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What's the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365?

Office 365 was launched in 2010 and has since become a service that can be found at many workplaces, but the presence of Microsoft 365 on the market means it's easy to confuse the two services due to their similar names and offers. So we've chosen to clarify the biggest differences to make it easier for you to distinguish between them and choose what suits your business best. Get with it!

What is Office 365?

To make it easier to see the differences, we'll begin by explaining what Office 365 is. Office 365 is aimed at both companies and private individuals and is a development of the Office suite that includes programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Microsoft describes it this way ”Office 365 has the tools you need to work anytime, anywhere, on any device. It's the same Office you've used for years, plus all the benefits of the cloud”.

It's one of the most popular cloud solutions for businesses today and enables many services that simplify the working day. For example, you can use it to create better internal collaboration as you can share documents and amend them together with your colleagues online.

Below is a summary of some of the services Office 365 offers. The services included may differ depending on the company subscription you choose for your business.

  • Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint, Yammer and Teams
  • Exchange Online

You can also purchase supplemental features for Office 365 if you want to enhance security, but this comes at a cost additional to your chosen subscription. As a company, you can choose between the Business and Enterprise solutions, which are adapted to suit companies of different sizes and their most common needs.

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 was introduced at the end of 2017, and in contrast to Office 365 is only aimed at companies. Everything in Office 365 is included in Microsoft 365, but it also includes Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). It can also be seen as a suite of readily available solutions from Microsoft under the same license, which makes purchasing easier and often more affordable.

Just like Office 365, Microsoft 365 is broken down into different suites suitable for companies of different sizes, and includes Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise, the difference being that Business is aimed at small companies and Enterprise at larger companies. In this context, small companies refers to businesses with fewer than 300 users.

In all, the following is included in Microsoft 365:

  • Everything included in Office 365
  • Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise
  • Enterprise Mobility
  • Security solutions

It's worth remembering that Microsoft 365 gets new functions and updates on an ongoing basis. Microsoft has a blog dedicated to news and ideas about how to optimize your M365 use, which makes it easier to keep up with what's happening and the latest updates.

What's the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365?

The greatest difference between the solutions is that Microsoft 365 has bundled the Microsoft services and licenses that companies are usually interested in with a focus on security, while Office 365 focuses on software and services.

To a degree, Office 365 also focuses on security, but not to the same extent as Microsoft 365. The security plan may also differ depending on the suite of solutions chosen. Below, we've used bullet points to compare similarities and differences between the security solutions, and in doing so we compare Office 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business.

Available in both Office 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business:

  • Data loss prevention
    An in-depth content analysis for the simple identification, monitoring and prevention of sensitive information leaving the company.
  • Exchange Online Archiving
    Data archiving and conservation principles for recovering data or ensuring that it remains compatible.
  • Office 365 Message Encryption

Encryption of email messages and the ability to limit access rights.

Additional services in M365 Business:

  • Office 365 advanced threat protection
    Sophisticated scanning that discovers and blocks harmful email attachments and documents.
  • Azure information protection
    Checks and manages sensitive content in email and documents.
  • Microsoft Intune
    Allows the simple management of devices, apps and settings with the uniform, web-based console.
  • Conditional access
    Defines precisely which users may have access to what, and allows you to block those who do not meet given policies.

To summarize, Microsoft 365 offers more extensive security functions than Office 365 while also providing a license for Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. If you're interested in enhancing security, Microsoft 365 may be the more cost-effective and simple solution as it comes as a suite.

If you'd like assistance deciding which license would suit you best, we'll be happy to help. Contact one of our local offices to get help closest to you.

Guide – "The road to a more secure IT environment" 

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