Microsoft Office is the way billions of people worldwide go to school and work. They can do it at home, in an office, or in a classroom. This suite of productivity tools is used by people who are working professionals.
There are many ways to purchase Office. Or, you can buy the license for it to be used. The “perpetual” Office version can be purchased as a one-time payment. The most recent version is Office 2020. There’s also the subscription version, which is available in the cloud and costs a monthly or annual fee. This version was first introduced by Microsoft in 2011. It was initially called Office 365. Later, it was renamed Microsoft 365 to accommodate small- and large-scale business subscriptions. Both Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans can be purchased at the enterprise level. We’ll be using “Microsoft 365”, the abbreviation for all subscriptions to “365” unless we are referring specifically to a plan.
Why would you choose to purchase it in one or the other way? It can be difficult to know the answer, especially as each tool suite includes many of the same applications.
Microsoft has made it clear that it believes that the cloud will be the power of the future and that everyone should purchase Microsoft 365. There are many incentives to do this. There are many options.
How Office gets paid:
The main difference between the “2021”, and “365” options is the way you pay for them. You pay a higher price for a perpetual license (such as Office Home & Business 2021, Office LTSC2021), but you only have to do it once. You can subscribe to either the Microsoft 365 , Office 365 or Office 365 plans.
A perpetual license of Office 2021:
Microsoft refers to this as a “one-time purchase”, meaning that you only pay once and not monthly, regardless of whether you purchase one copy of Office 2021 at a retail store or download hundreds via volume licensing. (Labels such as “perpetual” have been used extensively by Computerworld. However, it is important to note the type and payment method of the license. In this instance, the type of license is tied with whether it was purchased outright or “rented”.
Microsoft defines the term as “when “…you only pay one up-front price to receive Office applications on one computer.” Upfront is a key adjective. The entire purchase price must be paid before the software can be purchased.
The purchase of a license for legal use of the software grants you the right to continue using Office 2021. The license is non-expired and can be used for as long or as you like.
However, you can still get new features with the next update. You will need to pay full price once again. If one becomes available. You cannot upgrade the perpetual license packages.
The office used as a service:
Microsoft 365, Microsoft’s preferred purchase method, is a subscription program where you pay Microsoft monthly, or annually. You can get a discount, which is often very tempting if you choose the annual plan over the monthly. Enterprise E1-E5 plans require an annual commitment. The company offers more apps than the perpetual license products. They also offer a steady supply of new features.
Microsoft 365 is a subscription. It provides a service, in this instance, the right for the suite to run and access to the associated services. However, payments must continue. If you stop paying, your rights to use the apps will expire. This happens in a progressive manner, giving you the opportunity to download your data and update your payment plan, depending on your preference.
Your plan will remain “Expired” for 30 days following non-payment. You will still be able to access all your files and apps. It will remain in this stage for 90 days if you do not activate it again. Your apps and data will not be accessible until you have paid. If you don’t pay your plan in full, it will be “Deleted.”
The office used in cloud services:
Access to the internet is one reason why Office 2021 is better than Microsoft 365. This software is what you need if you don’t have reliable internet access, are unable to connect to the internet for security reasons or live on a mountaintop.
Microsoft 365 is not available to everyone because of limited internet access. Microsoft 365 is available as apps that you can download to your phone, tablet, or computer. However, these apps require almost constant internet access, especially if your OneDrive account stores all your files in cloud storage.
No matter which license you choose, you’ll get many of the same tools. You will get many of the same tools regardless of which license you choose.