Microsoft has revolutionized office software with the introduction of Office 365 (now called Microsoft 365), offering a subscription-based service with numerous advantages. However, many users and companies are still unclear about the differences between Microsoft 365 and the traditional Office 2016 software. This comprehensive comparison aims to clarify the distinctions between the two.

Microsoft 365 vs Office 2016: Subscription Service vs. One-Time License

The primary differences between Microsoft 365 and Office 2016 involve the method of acquisition, the range of features, and the validity period of the purchased license. Most applications available in Office 2016 and later are also included in the Microsoft 365 subscription. However, due to the variety of plans available for Office 2016 and Microsoft 365, it can be challenging to see the differences at first glance.

Office 2016

Opting for Office 2016 entails purchasing the complete Office package with a one-time payment, both in stores and online. This software package is compatible with Windows (starting from Windows 7) and Mac, and comes in various editions with different prices and features.

All editions, including the basic Home & Student version, contain familiar applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. The expanded Home & Business editions also include the Outlook email client, while Office Professional 2016 adds Publisher and Access applications.

Installing Office 2016 requires an internet connection, but the programs can be used offline once installation and configuration are complete. This allows for usage on the go, on mobile devices or laptops, without requiring a network connection.

One major drawback of Office 2016 is the relatively high upfront cost, and its inability to be upgraded to include features of later editions such as Office 2019 or 2021 without purchasing the new software in full. However, it does receive important security updates.

In summary: Office 2016 is suitable for individuals who plan to use it occasionally, don’t need to work on multiple devices, and don’t mind the lack of feature updates. It is also recommended for those who prefer a single payment over monthly or annual fees.

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365)

Microsoft 365, on the other hand, is purchased with a monthly or annual fee, granting access to the office applications Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access for PC. Unlike the basic Home and Student version, Microsoft 365 Personal and Microsoft 365 Family plans include these applications at a more affordable price.

One of the significant advantages of Microsoft 365 over Office 2016 is its access to the latest versions of the Office suite and a full range of features. As soon as a new version of Office is released, subscribers can access it by updating without incurring additional costs. Feature and security updates are also included.

Microsoft 365 allows the installation of Office software on multiple devices with a single subscription, making it ideal for families or businesses. Additionally, it offers more features for tablet and smartphone use, along with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user, which is not available in Office 2016. Microsoft support is also provided throughout the subscription period, not just during setup.

In summary: The differences between Office 2016 and Microsoft 365 are clear. Microsoft 365 is ideal for individuals and companies with multiple users, thanks to ongoing technical support, feature and security updates, ample cloud storage space, and standalone installation on end devices.

Microsoft 365 vs Office 2016: Comparison Table

Microsoft 365 Office 2016
Payment Model Subscriptions (monthly/yearly) One-time purchase
Apps Included Office suite with Outlook for all devices, Access and Publisher for PC only Office suite with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for PC or Mac. Outlook, Access, and Publisher only in certain versions
Updates – Security updates – Feature updates – Upgrades to new Office versions – Only security updates
Installation on Multiple Devices with a Single License Yes, with Microsoft 365 Family on up to five PCs and/or Macs as well as up to 5 smartphones or tablets No, one license for each PC or Mac
Maximum Number of Users Microsoft 365 Family allows up to 5 users. For companies, Microsoft offers special plans with an unlimited number of users One user per license purchased
Work on Mobile Devices Up to 5 smartphones and 5 tablets with additional functions Only basic editing functions
Cloud Storage Included 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user No
Skype Call Minutes Included 60 minutes per month and user (Microsoft 365 Family or Microsoft 365 Personal) No

This comparison table provides a clear overview of the main differences between Microsoft 365 and Office 2016. As you can see, Microsoft 365 offers more flexibility and features, making it a better choice for users who require access to the latest updates and compatibility with multiple devices. Office 2016, on the other hand, is suitable for those who prefer a one-time purchase and don’t need the extensive features and support provided by Microsoft 365.