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Microsoft 365 vs. Office 2019 vs. Office 2021: What's the difference? Choose the Right One!

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 2019 vs. Office 2021: What's the difference? Choose the Right One!

    The release of Office 2021 sparked confusion in the minds of Microsoft consumers, especially while extensive marketing efforts to promote Microsoft 365. In the next few months, three products may be available for purchase at the same time: Microsoft 365, Office 2019, Office 2021. Microsoft 365 is an online cloud-based subscription service where you pay a certain amount monthly to access apps like Word and Excel. Office 2019/2021, on the other hand, is physical software, which means you make a one-time payment and buy that product. Since Microsoft 365 and Office 2019 are currently the main ones, we need to get the differences between them. Even if we switch to 2021 in the future, we will be able to understand what they are. They are two separate offerings, with some similarities yet more variations, but what exactly are the differences and which of the two suites should you choose?

Cover Photo:Microsoft

1, What is Office 2019?

Microsoft Office 2019 is a standalone, local (not cloud-based, like Microsoft 365) version of the Microsoft Office software suites, including applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

You make a one time purchase, and you get to keep on using it as long as you want—on one PC or Mac.
Unlike Microsoft 365, which works online, Office 2019 will run offline.

It will continue to get big fixes and security updates, but won’t receive any feature updates after the purchase. To get the latest version, you must purchase Office again when the new version becomes available, such as 2021.


2, What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is the new marketing name for the subscription-based service that replaces Office 365.
Microsoft 365 includes the complete suite of Office applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, plus other services that are enabled over the Internet, including extra cloud storage with OneDrive and Skype minutes for home use.
With Microsoft 365 you get the full, installed Office experience on PCs, Macs, tablets (including Windows, iPad, and Android) and smartphones.
Microsoft 365 plans are available as a monthly or annual subscription and include 5 device installs. With Microsoft 365, upgrades are always included with your subscription.


3, Microsoft 365 & Office 2019 plans and prices

     



Microsoft

365

Business


Microsoft

365

Personal



View

(Get Up To 7% Cash Back

at Microsoft Store)


View

(Get Up To 7% Cash Back

at Microsoft Store)

Price$98.99$69.99
Purchase typeAnnual subscriptionAnnual subscription

Install-

ations

5 PCs or Macs 5 tablets, 5 phones1 PC or Mac              
1 tablet, 1 phone

Compa-

tible

with

Windows 7 & up

            

Mac OS 10.14 & up

Windows 7 & up

            

Mac OS 10.14 & up

OutlookIncluded Included
PublisherIncluded Included
Access

1TB cloud storagePer user for 5 users 1 user
60 Skype minutes3  Per user for 5 users 1 user

Always

up-to-

date

Included Included

Tech

support

Included Included
License ForCommercialPersonal
License TypeSubscriptionSubscription


    


Office

Home & Student 2019

Office

Home & Business 2019

Office

Standard

2019

Office

Pro-

fessional

2019

Office

Pro-

fessional

Plus 2019



View

(Get Up To 7% Cash Back

at Microsoft Store)


View

(Get Up To

7% Cash Back

at 

Microsoft Store)

View

(Get Up To

7% Cash Back

at

Microsoft

Store)

View

(Get Up To

7% Cash Back

at

Microsoft

Store)

View

(Get Up To 7% Cash Back

at 

Microsoft

Store)

Price$109.99$174.99$449.99$256.48$599.99
Purchase typeOne-time purchase

One-time

purchase

One-time purchaseOne-time purchaseOne-time purchase

Install-

ations

1 PC or Mac1 PC or MacPC Only1 PC Only1 PC Only

Compa-

tible

with

Windows 10

             Mac OS 10.13 & up

Windows 10

           

 Mac OS 10.13

& up

Windows 10

only

Windows 10 onlyWindows 10 only
Outlook
IncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
Publisher

IncludedIncludedIncluded
Access


IncludedIncluded
1TB cloud storage




60 Skype minutes3  




Always

up-to-

date






Tech

support

IncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
License ForPersonalCorporateCommercialCommercialCommercial
License TypeRetailRetailOpen LicenseRetailOpen License


4, Microsoft 365 vs. Office 2019: Which Is the Best Deal?

After calculation, we found that Office 2019 or Microsoft 365 has different values in different time periods, such as the cost of 1, 5 and 10 years. Therefore, which one is the most cost-effective may depend on your needs.

If you only need Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on one device:

  • Microsoft 365 Personal is the best value for one year.

  • Office 2019 Home & Student is the best value for five or 10 years.

If you also need Outlook, but only on one device:

  • Microsoft 365 Personal is the best value for one year.

  • Office 2019 Home & Business is the best value for five or 10 years.

If you need Publisher or Access:

  • Microsoft 365 Personal is the best value at every time interval.

5 years later, the $350 of Microsoft 365 Personal is still cheaper than the $440 of Office 2019 Professional. 10 years later, $700 for 10 years of Microsoft 365 Personal beats $880 to buy Office Professional twice.

If you add on OneDrive storage and Skype credit:

  • Microsoft 365 is the best value for one year.

Without Outlook, Office 2019 is only $5 cheaper than Microsoft 365 for five years. With Outlook, Microsoft 365 Personal is the better value for five years.

Office 2019 is just $10 cheaper than Microsoft 365 Personal at 10 years. However, if you need Outlook, Microsoft 365 is a better value than Office 2019 Home & Business at 10 years.

 If you need 1TB of OneDrive storage, access on mobile devices, or are buying for multiple people:

  •  Microsoft 365 offers the best value.

Office 2019 with OneDrive storage is only 100GB. Microsoft 365 with OneDrive storage is 1TB, which is 10 times that amount.

Office 2019 is only good for one PC or Mac. To get it for multiple devices, you'd have to pay at least $150 per computer, plus that amount again after five years to upgrade.

Microsoft 365 Personal lets you install Office on all your devices, and Family lets up to six people install it on all their devices.


5, When is Office 2019 the right choice?

Microsoft Office 2019 is a product specifically geared toward volume-licensed commercial customers with a very specific need for on-premises or hybrid software deployment - or who are not yet ready for cloud-based software.

If you are thinking of purchasing a large volume of licenses, your workforce only uses basic Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook in a desktop, and you only use on-premise applications, then Office 2019 is the right choice.

But also for home users, this version can be interesting. If you don’t use the Office apps a lot, or you don’t want to be bound to a monthly subscription, then the one-time purchase is a good option.

Also, consider that unlike previous versions, Office 2019 is only supported on devices running Windows 10 or the three most recent versions of macOS. If you must use the most up-to-date version of Office, and you're still on Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, you have to purchase an Microsoft 365 subscription.

Microsoft is undoubtedly steering customers towards Microsoft 365 and the subscription-based model, as it allows them to update it with upgrades and patches constantly. Given that Office 2019's support period will end on 14 October 2025 - the same day Office 2016 support ends - there's a strong argument to make that the perpetual-licensed Office suite purchase model is coming to an end and that the cloud-backed Microsoft 365 is the main way forward.


6, When is Microsoft 365 the right choice?

With the rich amount of tools, features, and functionalities, Microsoft 365 enable a new way of increasing productivity in the workplace.

If your organization encourages flexibility and remote work, as well as a strong collaboration through the use of chat, video, and voice conferences then this is the best option for your business.

With a subscription, you'll always have the latest features, fixes, and security updates along with perennial tech support at no extra cost. Purchasing a yearly subscription is recommended because it’s more financially viable.

Also, you can use one license on up to five devices. This includes PC's, Mobile devices, macs, and tablets.

7, Office 2021 Release Date?

In February 2021, Microsoft announced their intention to release Office 2021 for small businesses and personal users “later this year”. That means it could arrive any time between now and the end of 2021, although previous releases give us an idea of when to expect it. Office 2019 and 2016 both arrived in September of their respective years, so that sort of time frame looks likely once again.

Office 2021 will come in two versions: Office LTSC for businesses and Office 2021 for home and personal users.


8, Office 2021 vs. Office LTSC

What is Office 2021? Office 2021 is the next version of Microsoft Office for consumers and small businesses. It’s what Microsoft calls a ‘perpetual licence’ version. A single payment for ongoing use of the software with no annual payments (non-subscription). The replacement for Office 2019. It’ll be sold as a one-time purchase and Microsoft will support it with feature and security updates for the standard five years. Microsoft has already confirmed that the pricing of Office 2021 will remain the same as that of Office 2019.

What is Office LTSC? Office LTSC is the version of Office 2021 designed for businesses. “LTSC” stands for Long Term Service Channel. It’s specifically designed to be used on systems which are static and won’t change over the next 5 or 10 years, such as those not connected to the internet. What does that mean in real terms? Office LTSC is essentially a collection of the Microsoft Office apps without any cloud-connected features. The LTSC model comes with a 10-year support cycle from Microsoft and customers can decide exactly how to receive updates – or even to skip them altogether to maintain the specific features at install.


9, Office 2021 vs. Microsoft 365

The new version of Office 2021 is designed for users who are not interested in subscribing to the cloud-powered variant of Microsoft 365. Similar to Office 2019, it's built for people and small businesses that want to use Office but don't want a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Therefore, the most significant difference is the way you pay for them.

Office 2021 will be available with a one-off purchase, and then yours to keep indefinitely. For access to Microsoft 365, you'll need to pay a regular subscription fee, with plans currently starting at US$69.99 per year.

However, it's not a case of having to pay regularly for the same service. In addition to the regular Word, Excel, PowerPoint Outlook and OneNote apps you'll get with Office 2021, Microsoft 365 also provides access to Skype and 1TB of OneDrive storage. Microsoft Teams subscriptions also offer access to web-based versions of these services.

Another major attraction of Microsoft 365 subscriptions is the regular updates. While there's no official schedule, Microsoft says this is at least once a month. This will often include new features, which is not the case with the standalone version. While Office 2021 will still be updated following launch, but this will just be security patches.


10, Office LTSC vs. Microsoft 365: which is right for your business?

The 2021 version is not really very useful for most businesses.

Although the home and personal version will be updated for five years, the version for business – Office LTSC – is designed for very specific scenarios, such as closed systems on the factory floor, rather than for daily business use. The lack of cloud features or connectivity means that businesses can’t use Office LTSC alongside the more online-focused way of working that most companies are employing today.
Microsoft would very much prefer NOT to sell perpetual licence versions of Office. The high prices, reduced support and limited features are all signs of that. They only sell Office 2021 because Microsoft doesn’t want people to switch to non-Microsoft alternatives.

Microsoft 365 with it’s annual fee is Microsoft’s preferred option. And while it’s true that a subscription is a longer-term cost, it actually works out about the same over the term of the standalone version’s support.

Of course, the benefit of choosing 365 is that your support from Microsoft (and thus your security) won’t suddenly be switched off after a set number of years. Not only that, but Office LTSC will not  receive any “feature updates” within 2 to 3 years, and even then, customers can pick and choose what they install. It will still receive security updates, however.

Although there is no doubt that Office LTSC and Office 2021 stand-alone products may be a good choice in very specific scenarios and home users, but for the vast majority of businesses, Microsoft 365 is the clear choice.


11, Office 2021 vs. Office 2019

Office 2021 has some major feature updates, but it is similar to Office 2019, thus you can expect a level of familiarity with it.

Office 2021 price

Microsoft doesn't plan to change its pricing compared to Office 2019.

Office Home & Student 2019 - US$149.99

Office Home & Business 2019 - US$249.99

Office LTSC price

Office LTSC must be purchased for each device, but the license does not have to be renewed after purchase. When sales commence, Microsoft is expected to increase the prices for Office Professional Plus, Office Standard and the associated apps by ten percent.

Support

Office 2021 will only get bug fix and security patches for five years from release date (not date of purchase).

That’s two years less than Office 2019 and half the supposedly ‘fixed lifecycle’ policy announced by Microsoft itself.

Both are available for one PC or Mac, and include the current standalone versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. You also get 60 days of Microsoft support.

Office 2021 will include in all bundles:

Word 2021

Excel 2021

PowerPoint 2021

Depending on the bundle / package of Office 2021 it can also have:

Outlook 2021

Access 2021 (Windows only)

Publisher 2021 (Windows only)

OneNote is also included but it’s the same as in Office 2019.

What’s new in Office 2021? Microsoft has confirmed these features will be added to Office 2021:
Dynamic Arrays in Excel

XLOOKUP in Excel

Dark mode support

Line Focus added to Word’s Immersive Reader.

Record a slide show with narration in PowerPoint.

Performance improvements

Accessibility improvements

Some other features may be added before public release. Once released, there will be no more features added, unlike Microsoft 365 annual plans.


12, Conclusion

A few years ago, Microsoft pushed out three videos that challenged three pairs of twins to compete against each other using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. One of the twins used the Microsoft 365 version of the application and the other twin had the Office 2019 version of the application. It goes without saying, the twin using the Microsoft 365 version won hands down.

While Office 2021 might be a good option in some circumstances, Get Support always recommends the subscription-based Microsoft 365 suite, which includes all Office apps (and a lot more).  Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is a cloud-based, subscription model version of Microsoft’s super popular productivity suite Microsoft Office (in addition to a slew of new apps and services), that allows you to have the latest versions with the latest features -for a monthly fee- without buying a one-time, upfront-cost, newer license with each version release.

Microsoft 365 contains the same core applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint…etc) as regular versions of Office (Office 2019 being the last one, Office 2021 releasing), and depending on the subscription, it may also include other apps and services such as Power Apps, Planner, OneDrive, Exchange, SharePoint, Power BI, Power Automate, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Stream, and a few other business apps & services to manage customer scheduling, invoicing and referrals (in case of a business subscription).

But, if you’re choosing between the 3, there are only two questions you need to ask. First, what apps in the Office Suite do you actually use, and in what ways? Second, do you use Office enough to justify spending money on it on an annual basis? However, if you want to grow with technology, we recommend that you switch your staff to Microsoft 365.

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2021-06-03 20:401804