What’s the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365?

Since this article was written, Office 365 has been rebranded as Microsoft 365.

Microsoft 365 is one of the latest products to come out as part of Microsoft’s Cloud offering. The only problem is a lot of people think about Microsoft 365 and get it confused with Microsoft Office 365. A lot of people think that it’s the same thing.

Office 365 is part of what is offered in Microsoft 365. The new product is a bundle of services that includes Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S). Instead of paying for just Office 365 you get your operating system and security tools included.

In this blog, we thought we would explain the differences between Office 365 and Microsoft 365 and how they work. We’re going to look at what each of the products are, the different pricing and which is most worthwhile to your organisation. Find out which is best for your organisation, when it comes to Microsoft 365 vs Office 365.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is your email and Office suite offered to you as a Cloud service through a subscription model. There are lots of iterations of Office 365 because you can opt for different plans depending on what you need.

For example, the Exchange Online plan is where you just replace your Exchange on-premises server with a Cloud option. You pay a small fee per user per month to have your email hosted in the Cloud.

If you want the Office applications in addition to your email, you can opt for a plan like Business Premium which gives you your email and the Office suite on a subscription model. The Office applications are always the most recent version so you never need to worry about compatibility or upgrades.

If you want a more comprehensive understanding of what you get in Office 365, we have a blog all about it that will be able to help you.

What is Microsoft 365?

The best way to understand Microsoft 365 is to split it into three because it’s a bundle of services that Microsoft offers separately.

Microsoft 365 is made up of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Windows 10 is Microsoft’s latest operating system. It’s described as the ‘safest Windows ever’ and comes complete with BitLocker and Windows Defender Anti-Virus. You also get Cortana the digital assistant and the new browser Microsoft Edge.

Enterprise Mobility + Security is a suite of mobility and security tools that provide added layers of protection for your data. The suite gives you tools like identity management and mobile device management. It makes it much easier to manage both personal and work devices to ensure that corporate data is protected out in the field.

You can add things like multi-factor authentication and rights management to access your Office 365 account to ensure that the correct identities are accessing documents when they are being shared.

What’s the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365?

The easiest way to explain the difference is that Office 365 is part of Microsoft 365 and with the latter you get security tools and your operating system added in. With this explanation it is difficult to see a full view of the products and the benefits you would be getting with Microsoft 365.

To fully explain what you get with each product we’re going to look at two specific plans: Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business.

As we have previously mentioned, there are a variety of different plans available in Office 365. Business Premium is the option that businesses with less than 300 users tend to opt for as it offers email and the full Office suite. If you have more than 300 users you need to choose an Enterprise plan.

There are two plans available in Microsoft 365, they are Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise. The Enterprise plan comes with some extra features that are available such as PSTN conferencing and Legal Hold. As the names suggest, one is appropriate for small businesses and one is appropriate for enterprises. Again, the maximum number of users is 300.

Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business are the best two plans to compare in terms of what they offer to understand what the differences are between the two different products.

Office 365 is £9.40 per user per month and Microsoft 365 Business is £15.10 per user per month (based on pricing in July 2019). The extra £5.70 a month gives you Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security which on their own are £5 per user per month and £6.60 per user per month respectively. To buy all three products together you would be paying £21 per user a month, making a saving of £5.90 per user per month if you opted for Microsoft 365.

What’s included in Microsoft 365 in comparison to Office 365?

Both products come with the ability to have fully installed Office applications on tablets, phones and PCs, as well as the web browser versions. You get 1TB of personal file storage, as well as business class email and calendars. You also have access to Skype for Business for instant messaging and video calling, as well as Microsoft Teams and other new tools like Delve and Planner. You also get the additional business applications such as Bookings, Listings, Invoicing and MileIQ.

Basically, both products have the full Office 365 Business Premium package.

The differences begin with device management. Unlike Office 365, Microsoft 365 comes with a single console to manage users and devices. You can also automatically deploy Office applications to Windows 10 PCs.

The security tools are also missing from Office 365. The alternative comes with the ability to protect data across devices and secure access. You can also protect Windows 10 devices from things like malware with Windows Defender.

Of course, another big difference between the two is that the operating system is missing from an Office 365 plan.

For an easy view of what the difference is between the two different products we have created the table below.

Office on tablets and phones
Fully installed and web version of Office apps
1 TB file storage and sharing
Business class email (50GB), calendar, and contacts
Online meetings (instant messaging, audio and HD video chat/conferencing)
Microsoft Teams chat-based workspace
Outlook Customer Manager, Bookings, Listing, Invoicing, Connections and MileIQ
Single console to manage user and device settings 
Self-service PC deployment with Windows AutoPilot 
Automatically deploy Office apps to Windows 10 PCs 
Protect company data across devices 
Secure access to documents on mobile devices 
Protect Windows 10 devices against malware, viruses and spyware with Windows Defender 

What’s included in Microsoft 365 in comparison to Office 365?

When considering deploying Office 365 in your business it is important to think about if Microsoft 365 would be a more beneficial option. If you are in need of upgrading your operating system to Windows 10 or you are concerned about data security and GDPR then the bundled package may be a more cost-effective option for you.

If you are interested in finding out more about either of these products, ACUTEC is always available to help. Contact us today on 01675 469020 or email hello@acutec.co.uk.

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