Recently my parents asked me about buying a Microsoft Office 365 subscription as they were prompted to upgrade their Microsoft Office. Additionally, it seems that newer laptops now only come with a trial version of Microsoft Office, after which, the user will lose all editing functionalities and can only view documents. 

Below is a table of my evaluation of the difference between a one-time purchase and an office 365 subscription.

  One-Time Purchase Office 365 Subscription Evaluation
Cost Single one-time cost ($229 based on Microsoft website) Monthly or yearly fee ($108 per year)  
Office Apps Standard office apps like Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Access and Publisher for more premium versions Standard office apps like Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Access and Publisher for more premium versions Same
Updates Security updates Security updates

Feature updates

365 better
Use on >1 computer Depending on the license purchased Linked to 365 account so it is sign-in based 365 offers more flexibility
Mobile apps Not linked to office mobile apps Can be linked to office mobile apps 365 offers more flexibility
Online storage OneDrive not included 1TB of OneDrive storage 365 more useful

While it appears that Office365 may offer more value, I recommended my parents to do a one-time purchase for the following reasons.

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