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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 USA 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.
Office 365 or Office 2016? Which is Right for You?
To understand how Office 365 is different from your traditional Office suite, it’s best to compare the two. To start with, Microsoft still traditional Office suites, the most recent being Office 2016. Office 2016 still comes in all the traditional packages:
- Home & Student
- Home & Office
- Professional Plus
It is still a one-time purchase for a single installation (either through download or disk), and it still comes with the same program options. Office 365 changes all these points. To begin with, it isn’t a single purchase. Instead, you subscribe to it with either monthly or annual payments. With this subscription you get far more programs and features. Most versions, for instance, offer multiple installations for each user, meaning you can now have Office on your computer, your tablet, and your phone. With the complimentary one TB cloud space included in every Office 365 purchase, you’ll be able to take all your work with you anywhere and everywhere.
Another benefit is that every version comes with the entire suite of programs. While some versions of Office 2016 don’t include Publisher or Access, they are always included in Office 365 (assuming you are using a PC—the programs are not available for Mac). Finally, Office 365 offers you not just a single edition of Office but the latest edition. If you purchase Office 365 now, you’ll get Office 2016 as part of the package. Then, when Office 2019 comes out, you’ll get that without any additional fees. You will always have the most up-to-date edition out as part of your subscription.
If all of that sounds like a good deal, then the next thing to do is to settle on the right suite for you. These suites can be broken down into three broad categories:
- Small Business
- Big Busines
The difference between small and big business is the number of users. Small business suites are for 1-300 users, while big business is designed for businesses expecting more than 300 users.
There are two main Office suites available for your personal use:
In both suites you get all the programs you would expect, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and on PC, Publisher and Access. You also get the complimentary one TB on OneDrive so you can save all your files in the cloud. Finally, you get 60 Skype minutes a month for calls. The only difference between the two is the number of installs allowed. With Personal, you get a single install on one computer, whereas Home offers you five installs, giving you enough for the needs of most families.
When it comes to options, business is where Office 365 really shines. There are a large number of different versions available, but the most popular for small businesses are:
- Business Essentials
- Business Premium
Business Essentials offers you all the online programs you need for more successful communication and collaboration with your business. With this suite, you get Exchange, which allows you to create a business email network. You also receive SharePoint, which makes it easier than ever to share documents with colleagues, a great value with all the collaborative elements in the most recent Office program suite. The only downside is that you do not get those Office programs on your desktop. They are only available online, which ties you to the internet.
Business is the exact opposite. You don’t get the email network or SharePoint, but you do get all the programs on your desktop. This is a similar suite to Home, with multiple installs. Business Premium gives you the best of both worlds, with all the online programs as well as the entire suite of programs on your desktop. If you need to be able to work anywhere—including places without the internet—and you want all the interconnecting programs, Premium is the best option out there.
For big business, there are a number of options, some slimmed down, others quite advanced. The most popular include:
- Enterprise E3
- Enterprise E5
Professional Plus, or ProPlus, offers you a suite similar to Business above. You get all the programs on your desktop, but you don’t get the business email network. This can be a useful choice for those businesses that already have an email network they are happy with and don’t want to make a switch. Once again, you also get the one TB on OneDrive and the multiple installations, allowing everyone at your business to have their work ready at hand no matter which device they are using. Finally, you also get Skype for Business, although most of the program’s features require additional licenses.
From ProPlus, Enterprise E3 is a major jump. With E3, you get everything from Business Premium and then some. First of all, you get Skype for Business with all the features available. You also get all the features from Premium, including the email network and all the communication and collaboration programs. What makes this more advanced, however, are all the data protection benefits. With E3, you get advanced threat protection, data loss protection, and identity management tools. E5 gives you everything from E3 and then even more. You get even more protection for your data, including more cloud and app security. You also get Microsoft’s best threat protection software. Finally, you get advanced business analytics with Microsoft BI. This is the top suite available for Office.
Which Plan Is Right for You?
To make the right Office 365 plan choice, you should first make sure you are comfortable with the idea of a subscription versus the traditional, one-time payment option. If this works for you, the next step is deciding if you need Office for the home or for business, and if business, which kind of business. Once you’ve narrowed down the categories, choose the option that makes most sense for you based on the programs and features available, as well as the cost.
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