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Office vs Office 365… What's the Difference?

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Office vs Office 365… What's the Difference?

OfficeVSO365.jpg

With the advent of Office 365, there has been a lot of confusion surrounding the difference between Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office 365. To make matters worse, there are different Office 365s: Office 365 for Business, Office 365 Pro Plus, Office 365 Home, etc. This confusion is understandable so let me help with unraveling the mystery.

 

To start, Office 365 is one of Microsoft's cloud products and has only been around for a few years. Office (with no 365 on the end) has been around for way longer.

 

Office has a few suite levels or levels of offering. They are as follows:

  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010
  • Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010
  • Microsoft Office Standard 2010
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2010
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010
  • Microsoft Office Professional Academic 2010

 

Office, at each level, includes:

Programs, products, and features

Home and Student

Home and Business

Standard

Professional

Professional Plus

Professional Academic

Licensing

Retail

Retail

Volume

Retail

Volume

Retail with valid “@__.edu”

Microsoft Excel 2010

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Microsoft OneNote 2010

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Microsoft Word 2010

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Microsoft Outlook 2010

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Microsoft Publisher 2010

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Microsoft Access 2010

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Microsoft Lync 2010

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Microsoft InfoPath 2010

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

 

From <https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee523662(v=office.14).aspx>

 

The above talks about Office 2010 because that is the last Office before things got really complicated with the cloud (with the exception of the addition of Lync in Office Pro Plus). Office is paid for as a one-time fee, usually from $60 to ~$400 retail. The cost is "one-time"… well, one time until the next time when you want to upgrade.

 

Office 365, on the other hand, comes in way more flavors than Office AND, instead of paying a one-time retail or volume price, you "rent" the software by paying a small amount each month or once a year. Office 365 can be Office by itself (somewhat), Office with a bunch of other products, or have no Office included at all.

 

Office 365 can be any of the following:

  • Office 365 Home
  • Office 365 Personal
  • Office 365 Home and Student
  • Office 365 Business
  • Office 365 Business Essentials
  • Office 365 Business Premium
  • Office 365 ProPlus
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3
  • Office 365 Enterprise E5

 

These are the main ones but there are more plans than the above. Also, there are government, nonprofit, and academic plans but they are mostly the same as the Business through E3 except for the pricing and a few other details. Because there are so many, we are going to just look at a few:

These two are basically are Office Professional with some added benefits of some cloud features like cloud storage via OneDrive, phone and tablet apps, and 60 Skype minutes. It is also always up-to-date meaning that, as long as you continue to pay for your subscription monthly or yearly, you can have the most current version or versions. For example, you can have 2013 or install the 2016 preview. The difference between Personal and Home is that with Personal, you get one license for PC or Mac for $6.99/month and, with Home, you get 5 such licenses for $9.99/month. For the Home licenses, they can be shared with 5 people or all be used for one person.

 

There are 3 subscription levels on the "Business" side. Each subscription includes Active Directory integration, 99.9% uptime, IT-level web support and 24/7 phone support for critical issues, and world class data security. These subscriptions is limited to 300 users per organizational account. NOTE: None of the Business plans include a corporate intranet via SharePoint. SharePoint is now only available in the Enterprise plans.

  • Office 365 Business Essentials

This subscription is a bit different than the one above as the Office desktop version and Office apps for phone and tablets ARE NOT included. This plan does include 50 GBs of email space, 1 TB of cloud file storage and sharing via OneDrive for Business, corporate social network via Yammer, HD video conferencing and online presence via Skype for Business (not to be confused with Skype which I will explain the difference in another post), Sway for digital storyboarding, and Office Online*. This subscription costs $5/user/month or is free for nonprofits***.

 

  • Office 365 Business

This subscription DOES NOT include email, corporate social network, nor HD video conferencing and online presence but it does include 1 TB file storage and sharing, digital storyboarding, desktop Office on PC/Mac, Office apps on tablets and phones, and Office Online*. Each user with this plan gets 5 licenses for PC/Mac, 5 licenses for tablets (Windows, iPad, and Android), and 5 licenses for phones****. This subscription costs $8.25/user/month.

 

  • Office 365 Business Premium

This subscription is a combination of Business Essentials and Business. This subscription costs $12.50/user/month or $2/user/month for nonprofits***.

 

There are a few subscription levels on the "Enterprise" side but the ones below are the main ones. As with the Business plans, each of these plans includes Active Directory integration, 99.9% uptime, IT-level web support and 24/7 phone support for critical issues, and world class data security. These subscriptions can have unlimited users.

This enterprise level plan has a focus on Office Pro Plus** and has enterprise features such as enterprise management of apps, Compliance Center tools, and self-service business intelligence via Excel. Each user can install Office on 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets (Windows, iPad, and Android), and 5 phones****.

 

It also includes some cloud features such as Office Online*, Sway for digital storyboarding, and 1TB of cloud storage space and sharing via OneDrive for Business (not to be confused with OneDrive which I will explain the difference in another post). This subscription costs $12/user/month.

 

  • Office 365 Enterprise E1

This subscription DOES NOT include Office on PC/Mac or Office phone and tablet apps but it does include 1 TB file storage and sharing, email with 50 GB of space, HD video conferencing and online presence, digital storyboarding, corporate intranet portal via SharePoint, and Office Online*.

 

Also includes enterprise features such as a corporate video portal, Compliance Center tools, and meeting broadcast to up to 10,000 people via Skype for Business. This subscription costs $8/user/month or free for nonprofits***.

 

  • Office 365 Enterprise E3

This subscription includes all from E1 and Office 365 Pro Plus AND unlimited email archiving and compliance and information protection. This subscription costs $20/user/month or $4.50/user/month for nonprofits***. There is probably no wonder that this is the most popular plan.

 

  • Office 365 Enterprise E5 *NEW*

This is a new subscription that includes all of E3 PLUS advanced security, analytics tools, PSTN conferencing for Skype for Business meetings, and Cloud PBX for cloud-based call management. This subscription costs $35/user/month.

 

Hopefully this has helped to clear up confusion but, if you still need more help, we understand and are here to help. Reach out to us and we will happily answer your questions. We can also work with you to bring Office 365 and SharePoint as well as other solutions to your organization.

 

 

*Web browser based Office applications for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

**NOTE: The current version of Office is 2016. The Office Pro Plus level does not include InfoPath but you can still get the 2013 version if you need it here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48734

***Nonprofit Plans here: https://products.office.com/en-us/nonprofit/office-365-nonprofit-plans-and-pricing.

****NOTE: Theses Office licenses are connected to the user. If one tries to share these licenses, everyone sharing the licenses will see everything being worked on using those licenses. You have been warned.

Peace and Blessings,
Nikkia T. Carter, MCPS, MS, CTT
CEO/Owner, Carter-McGowan Services, LLC
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