Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Subscribed to Office 365 - have privacy/security concerns

  1. #1


    Michigan
    Posts : 28
    Windows 8.1

    Subscribed to Office 365 - have privacy/security concerns


    First, I'm sort of old school and not very techy. I'm very uncomfortable with everything I do being tied to an internet account. I bought a new computer last month, upgraded to Win 8.1, and somehow ended up with a Microsoft account log in. I learned in this forum how to change it to a local account.

    Now for Microsoft Office:

    The computer came with the 1-month trial to Office 365. I wasn't sure what it was about, but since my Office 2003 CD can't be installed on this computer (thanks MS) and I needed access to my Office documents ASAP, I agreed to the 1-month 365 trial.

    My trial is up tomorrow. I've been researching the difference between Office 2013 and 365. The only thing I can gather is 365 is a lease so it's cheaper and has more programs available (One Note, Access, Publisher). I had to make a decision, so I went with 365. I just now purchased and downloaded it. First, I had to set up a new MS account since I deleted the old one in order to change my computer from a MS account to a local account. So I'm again tied to the internet (I guess?)

    First problem - I didn't see Excel listed in the Start menu tile thing. All other Office programs were showing except Excel. I tried to look Excel up in the Explorer folders and couldn't find it. I then searched for Excel and it came up as C\Windows\Microsoft.NET. What does this mean? Are all my Office documents being store on a MS server online? Or am I mistaken and just being paranoid? I now have Excel pinned to my start toolbar, but it's still not listed in the start menu. No idea why.

    I don't know what I've done buying this 365. Should I have purchased the 2013 instead? That's a download too though. What happened to the days where you could just buy the box from Staples and install it?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Well, it is similar to Skydrive, but the 365 service gives more storage space and more options and ways to use it.


    For instance, if you have Office 2013, you can use Skydrive Pro and Microsoft Lync.

    If you use Office as part of your daily business, then believe me, these things are VERY useful.


    But you can do the same thing with Office 2010 or Office 2013: 2013 will save docs to Skydrive by default unless you tell it otherwise, by doing this, you can save a doc on one computer, then go to another location, and resume working on it, as long as both PCs have Office 2013.

    Even with Office 2010, you can do this, if you set it up that way on a Windows 8 or 8.1 machine, you can save Docs to your Skydrive Folder then they will be there on another machine through the cloud.

    Take my word for it, you WILL start using the Cloud services, I'll wager you already have. Microsoft Cloud services are pretty secure, Normally I use iCloud cos I can upload docs to there and open em with Pages on my iPad.

    Why could you not install Office 20o3, is it blocked? You should update to an Office 2007-2013 product anyway, its actually better. But save any Access files that have Macros, because they have Macros locked down in Office 2007 to 2013. If you save your old Templates, you can open em in Office 2007 through 13, but you have to make sure Macros are Enabled.

    If you don't wanna keep paying fopr the 365 lease, then just get Office 2013, it's pretty decent. But if you have used 365 and want to keep the features, then you should just subscribe.

    Billions of us are using Cloud services pretty safely, I do all kinds of things that some people would think of as "Risky" but nobody has ever gotten into my bank accounts or personal files. Just get a good Router and secure it so that only devices with the mac addresses you specify can get in, and then keep your PCs and devices passworded and locked when not in use.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    The only thing I can gather is 365 is a lease so it's cheaper and has more programs available (One Note, Access, Publisher).
    If you need the full office suite, it's a ton cheaper. Its approx a $400 office suite and you can install it on up to 5 computers. If you bought it straight up for 5 PC's, it would cost you $2000. With Office 365, you could use it for 20 years at $100 before you reached that same cost. And with Office 365, you always stay on the latest version, so it's like free upgrades for your $100 a year. Finally, you have the ability to run a web based streaming version of the program where ever you might be. < Meaning, you don't need the apps loaded to use them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    I had to make a decision, so I went with 365. I just now purchased and downloaded it. First, I had to set up a new MS account since I deleted the old one in order to change my computer from a MS account to a local account. So I'm again tied to the internet (I guess?)
    Well, chances are you will have an Internet connection for many years. Having an account with Microsoft is no different than having and email address with yahoo, or gmail. Nobody says you really have to use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    First problem - I didn't see Excel listed in the Start menu tile thing. All other Office programs were showing except Excel. I tried to look Excel up in the Explorer folders and couldn't find it. I then searched for Excel and it came up as C\Windows\Microsoft.NET. What does this mean?
    That seems very strange, Excel should have definitely installed. But it seems like from additional reading you have it pinned and working now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    Are all my Office documents being store on a MS server online? Or am I mistaken and just being paranoid?
    You can store them on Skydrive if you want to (can access them from anywhere, get them from any PC, and have a copy that is most likely very well backed up by Microsoft). But you can also save them to your local hard drive, or USB drive, or even floppy disk if you choose. It's all your choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    I don't know what I've done buying this 365. Should I have purchased the 2013 instead? That's a download too though. What happened to the days where you could just buy the box from Staples and install it?
    I don't think you made a mistake. If I needed Microsoft Office at home, 365 is EXACTLY how I would obtain it. You get more installs (laptop, desktop, tablet, etc), you can stream the apps if you find yourself away from your own personal computer, and you always stay up to date on the latest versions. Not to mention, you get Access, PowerPoint and Outlook.

    Microsoft is trying to move away from boxed software the same reason everybody else is. they want recurring revenue streams, they want to keep people on the latest versions of the software (so they don't have to maintain old versions). And this helps them to get revenue without having so much piracy.

    I just don't see how you can go wrong at all, with Office 365, UNLESS you have only 1 computer and ONLY need Word and Excel. If you need more than 1 computer and you need more apps, Office 365 is the best bang for the buck.

    The "ONLY" thing I have historically disliked with Office 365 is that when I choose to install the suite locally (which I would), i am forced to do a "full install"...meaning I cannot elect to not install some components. I'm going to get the full thing installed. That bugs me as hard drive space with SSD's is still limited and it's just more stuff that I have to patch. < I realize these aren't concerns for most people.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Michigan
    Posts : 28
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks to the mod for putting this in the right place!

    Thanks for the replies. Good to know others feel 365 is a better deal. I only have one computer but I did want the extra applications that the 2013 package doesn't offer, such as Access and OneNote. I found the file location of the Office programs on my C drive, so I guess they do reside on my computer. I was thinking they were on a Microsoft server or something. Maybe the Microsoft.NET location is for Skydrive folders? If I understand Skydrive's purpose (and I will research it more later), I can put my files there if I choose, and then access them from work if I want to? But as long as I don't physically put them in a Skydrive location, they reside only on my C-drive at home? Correct?

    I did figure out how to get Excel and also Outlook showing on my startup menu. Don't know why they weren't showing before. All seems to be working as before. I do like Office 2013 more than 2007, which we use at work and I tore my hair out trying to get used to. As long as some hacker can't get in via my Microsoft account, I will try to relax.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Yes, if you don't store them on Skydrive, they are on your local PC.

    Hackers won't be able to gain access directly to your PC with your Microsoft account. Pretty much, if you have a router that is doing NAT, unwanted hackers won't even be able to get inbound packets into your PC.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Michigan
    Posts : 28
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks, this makes me feel better!

    I like this forum. No one yet has jumped on me for asking a dumb question.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    No question is dumb for us!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Subscribed to Office 365 - have privacy/security concerns
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