Office 365 Comparisons: Which Version Is Right for You?

With so many choices, it can be difficult to narrow down which version of Office is right for you. Learn more about Office 365 and the major versions available by reading our article.
Which Office 365 Version Is Right for You Comparison

Office 365 is a recent innovation by Microsoft from the last couple editions of Office. By and large, it is a vast improvement over traditional Office options, but there is one problem: Microsoft has created almost too many options. With so many choices, it can be difficult to narrow down which version of Office is right for you.

To get a better handle on this problem, you should go to a site like SoftwareKeep, where the different programs and features available in different versions are clearly laid out. However, to give you a brief overview, learn more about Office 365 and the major versions available by reading more below.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a recent invention of Microsoft that has changed some of the ways you might purchase Office. There is still the tradition purchase model of Office 2021 available, where you simply buy a single package as a download or disk and then install it on one computer or device. This comes with a one-time fee - 365 is different in several ways.

First, and most notably, the pay structure is different. Instead of paying a large amount once, you pay a smaller amount monthly or yearly for as long as you use the product. What this gets you is not just a single purchase, but usually (with a few exceptions), an Office suite that is available for multiple devices and can be extended to multiple licenses (for businesses).

The programs with 365 are also able to be updated any time a new version comes out. Whereas Office 2021 suites only get security updates, you will always get the latest version of Office as soon as it’s released. Another major benefit is the large number of new Office suit options that come with 365, such as Business Essentials.

Microsoft Office differences

Office 365 vs Office 2021

Before getting started on the different versions, it is worth taking time to point out what Office 365 is and how it is different from traditional Office suites. First of all, if you want a traditional suite, it is still available. The most recent edition is 2021, and it comes in all the versions you’ve come to expect, including:

These are all one-time purchases that can be used for one computer. Office 365 is different in several key ways. First and foremost, it is a subscription-based purchase. So, you pay either a monthly or yearly fee to continue to use Office. What you get with 365 is a constantly up-to-date suite with far more features and programs, and even more options to accommodate your individual suite needs. You also get one TB cloud space on OneDrive.

Basically, by using the 365 subscription service, you will always get the latest version of Office. When you buy Office 2021, that remains Office 2021 forever, with only security updates available. However, Office 365 will become the newest version of the Office suite as soon as it is released, all without a single additional fee.

For Home

If you are looking for an Office suite that you can use in your home, there are two main options available.

Those are:

  • Personal
  • Home

Both versions come with the entire suite of core programs, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, Access, and Outlook. They also both come with the standard one TB cloud space and 60 minutes per month on Skype for your calling needs. The difference between the two comes down to the number of users.

Personal is for a single individual, and is meant to be installed on one computer. Home, on the other hand, can allow for multiple users and can be installed on several devices, allowing for your whole family to use Office on all their devices, from their desktop computers, to their laptops, to their phones and tablets.

For Small Business

Microsoft divides up its business versions of Office between those that require a smaller number of licenses (300 or less) and those that require unlimited licenses (so, above 300).

On the smaller end of the spectrum, there are several major options, including:

  • Business Essentials
  • Business
  • Business Premium

Business Essentials is designed for businesses that work mostly online and have mostly communication-based needs. The Office suite of programs is only available online, for instance. The benefits come from the communication end, including Outlook and Exchange email capabilities, as well as SharePoint to more easily share documents between colleagues, and Lync for instant messaging needs.

Business is almost the complete opposite. It lacks the email capabilities of Essentials, and the other communication and collaboration tools. However, it does come with all the major programs on desktop. It can also be installed on multiple devices. It is very similar to the Home edition of Office 365. Business Premium is the marriage of Essentials and Business.

With this suite, you get all the benefits of both of the other suites. You get all the programs on desktop as well as online. You also get email, SharePoint, Lync, and other communication programs.

For Big Business

There are a lot of different options for big businesses, all of which are designed to create a more cohesive, efficient workplace where collaboration and communication is more easily achieved, no matter the number of employees involved.

Among the volume license Office options, the biggest are

  • ProPlus
  • Enterprise E3
  • Enterprise E5

Professional Plus is similar to Business, in that it has a lot of programs and features, but it lacks a comprehensive emailing system. Like Business, and most options above, Pro Plus allows you to install on multiple devices. It also comes with Skype for Business, although most of the functions of that program require additional licenses to be purchased. For big businesses that need an Office suite but already have a reliable emailing network, this can be the perfect choice.

Enterprise E3 represents a major jump in features from Pro Plus and other versions. Here, you get Skype for Business in its complete form. You also get Outlook and Exchange for your email network. There are chat programs like Yammer available, as well as Lync for messaging. SharePoint is available for sharing documents. The biggest difference, though, is the improvements in data security. Here, you get more advanced encryption, identity management, and protection against data loss.

Finally, Enterprise E5 is the top-of-the-line option for Office 365. You get everything from E3, plus even more data protection with features like Threat Intelligence and Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. You get more cloud security and identity management. Perhaps most noticeably, though, you get advanced analytical tools through Microsoft BI.

Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E5 - Taking Your Business to the Highest Level

Applications in Microsoft Office 365

To turn your business into an empire, you need the right tools. When it comes to publishing tools like word processors and spreadsheets, the obvious option is Microsoft Office. However, choosing the right version of the Office suite can be a difficult task. If you are running a large enterprise that is aiming for maximum growth and efficiency, look no further than Office 365 Enterprise E5. This suite of tools is the most robust and feature-rich of all Office 365 products and can fulfill the many needs of a large corporation.

All of the features of other packages and more

Office 365 Enterprise E5 has all of the attractive features seen in other versions of Microsoft Office. It contains all of the programs—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and others—easily accessible both online and on your desktop. Office can be installed on 5 computers (PC or Mac), 5 phones, and 5 tablets, and an unlimited number of users can join your network.

All applications allow for communal viewing and editing through the OneDrive cloud, while programs like Yammer allow for real-time commenting and crowdsourcing projects. Most importantly, all of these programs are integrated together for maximum efficiency, making for quicker application loading times and documents sharing.

Even more security

The lower-level suite, Office 365 Enterprise E3, offers boosted network security, however Office 365 Enterprise E5 goes even further. Not only do you get the same data loss protection and security, you also receive advanced threat protection for your email. With Customer Lockbox, you can ensure that your data is only viewed by those you give permission.

Skype for Business for all of your phone needs

Skype isn’t just for conference calls. With national and international plans, you can have an entire phone system integrated into your office with Office 365 Enterprise E5. Nothing will ever get lost in communication when you can make, receive, and transfer calls across several devices.

Our Take

If you are looking for the most robust version of Microsoft Office 365 with everything that a suite has to offer, Office 365 Enterprise E5 is the best choice. It has every feature included in previous versions, along with incredible additions such as Customer Lockbox for security, Business Intelligence for data analysis and Skype for Business for efficient communication.

Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus - The Best of Office on a Budget

Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus

Microsoft Office 365 offers the best in productivity software, ensuring every element of your business is integrated and allowing you to multi task with ease. One of the more affordable versions of Office 365, Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus, comes with all of the most popula elements of Microsoft Office, while keeping costs low. Even better, Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus is a subscription-based program with automatic updates, so you will never have to worry about uninstalling slow, out-of- date software ever again.

Everything but email

Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus offers the entire Office suite you have come to depend on—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and others—everything, except a network email. However, if you already have a company email system set up, Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus is the ideal choice. With an inexpensive monthly subscription-based plan, you will be saving money on users and getting only the applications you need.

Use it anywhere and on every device

The Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus suite can be installed on 5 computers (PC or Mac), 5 phones, and 5 tablets per user and can be accessed anywhere, since all documents are shared through the OneDrive cloud. With the option of having an unlimited number of users at any time, Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus is able to accommodate small start-ups and large corporations.

Data analysis in Excel and added security

One of the great benefits of Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus is the high-level data analysis available through Office. With Business Intelligence in Excel, you can connect and analyze data points like never before. If you happen to share secure data with others through the OneDrive cloud, the application comes with excellent security and privacy protection.

Regular updates

With Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus, you’ll never have to buy an update again. The latest version of every application will always be available to you at no additional fee. The Office suite automatically updates in the background, so the next time you close out and re-open an application, you will be using the up-to- date version.

Our Take

If you already have an established company email system and are looking for an Office suite with all of the basic functions, along with advancements such as data analysis, Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus is the right choice. It is significantly cheaper than the top-level Enterprise options, so your monthly budget won’t be stretched. With the option to have an unlimited user base and superior protection against cyberattacks, it’s perfect for a company of any size.

Office 365 Business Essentials - All You Need to Know

Office 365 Business Essentials

One of the biggest keys to running a successful business in the 21st century is communication. You might have all the best programs and experts on staff, but if they aren’t communicating with each other and with clients, you’re still going to struggle to run an efficient, successful business. Finding the right suite of programs to fix this problem can be troublesome. The best option is always to go to SoftwareKeep, where you can get expert advice that guides you to just what your business needs are.

However, if you’re looking for a quick answer, the best product out there to aid in business communication is Office 365 Business Essentials. Bridging that communication gap is precisely what Office 365 Business Essentials is designed to do. By giving you a suite of programs that focus on online communication, you can collaborate with colleagues and work with clients from anywhere in the world. To learn more about this Office suite and how it compares to others, keep reading below.

What’s Included in Office 365 Essentials?

With Essentials, you get a complete online suite for all your communication and collaboration needs. You get Outlook online with 50 GB storage, the ability to send large attachments, and plenty of business email features. You also get one TB storage on OneDrive per user, which comes in handy when you are creating large documents using the online versions of all the standard Office programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others. To aid in your communication with your colleagues, there is an online video and audio conferencing feature as well as Skype for Business, which enables you to send video and audio messages back and forth.

Yammer gives you a more advanced instant messaging platform as well. Further benefits include Sway, which allows you to create online presentations, reports, and newsletters to share among your colleagues. You also get Planner, which can help you stay organized, and SharePoint, which makes it easier to share and edit documents between your fellow employees than ever before.

What’s Missing in Office 365 Essentials?

The most obvious thing missing is the desktop version of the standard Office suite of programs. All your work for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, and Publisher will remain online. For many, this is a minor inconvenience in the era of constant internet access, but it can be a major inconvenient for others, so weigh this option accordingly.

There are also limitations on Essentials. One is that it can only be shared between 300 or fewer employees. For bigger businesses, you will have to use Enterprise (more on that below). Finally, there are many advanced programs and features only available in the Enterprise packages, such as business analytics and more advanced security and data protection.

Our Take

What Essentials gives you is the online tools to create an efficient business that can communicate and collaborate easily amongst its employees, while also using all the tools of the Office suite online to develop the documents and presentations clients expect. If your business needs are essentially communication-based and you are comfortable with keeping everything in an online environment, Essentials is a great option.

Which Office 365 Plan Is Right for You?

Microsoft Office remains the gold standard for all your word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation needs. Few if any program suites can boast so many popular programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook. In recent editions, Microsoft has begun to revolutionize Office through its Office 365 plans; they offer new programs and features, as well as a new payment method.

They are increasingly the go-to choice for those getting a new version of Office. If you want to learn more about Office 365, visit SoftwareKeep today, where you can find all the information you need about every Office suite. Or, continue reading more below to find out what Office 365 is and which suite is right for you.

How to Pick Your Microsoft Office Version

Choosing a version of Office 365 comes down to what exactly you need from Office. The first step is to decide if 365 is right for you in the first place:

Are you comfortable with a subscription system, for instance? After that, choose between the different categories. Is Office mostly for personal use? Do you need it for a small business? Are you looking to use it for a large business? Then, choose just how advanced and comprehensive you need Office to be.

Keep in mind that the more features and programs available, the more expensive the suite. Find the version that gets you all that you need for your work or personal use while also being a price you feel comfortable paying.

Get Microsoft Office at SoftwareKeep

No matter which Office suite you decide is right for you, you should go to SoftwareKeep to learn more and to make your ultimate purchase. At SoftwareKeep, we lay out all you need to know about your potential software purchases to make sure you know just what you’re getting when you click download.

We also have a team of experts to help you make the hard choices. They can also assist you in installation and troubleshooting processes. Finally, SoftwareKeep guarantees the lowest prices on your software. No matter where you look on the web, SoftwareKeep will still have the lowest price on every version of Office, as well as other software.

Visit our website at SoftwareKeep today or contact us to find out more.