As Microsoft continues to add more products and expand its services, it can be difficult for business owners to keep up with the volume of changes. One set of products that causes the most confusion is “Office 2016” and “Office 365,” which sound strikingly similar but are in fact two very different products aimed at different groups of users.
In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at the nuances and major differences between Office 2016 and Office 365 so you can decide which is the better fit for your company.
Office 2016 is a traditional Microsoft product, sold for a one-time, upfront fee. The software can be installed only on one PC or Mac at a time. You can deactivate the license and move it to another PC, but you’ll need another license key if you want to use it on two or more computers.
Every Office 2016 purchase comes with perpetual licenses, which means you’re entitled to use the entire suite of applications as long as you want without having to pay for anything extra. However, when Microsoft rolls out a new version of Office, you’ll have to pay another upfront fee if you want an upgrade.
Just like every Windows application, Microsoft provides regular updates for Office 2016, usually on the second Tuesday of each month. But take note that the updates will only contain security and bug fixes, not new features and functionality.
Office 2016 comes equipped with Microsoft's leading applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. However, certain enterprise features in Outlook and Excel -- like importing data from a wider range of databases -- are available only in the Office Professional 2016 version.
You can buy Office Home & Business 2016 for $229.99, but if you’re looking for a more feature-rich plan, you’ll need to get Office Professional 2016, which costs $499.99 per license.
Office 365 offers subscription-based licensing. In other words, you pay a relatively small amount for the software each month or each year. But here’s the catch: If you ever stop paying for the service, you have to stop using it because unlike perpetual licenses, a subscription license doesn’t last forever.
One of the best things about Office 365 is that you’ll always have access to the latest applications since all security and feature updates are taken care of by Microsoft. Every few months, Office 365 users also enjoy new features, which include new slide transitions in PowerPoint and smarter data analysis tools in Excel.
Office 365 goes far beyond Office 2016 with a plethora of cloud-powered tools and productivity-boosting apps. It offers every application you could get with Office 2016, including online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and because these apps are cloud-based, you can literally access them from anywhere, at anytime, and on any device with an internet connection. Plus you also receive 1TB of OneDrive space and access to Skype for Business and corporate social network Yammer.
Office 365 plans start from $5.00 for each user per month. For more details on each plan, you can check out this Office 365 comparison table for business users.
So which Office version is right for your company? If you’re a small business looking for basic Office applications, then go with Office 2016. On the other hand, Office 365 is a smart choice if you require enterprise-level productivity tools and don’t want to take out a big chunk of your IT budget every few years.
Every business is different, and there are all kinds of things you should consider when you’re weighing the options. The experts at USWired can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing Microsoft’s productivity suite. Give us a call to get started.