Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365 – What’s the difference?

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365 – What’s the difference?

Microsoft 365 is one of the more recent products to come out of Microsoft Cloud. The nomenclature has introduced some confusion with its relationship to Office 365. Given the similarity in names, many take it for the same product.

Office 365 is only a part of Microsoft 356 product, which adds Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S) services to the bundle. Instead of paying for only Office 365, the customers get the operating system and the security tools as a bundle.

Here we will explore the differences between the products, pricing levels, how they work and which applies best to your organization.

Office 365 – What is it?

Office 365 is the Office suite and email, offered as a Cloud service within a subscription model. There are several Office 365 plans that fit different business requirements.

The central feature is the Exchange Online plan, which replaces your on-premise Exchange infrastructure with its Cloud alternative.

For even more Office apps in addition to email, Business Premium plan provides email and the Office suite as a subscription model. The Office applications are always updated to the most recent version; so compatibility or upgrades are never a concern.

Microsoft 365 – What is it?

Microsoft365Microsoft 365 is a trifecta bundle of services that Microsoft offers separately as well. It’s comprised of

  1. Office 365
  2. Windows 10
  3. Enterprise Mobility + Security

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s latest operating system and has been described as the “safest Windows ever.” It comes complete with BitLocker and Windows Defender Anti-Virus, Cortana as the digital assistant and the new browser, Microsoft Edge.

Enterprise Mobility + Security is a suite of tools that provide additional layers of protection for your data. The EM+S suite gives you tools such as Identity Management and Mobile Device Management. It makes it a breeze to manage both personal and work devices to ensure corporate data is protected out in the field.

MFA (multi-factor authentication) and DRM (digital rights management) can be added to access the Office 365 account to make sure the correct identities are accessing documents when they are being shared.

What’s the difference?

The simplest way to explain the difference is that Office 365 is part of Microsoft 365, and the latter gets you the operating system and the additional security tools.

To understand the Microsoft 365 offering in better detail, we can look at two specific plans:

  1. Office 365 Business Premium
  2. Microsoft 365 Business

There are many different plans available for Office 365. Business Premium best applies to businesses with 300 users or less, since it provides a full Office suite and email. Those with more than 300 users should choose the Enterprise plan.

Microsoft 365 has two different plans:

  1. Microsoft 365 Business
  2. Microsoft 365 Enterprise

The Business plan maxes out at 300 users. Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan comes with additional features useful for large organizations, such as PSTN conferencing and Legal Hold.

In most situations, opting for the fuller Microsoft 365 product rather than just Office 365, offers more bang for the buck than buying the operating system, security enhancements and an Office suite separately.

What’s included in each option?

The common denominator between the two products is being able to install Office apps on all your devices, as well as use their scaled-down browser versions. OneNote with 1TB of personal storage per user, business-class email and calendaring, Skype for Business for instant messaging and voice or video conferencing, MS Teams, and many other tools such as Delve, Planner, Bookings, Listings, Invoicing and MileIQ, and more. All those represent a full Office 365 Business Premium package.

Other than the obvious presence of the operating system, what distinguishes Microsoft 365 from Office 365 is device management. Microsoft 365 allows you to manage users and devices through a single portal, as well as enables you to automatically deploy Office apps to Windows 10 devices.

The security tools are also a feature specific to Microsoft 365. It gives your business the ability to protect data across devices and provide secure access. Windows 10 PCs are also protected from viruses and malware with Windows Defender.

365 Chart

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking of deploying Office 365 in your business, consider the Microsoft 365 bundle as a more cost-effective alternative, especially if you are planning on upgrading your operating systems to Windows 10, or need additional data security and GDPR.

If you’re interested in finding out more about either of these products, Dalechek is always available to help. Reach out to us today.

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Dmitry Reznikov
dreznikov@dalechek.com