Office vs Office 365: Key Differences

When looking at Office 2016 compared to Office 365, there are some significant differences. Both come from Microsoft, but they provide different ways to buy Microsoft Office. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, so this isn’t a typical versus battle with a winner at the end. Instead, one may fit your needs better than the other.

Before we get into the differences, it’s important to understand the full spectrum of Microsoft Office options. Along with Office 2016 and Office 365, you can choose Office Online or an older version of Microsoft Office. Make sure you look into all of your options before making the choice.

Below, we are going to compare Office vs Office 365. Here’s what you’ll want to know if these are the two you’re trying to choose between.

Microsoft Office 365

When you choose Office 365, you are choosing a subscription service with the most up-to-date tools provided by Microsoft. It’s sold with different plans for personal, home, business, schools and nonprofits. Microsoft has a package catering to just about any need out there.

All plans for Office 365 will include Office 2016 with applications, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Office 365 also includes online storage and ongoing tech support. The subscription can be paid for on a yearly basis or a monthly basis and the home plans will allow you to share the subscription with up to four people in your home.

Office 365 plans for schools, businesses and nonprofits come with fully installed applications and some online versions, file storage and email. Pricing ranges depending on which package you choose and how many users you plan to have. You can pay on an annual commitment for the best price or pay or pay per month.

Microsoft Office 2016

Microsoft Office 2016 is sold as a one-time purchase with no ongoing costs. It can be used on both PCs and Macs with different versions available including Office Home & Student. You won’t have the ability to upgrade the product as it’s a one-time purchase. When the next upgrade comes out, you’d have to purchase it, as well.

In addition, Office 2016 can only be installed and used on one machine. It doesn’t have an expiration date and will come with the tools you’re familiar with, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Choosing what’s best for you

If you know Microsoft Office will be something you will be using for the long-term, it may be best to choose Office 365. While it comes with a monthly or annual fee, you won’t have to worry about upgrades because you get them as a part of your subscription. In addition, you’ll gain access to online storage and other tools, depending on the package you choose.

Those not interested in upgrading every single time a new version comes out may do just fine with Microsoft Office 2016. It will provide all the same traditional applications as Office 365, but won’t come with online storage or upgrades. However, if these are not important to you, it might make sense to avoid the subscription billing and pay just a one-time fee.

There’s also the possibility of choosing Office Online, which provides a free version you can use in your web browser. However, you won’t have Microsoft Office on your computer, but this is a good way to try it out if you’re not familiar with the applications it provides.

Office vs Office 365 really aren’t separate entities. They are just different ways of getting this popular product from Microsoft with different billing methods. Choose the one best for your needs and you’ll be able to utilize all the features Office has to offer.

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