Office Home & Business vs Office 365 Business

Microsoft LogoOf all the Software productivity suites available on today’s market it’s hard to find one more ubiquitous than Microsoft Office. It comes as no surprise that such a widely available product is available in a range of packages and an array of different payment models.

In the past a One-time purchase of Office Home & Business was the go to package for small businesses looking to equip their employee’s with the basics of the Office Suite at the lowest entry point. However, with the rise in popularity of the subscription based model Microsoft has also jumped on the subscription bandwagon with their Office 365 offering and the increased business value it offers.

Now when purchasing Office, small businesses have a choice to be made. Do they opt for a One-time purchase of Office Home & Business or do they sign up to its subscription based equivalent, Office 365 Business?

Office Home and Business 2016 ImageLet’s take a look at just what is included with each package:

Office Home & Business

• Contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook Applications
• One-time Purchase – Once purchased, you own that software License. There is no subscription cost and you will only need to pay again to update to a newer version of the software.
• Security Updates – Security updates will be released by Microsoft Periodically

Office 365 Business

Microsoft Office 365 BusinessMonthly or Annual Subscription, Licensed Per user - Immensely useful if you are hiring a contractor or seasonal worker on a temporary basis where a one-time purchase of office may not be cost effective.
• Contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook Applications
• Also Contains Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Sway Applications
• 1TB Personal One Drive for Business
• Can be installed on up to 5 PC's or Macs, 5 Tablets (Windows, iPad and Android) and 5 Phones. (For use by a single user)
• Always entitled to use the most up to date version of Office
• Access to Office Online (Browser based versions of Office software allowing simple viewing and editing of documents)
• Usernames and permissions can be synchronised with a Local Server. This is even easier to setup when paired with Microsoft Server Essentials.
• Microsoft Office Technical Support (Business Hours vary with severity; issues classed as Critical have 24/7 support)

Microsoft Access 2016 LogoOne of the main applications missing from the comparison above is Microsoft Access as neither Office Home & Business or Office 365 Business include it. If you require Microsoft Access, you would need to buy either Office 2016 professional as a one-time purchase or Office 365 ProPlus as a subscription. Both of these are equivalent to the Office versions mentioned above with the prime difference being their inclusion of access.

As you can see, the features are heavily stacked in favour of Office 365. In fact, it’s easy to argue that the value of the features on offer by themselves are reason enough to choose Office 365.

From an IT Professional perspective, one of the biggest selling points for Office 365 is actually a drawback in the way Office Home & Business licenses product keys are managed. With Office Home and Business Licenses there is a “Management” overhead whenever it comes to administration. This makes it difficult tracking what licenses are in use and where they are in use.

Since the 2013 release of Office Home & Business, Microsoft requires you to associate your product key with a Microsoft account in order to activate the software. You can then use that Microsoft account in order to re-install or re-activate that office key.

This is not usually an issue to manage a couple of office keys associated to one account or to their own individual accounts. However, the difficulty in managing these keys becomes apparent when you need to manage multiple office Product keys assigned to different users.

To manage multiple Office One time purchases, Microsoft recommends you create your own product Key list and track what computer it is assigned to. Being able to identify what license is used on what machine can be something of a chore requiring Command Line scripts to be run on each computer to reveal the last 5 digits of the product key.

Office 365 does not have this drawback as it is designed with an easy to understand administration console that lets you assign or move office licenses between users. It is even possible to see which devices a user has activated Office on!

If you would like to know more about Office 365 and the benefits it can bring or require help choosing the version of Office that's right for you, please contact us on (023) 8086 8947 or click the button below to request more information.

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