How I bought Microsoft Visio Pro for Office 365

I needed to have MS Visio Professional on my new Win8 notebook, but paying $900 for the license was somewhat uncomfortable. Also relatively recently, Microsoft started offering Office 365 subscriptions where the software is offered as a monthly or yearly subscription instead of a one-off purchase.

It appears that MS Visio is also offered as subscription, but for some reason it’s not so easy to find: on the product page, you see only the full license for purchasing. But if you click to “Try or buy”, you have a “Learn more” link under the Visio Pro for Office 365 title.

Then, I could not find anywhere, which Office 365 subscription is needed to add Visio to it. So i thought, maybe I should just buy one, so I ordered the one which seemed the right one for my purposes, Office 365 Small Business Premium.

When I tried to add Visio Pro for Office 365 to my account, I got an error that this product is incompatible with my current subscription, and they tried to make me create a new subscription instead.

So, I opened a support request and they explained me that Visio can only be added to Office 365 Enterprise subscriptions!

I then asked them to cancel my subscription and promised to open an Enterprise one.

But: to say the truth, I actually had a valid Office 2007 license, and I only needed Visio. So, I made a new subscription for Visio only. Also funny, that even after deleting my first subscription, I could not use the same account name, and had to come up with a new name.

Actually that was not the end of the fun: after buying it, it took a while to find the installation link in the Office 365 Admin panel. Also when I clicked and downloaded something, it was not an installer in its traditional way. It was a self-extracting archive with a command line utility in it, and a sample XML file. Luckily this XML file had already an example for Visio, so I only needed to uncomment the relevant parts of it, and then use the command-line tool to download and set up the software. It was not difficult, but kind of surprising 🙂

So, finally I got Visio 2013 working, and Office 2007 has installed and activated smoothly. But I lost about hour or so because of:

  1. obscure product information on MS website
  2. strange incompatibility in subscription plans
  3. command-line installer with an XML that needed manual editing (!)


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  1. #1 by SutoCom on October 11, 2013 - 10:28 am

  2. #2 by Fred Hoover on July 1, 2015 - 12:17 pm

    another alternative for cheap MS Visio online is this software in cloud. Try it out

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