If you're looking to purchase Microsoft Office for your business, you've got plenty of options. But understanding difference between the options - most notably between Office 2016 and Office 365 - can be confusing.
The short version: Office 2016 is the newest version of the Office productivity suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc), typically accessed via the desktop. Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription to a suite of programs including Office 2016. This means you have a few options for purchasing Office 2016: a stand-alone product or as part of an Office 365 subscription.
If you purchase Office 2016 as part of an Office 365 plan, you have a lot more options for plans and a lot more features.
ALL Office 365 plans include:
- Online versions of Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
- 1 TB per user of file storage and sharing (OneDrive)
- Sway presentation creator
- 99% uptime guaranteed
- World-class data security
- Active Directory integration to make user permissions
As you go up in Office 365 plans, features you can get in addition to the above include:
- Full desktop versions of Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel plus OneNote and Publisher) on up to 5 computers per user
- Office on tablet or mobile (compatible with most tablets and phones regardless of OS)
- Outlook with 50 GB of inbox space per user
- SharePoint (customizable intranet)
- Skype for Business instant messenger (can also be used as your phone system)
- Yammer (corporate social network)
- Compliance Protection (Encrypted Email, Data Loss Prevention, etc)
Is it possible you’ll need to upgrade your plan?
- Office 2016: Since Office 2016 is a standalone software, if you need to add features or upgrade, you’ll need to purchase and install new licenses for all users. Keep in mind that Office 2019 will be released sometime in 2018.
- Office 365: Office 365 users can switch between plans in the admin center at any time.