The three Microsoft office versions, Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft 2013 and Microsoft Office 360 are three different versions of the classical Microsoft office suite that provides users with word processing, email and presentation capabilities. This paper will appropriately compare and contrast their respective features in order to highlight which application is more suitable for a particular purpose and intention overall. It will also provide some personal reflections on which version is most appropriate and has been over the last 5 years (Wenzel, 2013).

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In firstly comparing all three versions of Microsoft office, they all share such characteristics as the availability of Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel. These three applications come with each edition and share common features such as the ability to edit a document, create a document from new and make additional alterations as necessary to the application and piece of work (Microsoft, 2015). The layout and presentation of each application in each version is relatively similar with only minor changes being made with each upgrade. Furthermore, common Microsoft users have little trouble in upgrading their word processers to a more modern and contemporary version, as they are all applicable to any Microsoft computer or hardware that has added Microsoft word capabilities. Furthermore, they have the ability to operate on both Mac’s and Microsoft computers, which increases their customer base and makes their respective applications more common across the majority of computer users worldwide (Siechert & Bott, 2013).

In addition to their similar features and functions, they all offer the user potential updates, which help to align each version with each other and also encourage progression and assimilation of the applications used across these three versions of Microsoft Office. When using them on a Microsoft computer, the user will be prompted to update these respective applications, therefore allowing for further alignment. They are also similar with respect to their abilities to provide technical support to the user. Each version provides a technical support function that assists in rectifying known Microsoft issues and ensuring that their functionality is at a high level (Beskeen et al, 2013).

Regardless of the similarities stipulated in this paper between the three Microsoft Office versions, they do have a number of differences in regards to the applications that they offer and how comprehensive their features are. The Microsoft Word 2010 version is the most basic out of the three editions and does not provide such features as OneNote, Outlook or Microsoft Publisher and Access; whereas Microsoft Office 2013 and Microsoft Office 360 provide the user with OneNote and Microsoft Office 360, outlook, Access and Publisher (Wenzel, 2013). Office 2010 does not provide any additional storage space and it is relatively uncontrolled, therefore allowing the user to determine whether they want to update the application or if their older features are suitable for current and future projects. Microsoft Office 2013 provides the user with not only OneNote, in contrast to the 2010 office version but also publisher and access. In addition, it offers up to 1TB of data for new users to allow access to such applications as Cloud and 60 minutes of free chat on Skype (Microsoft, 2015). There is further integration with other applications unrelated to Microsoft Office on the most recent 360 versions (personal and business). The 360 version always ensures, in contrast to 2013 and 2010 versions that the user is up to date without any prompting, which can be perceived as being advantageous and also a disadvantage if the user has limited memory and space on their computer. It can also be argued that the recent 360 and 2013 versions are more complex than the 2010 and previous versions of Microsoft Office as they have more features include those that are hidden and have not been stipulated in previous versions (Beskeen et al, 2013).

Most significantly, the price is the standout difference between all three versions. Amazingly, the most up to date version, Office 360 is the most affordable as it provides an automated service and there is more flexibility with respect to what the user can access and how to re-arrange their respective applications. For example, the user can choose to only have access to the basic package whereas in the 2013 and 2010 versions, a comprehensive package is provided with no option to change its usability levels (Wenzel, 2013).

My personal choice with reference to the three editions is Microsoft Office 2010. I find this edition to be simpler to use and also more functional on a larger number of computers. It is also most familiar to me and relates to previous versions of Microsoft Office. Also, I like the style of the version and how its features are simple and easy to find and use (Microsoft, 2015). I have little qualms with the pricing of each respective edition and find that you get more value for money with the 2010 version as it ultimately saves the user time that they may require to finish professional and personal projects. The technical support for the older versions of Microsoft office is more user friendly and I find that I encounter a lower number of issues and concerns (Beskeen et al, 2013). Furthermore, it best suits my needs and requirements as my main profession requires the use of Microsoft office on a number of different platforms and I essentially require an edition that is easy to use and allows me to access all of its features quickly and at ease. I also have limited space on my computer and hence require an edition that does not use excessive space and can be easily managed by myself rather than being self automated as per the more recent versions of Microsoft Office. Overall, Microsoft Office 2010 is the most user friendly and can be easily accessed and managed.

    References
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    http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/html/pbpage.OfficeCompare
    Accessed on 11th October 2015.
  • Siechert, C, Bott, E. (2013). Microsoft Office Inside Out. Pearson Education, Retrieved
    from https://books.google.com.au/books?id=TbhCAwAAQBAJ&dq=microsoft+office&source=gbs_navlinks_s Accessed on 11th October 2015.
  • Wenzel, E. (2013). Decoding Microsoft Office: Which Office version does what?
    PCWorld, Retrieved from http://www.pcworld.com/article/2026552/decoding-microsoft-office-which-office-version-does-what-.html Accessed on 11th October 2015.