Office 365 & Office 2016: Which is Better?

Office 365 & Office 2016: Which is Better?

Microsoft Office 365 for business and Office 2016 do have a lot in common, but choosing the right one for your business draws in a lot of factors.

Here are some differences between the two. Looking to try out Office? We’ll breakdown the distinctness of each one to help you choose the best tool for your business.

Apps & Pricing

Office 365 is a subscription-based service. If you prefer paying on an annual basis, you basically earn a discount equivalent to two free months per year. If you choose to pay on a periodic basis, you’ll be paying a bit more by year-end, but you can also back out of your subscription at the end of the month.

The monthly subscription plan is good for students who only need to use Office for a few months, while a yearly subscription plan is great for anyone working from home.

Office 2016 is an old-school, buy-once deal. This is more suitable for anyone who wants to purchase this product and own it for life. If you only prefer the classic Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, Office Home & Student 2016 is the one you’re looking for.

So if you don’t want to be disturbed with subscriptions, and you only want to invest in just a single version of Office and stick with it for years, Office 2016 is for you. But if you want to regularly have the latest version of Office apps together with the latest features, and subscription is not an inconvenience on your part, Office 365 is your best option.

Platform Neutrality

One of the best aspects of Office 365 for small business is the ability to use it on different devices. If you have people on different operating systems and devices, opt in for Office 365 Home. You can also install Office to up to five PCs or Macs, five tablets, and five phones.

When you purchase Office 365 Personal, this app restricts you to one install on different devices, but you can still have it on one PC or Mac, tablet, and phone at once.

On the other hand, all versions of Office 2016 can only be installed on one PC. Meaning, you’ll have to purchase separate products of Office if you intend to install it on your other machines. It’s much costly compared to Office 365’s offerings.

If you’re someone who prefers working on multiple devices or wants Office installed in each one of your devices, then you’ll want to stick with Office 365. But if you only have one PC and is not intent on expanding, then you can go with Office 2016 instead.


Despite being a subscription-based service, you can still use Office 365 offline after the initial download and install. But you do need to be connected if you want to save your files to OneDrive, except if you sync your files to your PC through the OneDrive app. This way, you can save everything to your OneDrive offline, and things will sync whenever you reconnect to the internet.

For Offie 2016, you don’t need to connect to the internet prior to the initial download and registration phase but you’ll still have to hop online to receive any security updates. So if you’re living without a regular internet connection, then Office 2016 is good for you.


With Office 365, you are assured that any of your technical issues will be handled promptly by Microsoft support staff. You can also inquire them on any issues with subscription and billings you might run into. So if you love the added safety of end-to-end support, Office 365 is the best choice.

As for Office 2016, Microsoft only provides support for any problems you encounter in the installation process. After that, you’re basically on your own. So if you can handle things on your end, you’ll probably be alright with Office 2016.

Cloud Storage

Depending on the version of your choice, you can have the 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage for Office 365 Personal for yourself, whereas, for Office 365 Home, a separate 1TB will be available for up to five users.

As for Office 2016, you can only get a hold of a 50GB OneDrive plan separately, but will cost you about $2 a month. A 5GB OneDrive storage plan is free, though.

If you’re really on to cloud storage to hold all your Office files and other documents, Office 365 is your friend. The included 1TB of storage is a surprising deal on its own, never mind the full suite of Office apps you get with it.

It’s evidently clear that, based on the differences between Office 365 and Office 2016, Microsoft is trying to push users towards Office 365. The 1TB of OneDrive storage is a great deal, you can access all Office apps regardless of the version you choose and receive constant updates to ensure you’re getting the best experience possible from your Office 365 subscription.

And for those of you who certainly hate subscription fees, Microsoft’s buy-once model isn’t completely dead yet so you still have something to be grateful of. It’ll cost you much more than Office 365, but if you’re looking to buy Office for a long term purpose, you won’t mind the price.

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