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Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2016. What’s the difference?

For the last couple of years, we have been selling Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions and still, a lot of people still question what the difference is between Office 365 and latest version of Office currently available to date, which is Microsoft Office 2016.

Since 1990, when it was first introduced, Microsoft Office has significantly expanded with each and every version released. The most recent version of Office is Office 2016. Prior to this was Office 2013 and Office 2010, which are still widely used.

If you have purchased a new computer and need to install Office, or need an upgrade for your computer because you haven’t got all the latest features that you now require, you’ve got quite few choices now, compared to what you had prior to 2010.

Office 365

Office 365 is a subscription based service, which was introduced in 2010. As Office 365 is a subscription based service, usually monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly installments need to be paid to allow you access to the suite.

With office 365, there are several different plans that you can go onto. The most common plans that we find are: Business, which is $14.50 per month and Business Premium, which is $18.50 per month.

Both of these business plans come with Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. The Business Premium plan comes with Exchange Online, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online and Skype for Business. The Business Premium plan also comes with a web version of Outlook which allows you to have a 50GB mailbox.

Office 2016

Office 2016 isn’t a subscription based service like Office 365 and is to date, the latest version of Office.

There are a couple of different versions of this. We find the version most usually require would be Microsoft Office Home and Business. Purchasing this will give you access to: Word 2016, Excel 2016, PowerPoint 2016, OneNote 2016, and Outlook 2016. Once purchased, you will own it and won’t have to put any further money towards it, until you choose to upgrade. Office 2016 does come at quite a high cost upfront, when compared to Office 365. The standard price is usually around $280-$300.

The other version of Office 2016 you can purchase which comes with the standard Office programs would be Microsoft Office Home and Student. You do need to be a student to be able to purchase this.

The benefit to running Office 365 is that each time Microsoft implement new features to programs in the suite, you will receive the new features as part of your subscription. In instances where you’re running Office 2016 (or an older version), you will need to wait for the new version to be released before you get access to the new features. You also won’t be upgraded automatically either. You will need to purchase it again for around another $280-$300.

If you only need Office for a short time and are looking for another alternative due to cost, you might like to check OpenOffice, which is free. Open Office comes with a word processor called Writer, a spreadsheet software called Calc and a few other programs you might find helpful which will allow you to do the basics. It can easily be downloaded from their website here. With this, you’ll still be able to open and view Microsoft Excel files and Word files, however, you won’t have all the features that the Microsoft Office suite has.