Following the release of Windows 10 in July 2015, many people have been asking about which versions of Microsoft Office work on this operating system. Here are the versions that work on Windows 10 and the differences between them.wiggle a window to declutter your desktop

Office 2013 and Earlier Versions of Office

Will older versions of Office work on Windows 10? This question has likely been on the minds of some Windows 7 and Windows 8 users who are thinking about taking advantage of Microsoft’s offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10. According to the Windows Compatibility Center, Office 2013, Office 2010, and Office 2007 are compatible with Windows 10. Older versions of Office are not compatible but might work if you use the compatibility mode.

With that said, some Office 2013 and Office 2010 users who have upgraded to Windows 10 are reporting glitches. Some glitches are minor, such as slow startups. Other glitches are more troubling, such as not being able to open existing Word and Excel files.

Office Mobile Apps

One of the driving philosophies behind Windows 10 is the notion of universality. Microsoft wants to give people the ability to use this operating system and its applications on a variety of devices. This philosophy is evident in Microsoft’s Office Mobile apps. Microsoft designed these touch-optimized apps for tablets and phones with screens 10.1 inches or smaller. However, they also work on other devices such as laptops and desktop computers.

The Office Mobile apps include Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile. You can download these three apps from the Windows Store for free. OneNote for Windows 10 is also one of the Office Mobile apps, even though it does not have the word “Mobile” in its name. This app comes pre-installed on Windows 10.

The four Office Mobile apps store your files in OneDrive by default. (OneDrive is Microsoft’s online storage service.) That way, you can easily access your files from different devices. However, the apps do not have all the features found in the desktop Office 2016 programs. You can compare the features in the Office Mobile apps with those found in the desktop Office 2016 programs by checking out the links provided in the Office Mobile apps for Windows 10: Getting Started web page.

If you are considering using the Office Mobile apps, you should read the requirements listed on the download pages for Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile. You can find the requirements in each app’s expanded description, which you access by clicking the “More” link. Here you will find important information. For instance, if you use Word Mobile on tablets and phones with a screen size of 10.1 inches or smaller, you can view, create, and edit Word documents for free. You need an Office 365 subscription, though, to use Word’s advanced features. Interestingly, if you run Word Mobile on larger tablets, laptops, and desktop computers, all you can really do is view documents for free. You need an Office 365 subscription to create and edit them.

Another consideration is that the licensing agreements for Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile state that they are only for personal use. If you want to use them for work, you need to get a Microsoft Office 365 subscription.

Office 2016

Microsoft released Office 2016 in September 2015. It optimized this version of the productivity suite for personal computers with keyboards and mice.

Windows 10 users can use the Office 2016 programs as part of an Office 365 subscription. There are Office 365 subscriptions for both home and business users. Different subscriptions offer different Office programs. For example, the subscriptions for home users let you:

  • Install all seven desktop Office 2016 programs on one or more personal computers, depending on the plan you choose. These full-featured programs are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.
  • Install the Office Mobile apps on one or more phones.
  • Install the Office Mobile apps on one or more tablets. If you have a larger tablet, you can install the desktop Office 2016 programs instead.

The Office 365 subscriptions for business users vary widely. The simplest plan lets employees use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote through their web browsers. Plans for enterprises also let each employee install the full versions of all seven Office programs on personal computers. Employees can also install the Office Mobile apps on phones and tablets. If they have larger tablets, they can install the desktop Office 2016 programs instead.

When you have an Office subscription, you can get the latest Office program updates. Microsoft notifies you when it releases an update. You have the option to install it.

If you do not want an Office 365 subscription, you can buy a one-time-purchase version of Office 2016. Different editions offer different programs. Some editions include the full versions of all seven Office programs. Other editions include the full versions of only some of the Office programs.

Many Versions to Choose From

As you can see, many different versions of Office work on Windows 10. If you are uncertain of which version would work best for you, let an IT professional help you make this important decision.
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