Microsoft Office application Suite which includes Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word and others, is the most popular productivity software. It is used by millions of users in the world, including PNG. In typical PNG situation, Microsoft Office Application is a must have software on your PC for work, study or personal use. However, having access to it can be quiet a challenge for many students, workers and individuals alike.
Purchasing Microsoft Office at Shops.
Currently the price of Microsoft Office package from Microsoft authorized detail shops range from K700-K1,500.00 depending on the of version (eg, Student, Standard, Pro etc).Most PCs with Windows operating systems eg, Windows 10, comes with preinstalled Microsoft Office trial version which means, the PC owner will have to purchase Microsoft Office and activate the ACTIVATION Key (series of numbers and letters) over the internet from the Microsoft Official Office website. Once activation and authorization are fully successful then software becomes fully functional. What is customer pays at the stores is package that contains the Activation Key and not the full software as it used to be in the past where is sold fully in DVD/CD packages.
Problems with Purchasing Microsoft Office Activation Keys
The reason for Microsoft selling Activation keys is to prevent the software from being pirated. Software privacy is a big issue for software companies’ world over. As internet access continued to increased around the world, microsoft want to control the activation is control of their software purchases so that only legitimate purchasers can be allowed to use it. This does create few problems for PNG users as follows.
1. Cost factor
The lowest average PC price is K1,500. If when Microsoft Office is included, as it’s kind if required software, it creases the price. This means people who purchase PCs for personal use or students who in most cased need PCs for their studies, affordability becomes an issue. Vendors might also charge for activation services separately.
Microsoft Office is constantly upgraded with addended features and functionalities. Current version is Office 2019 and expected release of Office 22 is looming. Cost of keeping up with the latest version can be a problem terms of cost for individuals and students alike.
3. Internet Access.
Problem with purchasing Office Activation Keys is that each key comes with a specific number of PCs to install with a particular key. For example, Single PC License (means it can only be installed on one PC).. Price is determined by the number of PC License of that Key. During the Activation and Authorization process, Microsoft records the number of PCs used and the PC details as well. Once the number of PCs (under the license ) is used up, the key can no longer be used again. This is good for Microsoft but is not good for users. Firstly, if any of the PCs that had the initial installation got functioned or damaged, it cannot be transferred to another PC. In some case reinstallation or activation of allowed in the same PC only.
Also, reliable internet connection is needed for activation and reactivation
Lack of Student Software Services at Universities and Colleges in PNG
One option where students in particularly can access much needed software for study related is through an Institutional Volume License offered by software companies for academic institutions. Through this Volume License, the University college ICT Services department can do installations and upgrades for students at a much lower cost than buying from computer shops.
However, ICT services provided by universities and colleges in PNG is pretty much limited to serving basic services such as staff email, internet access and manning the student computer labs. In some institutions ICT services even don’t exist at all. Yet students are required to submit printed assignments, do proper citation and referencing, and etc.
Free Online Version of Microsoft Office Use
With challenges highlighted above, one of the viable option is use the latest online version which is freely offered by Microsoft to Microsoft Office Outlook email users. Microsoft did not include free office initially but when Google offered Google Docs to users of it’s free Gmail email users, and become so popular, Microsoft has finally decided to follow suit. Thanks to Google. Google Offers free the following applications which pretty much resemble Microsoft Office applications
Google Docs = Word
Google Sheets= Excel
Google Slides = PowerPoint.
Step 1-Create a Microsoft Outlook Email Account
The first step is to create a free outlook Account by going to www.outlook.com Follow the prompts or instructions and complete creating the email log and able to long in and use it.
Once the account is activated and ready to use it, login and from the Outlook dashboard, click on the applications menu options on the right of the screen. (See image below). All the applications are available to use.
Step 2-Saving The File
Once file is created is automatically saved into Microsoft outlook One Drive areas. This is the file storage area, very much similar to Google Drive. Within the One Drive area, folders and files can be stored.
Step 3-Download Files /folders from One Drive to the local drive
The files or folders can be downloaded from One Drive into the local drive of the PC. For example My Documents Folder.
- Select OneDrive from the application menu
- Select the folder or file needed to be download
- Right-mouse click and click Download. The file will be downloaded into the Download folder of the PC
- Open the Download folder from the PC/Tablet/Mobile phone and from there it can copied, and stored where it can be stored.
Internet Access Required to access Microsoft Office Online Free Version
Internet access is required to access and use the latest version of Microsoft Office online version under the outlook email interface.
This is particularly beneficial in situations where Microsoft Office is hard to get installed in PCs or for students taking accounting courses and need latest Excel version with lots of lot analysis features. So
Two Opensource software Packages Similar to Microsoft Office.
The two most popular Open Source (Free) software package similar to Microsoft Office are Libre and OpenOffice. Both are 10% free to load and install. See separate post on them below.