Microsoft Office may be the most comtháng productivity tool for corporate users, but it"s not a one-size-fits-all suite. Here are the differences between Office 2021 và Microsoft 365 và how to decide which is best for you.

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Microsoft Office is how billions of people around the world go to lớn work & school, whether they vì chưng it from home page, an office, a classroom, or a combination of any of those. This suite of productivity tools is used by people working in 106 languages in nearly every country in the world, and it’s available in versions for personal, small business, enterprise, và educational use.

But there is more than one way to buy Office — or, rather, to buy the license to use it. There’s the “perpetual” version of Office that’s available as a one-time purchase; the most current version is Office 2021. Then there’s the subscription version that lives in the cloud & for which you pay a monthly or annual fee. When this version was introduced in 2011, Microsoft called it Office 365, later renaming it Microsoft 365 for personal and small business subscriptions. At the enterprise màn chơi, both Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans are available. In this story, we’ll use “Microsoft 365” as shorthvà for all “365” subscriptions unless we’re referring lớn a specific plan.

Why choose khổng lồ buy it one way and not the other? The answer can be confusing, especially since each suite of tools includes most of the same applications, give or take.

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Microsoft has made its preference clear: The company believes that “the cloud will power the work of the future” & would love it if everyone purchased Microsoft 365. There are lots of incentives for doing just that. But you have sầu options.

Here’s help deciding which version is right for you or your company.

Microsoft Office: The options

For personal use

Office Home & Student 2021$150, one-time purchase for use on one computerIncludes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, & OneNote

Microsoft 365 Personal$70 a year or $7 a month (1 user, multiple devices)Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, OneDrive sầu, và Teams

Microsoft 365 Family$100 a year or $10 a month (5 users, multiple devices)Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, Teams, & Family Safety

For small businesses

Office Home & Business 2021$250, one-time purchase for use on one computerIncludes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, và Outlook

Office Professional 2021$440, one-time purchase for use on one computerIncludes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Advertiser, & Access; works with Teams

Microsoft 365 Apps for business$8.25/user/month (up lớn 300 users)Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, Advertiser, và Access

Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Standard, & PremiumPlans range from $6/user/month to lớn $22/user/month (up khổng lồ 300 users)Tools included depend on the màn chơi of your subscription. Desktop versions of Word, Excel, và other Office apps require a Standard plan or higher; the Basic plan offers only web and mobile versions. All plans include Exchange email hosting, OneDrive, and SharePoint. The Premium plan adds advanced security & management features.

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For enterprises

Office LTSC 2021Available only through volume licensingThis Office title stands for Long Term Servicing Channel; this is the commercial version of Office 2021. According khổng lồ Microsoft, it’s designed for regulated devices that can’t accept updates for security reasons và for systems that don’t connect to the internet. (lưu ý, however, that it’s the only non-subscription version of Office available for large organizations.) Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, và quảng cáo online.

Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise$12/user/month (up khổng lồ 5 devices per user); annual commitment requiredIncludes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, Onechú ý, Access, và quảng cáo online.

Office 365 E1, E3, and E5Plans range from $10/user/month to $38/user/month; annual commitment requiredTools included depover on the cấp độ of your subscription. Desktop versions of Word, Excel, & other Office apps require an E3 plan or higher; the E1 plan offers only web and Mobile versions. All plans include Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint Online, & additional enterprise services. The E5 plan adds advanced security, compliance, và management features.

Microsoft 365 E3 and E5Plans range from $36/user/month lớn $57/user/month; annual commitment requiredThese plans offer most of the same features as the Office 365 E3 and E5 plans, and also include Windows và additional Microsoft services such as Visio.

Other plans

Microsoft offers additional Office 365 và Microsoft 365 plans for education, government, & nonprofit organizations, & for frontline workers.

How you pay for Office

One big difference between the “2021” and “365” options is how you pay for them. If you are buying a “perpetual license” (such as with Office trang chủ & Business 2021 or Office LTSC 2021), you pay a larger sum than with the subscription’s offerings under the Microsoft 365 or Office 365 br&, but you vị so only once. When you subscribe to any of the Microsoft 365 or Office 365 plans, you pay annually or monthly.

Office 2021: a perpetual license

Whether you buy a single copy of Office 2021 in a retail outlet or download hundreds of seats via volume licensing, Microsoft calls this is a "one-time purchase" because you pay only once, not every month. (Labels like “perpetual,” which have been widely used by, technically note the type of license rather than payment methodology, but in this case, the kind of license is tied lớn whether it was bought outright or simply “rented.”)