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Office 365 and Microsoft 365: what’s the difference?

The digital world is forever changing and businesses must keep up with the ever-evolving landscape in order to stay ahead of the game. To cut through the noise and remain competitive, organisations are turning to cloud solutions that give them access to powerful technologies at a reasonable price.

For most companies, this means investing in Microsoft’s most comprehensive and thorough modern workplace solutions available, either Microsoft 365 or Office 365 services. Both offerings provide organisations with a variety of software solutions that they can use across their company, from word processing to storage and document management.

But what is the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365? The names are commonly used interchangeably, but both solutions offer unique services. Keep reading to find out what Microsoft 365 vs Office 365 means for you as an organisation.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a set of cloud-based software and services that includes Word and Excel, as well as storage and collaboration services that you can access via the web or mobile apps. You can access Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity tools via the internet or mobile applications using this subscription-based service. Office 365 promises seamless collaboration, enhanced security, and optimised productivity. It helps employees work together more effectively, whether your employees are in the office or working remotely.

In April 2020, Microsoft changed the name of Office 365 to Microsoft 365 to emphasise how its products and services help customers. Since Office 365’s applications and functionality have stayed the same, the name change has created confusion, and many still refer to the rebranded Microsoft 365 as Office 365.

*For the purpose of clarity, this article will refer to the Microsoft 365 productivity suite as Office 365

Tools included in the Office 365 suite:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • OneDrive
  • Outlook
  • Teams

These tools are designed to work together, and as Office 365 is cloud-based, it can be accessed online and across different platforms, including the Microsoft Windows operating system (OS), as well as Mac, Linux, Android devices, and others.

What Is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based platform that provides businesses with a comprehensive set of tools that includes Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and much more. These three products work together to support seamless collaboration, enhanced security, and optimised productivity.

What’s the difference between Office 365 and M365?

Office 365 provides over 100 Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Skype, and Yammer, in addition to cloud storage space (via OneDrive) and Microsoft corporate website tools (such as SharePoint)

Office 365 can be used independently of Microsoft 365. You can install the suite on a Mac, or use the cloud apps and features on an Apple or Android device. If you want to stick with the familiar Office products, you can still benefit from the cloud-based productivity suite without an OS subscription.

If you want to take advantage of the comprehensive suite of tools and services in M365, including the operating system and security tools, you can purchase a yearly subscription.

Office 365 vs. Microsoft 365: Which is better for your business?

Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are both capable cloud solutions that provide organisations with a host of useful tools. They are each packed with robust features and functionality, making it tough to choose just one. In short, they’re both great options that can benefit your business in myriad ways. However, it’s important to look at each offer on a case-by-case basis to determine which one best meets the needs of your organisation.

When comparing Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365, the first thing to keep in mind is that they are not the same thing. While they are both cloud-based solutions, they each provide businesses with different tools and functionality. The second thing to keep in mind is that while both platforms are robust, each one is unique in its own way.

It’s important to select the platform that best meets the needs of your organisation. In the end, the decision between Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365 comes down to your organisation’s unique needs. If you want to stay competitive and take advantage of the latest technology, one of these cloud solutions might be right for you.

Choose the right Microsoft subscription for your business

Microsoft powers the modern workplace with all the tools and services your business needs to grow and be competitive, from improved security to robust collaboration tools. With Microsoft 365, your company can leverage a wide variety of features, including flexible pricing and scalability. The Microsoft consultants at INTELLIWORX can optimise your investment in Microsoft 365 and ensure you have the subscription for your business needs.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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