• Kaitlyn Parrow

Buying Microsoft Do's & Don'ts Guide



Interested in making a Microsoft purchase? With Microsoft’s vast range of products and services, it can be difficult to decide what is worth spending your money on because let’s face it, technology can become expensive. Whether it be software or devices, you should be familiar with the do’s and don’ts when buying Microsoft products. Read on to decide which Microsoft products are worth buying, and which are not.


So, What Does Microsoft Offer?

Some of Microsoft's most popular products include Office 365, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Windows, and the good old Xbox. Microsoft also has a wide variety of apps ranging from video chat software, such as Skype, to digital canvases, such as Whiteboard — where you can collaborate with a team. Whiteboard is on top of all the apps that are already popular, like OneDrive and Outlook.


The Do’s

1. If you are part of an educational organization, it is smart to get a free version of Office for yourself. The benefits of Microsoft Office include access to the classics, such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, as well as access to other apps like Microsoft Teams and Publisher. You can click here to enter your school email address onto this site and see if you are eligible. Microsoft even offers the alumni discount, which requires you to pay only 12 dollars for 1 year of access — a great deal for recent grads!


2. Sign up for Microsoft’s Evaluation Center. This program allows you to try out certain Office apps for a limited period of time. Some of these sessions last anywhere from 30 to 60 days.


3. Be aware of the promises the Microsoft Store has when buying a new product from them. For example, when you buy the New Surface Book 3, Microsoft offers a 60-day return on Surface products. They also offer free digital workshops and remote learning opportunities!


4. Check to see if you are eligible for discounts if you are a student, parent, teacher, or in the military. When purchasing a product on their website, there is an option to check if you are eligible for special pricing. If you’re making a big purchase already, it is always nice to save a little extra cash!


The Don’ts

1. Do not immediately buy a Microsoft plan without looking into trials or discounts, unless you're set on what you want. As stated earlier, Microsoft Office is one of Microsoft’s most-used products. At rates of $99.99 a year for a family plan, and $669.99 a year for a personal plan, the expenses can really add up.


2. Do not let yourself get sucked into the idea that you need an expensive Microsoft laptop, like the Surface Book 3 which costs $1,399.99, when there’s a cheaper option like the Surface Go 2 that’s less than half the price at $399.99. While they are both great options, the Surface Go 2 is cheaper and more portable. It’s basically a win-win!


3. Do not neglect some known issues with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows 10, such as flickering screens after logging on or disappearing Office applications after upgrading your software. With any technology, there is bound to be errors every now and then. To view more common errors, click here.


4. Do not forget that there are plenty of free alternatives to Microsoft Office out there. If money is an issue for you, then don’t fret it. There are still plenty of similar options for you to choose from.


Buying Microsoft Products

Ultimately, there is a lot to think about when making a purchase on a new laptop or the latest and greatest software. Hopefully, this guide helps make things a little easier for your next Microsoft purchase!


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