. When Microsoft sell their software – they always put a lifespan of 10 years on it before it becomes obsolete and unsupported.

This means your existing local install of office 2010/13 has plenty of life left and will not expire for many years to come.

New 365 and why MS wants you to be subscription based:

MS now provide at least 70% of their software online that can be accessed anywhere on any device as long as there is an internet connection available.

The new 365 solution allows growing businesses to collaborate more efficiently as their always connected.

The following are the reasons why subscription based solutions benefit your business:

1: Mobile Access anywhere.

2: Multiple User Access.

3: Greater collaboration for growing businesses.


To answer our original question if your business requires office 365 or not would depend on your requirements at this moment in time.

If your a sole trader or have a few employees that are not often remote based – then a local install will be more than fine and much more cost effective.

It’s only when your business begins to grow and the requirement of being able to stay connected to all employees at all times i.e. calendar sharing is needed that the need for cloud-based computing comes into effect. It replaces the old server based in the office solution that costs £££ to implement and run on a regular basis and allows you to spread the cost.

Before making any hasty decisions – please always consult your IT provider to get the best knowledge on what to choose.