Software Resources & News

  • Top 3 2014 Tax Software Options for Individuals

    You have less than two weeks to figure out how big your tax return will be or if you owe the IRS. Luckily, there are a few types of tax software that can make this process a little easier for you and without hiring an expensive tax accountant. If you are having trouble deciding which program to use, take a look at the top three options when it comes to tax preparation software.

    1. TurboTax

    This is among the most popular tax software choices every year, and it’s mainly because it is so easy to use. You can choose to have TurboTax walk you through every step as you prepare your federal and state taxes, or you can navigate through it yourself. If you have any questions as you prepare your taxes, you can use the live chat feature or check the forum for answers.

    Even if you do not have some important paperwork, such as a W-2, to answer certain questions, you can always move on and come back to that section later as your progress will be saved. During the whole tax process, a meter will indicate your audit risk, as well as how much money you will owe or get back for state and federal taxes. If your tax situation is fairly simple, you can file your federal return for free; it costs about $30 to file your state return.

    2. TaxACT

    TaxACT is great software for those with simple financial situations. The main advantage of TaxACT is that it is the cheapest available, but it still has many of the same features of other tax preparation software. You will immediately be alerted if the program detects a possible error while you prepare the return.

    Though this program is not considered quite as easy to use as TurboTax, it is still very user friendly. It features a meter that keeps you updated on how much you will owe or get back, and it also offers free audit support. If you have any trouble preparing your taxes with this software, you can view one of the tutorial videos for help. You can use the free federal edition, and then just pay about $15 to file state taxes. You can also purchase the Deluxe edition for about $13 or the Ultimate Bundle for $18.

    3. H&R Block

    This tax preparation software is not considered as easy to use as others, but the main benefit is its above-average customer support. After all, if you are having trouble preparing your return, you can simply walk into the H&R Block location near you, which is something no other major tax programs offer. You can also get audit support in person, which is invaluable when you need fast help from professionals. Of course, if you prefer to get help at home, you can call or use the live chat option.

    As you navigate this tax software, you will see an updated interface with links that explain any terms you might not understand. You can also use the free version whether you have a simple return with a W-2 or are self-employed. This helps put this tax software above the rest of the market.

    One of the few downsides of this program is its slightly higher price compared to others. You can file federal taxes for free if your return is relatively simple, but state will cost up to $37. You can also use the Deluxe program for $30 or the Premium version for about $64.

    Have you used any of these tax preparation programs before? If so, which do you think is the best? For more information or to shop discounted software  visit our online store.


  • The End of Windows XP: Survival Guide

    Microsoft announced that on April 8, 2014, technical assistance will no longer be available for Microsoft XP. What does this mean for people who still use Windows XP? Will your software still work? Will you be forced to upgrade? Continue reading


  • How to Use a Microsoft Office Product Key Card and Save Money

    If you plan on saving money on a copy of Microsoft Office, you should opt for the product key card version. Downloads are delivered electronically and save packaging and materials. This reduces the overall cost and price. Older disc copies of Microsoft Office included both the software and the license. Today, you can download via a product key card. This allows you to redeem your license key and install via the web. Prior to purchasing, make sure you identify which features and version you need. Using Microsoft Office key card is easy – by following these steps you can save time and money on your next purchase. Instead of buying a boxed copy of Microsoft Office, opt for the downloadable key card version at checkout.

    1. Opt for the Key Card Version

    To get a Microsoft Office key card, you’ll need to select the key card option prior to checkout. There are many different versions and editions of Microsoft Office, so be sure to get the one that you need. Microsoft Office versions only include particular applications depending on the version – some are more limited and essential, and some come with all applications. It’s not always best to buy a version that includes all applications unless you need them all. Full versions are more expensive than products with less applications. To figure out which version you need, read this blog post.

    microsoft-office-product-key-card

    2. Buy Through Our Online Store

    Although we offer the lowest prices on Microsoft Office product key cards, if you happen find a lower price somewhere else, we’ll match it. That way, you can be sure that you found the best price on the web.

    3. Check Your Email

    After you purchase your copy of Office, you will receive a key via email. Be sure to check your spam folders in case it does not come right away, and register the key card soon after you receive it. If you ever need to view the key card, you will have a copy stored in your email. In some cases we can even send a replacement email if you no longer have it.

    4. Download the Software

    To set up your Microsoft Office software, go to Microsoft Office’s site to enter your product key card. There, you can directly download the actual software if you haven’t downloaded it somewhere else already. Again, check to make sure that you’ve selected the correct edition and version of Microsoft Office before you download it. If you happen to have an older version of Microsoft Office – or you’d like to save money on Microsoft Office by purchasing an older version – you can easily buy older versions and editions of Microsoft Office on our website.

    5. Use Your New Software

    Pat yourself on the back, because you just saved yourself good money without having to even insert a disc into your computer! For more information on Microsoft Office, or to speak to a licensing expert, call us direct at 1-877-292-7712.


  • Guide to Microsoft's Open License Progam

    Microsoft’s different bulk software licensing options provide a lot of flexibility for choosing the bulk license type that’s right for you. Depending on your business’ type, size, and limitations, the different purchasing models allow any business to get the bulk licenses for Microsoft Office they need. Microsoft Open License is a great licensing program option if you are a businesses, government organization, educational organization, healthcare organization, and non-profit/charity organization that wants to pay as you go. Because you pay for the licenses as you need them, you get maximum flexibility to grow with your organization’s increasing and changing business needs. Continue reading


  • Microsoft Open License vs Open Value vs Enterprise Agreement

    Many people assume that the only way to purchase Microsoft Office is to buy it off the physical or virtual shelf. Small business owners may not realize that you don't need to purchase hundreds of copies to qualify for volume licensing discounts. Microsoft offers many programs that are flexible and affordable starting with as few as 5 licenses. Microsoft open license and open value programs helps make the software license more affordable, scalable, and accessible. Enterprise Agreement is designed for larger volumes and offers larger savings. Factors like how many licenses you need, how much up-front capital you have to buy licenses, and for how long you’ll need the software will all determine which license purchasing type is best for you.

    There are three main categories of license purchasing types: Open License, Open Value, and Enterprise Agreement.

    Open License

    Microsoft Open License is the most straightforward license purchasing where you simply purchase the license up front and own it forever. Software Assurance can be added, but is optional. Open license is ideal if you have the money to spend on a license, and are purchasing a smaller amount of licenses. Pricing depends on what kind of organization you’re with. The different organization pricing tiers include:

    Open Value

    Microsoft Open Value licensing is similar to Open License, where you pay for the software and completely own it after you purchase it. However, with Open Value, the cost of the license is spread out over three annual payments and you own the license after that. Software Assurance is included. Unlike Open License, the pricing for Open Value does not depend on the type of organization.

    Similarly, Open Value Subscription allows you to access the same software at an annual subscription fee. You don’t, however, own the software – and if you stop your subscription at any time, the software can no longer be used.

    Enterprise Agreement

    Microsoft Enterprise Agreement is a program for large companies who need to buy more than 250 licenses at a time. This allows companies to access bulk licenses at an affordable rate, and the price per license is dramatically lower than purchasing individual licenses. Software Assurance can also be added to Enterprise Agreement licenses at an additional fee.

    The Volume Licensing Advantage

    The varying types of license purchasing options from Microsoft is intended to help different sized organizations access Microsoft Office in a reliable and scalable way. Whether your organization chooses to pay for licenses up front, or needs license on a subscription basis, there are plenty of options to help you access the software you need.

    Royal Discount is a Certified Microsoft Partner specializing in Volume Licensing. For more information, or to speak to our licensing experts call 1-877-292-7712 or message us today.


  • Microsoft Office Version Purchasing Guide

    Since the early 1990s, Microsoft has been providing office productivity products like Word, Excel and PowerPoint to businesses, students and home users. As the use of personal computers increased, the need for word processing, tabular data and presentation design for various situations—including home and professional use—became apparent. Over the years, Microsoft has added more and more applications to their suite of productivity solutions, called Microsoft Office, which is still evolving today.

    In Microsoft Office’s early days, the number of applications offered was limited. Most of the early editions only contained Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In the late 1990s, Exchange and Access were added. The applications offered, however, were often not consistent with more modern suites, and offered primitive versions of mail applications and other tools.

    Over time, applications offerings became more consistent. Microsoft began offering unique packages to suit types of users. Versions like Home and Business came jam packed with a full range of features & applications, while other versions, like home and student were more for basic needs. This created several different price points, each with their own respective advantages. Businesses and students alike were now able to access a full range of applications, while only paying for the features they need.

    Microsoft Word - Best Writing

    In 2016, OneNote for Office 365 was released and made Microsoft Office versions even more diverse. Office 2016 was offered in several different trim levels, including Home and Student, Home and Business and Professional2011 edition for Macs completely left out both Access and Publisher—but they were added back in the 2013 edition in the Professional bundle.

    By creating production solutions for a variety of business challenges in a way that’s accessible to all people, Microsoft has revolutionized productivity for home users, students and businesses. By offering tailored versions of each edition, anyone can buy a version of Microsoft Office that’s perfect for their needs.

    Although the same applications are offered in (almost) every edition of Microsoft Office, the version names vary in each release. Therefore, it’s sometimes confusing to figure out which version contains which applications. It’s important to choose the right edition and version of Microsoft Office in order to get exactly what you need. For questions or licensing information on Microsoft Products, contact our experts at Royal Discount - the best place for buying cheap software online.


  • What Version Of Office Do I Need?

    What Version of Office Is Best For Your Needs?

    Microsoft Office is an essential tool for individuals, students, and professionals. What most people often don’t realize, however, is that Microsoft Office Suite comes in many different version types that suit different needs, usages, and budgets. The good news is that since there are so many different versions and editions of Microsoft Office Suite to choose from, you can get the exact version you need.

    Although this list does not include details about different Microsoft Office license types, it does outline the primary differences between the different version types, and the different editions within each version. As each new version is released, the editions change and are renamed but may still include the same applications and the equivalent edition before it.

    Taking some time to understand different Microsoft Office versions and editions is important to find the exact applications you need. Once you understand the differences between the various types of offerings, you will see the similarities between the various years and versions.

    2016 Version

    • Home & Business Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft OneNote. This edition is great for home and student use with additional note-taking capabilities.
    • Home & Student Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. This edition is limited to home and student use (non-commercial use only)
    • Professional Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, OneNote, Access, and Publisher. This edition is all-inclusive.

    2013 Version

    • Home & Business Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft OneNote. This edition is great for home and student use with an additional note capabilities.
    • Home & Student Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. This edition is best for home and student use.
    • Professional Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, OneNote, Access, and Publisher. This edition is all-inclusive.

    2011 Version

    • Home & Business Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, and Microsoft Outlook. This edition is best for home and business use.
    • Mac Home & Student Edition: For Mac OS - Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. This edition is best for home and student use.

    2010 Version

    • Home and Business Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft OneNote. This edition is best for home and student use.
    • Home and Student Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. This edition is great for home and student use with an additional note capabilities.
    • Professional Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, OneNote, Access, and Publisher. This edition is all-inclusive.

    2007 Version

    • Basic Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Outlook. This edition is best for home users who do not need it for professional reasons, and who need basic email capabilities.
    • Home and Student Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. This is an essentials-tyle package without email capabilities.
    • Professional Plus Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, Access, and Publisher. This edition is almost all-inclusive and comes with everything except OneNote.
    • Small Business Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, and Publisher. This edition is best for small business commercial use.
    • Standard Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook. This edition is best for home and student use.
    • Ultimate Edition: Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, OneNote, Access, and Publisher. This edition is all-inclusive.

    As each version changes the names and configurations of the available editions, it’s important to stay up to date on which editions are equivalent to previous ones, what applications come with each edition, and which one is right for you. It’s also important to note that some editions within the same version that might seem very similar might be differentiated only by their license restrictions – so further research about the associated license types is necessary. Also remember that older versions didn’t have certain applications, like OneNote, but were considered all-inclusive the year it was released. This is important to note if you think you may need all the latest applications available.

    Before you purchase an Office Suite, be sure to review this list of version types and edition types. For more information on Microsoft features & licensing - contact our licensing help desk at 1-877-292-7712. Royal Discount is your trusted store to buy software online since 2005.


  • McAfee vs Norton: Which AntiVirus Software is Best for Small Businesses?

    Antivirus software is important for any small business. Protecting computer equipment from spyware, malware, and ransomware is essential to daily business operations. In addition to the pain and hassle of dealing with a virus, some of the more severe viruses can compromise client data, financial information, and other sensitive or personally identifiable data.

    Most people are familiar with both McAfee Antivirus and Norton Antivirus, but few know the real differences between them. Although both commercially-available antivirus software providers are widely used in the business world, not all antivirus software is best for small business needs. Before you select your small business antivirus software, consider the four following considerations all small businesses need to be aware of.

    Bulk License Program Options

    McAfee: McAfee offers several volume licensing options at different available tiers. The minimum volume licensing order is 11 nodes, and it goes up to 10,000+ nodes.

    Norton: Norton doesn’t offer flat-out purchasable volume license – rather, they offer an incentive program where you receive discounts on additional licenses based on how many points you’ve accumulated (dollars spent).
    McAfee seems to be better for small business antivirus licensing if you plan on buying all of your licenses up front. Norton is better if you buy antivirus licenses over time, and accumulate points to earn discounts on volume licenses. McAfee’s volume licensing is extremely scalable, and can help small businesses budget up front for licenses better than Norton’s plan.

    Cost Factors

    McAfee: McAfee offers three different pricing packages for small business that are clear and concise. The packages range from $24.90 per license per year at the very low end, to $51.85 per license per year at the very high end. This does not factor in volume licensing pricing, however.

    Norton: Norton doesn’t list clear pricing plans specifically for small businesses or volume licensing on their website, however, the general range is around $35.00-$50.00 per license per year. Norton does, however, offer lots of different branded software solutions for different needs.
    The costs seem about comparable, but McAfee’s pricing is much more simple and clear to understand. Their three packages for small business are easy to get and straightforward. Although Norton offers many small business solutions, their branded names make it difficult for small businesses to figure out what exactly they need.

    Flexibility of System Requirements

    McAfee:

    • PC - Min Windows + 500 MB available hard drive space
    • Mac - OS X 10.6 or higher + 300 MB available hard drive space

    Norton:

    • PC - Windows + 300 MB available hard drive space
    • Mac - Must buy separate Norton for Mac software (for OS X 10.7 or higher) + 1.5 GB available hard drive space

    McAfee is better for organizations who have PCs and Macs, but for organizations that only have PCs, Norton takes up slightly less hard drive space per computer. The hard drive space savings between PC software is marginal though, so McAfee’s ability to work on both Mac and PC without buying additional software is beneficial. Plus, if your organization runs mostly on Macs, the hard drive space savings is more significant when choosing McAfee over Norton.

    Upgradability

    McAfee: McAfee doesn’t list their specific upgrade rules on their website, but they do offer free automatic security updates as they become available. They also provide support solutions for small businesses.

    Norton: Norton upgrades are available to users who have a support account, and they will receive automatic notifications. Users without support accounts can buy one at an additional charge to receive these upgrades and notifications.

    Norton is more clear and upfront about their upgrade policy, and offer more support options for upgrading. McAfee’s failure to list upgrade details is questionable, however, they do offer a number of support services for small businesses.

    Conclusion

    When comparing and contrasting McAfee Antivirus with Norton Antivirus, it seems as though McAfee is slightly better for small businesses for a number of reasons: McAfee is scalable, price-plan predictable, and flexible on a variety of types of computers and operating systems. However, Norton offers many of the same great benefits that McAfee does, and excels in support and a large variety of solutions for specific small business needs.

    Although these four considerations are among the most applicable to small business needs, there are many other considerations and questions that might be specific to different businesses. For example, if your small business needs to remain HIPAA compliant, PCI compliant, or if you store other types of sensitive data, you may require different offerings from an internal source. Either way, investing in antivirus can save your business a lot of time, reputability, and money in the future.

    For more help deciding on the right antivirus program, or for questions, contact our Licensing & Sales experts. Royal Discount is the internet's best source for cheap online software deals. Helping individuals, IT managers and businesses for over 20 years running. Call in direct at 1-877-292-7712 - Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm.


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