Office 2021 vs. Microsoft 365: Which one should you choose?

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One of the most well-known and commonly used software packages in the world is Microsoft Office. Office has established itself as a top choice for many people and companies because of its selection of productivity tools, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. However, since the release of Microsoft 365, customers have had significant uncertainty regarding which version to purchase.

Microsoft 365 offers a subscription-based model that provides access to the latest versions of Office applications and additional features. At the same time, the traditional Office suite requires a one-time purchase but may not include all the latest updates and features. Customers should carefully consider their needs and budget before deciding which option to choose.

To assist you in making a decision if you should purchase Office 365 or prior, we will distinguish between Office 2021 and Microsoft 365 in this blog further.

An Overview of Office 2021

Office 2021 is the latest version of Microsoft's productivity suite, released in October 2021. It includes updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, as well as OneNote, Access, and Publisher. The most significant difference between Office 2021 and Microsoft 365 is that Office 2021 is a one-time purchase that does not require a subscription.

Price

The price of Office 2021 download varies depending on the version you purchase. The Home & Student version, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, costs $149.99. Microsoft office home and business 2021 version, which includes those apps plus Outlook, costs $249.99. The Professional version, which provides all the apps plus Access and Publisher, costs $439.99.

Features

Microsoft Office 2021 download includes all the features you would expect from a productivity suite. Word allows you to create and edit documents, Excel enables you to work with spreadsheets, and PowerPoint lets you create presentations. OneNote, Access, and Publisher are also included, providing a range of note-taking, database, and desktop publishing tools.

Updates

Office 2021 does not receive regular updates. You will receive security updates and bug fixes, but new features will not be added unless you purchase a new version of the software.

Compatibility

Office 2021 is compatible with Windows 10 and macOS 10.14 or later.

An Overview of Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based version of Office that was launched in 2011 as Office 365. It includes all the apps that are included in Office 2021, plus some additional features that are briefly mentioned below and benefits.

Price

Microsoft Office 365 download is available in a range of pricing plans. The Personal plan costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year and includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook on one PC or Mac, one tablet, and one smartphone. The Family plan costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year and includes access for up to six people on multiple devices. Business and Enterprise plans are also available, with pricing based on the number of users and features required.

Features

In addition to the apps included in Office 2021, Microsoft 365 also includes a range of additional features such as:

  1. OneDrive cloud storage – with a Personal plan, you get 1TB of cloud storage, while the Family plan includes 1TB per person.
  2. Skype minutes – Personal and Family plans include 60 minutes of Skype calls per month.
  3. Microsoft Teams – This application allows you to collaborate with others in real-time, with video calls, chat, and file sharing.
  4. Access to updates – Microsoft 365 receives regular updates with new features and improvements.

Updates

As mentioned above, Microsoft 365 receives regular updates with new features and improvements. These updates are included as part of your subscription, so you don't need to purchase a new version of the software to access them.

Compatibility

Microsoft 365 is compatible with Windows 10, macOS 10.14 or later, iOS, and Android.

Which one should you choose?

The decision between Office 2021 and Microsoft 365 depends on your detailed requirements and preferences. Here are some important aspects to consider:

Pricing: Office 2021 is a one-time purchase, while Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service. If you prefer a one-time payment, then Office 2021 might be the better option for you. However, keep in mind that Microsoft 365 includes ongoing updates and access to additional features because of its recurring payment option.

Features: Microsoft 365 includes additional features that are not available in Office 2021. For example, Microsoft 365 has online storage through OneDrive, access to web-based versions of Office applications, and the ability to collaborate with others in real-time. If you need these additional features, then Microsoft 365 might be the better option.

Updates: Office 2021 is a static product, which means that you won't receive any major updates after purchasing it. On the other hand, Microsoft 365 includes regular updates, which means that you'll always have access to the latest features and security updates.

Number of devices: Office 2021 can only be installed on one device, while Microsoft 365 can be installed on multiple devices, depending on the plan you choose.

In short, if you prefer a one-time payment and don't need access to additional features, then Office 2021 might be the better option. On the other hand, if you need access to online storage, web-based versions of Office applications, and the ability to collaborate with others, then Microsoft 365 might be the better option. Microsoft 365 offers you the flexibility to choose your plan; however, with Office 2021, you get the complete package altogether.

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