What is The Office Store?
A lot of what Microsoft sells usually entails software. This means that you don’t necessarily need to physically visit a store to purchase the product. For example, you can subscribe for an Office 365 account and download Office via the web or pay and upgrade to the latest edition of Windows without purchasing a DVD. In an attempt to make purchase of Microsoft products easy, Microsoft introduced the Office Store. But the Office Store is not all about software, as you can also order products online and learn all about Microsoft’s partnership programs.
Purchase & Order Microsoft Products
The Office Store comes divided in three main categories, Products, Templates & Add-ins. The Products category is the most extensive and is divided into Software & Services, Devices & Xbox, followed by categories for Business, Developers & IT Professionals and for Students & Educators.
Access Software & Services
This section provides access to both paid and free software offered by Microsoft. You can purchase anything from the latest Windows operating system or Microsoft Office Suite to free software like the OneDrive client for your device. Furthermore, this section gives access to various Microsoft services like Microsoft’s streaming service called Microsoft Groove, Microsoft Movies & TV for renting or buying movies and TV Shows online, as well as access to the Microsoft Health app, free software downloads and security patches, etc.
Purchase Hardware Devices
Microsoft in recent years has provided an extensive range of hardware devices, including; Windows Phones, Surface Tablets, Xbox consoles and exclusive virtual reality gear called the Holo Lens. From the Products menu you can buy all these products and also pick and choose a Windows PC or tablet.
Solutions for Businesses
The next section in the Products menu provides a wide range of Microsoft products geared towards businesses. This includes products like; Skype for Business, Microsoft Azure, Windows & Microsoft Office suites geared towards businesses and access to custom business solutions provided by Microsoft for small, medium size and large corporations.
Solutions & Support for Developers
Microsoft provides extensive support for developers working on Microsoft products. There is a section at the Microsoft Store where developers and IT pros and purchase relevant solutions and software and get help with Microsoft products.
The Office Store also links to MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network), which is an extensive program which allows IT professionals and developers access to an infinite archive of literature and support about Microsoft products and best practices. You can also subscribe to get the latest free e-books and offers from Microsoft.
Solutions & Discounts for Students & Educational institutes
The Office Store also provides access to solutions and discount packages for educational institutes. If you are an educational institute, you can opt for discounted packages for purchasing and distributing Microsoft products among your students. Similarly, if you’re a student affiliated with an institute which has a Microsoft subscription, you can download products like Microsoft Office and Windows operating systems for free.
Templates for Microsoft Office
You can also directly access Microsoft Office Templates & Add-ins. Since Microsoft has moved its templates archive online, you can login with a Microsoft account to access templates for Word, Excel & PowerPoint.
Add-ins for Microsoft Office
You can install Apps for Office, which are add-ins for Microsoft products like PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Project, SharePoint and Outlook; which can be installed using a Microsoft account. Once you login with this account to your Office suite, you will be able to directly use these Office Apps. You can also install these apps directly from the Office Ribbon menu by going to Insert –> Add-ins –> (Office) Store in Office 2016.
Apps for Office are basically add-ins for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Outlook and come compatible with the latest Office editions. Apps for Office are compatible with apps from one or more of the following: Office 2013, Office 2016, Office 365 & Office Online.
So, coming back to the question as to what is the Office Store? It is an online store which provides access to the most basic to most complex Microsoft software and services. It is filled with menus and sub-menus which leads from one product to another, with usually additional categories for home users, businesses and educational institutes and students. The Office Store can be used to purchase not only software and services but also to access Microsoft Support for finding solutions to your problems tied to Microsoft products, as well as to enroll into partner programs which provide volume discounts and special concessions for Microsoft partners, especially educational institutes and non-profit organizations.