What is the difference between Microsoft Office and Office 365?

Microsoft packages and sells its Office productivity solutions in different ways. As such, every subsequent release of it triggers a lot of confusion in the user’s community. Although many customers use Microsoft Office regularly, they aren’t really aware of the basic difference between Microsoft Office and Office 365. We have tried to clear this difference.

difference between Microsoft Office and Office 365

Microsoft Office vs Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription-based service. When you opt for it, you can choose to pay for your subscription every month or buy a yearly plan, altogether. In addition, you get extra online storage and cloud-connected features that let you collaborate on files in real time.

Microsoft Office is advertised as a standalone software product. You make a one-time payment and get to use the product as long as you want. For customers who aren’t willing to use the cloud service, it appears like a safe bet. You buy it once, and you’re done until you buy another version deal. You receive security updates, but no big feature updates are made available to you. Office 365, on the other hand, gets updated regularly and offers you all the latest features. Microsoft Office 2019 is the latest version of Microsoft’s standalone Office productivity suite.

Other important points that can certainly help you discern the difference between the two models of Office.

Office 365 subscription

Microsoft Office 2019

Pay a small monthly fee, or save by paying for a full year. Bear a single, one-time cost.
The latest version of Office apps like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Latest features, new tools, security updates, and bug fixes. PC users also get Access and Publisher. You will keep getting the latest apps & updates. You can also install the mobile apps for free. Depending on the Office edition, tools are included. Eg. in Microsoft Office Home & Student only apps like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint are available. Security updates are included, but you won’t get any new features. Upgrades to major releases aren’t included.
Office 365 subscription can be shared on up to 5 devices (including Smartphones and tablets). Since it is a one-time purchase, it can to be installed once on either a PC or Mac.
Stores your files securely not only on your device but also on the cloud. Plus, you also get 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user, for up to 6 users including yourself. (Office 365 Home). No cloud support.
Help with technical issues, subscription and billing support is available throughout the subscription. Technical support is available only during installation.

Incidentally, Office Online is a free version of Office that you can use in a web browser. All you need is to sign up for a Microsoft Account with a new or existing email address.

Which Office version are you using?

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.