If you are running a business then there are many things that you will need to take care of and this is why running a business is never considered an easy task. You should know that starting a business might have become very easy but this doesn’t mean that even running a business has become easy. One of the main things that you have to do while running a business is to choose the right type of business solution. If you will not be able to choose the right type of business solution, then there is no way you can make your business successful. 


There are many choices out there when it comes to choosing a business solution and this is why many business owners have to deal with the dilemma of choosing between two business solutions. Well, one such dilemma that most business owners have to deal with is the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365. Well, in this blog post, we are going to discuss all that you need to know about these two business solutions in a detailed manner so that you can choose the best one according to your need and demand. 


Understanding the basics of Office 365


One of the first things that you need to know about Office 365 is it is a Saas based platform or what people usually call Software as Service. Another important thing that you need to know about Office 365 is it combines the traditional Microsoft Office desktop applications, Microsoft application services, and some new productivity services, all of which are enabled as consumable services from within Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.


Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of apps and services centered around business productivity. It includes some apps you’re probably already familiar with like Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Depending on the plan you get, subscriptions also include apps and services like Skype for Business, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Yammer, Planner.


And much, much more, along with robust productivity, collaboration, and security features.  Office 365 is a monthly, per-user subscription. There are a variety of plans to choose from depending on your specific needs. Plans can be mixed and matched in your business, and you can change plans at any time.


Launched by Microsoft back in June 2011, this subscription-based service is paid on either a monthly or annual basis providing an incredibly cost-effective way for organizations to consume their production workloads.


What is Microsoft 365?


One of the biggest misconceptions that people usually have regarding Microsoft 365 is it is just a product that is offered by Microsoft but you should know that is one of the biggest myths that people have regarding the very powerful Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is a bundle of services that includes Office 365. It also includes Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and machine learning. Like Office 365, there are multiple plans to choose from depending on your needs.  The services included in Microsoft 365 are also available as separate licenses. 


A few months ago, on 21st April 2020, Microsoft officially rebranded Office 365, effectively changing the name from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 – but only for specific license types – namely the small and medium business SKUs


Up until recently, Microsoft 365 was an enhanced variant of Office 365 that also included options for Windows 10 desktop licenses, the Intune device management solution, and more – providing a true one-stop solution for organizations happy to put their faith entirely in Microsoft as a solution provider. All applications included in the various versions of Office 365 remain the same, along with service levels and subscription packages for current customers –it’s just the brand name that has changed.


This change is the opportunity for Microsoft to tie the powerful productivity features and services of Office 365 together with the platform-centric features of Microsoft 365,  continuing the Microsoft progression of unifying its brands under fewer banners.


Understanding the difference between both the solutions 


Now that you have understood that the basics of both the solutions it has now become necessary to understand the difference between both the solutions as this is going to help you in choosing the right solution and making the right decision without any hassle and this is very much necessary while running a business since a wrong decision between these two offerings from Microsoft can completely ruin your business and destroy all your plans of making your business successful. 


Purchase and Payments


Office (2013, 2016, 2019) are suites you purchase upfront, install on your PC and use for life. Office 365, on the other hand, is a cloud-based service that requires monthly or annually (your choice) payments to use all Microsoft’s tools and apps for a limited period of time without having to install them on your PC.


Connectivity and Accessibility


While this might not have been clearly stated above, Office 365 can only be used online (requires internet connectivity) while MS Office can be used regardless of your PC’s internet connectivity status.


That being stated, the “online side” to Office 365 is advantageous 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/use your subscription on multiple devices.


Updates and Upgrades


For Office, once you install a version, security updates and bug fixes are the best extra perks you’ll get. Unless you purchase a new version whenever there’s one, you won’t get to have a taste of new features. For Office 365, you lay hands on new updates and features as soon as they are released by Microsoft.


There are many people out there who are not able to understand the difference between these two solutions and this is why we have come up with this blog post. 

What are the differences between Office 365 and Microsoft 365?

30 September 2021


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