Difference Between Office Student and Business

This guide outlines the differences between Microsoft Office Student and Microsoft Office Business to help your decision on Microsoft Office purchase.
Difference Between Office Student and Business

Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity applications comes in a variety of packages or suites such as the Office Home and Student and Office Home and Business. Both have basic applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

But the main difference between the Student suite and the Business Suite is the applications that they come with. For example, Office Student doesn’t have the Outlook, Access, and Publisher applications that you would otherwise find in the Office Business.

SO, here's a comparison of Office Home and Student and Office Home and Business.

What is Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office is a useful collection of desktop productivity applications, as well as client and server software and many different services developed and published by Microsoft.

People utilize Office applications worldwide, as it was originally intended to computerize tedious manual tasks, and although Microsoft still delivers on this premise, Office has grown to become more than an application used in enterprise environments.

Whether you need a program to write an essay, write personal notes, or need to organize a huge database, different Office applications can help you with anything.

However, this means that you should know what the version of Office you purchase is capable of, and if the featured offered in it are worth the purchase price.

As Office is sold in many different editions, the applications you can gain access to change depending on what you purchased.

For example, Outlook, which allows you to manage your personal life and e-mails, is not available in every Office suite. Similarly, if you’re looking to use Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Access, you must take into account that they are both PC exclusive software, and cannot be used on a Mac device for example.

You also need a higher-end edition of Office to access services such as Skype for Business or a higher amount of OneDrive cloud storage space.

Though, ask yourself the following question: do you really need all this if you are not running any sort of business? This article will help you decide whether or not paying more for advanced services and more applications are worth it or not.

Even if you are part of or running a business, it is always a good thing to look into the differences of various versions when it comes to the cost-efficient purchase of multiple stock-keeping units.

As mentioned above, Microsoft offers many editions of its Office lineup; take your time to find the one that meets the needs of your company and offers the lowers price.

This is important if you don’t want to pay more than you have to, meaning that even small businesses have a chance to utilize Microsoft Office without having to worry about spending a fortune.

Now, let us dive into the key differences between Office Student and Office Business!


Applications are what make up the Microsoft Office suite, so it is the most important thing to look out for when you decide to purchase from Microsoft.

All of these applications are used in many different ways and can provide capabilities that are powerful in multiple different fields, whether it comes to business and professional purposes or just for something casual such as writing an essay for school or designing a photo album about a vacation.

In the case of Office Student and Office Business, the applications don't differ much, however it is important to take a look into what the difference actually is.

Available in both Office Student and Office Business


Microsoft Word is a word processor software developed and published by Microsoft. It provides customers with top-quality publishing capabilities and is one of the most widely used programs when it comes to word processing.

Word’s primary function is word processing, and it was designed to deliver on that premise ever since the very beginning, and the capabilities have only gotten bigger and better.

The countless tools in Word help you write your documents in a professional manner by using AutoCorrect to quickly get rid of grammatical errors or misspells, providing powerful formatting tools to make your documents visually appealing, while also giving you the chance to spice up the document with images, vectors, icons, 3D models and much more.

You can share your documents through various means, and even collaborate in real-time with other people if you’re using the newest release of Word.

A new, integrated translator feature enables you to understand documents written in a foreign language with ease, without having to leave Word. Just highlight the text you want to translate and select the tool to choose which language you want to translate to.

Learning Tools provide ease of access features that make reading documents easier on the eyes. You can adjust the line length with Column Width, and similarly increase the spacing between words, characters and lines with Text Spacing. Change the colour of your pages to ensure text causes less eye strain with Page Colour.

The Syllables tool shows breaks between syllables to improve word recognition and pronunciation. Finally, the Read Aloud feature uses text-to-speech technology to read your document up for you, highlighting each word as it goes for you to follow along.

These new collaboration tools include easier sharing of your document in various ways. You can select people from a drop-down menu, or alternatively enter the name or email address of the person you want to share your document with and invite them to view or co-edit your work. After sharing your work, co-editors changes show up in real-time with their names, making it easy to work in teams.


Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program, used to visualize and screen information in the form of a slide show.

Its three major functions include an advanced editor for text formatting, methods, and tools that enable users to insert and even modify, edit or manipulate graphic images, insert other mediums such as videos, 3D models, graphs, animations, and visual effects, and a slide-show system with various options to make the display of your presentation slides stand out, yet stay professional and true to your intent.

PowerPoint is an included product of the Microsoft Office suite and is available to acquire bundled up with several other Microsoft applications, but can be purchased as a standalone product as well.

PowerPoint was initially developed to be available for Macintosh computers only, but when Microsoft purchased the software from its original developers, it became available for Windows as well.

PowerPoint is a profoundly imaginative and flexible program that can guarantee you a fruitful correspondence whether you're showing your work before potential investors, during a lecture, or just presenting your ideas to your colleagues. PowerPoint includes a dozen of tools you’re ought to utilize.

They will enhance your abilities and enable you to convey your message effectively. Deliver your thoughts and ideas with aesthetic visual design, animations, pictorial movement, cinematic transitions, 3D models, symbols and much more.

Give canny innovation a chance to enable you to breathe life into your presentations with a couple of clicks to ensure you’re presenting with nothing but confidence.

One of PowerPoint’s most used features is transitions to provide an incredibly smooth flow between your content and slides, helping with both visual impact and for you to deliver your thoughts without any unnecessary pauses.

These transitions are easy to apply, ensuring that even entry-level customers can take full advantage of PowerPoint. The application comes with a quite large amount of basic transitions which all display a different kind of effect, but the option to install custom transitions (and other assets) is available for everyone as well.

In PowerPoint 2019, a new transition has been added called Morph, which enables users to easily animate elements when going from one slide to another

Digital inking capabilities now allow you to choose and customize a personal set of pens suitable for your needs. You can pick between a set of pens, highlighters, and pencils, as well as change their options to create tools suitable for your needs.

There are a total of five pen thickness settings, color options, and various ink effects to choose from as well.

If you’re using a supported digital stylus, you have the option to choose a Pencil Texture, which allows you to tilt your stylus and achieve a similar shading effect to pencil on paper.


Microsoft Excel is a program used to create spreadsheets and features other capabilities such as performing all kinds of calculations let it be something simple and quick, or one that requires more complex equations and brain work.

It also provides customers with the ability to create different kinds of graphics, pivot tables, and use a macro programming language, called Visual Basic for Applications.

Due to its huge roaster of extremely useful, easy-to-use, and professional capabilities, Excel is now one of the leading and most used applications across many platforms and has become an industry standard for spreadsheet creation over the years.

It is part of and is acquirable through the Microsoft Office Suite, or as a standalone product.

In the newest version of Excel, each and every worksheet is capable of holding a million rows and more than 16000 columns; the horizontal rows are labeled by numbers, while the vertical columns can be identified by letters of the alphabet. Columns beyond 26 are identified by two or more letters.

Excel's cells are capable of holding numbers, text, dates and times, Boolean values, and formulas inside of them as data.

Microsoft has expanded the native functions Excel is capable of with 6 new functions to help you during your work.

Some of these functions are improved versions of what already existed within Excel previously, but some new tools are accessible for customers to speed up productivity and make using Excel even easier.

Two new charts have been added to Excel, under the names Map charts and Funnel charts.

The Map chart is quite self-explanatory, you can create a chart that shows categories and volumes across geographical regions such as countries, states, counties, or even postal codes.

The Funner charts show values across multiple process stages. As the values decrease or increase over time, the bars of your data start to resemble a funnel, hence the name.

You can easily insert icons and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files into your projects. When choosing to insert these icons, you are given access to pick and choose from Microsoft's provided library of professionally made icons in over 25 categories.

You can select multiple icons to insert at the same time, and once your icons are in your worksheet you have the ability to edit them in various ways by resizing, rotating, changing colors, and applying various other visual effects.


OneNote is a virtual notebook that allows you to stay organized and keep your notes in a secure space.

With the ability to create notebooks, you can divide your notes into sections and pages to write and keep track of your world through typing, highlighting, and even ink annotations.

The easy-to-understand visuals, navigation, and fast search features enable you to find anything and everything with ease.

You can use OneNote across all of your devices to reach your notes anytime from anywhere, as well as share or collaborate in real-time with whomever you invite.

Only available in Office Business


Outlook is an application that allows the management of your personal information. Although it's mainly used and widely acknowledged for its emailing capabilities, contrary to popular belief, it’s much more than just an emailing client.

Outlook also includes other features and capabilities to help you keep track of different parts of your life, such as a calendar, a personal journal, a note-taking tool, management for your contacts and tasks, and even the option to do some web browsing.

It's currently available to acquire through the Microsoft Office suite alongside other Microsoft applications and can be used either as a stand-alone program or can work together with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server, tending to organizations who need to quickly, safely, and efficiently share inboxes, calendars or other types of data between themselves.

System requirements

Albeit being similar suites, there is a slight difference between system requirements. While both of these editions have the same requirements for the most part, some of Office Business’ features require further installations and such.

It is important to note that both of these editions can run on Windows and Mac operating systems, meaning that the requirements need to be looked at differently in regards to what system you are running Office on.

Required for both Office Student and Office Business

Computer and processor

  • Windows: 1.6 gigahertz (GHz) or faster, 2-core
  • macOS: Intel processor


  • Windows: 4 GB RAM; 2 GB RAM (32-bit)
  • macOS: 4 GB RAM

Hard disk

  • Windows: 4.0 GB of available disk space
  • macOS: 10 GB of available disk space, HFS+ hard disk format


  • Windows: 1280 x 768 screen resolution
  • macOS: 1280 x 800 screen resolution


  • Windows: Graphics hardware acceleration requires DirectX 9 or later, with WDDM 2.0 or higher for Windows 10
  • macOS: No graphics requirements


The current version of Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox

It is highly recommended that you take a look at the system requirements page provided by Microsoft to see the full list of requirements for every Office Suite.

Some features might need further requirements to be met, so to avoid the risk of wasting time by troubleshooting, please visit the official Microsoft page and review the full list of requirements.

Only required for Office Business

Some features that are included within Microsoft Office Business only require more things to function properly.

Below is a list of the essentials of these features, however, like mentioned above, it is recommended to check Microsoft's official website for more in-depth information.

Software some features might require:

  • Windows Desktop Search 3.0

  • Media Player 9.0

  • Microsoft ActiveSync 4.1

Other requirements:

  • Some features might also require an audio input and output device, such as a microphone, speaker, or earphones.

  • A TWAIN-compatible scanner or digital camera could be required for some features.

  • Access to a Microsoft Exchange or SharePoint server is needed for some document sharing capabilities.


Licensing is an extremely important part of Microsoft Office, as well as software in general. To make sure a copy is authentic and is used under proper circumstances, it is required to have a license.

In order to make the retail price of the Student edition lower and more affordable, Microsoft's license only covers non-commercial use and activity by households. Please note that not even academic institutions or organizations are allowed to buy and install the Student edition, even if it is for student use.

On the other hand, the Business edition can be used for any purpose, commercial or not, and can be installed on any sort of device. Once again, it is recommended to look into the licensing further if you have any questions or doubts about what a Business license covers and what is off-limits.

The price

Perhaps the most important difference between these two versions is the price of the suite. After reading the differences, you should consider how much both of these versions cost and take into consideration your budget, the features necessary for your use or your business use, and finally decide on which suite you'd like to utilize in your work.

At the time of publication, you can purchase Office Home & Student 2019 (the latest version of Office) for $149.99 as a one-time purchase.

Also at the time of publication, Office 2019 Home & Business costs $249.99 which means it is more pricey than the non-commercially licensed version, however it allows users more freedom and grants access to a slightly wider amount of capabilities too.