This is important because there might never be an Office 2018- Microsoft appear to be moving to a monthly release schedule without monolithic releases- this means that at some point they will probably stop upgrading Office 2016, but I am confident that they will keep it current for a considerable time because of past history and current actions. Microsoft are currently interacting very positively with the Mac Admin community and the relationship is working very well.
Part of an Office365 subscription
‘Office 365 Business’ is available for $15.95 per user per month, or $13.20 if you pay yearly.
If you have an E1 Enterprise plan @ $11.20 per user per month you already have the ability to use the online versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint but don’t get to install them on your machine. That requires an E3 plan at $33.43 per user per month.
Retail copy- perpetual license-
This version is basically a box, or gift card sized voucher that contains a serial number. You can purchase as many or as few as you like, but the downside is that each pack has it’s own serial number that must be tracked and recorded. Price $299 inc GST
Volume Licensing- perpetual license
This option is where you buy a license for Mac Office 2016, it’s yours forever (perpetual) and you get minor (point) upgrades included. It’s non serialised which makes it ideal for deployment to a fleet of Macs, but this lack of serialisation seems to have a downside- it’s $729 inc GST per copy.
Not for profit
Not for profit organisations would probably opt for the entry Student or Home versions (more to come)
How to choose?
Well if you had bought a copy of Office 2011 upon its release in October 2010, and kept it until September 2015 when Office 2016 was launched, it would have cost about $70 per year (it sold for about $350) or about $140 per year if you bought the Volume License version. As part of a subscription, it now costs about $13 per month or $160 per year!