It seems like almost all businesses use Microsoft’s Office suite of software. Office Word, and Excel just provide so much better features and functionality than the alternatives. When you buy a new computer or are forced to upgrade to the latest Microsoft Office version paying the ~$200, or more,  price tag can just be painful at times.

Basic versions for free!
If you just use the basic features of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote you may be in luck. Microsoft offers all of these programs for free through their Office Web Apps service! But you are not just left with just these programs. The Office Web Apps service gives you free cloud storage space to save, store and backup your files. You can even share these files with others.

Functionality of Office Web Apps
I have used this free service off and on between my netbook and my desktop. My netbook doesn’t have Office installed so when I need to open a Word or Excel document I simply use the Web Apps service. The look and feel of the Web Apps is very closely related to Office 2013… and I love it! I can create a Word document in the cloud from my netbook laptop, go to my desktop, which has Office 2013, and either open the document using the Web App service or open it using the software installed on my desktop… or both. If you don’t need all the advanced features, Microsoft’s Web Apps could be a great option… and it beats the socks off of Google Docs in features and functionality.

How can I signup?
Microsoft’s Web Apps service is best used through a Microsoft SkyDrive account. Simply visit Microsoft’s web site at and create a free account. Then download and install the SkyDrive program on your computers. That’s it! Now from any of those computers you can open your SkyDrive program and start creating, editing and sharing your Office files. You can also download a SkyDrive app on your iPhone, Android and Windows Phone for free to access your files on the road easily.

Not for everyone
I don’t necessarily recommend this free service for everyone. Most likely it will be great for home, home office and very small businesses. If your company has their own server, then the full Microsoft Office Home & Business option may be best for you. If you want to speak to us and find out what is best for your company feel free to give us a call at 406-414-0532.