If you’re looking for the best software solution for your office, you’ve probably got two main options to consider – Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Office. Both of them offer similar features, but the differences between them can be quite significant. Here’s a look at what you should know before making your final decision.
1. Platform agnostic
If you are considering a cloud-based service, you might have noticed that there are many different labels for the same product. For example, you may hear people refer to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 as two separate products. However, the two are actually interchangeable. And, the terms are used to describe a broader set of services and offerings.
The term “agnostic” is often used to describe a software or hardware product that functions equally well across multiple platforms. This can be advantageous to vendors, but it also has a few downsides.
In addition to being able to run on any operating system, agnostic products also have built-in resilience and flexibility. These systems can function in a variety of environments and are a good choice for organizations that need to operate in the cloud, but don’t necessarily need a full suite of features.
While it is true that agnostic products have a longer lifespan, you may still find that they require a little extra functionality. Adding these extras can cause redundancy in the code and add bloat to the system. It also can make it harder to move to another cloud provider if you have a change of heart.
Microsoft 365 includes the Windows operating system, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint, as well as a number of other collaborative tools. Aside from the desktop applications, the company also offers a web-based version of each of these products.
2. Includes virtually every app Microsoft has developed
If you are looking for a one stop shop for your productivity needs, Microsoft 365 may be the ticket. A yearly subscription grants you access to the newest versions of Office and Windows, plus 1TB of cloud storage on the OneDrive platform. Plus, a dedicated phone and chat support team ensures your IT needs are always taken care of. And if you are a fan of mobile, Microsoft Office Mobile will make sure you are on the go with an all-in-one desktop/phone experience. This is all the more impressive considering the fact that it is Microsoft’s most secure and trusted mobile platform to date. The company is constantly introducing new features and improving existing ones, such as the new Cortana for desktop, Microsoft’s first tablet, a new email experience, and the all new OneNote notebook. Lastly, Microsoft 365 Mobile is a good mobile experience that is replete with a suite of apps that are a pleasure to use. It is also Microsoft’s most advanced mobile platform to date. In short, a 365 subscription is the best way to keep you and your family on the latest and greatest mobile technology.
4. Not sold as one-time purchases
When buying Office, you’ll have to decide whether you want to buy a one-time purchase or a subscription plan. The difference is that with a one-time purchase, you’ll have to pay upfront. On the other hand, with a subscription, you’ll pay a monthly fee, giving you access to the latest version of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft’s Office has been a staple of home computers for decades. In the past, you could only get the software by downloading a CD-ROM to a PC. However, with the advancement of the Internet, you can now buy a subscription plan and have your Office apps delivered to your computer without having to download.
Although there are some similarities between the two, you can actually find cheaper options when you go with a one-time purchase. For example, you can get the same Office suite for less than a tenth of the cost of an Office 365 plan.
As a bonus, you can also get free technical support for installing the software. Plus, you’ll have access to updates and new features as they’re released. There’s also the option of purchasing additional storage, which costs $1.99 per month. You can also buy a DVD install disk for the Microsoft Office 365 plan.
If you opt for a subscription, you’ll have the ability to download the Office software and install it on up to five computers. You can even get a Family plan that allows up to six accounts.
5. Integrates best with the Microsoft 365 ecosystem
When it comes to Office 365 and the various apps associated with it, there is a wide variety of features to choose from. For example, Windows has been updated numerous times with additional features to support remote working and better security patches. Similarly, Teams is well integrated with Microsoft 365.
Considering that Windows has been around for nearly two decades, it’s not surprising that its software has had time to mature. The Microsoft 365 ecosystem includes Office 365, Windows operating system, Enterprise Mobility Suite, and the Windows Azure cloud platform. It’s the only way to get an all-in-one solution for managing all your company’s communications and collaboration needs.
While the team is hard at work bringing you all of its latest features and capabilities, the company has also been at the forefront of ensuring that its core applications perform smoothly. This has included implementing strict branding guidelines for its most important components. In addition, it has also upgraded its most popular apps like Word and Outlook to provide users with better functionality.
One of the best aspects of Microsoft’s suite of products is that the company has made it possible for its users to customize their experience in a manner that’s not found in the countless other cloud service offerings. For example, Team users can pull their calendars from Outlook and view the availability of their coworkers. Likewise, they can make group video calls or have real-time collaborative editing of Microsoft docs.
6. Sells plans as one-time purchases
Microsoft’s latest offering is a subscription service dubbed Microsoft Office 365. This service is available to both consumers and businesses alike. It also includes an email service, file storage, and full-featured desktop apps. If you’re not ready for the cloud, there’s always the Office 365 Home version.
As part of their transition to the cloud, Microsoft has slashed the price of some of their products, such as Office 365. However, they’ve not slashed prices on their most expensive plans, such as Office Home and Student. That’s not to say that they’re not still making a profit. To counteract this, they’re offering discounts on selected products and giving away freebies in the form of gift cards and free downloads.
Despite the fact that Microsoft has slashed the price of certain items, they’ve opted to continue their tradition of releasing new versions of Office every two years. For consumers, that means that there are likely to be several versions of the Microsoft Office suite vying for your attention. The good news is that you have the option of choosing a single or multi-user version, with the option of upgrading to the latest and greatest when the time is right.
While the Microsoft Office 365 product line has a few notable shortcomings, it is a worthy replacement to the Microsoft Office of the distant past. Whether you’re a Mac or PC user, this suite can help make you more productive at work and at home.