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What is the difference between Microsoft Office and Office 365? Office 365 is a suite of services offered by Microsoft. It is the same Office you already know and use every day, but with a slightly different interface and many more features.
Microsoft’s branding of Office 365 may be a bit confusing on how it differs from the Microsoft Office productivity suite that we’re all familiar with.
Microsoft Office is the name used for all of the Microsoft software applications that we use, such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Unlike Office 365, however, these applications can be installed on only one computer system and do not come with any cloud-based services. Cloud services describe the means of storing and accessing your data over the Internet, instead of using your computer’s hard drive. Therefore, when you save files to the cloud, you can access them from practically anywhere and from any device and they will always be up to date, provided that you have access to the Internet. As Microsoft Office is not powered by the cloud, the software must be purchased and installed from a CD.
Office 365 includes Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, etc.) and other productivity services, such as the SharePoint intranet site, instant web messaging using Lync, OneDrive cloud services, the Outlook Web App online mail service, and the Exchange Server email server program. Office 365 subscriptions also allow applications to be installed on multiple computers and devices. The service is powered by the cloud, giving you the freedom to access your applications and files from virtually anywhere. With Office 365, you can work on documents stored in the cloud, even when you’re offline. Once you reconnect to the Internet, all of your changes will automatically be synced. Your data is stored and managed remotely on servers owned by Microsoft. Subscribing to the Office 365 suite requires downloading it, rather than purchasing it on a CD.
Office 365 works on regular desktops and laptops, but is specifically designed to work on touch-screen devices, such as tablets and touchscreen laptops. Currently, users can can install Office 365 on computers running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Older versions of Windows (Vista or XP) are not supported.
Office 2013 Home & Business (CD), comes with Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, whereas Office 2013 Home & Student (CD) comes with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (no Outlook). So it really boils down to subscribing and paying monthly and never worrying about upgrades or purchasing off the shelf every time Microsoft comes out with a new version of Office.