What is Microsoft Office 365 and How Is It Different from Microsoft Office?


If you’re contemplating purchasing Office 365 for business, you may be wondering exactly what sets it apart from Microsoft Office, and if it is worth the cost.

Our team at Advisicon has worked extensively with both Office 365 and Microsoft Office and have found that there are benefits to both. Office 365 refers to subscription plans that blend Microsoft applications with productivity services hosted on the cloud. Business offerings from Office 365 include Skype for Business web conferencing, Exchange Online email, as well as extra cloud storage using OneDrive for Business, a boon to companies with lots of data to securely house.

Office 365: Many Plans, One Purpose

Office 365 wants to help you get organized and become more productive, so your business can thrive. To that end, this system offers multiple subscription plans at varying levels, all of which offer slightly different packages. Most business plans include the desktop version of Office applications, including:

Publisher (PC only)
Access (PC only)

These services can be installed across multiple devices, including Macs, PCs, Android tablets and phones, iPad, and iPhone. Users working with an active Office 365 subscription will always be using the most current versions of all applications. Highly scalable, Office 365 can support a company of one or ten thousand plus users. Basic Business plans are recommended for companies with between one and 300 employees, while Office 365 Enterprise plans can accommodate companies with 1- 50,000 plus team members.

Many companies choose to mix-and-match Office 365 plans to best suit the needs of their team members. Microsoft welcomes this customization but notes that there are license limitations depending on the plan level. Office 365 Business, Business Essentials, and Business Premium all limit the number of users to 300, while Enterprise plans accept an unlimited number. Some companies choose to purchase limited numbers of seats at each level, such as 300 Business Premium, 300 Business Essentials, and 1000 Enterprise seats in a single subscription.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft’s popular productivity software includes office suites available for one-time purchase. Each includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, installable on a single PC or Mac, rather than across multiple devices, as are Office 365 applications. Another marked difference is that these apps are not automatically updated, requiring the user to purchase and reinstall the product when a new version becomes available. Neither Office 2016 for Windows or Mac come with the cloud-based services available through Office 365.

Our team at Advisicon not only shares business intelligence tools with you, but helps you learn how to use them! If you have recently purchased either Office 365 or Microsoft Office and are looking to train yourself or others so you can best make use of these tools, look no further. Our trainers are happy to provide in-depth insights into these programs, so you can make the most of your new investment.


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Advisicon is a Project, Program & Portfolio Management Company. We transform your organization's project management with a mix of methodology and technology that delivers results. Our team specializes in technology implementations, application and workflow development, training and consulting.
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