OEM License Notes
When purchasing Dell systems Microsoft Office is usually an option and not a default. If you have purchased Microsoft Office you should have got a Microsoft Product Identity (MPI) Card with your system which states your version of Microsoft Office and your Office product key.
- Microsoft Product Identity Card (MPI) Card [OEM License only]
Windows, Office and OneDrive as a Service
Microsoft's changed its model for its two flagship products Windows and Office. In the past it was common to buy a OEM/Retail version of Windows and a corresponding version of Office. However these got revamped every few years and users had to repurchase them both to stay current.
- Windows XP (obsolete), Windows Vista (obsolete), Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
- Office 2003 (obsolete), Office 2007 (obsolete), Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2016
Due to all the security issues of running obsolete versions of Windows and additional cost of supporting multiple versions. Microsoft made Windows 10 a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. They want everyone to enjoy the latest features on capable hardware. However from a business perspective they will get a continuous stream of revenue as people use the Windows Store and if people use Bing and Edge.
Office however has became a paid subscription. With the Office 365 subscription you can always be up to date as you are paying for Office as a service opposed to Office as a standalone version. Many users will compare standalone versions of Office 2007/2010 and 2013 and think that the upgrade isn't so worthwhile. The biggest advantage to an Office 365 subscription is that there is 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage for each user. If OneDrives used effectively it can save a great deal of hassles for data backup, working with multiple devices and online collaboration. Of course as your files are always backed up in your cloud if your hard-drive or computer dies then your work is safe. Microsoft and Dell have a huge infrastructure to make sure that OneDrive cloud storage is backed up in multiple high performance servers. OneDrive is tightly integrated into Windows 10. In the aim of making collaboration as easy as possible, when working with those who don't want to pay for a full Office subscription or even Microsoft Windows there is also Office WebApps. These are browser based versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint. For more details about OneDrive and Office 2016 WebApps see:
- Microsoft OneDrive and WebApps [OneDrive 1 TB with Office 365 subscription or 5 GB Free – Free Office 2016 WebApps for Basic Editing]
For more details about purchasing (many will get it free with their school) or installing Office 365 see here:
- Microsoft Office 365 (Microsoft Office 2016 and Microsoft Office 2013) [Full Paid Subscription or Perpetual Single User License]
Additional useful Free Microsoft programs not part of Microsoft Office are:
- Microsoft Mathematics [Free]
- Windows Live Movie Maker. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-live/essentials-install-offline-faq
Third Party Programs
The most recommended third party program for Microsoft Office is Mendeley Desktop which is a free Reference manager/pdf organiser. Essentially download academic papers of your field of interest in pdf format and then drag and drop them into Mendeley Desktop. From the pdf it will extract the author, dates, title, journal, doi. etc. from the pdf document. It will sync the document to your Mendeley Account which gives you 2 GB of Free Cloud Storage. You can then use subfolders within the program to organise your documents thoroughly. Because it has all the details of the documents its search is pretty good. You may also leave notes on each document.
Its second strength is that it has a plugin for Word so you can directly insert citations from Mendeley Desktop (bare in mind it has all the details of the document). You can then select the citation format suitable to your field or journal and Mendeley will automatically update all your citations to that style. Been through the pain of manually referencing? Typed in 100 references and found a new reference before reference #1 no problem if you've used Mendeley Desktop it will automatically handle it.
- Mendeley Desktop [Reference Manager]
The video below is displayed in two formats, natively on WordPress and also on YouTube. Ensure to select HD to the top right or watch on YouTube with the maximum video quality for best results.
Mathtype is the upgrade for Microsoft Equation Editor 3.0 but I find it to be extremely buggy now and the Equation Editiopr in Office 2016 to be far more user friendly and superior. After the pains of using it to write a PhD thesis (it doesn't even install correctly) and then having to rewrite all the equations in Word itself to avoid the messed up formatting caused by Mathtype makes me no longer recommend it.
- MathType [Equation Editor]