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The Differences Between Office 365 and Microsoft Office

Is there was an award for the most resource intense and awesome productivity tool for both business and home users? If there was, Microsoft Office would easily win them all. However, the tool comes in different types and options, and choosing one especially if you are new to the game, isn’t the easiest.

Microsoft offers its Office services on a number of devices but in effect, there are two types of Microsoft Office suites: Microsoft Office and Office 365. The first is the most recognised and has been around for ages while the latter was announced in 2011.

How are these two Microsoft Office versions different? Well, if you are caught up in the confusion that is Office, the contents under the headers below should demystify everything and make the picture much clearer. Microsoft Office, MS Office hereinafter, is the version typically installed and accessed on your PC while Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription to a host of Office applications.

Office 365

Office 365, is a subscription-based model made available by Microsoft to individuals and businesses, all of its most recent and up-to-date tools and features.

This service is great for SME's, schools, large enterprises, companies, start-ups, and charity organisations. Although there are also Office 365 plans bespoke for individual or personal use. As a part of Office 365 cloud, users can buy MS Office. This means you can buy MS Office usage license as standalone, or use the tool as part of an Office 365 subscription. Subscriptions can be paid either monthly or annually and interestingly, unlike MS Office, you can share an Office 365 (Home) subscription with up to four additional members.

Microsoft Office (MS OFFICE)

MS Office is the desktop application, comprising of many tools that can be installed directly on your computer without needing to worry about payments for each user licence. MS Office is available in different bundles: either for ‘Home & Business’ or ‘Professional’. Each bundle or package has applications that contain and whichever of the package you choose to have installed, you purchase the license perpetually; you can use the applications forever.

MS Office is great if you would be using a lot of the tools it comes with for everyday work and for a very long time. Office 2013, 2016, and the latest release Office 2019 are stand-alone versions of Office.

Updates and Upgrades

For Office, once you install a version, security updates and bug fixes are the best perks you’ll get. Unless you purchase an up-to-date version whenever there’s one, you won’t get to have a taste of new features. For Office 365, you can get your hands on new features and updates as soon as Microsoft release.

Office 365 users can switch between plans or Office 365 packages they are subscribed to in the admin section of your dashboard. MS Office users would have to spend more money for a perpetual license.

AMP Office 365

App Support

Based on the plan you are subscribed to, more apps are generally available to Office 365 subscribers compared to MS Office users. Skype, is not available for Office users but comes with all packages of Office 365.

Choosing between the two versions of Windows Office suite could be quite the task as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all package. However, to make the best decision, take a look at the programs and apps that each suite offer in their packages and pick the one that checks all your boxes. For example, if what’ll you’ll be needing are the basic Office programs (Word, Excel, and Powerful), you should purchase a perpetual license for a standalone MS Office suite or a subscription of Office 365 Business would also suffice.

On the other hand, if you’ll be occasionally needing some advances apps like Skype, SharePoint, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Outlook inbox space, and data security for personal, home, or business use, an Office 365 Business Premium plan will serve you perfectly.

Microsoft Office is a suite available for purchase upon one-time payment of a license; it works with a Mac and a Windows PC and can only be used on a single device. Office 365 is typically accessed on a browser on multiple devices as long as there is an internet connection and you are subscribed to a monthly or yearly plan.

We understand that every business is unique, so we offer a range of Office 365 plans. These are appropriate for micro-businesses to large-scale enterprises with an unlimited number of users. For organisations with up to 300 staff, Office 365 is priced on a ‘per user’ basis, with a simple monthly subscription. This licensing model helps you in a number of ways.

  • Subscription model means no upfront costs.
  • Scale quickly to add and remove users.
  • Flexibility to mix and match services.
  • Users can have Office on 5 PCs or Macs

Connectivity and Accessibility

While this might not have been clearly mentioned before, Office 365 can only be used online whilst MS Office can be used regardless of your PC’s internet connectivity.

That being said, the “online version” to Office 365 is valuable as you can access apps, tools, and files from almost any device with an internet connection. Although this is also possible with MS Office, Office 365 has more options; you can share your subscription on multiple devices.

It’s our role to help you to find the package that’s right for you, and at the right price. To find out more about Office 365, please contact us today.

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