Sub Total
Excluding delivery and voucher code discounts.
Go to basket

Free Delivery on all orders to UK mainland within 3 working days.


Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
MS Office 365 Why Microsoft's Productivity Suite is the Best Solution for Home, School, and Business

MS Office 365: Why Microsoft's Productivity Suite is the Best Solution for Home, School, and Business

Dwight Pavlovic
MS Office 365 remains one of the most versatile office and productivity suites, even as other services come on the market. With a familiar interface and robust support for a variety of work styles, it’s loaded with legacy features and useful additions you may not know about.
Early in 2020, Office 365 Personal and its counterparts received a comprehensive update and became known as Microsoft 365. With this shift, it’s a great time to take a closer look at key features and options. We’ll start by going over Microsoft’s various account types. From there, we’ll focus primarily on consumer editions and how you can use them to increase your productivity in the year ahead.

Four different account types

There are four Microsoft 365 account types; they cover the needs of individuals, educators, and businesses of all sizes. Core plans and subscription levels:
  1. Home Edition: Personal, Family, and Home & Student
  2. Education: A1, A3, and A5
  3. Business: Basic, Standard, and Premium
  4. Enterprise: E3, E5, and F3
You can purchase an ongoing subscription or pay a one-time fee. Your choice impacts some of the available features and the price, but the one-time fee covers most legacy applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Read on for all the details.

For home, small business, and family

Microsoft 365 Home is the foundation for most household computing, providing a full range of useful apps for work, home, and school. Apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint remain at the core of the Microsoft experience, and they’re featured across all editions. The latest editions of Microsoft 365 also offer expanded functionality through premium apps and improved support for multiple users and devices.
If you prefer a simple, familiar setup, you can still enjoy a traditional Microsoft Office experience with Office Home & Student 2019. Simply pay a one-time purchase price to get many of the same features you could expect from Office 365 Personal. However, Personal and Family subscription users have a lot of new features to look forward to.

Personal Edition

MS Office 365: Why Microsoft's Productivity Suite is the Best Solution for Home, School, and Business
Designed for individual users, the Microsoft 365 Home Personal Edition supports multiple devices and offers the lowest upfront cost. It provides both classic and premium apps, 1TB of cloud storage through OneDrive, Skype, and advanced security features.
Professionals and creatives will love the addition of premium apps like Microsoft Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher. This expanded slate of services is a big part of what makes Microsoft 365 such a good long-term value. As an ongoing service, Personal Edition subscribers also enjoy no-cost technical support via chat or phone.
You can find several products with the Microsoft 365 Personal Edition preloaded. The 13-inch HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop is a popular choice, and it includes the cost of a 1-year subscription to 365 Personal. Buying a preloaded device is the smart choice for anyone using older versions of Microsoft Office because it provides a simultaneous hardware and workflow upgrade.
Key features:
  • Includes premium apps
  • Supports multiple devices
  • Most affordable option: $79/year or $8/month

Family Edition

Intended for multiple home users, Family Edition provides the same expanded functionality for a small price increase. You’ll get the same list of classic and premium apps like Word and Publisher, plus support for up to 6 users and 6TB of total cloud storage. That’s 1TB allocated for each user, which is the same as a dedicated Personal Edition subscription.
Among other upgrades, Family Edition includes its own boosted security features to keep you and your loved one’s data safe at all times. Known as Microsoft Family Safety, the system is designed for more than just digital security because you can receive automatic arrival and departure notifications as well as safe-driving reports. That’s all in addition to Microsoft’s standard family features like parental controls.
Key features:
  • Includes premium apps
  • Supports 6 users and multiple devices
  • Includes Microsoft Family Safety service
  • $109/year or $11/month

Office Home & Student 2019 Edition

For many, the Office Home & Student 2019 edition is a streamlined office and productivity solution. You get Microsoft’s classic apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and the simplicity of a one-time payment for purchase. It’s an easy choice, especially if you’re looking to get the most out of an older PC before you upgrade.
It may not provide as many specialized apps and functions, but Office Home & Student 2019 is great for students who need a basic solution for their home computer. For more information about Microsoft 365 for educators, keep reading.
Key features:
  • Includes classic apps
  • Supports one PC or Mac
  • One-time purchase of $169

For Education

Primarily designed for educators and students, Microsoft 365 Education shifts its focus to collaboration and teamwork. This makes it easier for educators to connect with classes, and for students to connect. It features all of the same sophisticated functionality but in a secure learning space for teachers and students.
It’s important to remember that Microsoft 365 Education is free for eligible users, so head to Microsoft and enter your school email address to get started. You’ll also find more comprehensive plan information and support pages for both educators and students, including resources for remote learning.
Want to read more about Microsoft’s approach to software for education? The Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework can fill you in with its comprehensive, scientific approach to helping students and educators. You can also find more resources about policy, learning practices and environments, as well as information on promoting positive individual and institutional outcomes.

Education: Microsoft 365 A1

The introductory Education plan may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive subscriptions, but it doesn’t sacrifice much. It also comes packaged as a one-time purchase for a single device. Known as the A1 plan, it provides strong teamwork features to facilitate teacher and student-to-student interactions.
You’ll find familiar Microsoft Office applications and everything you need to stay in touch and manage classwork. Microsoft Teams makes communication easy, while OneNote Class Notebook and Sway help students do their work and express themselves. It also includes Intune for Education to support easy management features and protection against security threats and data loss.
Key features:
  • Strong collaboration features
  • Includes Microsoft Teams & OneNote
  • Robust security & management
  • Windows 10 Education Edition

Education: Microsoft 365 A3

A3 is Microsoft 365’s intermediate Education plan, and it offers a step up with much of the same expanded functionality that comes with higher subscription plans. In particular, A3 provides superior security and management in the form of Windows Defender Antivirus and Device Guard.
It also adds MS Office client applications for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, and even includes Minecraft: Education Edition with Code Builder. This version of Minecraft is designed to help students and teachers collaborate and explore together.
Key features:
  • Expanded collaboration features
  • Includes Microsoft Teams & OneNote
  • Advanced security & management
  • Web & cloud optimization

Education: Microsoft 365 A5

The A5 plan is Microsoft 365’s most comprehensive education solution, combining key office functionality with an even deeper suite of tools for collaboration and security. A5 adds support for PSTN (public switched telephone network) conferencing and Cloud PBX (private branch exchange), and useful tools like Power BI Pro and MyAnalytics for data management.
With more features and functionality comes a need for greater security and the A5 plan delivers by including both Advanced Threat Prevention and Threat Intelligence. It also features Windows Defender and the complete Enterprise Mobility Suite including Azure Active Directory, Azure Information Protection, and Cloud App Security.
Key features:
  • Premium collaboration features
  • Includes Microsoft Teams & OneNote
  • Premium security & management
  • Web & cloud optimization

For Business

Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small and midsize businesses. Functionality scales with the needs of your business, while extensive teamwork features and security allow for seamless remote work. You can compare the different Office 365 Business options, and you can even test the Standard and Premium Editions if you’re thinking about upgrading or expanding your small business.
So, what’s the difference between the Office 365 Home and Business versions? Business versions include enhanced collaboration and organizational support, but the price per user is pretty similar. When it comes down to it, weighing Office 365 Home vs Business depends on the scale of your company. For example, sole proprietors may be fine with Office 365 Home, while larger businesses may want to consider the Business Edition.

For Enterprise

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is designed to support the many layers of larger businesses and organizations. You’ll find more advanced analytics and security, plus a range of efficient applications for managing different projects and personnel.
The plans are customized according to your company’s needs, with flexible options for various roles and departments. There’s more affordable pricing for teams with employees requiring basic features, which still provides team leaders with access to management support. You can compare your options at Microsoft.


Microsoft 365 is a thorough solution for an expanding set of needs, with a wealth of resources for all levels of users. With the growth of remote work and telecommuting for students, educators, and professionals alike, it’s a key consideration for individuals and organizations.
While we covered the four primary account types, MS Office 365 offers even more speciality options. There are special offers and support for non-profits and tailored options for front-line workers (from point-of-sale to emergency services) and government organizations. Whatever it is you do, there’s a Microsoft 365 edition to support you.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.


Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.

HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price

The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.

HP will transfer your name and address information, IP address, products ordered and associated costs and other personal information related to processing your application to Bill Me Later®. Bill Me Later will use that data under its privacy policy.

Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See

“Best All In One Printer” and “the easiest printer you’ve ever had to set up” from Wirecutter. ©2020 The Wirecutter, Inc.. All rights reserved. Used under license.

Get Marvel’s Avengers when you purchase HP gaming PCs with qualifying 9th gen or 10th gen Intel® Core™ i5, i7 and i9 processors. Redemption code will be sent out by email within 60 days of purchase. Limited quantities and while supply lasts. Offer valid thru 12/31/2020 only while supplies last. We reserve the right to replace titles in the offer for ones of equal or greater value. Certain titles may not be available to all consumers because of age restrictions. The Offer may be changed, cancelled, or suspended at any time, for any reason, without notice, at Intel’s reasonable discretion if its fairness or integrity affected whether due to human or technical error. The Offer sponsor is Intel Corporation, 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA. To participate you must create an Intel Digital Hub Account, purchase a qualifying product during the redemption period, enter a valid Master Key, and respond to a brief survey. Information you submit is collected, stored, processed, and used on servers in the USA. For more information on offer details, eligibility, restrictions, and our privacy policy, visit

© 2020 MARVEL. © Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

The personal information you provide will be used according to the HP Privacy Statement (