Microsoft offers this description on their site:
Office is a suite of productivity applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, and you install it on your PC or Mac. You can open this software anytime, whether you’re connected to the Internet or not. Office 365 is a subscription that includes cloud-based services like email, website, web conferencing, and online storage with Office Online. Most Office 365 plans also include the Office suite so that you can continue using Office on your PC or Mac, or you can work with these documents in the cloud.
So, let’s unpack that a bit…
Microsoft Office (currently at version 2013) can still be purchased in a box, at a store, or downloaded from the internet. If you do so, you have a perpetual license for that version of the software, and will get updates for it as long as Microsoft supports it. You will always have the license, and you can install it on a new machine if you upgrade (after removing it from the old machine, of course).
Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription service model whereby you pay a small fee per month (or per year with a discount) for a license that gives you online and installed access to the software on up to 5 devices for as long as you keep paying the subscription fee.
That is, at root, the only difference between Office 365 and Office 2013. Office 365 currently uses the 2013 version of the applications. But because it’s a Service, when a newer version of Office is released — and your subscription is paid-up — the new version will be installed for you.
There are other features mentioned above, too: email, web conferencing, and online storage. All of those — along with the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote — allow for increased collaboration and the ability to work on your documents on any device.
So, in a neat little package, Microsoft Office 365 is not so much a product, as it is a way of paying for a product and services. I hope that clears the 365 thing up. That’s what we’re here for, after all.
For more information on easily migrating to Office 365, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call
(905) 569-0555 ext. 5222.
This article was written by William Bud Latanville – a top contributor and content producer for Fivel.