Help deciding between Office 2016, Office Online, and Office 365

deciding between Office 2016, Office Online, and Office 365

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That adage can be applied to a lot of things, like creaky keyboards that still work, or server cooling solutions might not look so sleek, and so on. This, however, isn’t an excuse to keep using what’s old when something new makes more sense.

So when it comes to Microsoft’s on-premise and cloud Office suites, making the leap from the former to the latter can be extremely beneficial to your business. Below, we compare three solutions from both platforms to help you see a clearer picture.

Office 2016

Office 2016 is Microsoft’s desktop version of their famous productivity tools available in single-user and volume licenses. You pay a one-time price and can carry on using Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, OneDrive, and Outlook for as long as you like.

Single-user licensing covers only one Mac or PC computer, whereas volume licensing covers multiple computers. Volume licensing also features a number of server and cloud integration options not available on a single-user plan.

Office 2016 is ideal if your business needs basic productivity-boosting applications without cloud computing’s anytime, anywhere accessibility. However, certain enterprise features in Outlook and Excel -- like importing data from a wider range of databases -- are not available either. Furthermore, although your mobile devices still gets basic editing features, technical support is available only during the installation process.

The only automatic updates built into Office 2016 are security updates, nothing else. This means you’ll miss out on newly released features until Microsoft releases the next version of the desktop suite. Office 2016 prices start at $229.99, Office Professional 2016, a more feature-rich plan, costs $499.99.

Office Online

The latest Office solution offered by Microsoft has a free cloud-based suite that offers cut-down versions of most of its standard Office applications. These tools enable users to work with various document formats without the restrictions of a particular computer.

Just sign in with a Microsoft account or a work account via your desktop browser, and you’re good to go. However, no on-site installation also means no technical support from Microsoft.

Since Office Online applications come with far fewer features than those in Office 2016 and Office 365, you should expect only basic features in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Calendar, Sway, People, and OneDrive. Offline editing is also impossible, as Office Online is targeted toward home users, not businesses. There is no information about possible future updates yet.

Office 365

Office 365 is the full-blown cloud version featuring Microsoft’s latest applications, all integrated within one solution. You’ll be able to access, share, and collaborate simultaneously from anywhere, at anytime, and on any device.

You can install Office 365 desktop applications on multiple computers, including both Macs and PCs, depending on your subscription plan.

Office 365 features cloud versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and more. Unlike the desktop version, the cloud version boasts enhanced features and collaboration capabilities. Think online meetings, storage space, and extra features on your mobile devices.

And, you’ll always have access to the latest applications since Microsoft automatically updates all the software. What’s more, Office 365 offers a financially-backed 99.9% uptime service level agreement (SLA) with ongoing technical support at no charge.

Available business subscriptions include Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business Online services, perfect if you already have an Office license installed and have no use for another. Office 365 plans start from $5.00 user per month.

Office 2016 cuts it if you’re a small business looking to streamline operations with powerful business tools. But if you want to keep up with today’s highly efficient and synergetic business environment, Office 2016 isn’t going to be enough. And while Office Online is cloud-based and available for free, its limited features are not designed to support your employees’ daily tasks. So it comes as no surprise that businesses large and small are choosing Office 365 as their go-to Microsoft productivity suite.

If you have any questions about Microsoft’s cloud solution, or just cloud technology in general, give us a call. As our forte, Cloud technology is what we do best, and we’re happy to help.

Categories: Microsoft Office 365, Productivity

Tags: cloud, microsoft, Office 2016, Office 365, office online, productivity suite