If you’re new to Microsoft Office or want to upgrade, you’ll have to choose between two products: Office 2021 and Office apps from Microsoft 365, which makes the selection a little more difficult. Although both of these options provide access to the same range of apps, the distinction is in the list of extra features and prices.
What is Microsoft 365 and what do you need to know about it?
The premium service that has superseded Office 365 is known as Microsoft 365. The service has a new name, but it includes the same programs as Office 2021, as well as the former moniker’s features. The only difference is that you will receive a slew of additional bonuses.
Additionally, if you purchase the Family subscription plan, you can share your account with up to five additional users, bringing the total number of persons on one plan to six.
The most significant benefit is that you will never have to worry about upgrades again. When you use Microsoft 365 to install Office programs, you’ll always be using the most recent version. This implies that as soon as the apps are ready, they will automatically receive security and maintenance updates, as well as upgrades and new features. For example, you’ll be able to install the updated version of Office on Windows 11 or Windows 10 once it’s available.
The service gives you access to cloud-based tools that help you be more productive at school, at work, and on the go (Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android). Everyone on the plan will receive 1TB of OneDrive storage (up to 6TB with the Family membership) as well as Skype minutes. The subscription also offers phone and chat assistance to help with any issues.
If you have a lot of images and videos, you can buy up to 1TB of additional OneDrive storage in 200GB increments for an extra $1.99 per month, bringing the total storage capacity to 2TB (1TB included with the plan and 1TB with the additional plan) for $9.99 per month. Members of Microsoft 365 Personal and Family can use this feature. If you have the Family plan, however, the additional storage will only be available to the principal account holder.
Who should consider purchasing Microsoft 365?
If you want everything, Microsoft 365 is the greatest option because you can install the programs on any device (Windows 11, 10, 8.1, and macOS). It’s also the only choice that offers ongoing updates for a minimal cost of ownership. Office 2021, on the other hand, only allows you to install the programs on one computer running Windows 11 (or Windows 10) and requires you to pay for upgrades again.
There are two types of cloud services available. The “Microsoft 365 Personal” plan is for you if you’ll be the only one using the apps and cloud services. It costs $70 a year (or $7 per month) and includes all of the apps as well as 1TB of OneDrive storage.
If you want to share your subscription with family or friends, however, the “Microsoft 365 Family” plan is the best alternative. It costs $100 a year ($10/month), and you can share the benefits with up to six family members and friends (through the “Services & subscriptions” option in your Microsoft account online). Everyone gets their own 1TB of OneDrive storage. They can also use up to five devices at the same time to access the services.
You will have access to the additional services regardless of whatever plan you choose, including the Microsoft Family Safety experience, which allows you to limit screen time, app, and game usage, share location, monitor driving behavior for young drivers, and more.
Other paid features include Microsoft Editor, which uses AI to help with syntax, spelling, and writing style, as well as other AI-based creative tools. PowerPoint Presenter Coach, for example, allows you to practice presentations while Designer allows you to construct great slide presentations. Resume Assistant is a terrific tool for writing the greatest resumes in Word using Microsoft LinkedIn insights. Money in Excel is also available for viewing, tracking, and organizing family finances. You’ll also get professional templates for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as creative stuff like icons, fonts, and stock pictures.
The membership also grants access to the Outlook website’s premium edition, which contains all of the features of the free version plus 50GB of storage, no adverts, and message encryption, and better security. You will also receive exclusive offers from Microsoft partners as a premium member.
Some Microsoft 365 services can be accessed with a Microsoft account without a membership, but you will have limited functionality that can only be unlocked with a subscription.
You should choose the yearly plan to save money and avoid having to worry about payments for at least a year when choosing one of the subscriptions.
If you are a student or teacher, the company also offers the service at no extra charge if you have a legitimate school email address. This package includes free downloads of Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams, and other school-related applications.
Because Windows 7 is no longer supported, you’ll need to upgrade to Windows 11 or, at the very least, Windows 10 to install the programs.
Office 2021: Everything You Need to Know
The standalone version of Microsoft Office 2021, which does not require a subscription, is known as Microsoft Office 2021. This means that after the one-time purchase, you possess the copy in perpetuity.
The standalone edition of Office (sometimes known as “on-premises” or “perpetual”) lets you install and update the apps on a single machine. You cannot, however, upgrade to the following version. To put it another way, you can use the apps for the duration of their lives (typically five years) and beyond (without updates). You will, however, have to purchase the product again if you need to upgrade to a newer version in the future.
Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook (only on the business edition) are included in Office 2021, however, it has a limited set of capabilities and does not contain the same benefits as a Microsoft 365 subscription. For example, cloud and AI-based capabilities, as well as other services such as the premium edition of “Outlook.com” and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, are not available.
Who is the best candidate to purchase Office 2021?
The Microsoft Office 2021 bundle was created for commercial clients with volume licenses who aren’t ready for cloud-based apps but need to utilize the suite on-premise for certain reasons. This option, however, is available to anyone who does not want to subscribe.
If you’re a home user, this choice is only worthwhile if you can afford the initial investment and like a more traditional experience. It’s also a fantastic option if you only want to use the apps on one computer, don’t need any more capabilities, or don’t want to pay for the Microsoft 365 membership.
Despite the fact that this software only comes with one license for one Windows 11, Windows 10, or macOS PC, you can install the apps on your phone with limited functionality.
Office 2021 is available in three flavors: Microsoft Office Home & Student 2021, Microsoft Office Home & Business 2021, and Office Professional 2021, with prices ranging between $150 and $440. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are included in Office Home & Student 2021, whereas Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook are included in Office Home & Business 2021. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access are all included in Office Professional 2021.
Office 2021, unlike previous versions, is only compatible with Windows 11, Windows 10, and the three most recent versions of macOS. You will need a Microsoft 365 subscription to install Office on Windows 8.1.
Which should you buy: Microsoft 365 or Office 2021?
The final decision is based on how much functionality you require from the apps and other services. Microsoft 365 is without a doubt the finest option if you expect to use Office for a long time. The rationale for this is that you will get full access to the apps and perks with the subscription at a cheap cost of ownership.
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