The most reliable way to discover which versions of Microsoft Office are recommended for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is to launch the Windows 8 compatibility center.
Just enter your Product Name in the search box and click Search.
You’ll see a list of compatible programs.
In the graphic below, you can see Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus is deemed compatible with Windows 8.
91% (80 out 0f 89) of the Office 2010 Professional Plus users vouched for its compatibility; therefore, it’ll probably work for you too.
If you’re using an older version of Office such as Office 2007 Professional then you’ll be pleased to know that 80 out of 94 voted that it is also compatible with Windows 8 Pro.
Personally, I think if you own Windows 8 or 8.1 and are considering Office, you should get Office 2013 because it has new features like native editing support for PDFs and tight SkyDrive integration. Also I like the fact that the user interface is consonant with the Windows 8/8.1 theme. It might take some time getting conversant with the new interface because the design is flat and therefore foreign but once you get the hang of it you probably won’t go back to any older version of Office.
I suggest that you download the 60 day Office 2013 trial. Just sign in with your Microsoft Account and follow the on-screen prompts. Eventually you’ll get prompted to install the Akamai NetSession Client download manager.
The download should start in your browser and, depending on your network connection, should finish in a few minutes.
When the download finishes, double click the .img and Windows will attempt to automatically mount the image and initiate the setup wizard.
The Bottom Line
Even though Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 looks completely different than Windows 7, Vista, and XP you’ll discover that many older programs still work with it.
If you’re shopping for the right Office version to match your new computer, give Office 2013 a shot. The trial gives you two-months of unfettered usage. After the trial expires, you can buy the Home and Student edition for $140 or go with the subscription for $9.99 per month.
Conversely, if you already have an older version of Office such as Office 2007 or 2010 you can rest assured that it’ll work just fine with Windows 8 and 8.1. However, if you’re one of the few hapless souls out there still running Office 2003 or Office XP then you should emerge out of antiquity and upgrade to a newer version of Office.
There are great free Office tutorials out there such as series on the GCFLearnFree center or the slick video collection at Infinite Skills. These help guides can get you up to speed on how to use newer version of Office so you can rise from the digital stone ages with confidence!