Difference Between Microsoft Office Student Edition and Professional

by Laurel Storm

The Microsoft Office software suite is available in several versions, each priced differently and varying both in what programs are included and in the usage allowed by the license. The difference between the cheapest version available to the general public, Microsoft Office Home and Student, and the most expensive, Microsoft Office Professional, is considerable.

Included Software

Both versions of Microsoft Office include a set of basic programs: Word for document editing, Excel for spreadsheets, PowerPoint for presentations and OneNote for information gathering and sorting. In addition, Microsoft Office Professional includes three more programs: Outlook for e-mail and calendar tasks, Access for database management and Publisher for desktop publishing.

Allowed Usage

Microsoft Office Home and Student is licensed for use in a single household and only for non-commercial activities. Any other use, including in schools and universities as well as non-profit organizations, requires the purchase of either Microsoft Office Home and Business or Microsoft Office Professional.

Number of Licenses

Depending on the type of license you purchase, Microsoft Office Home and Student may be installed either on a single computer or on three computers within a single household. Microsoft Office Professional offers a single-computer license as well as a two-computer license, with the stipulation that both computers must belong to the same user.


As of the time of publishing, Microsoft Office Home and Student costs $119.99 for a single-computer license and $149.99 for a one-household, three-computer license. Microsoft Office Professional costs $349.99 for a single-computer license and $499.99 for a two-computer license.

Microsoft Office University

A version intended for academic use, Microsoft Office University, also exists. It includes the same programs as Microsoft Office Professional and allows any kind of personal or academical use; it is only available as a single-computer license. Priced at $99.99 as of the time of publishing, it is the cheapest of all Office versions; however, identification from a higher-learning organization is required for purchase.

About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.

Photo Credits

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