What to choose: Microsoft Office 365 vs. Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016

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If you want to buy the Microsoft Office suite for personal use or for your business, now you have different options to choose from. Microsoft now offers Microsoft Office 365 and the regular Microsoft Office 2016. Since these two options have similar functions and come from the same company, understanding which one is better for you can be a bit complicated.

Let’s explain the basics:

  • Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based application you have access to upon acquiring a subscription. Besides all the programs included in Office 2016, you will also have access to other Microsoft apps with your subscription.
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 is the traditional Office productivity suite, which contains all the programs you’re familiar with (Ms. Word and Excel, for instance). You can access them offline if the app is installed on your computer.

This way, Office 2016 is a stand-alone product while Office 365 is a compilation of different programs, and the former happens to be part of it.

Office 2016 vs. Office 365: should you choose a stand-alone product or a subscription service?

The main differences between both options come from ways available to obtain them, the functions available and the license’s duration. Here’s what you can expect from each option.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016

Office 2016 is available for Windows (starting from 7) and macOS. Buying a license for this suite isn’t different from what you’ve been doing all these years. You will acquire access to all the apps included, such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook, for one individual payment.

This option is only commercialized via a license key, which allows you to download and install the program on your computer. This license is only valid for Windows if you’ve bought it for that OS and vice versa.

You should also know that you will have access to the same applications. You will not be able to expand it once you’ve completed the purchase unless you buy a license for a newer version.

To sum up, Office 2016 is better for you if:

  • You’re an occasional user that works only from one device.
  • You don’t care that much about new updates since you use only the basic functions of each program.
  • You prefer to pay for the whole program in a single payment instead of paying it monthly or annually.

Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 is available upon acquiring a subscription, which can be paid annually or monthly. There are different plans, and each one grants you access to different cloud-based applications, including those that we’ve already seen in Office 2016.

One crucial difference between Office 2016 and Office 365 is that you’ll have access to all the updates whenever they become available and on multiple devices. Hence, you will be able to use the latest versions, let’s say, Excel or Word, as soon as they come out.

To sum up, Office 365 is better for you if:

  • You own a business and would like to grant multiple people access to all these apps at once.
  • You’d like to receive support whenever an issue comes up as soon as possible.
  • You want to have access to cloud-based storage.
  • You want to access your files from multiple devices.