If you intend to purchase a suite from Microsoft (MS), you are likely to take a look at all the programmes in each one to find the best ones for your needs.

It can sometimes prove overwhelming when you have to settle on one product and commit your finances to it, in case you later discover that you need additional applications. Software can be purchased separately if you wish, although taking a careful look at all the suites and how they would benefit you is recommended, so you make the correct purchase initially. Deciding which one to buy entails you getting a fair understanding of the applications in each product in order to establish the programmes most suited to your needs.

Training courses that reveal the functions of the software are a good way to expand your knowledge of the products, if you wish. The location where you intend to use your purchase is paramount when deciding which suite to buy. Even the most basic packages have a great array of applications that allow you to get lots of different tasks completed.

If you intend to use the MS suite at home or for academic assignments, then the aptly named Home and Student product could be the one for you. With this, you are able to create many different types of documents thanks to MS Word, such as essays, CVs, letters and invitations. Important presentations can be put together via PowerPoint, while tables and spreadsheets are easily created with the inclusion of Excel.

A feature that proves helpful with this product is OneNote, which gives users the opportunity to pull together different kinds of information quickly into one space. These applications form the cornerstone of many tasks carried out at home and work. Household expenses can be calculated through Excel, while students are free to use it to input data that requires analysing.

If it is important to maintain strong communication links with others, such as friends, relatives or colleagues, you may prefer to opt for the Standard suite version, as apart from OneNote, this includes all the other programmes in addition to Outlook. This application sees you creating calendars of information that can be shared with others, so they are aware of forthcoming projects or personal announcements. The software boasts high functioning email features where you are able to search and sort messages easily.

In addition, there are security elements that ensure attachments and forwarded messages remain private if necessary. Those seeking even more functions than already provided in the previous two suites, are likely to be running a small business or larger company. Opting for the next level up, managers can buy the Small Business package, which features Publisher.

This application proves a great addition to the suites as it allows users to create a wealth of materials that are usually used for marketing purposes. Firms looking to raise their profile and inform customers about promotions and deals are able to create advertising campaigns to boost footfall or visits to websites that feature their products. As companies grow, it becomes imperative to share information with fellow workers and keep those concerned aware of recent campaigns.

In addition, as firms thrive they generate all kinds of information that may need to be stored in a database. This could relate to recent sales, the contact details of consumers and stock ordered. As well as providing a location to list information, the software can relate the separate areas in a database, so you could work out who has ordered the most products and the stock needed to fulfil them, for example.

To further increase communication between team members, you may like to take a look at the Ultimate package, which offers InfoPath and Groove. The former sees the easy creation of electronic forms that can receive complex kinds of data to share with others. The latter software programme gives you the opportunity to create an online space where you and colleagues are able to log in together to collaborate on projects.