Office 365 vs Office 2021 – on-premises or cloud – which should you choose?
The office is the most popular office suite in the world. Microsoft offers Office 2021 in two variants – the Microsoft 365 cloud service and a classic license-based solution. Which version of Office is right for your organization? What is the biggest difference between the versions?
Microsoft Office is the world’s most popular office suite and one of the most profitable products developed by the Redmond-based giant. Most users are familiar with applications such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, or Microsoft Outlook.
Work and study with the Microsoft Office suite. The Office suite’s nearly limitless features are available in almost every country and 106 languages are used every day around the world.
Microsoft Office is a tool used by individuals, the education industry, and all kinds of organizations.
There are currently two types of office suites on the market – cloud versions – Microsoft 365 (pay by subscription model) and on-premises solutions (lifetime ownership licenses).
Although Microsoft Office has moved away from the classic sales model, monthly or yearly subscriptions to the Microsoft 365 suite now account for the majority of sales.
As a result, organizations face a choice between the ever-evolving Microsoft 365 suite (cheaper one-time purchase but higher TCO in the long run) and the classic, less powerful Microsoft Office suite when purchased initially. head. In today’s document, we will compare the two versions and recommend which model to choose.
Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 licensing questions
One of the main differences between Office 365 and Office 2021 is the method of distribution that comes from licensing. Microsoft 365 plans are available for some accounts on Microsoft services – for certain users. This package is hardware independent – it can be installed on 5 different devices – phone, tablet, and computer. In addition, we have access to the web version through the browser without the need to install a separate application. All of this comes with a 1 TB OneDrive, allowing you to store documents online.
Office 2021 is the latest version of the classic Microsoft Office suite. The product key is assigned to a specific device, in this case, a laptop or desktop computer. The local model office has no mobile or web apps. It also doesn’t come with the OneDrive web drive. This means that Microsoft Office 2021 is assigned to a device and not a specific user. This type of license can be used for computers located in kiosks or office lobbies, where they can be used by different users.
Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 – Billing
Subscription services give you access to Microsoft Office for a flat monthly or annual fee. This solution has a fixed cost advantage, but in the long run, Microsoft 365 could be more expensive than Microsoft Office 2021 – especially if we don’t integrate email with Microsoft services and use SharePoint and Azure AD/Intune.
Microsoft Office 2021 Home and Business for small organizations costs between 1,000 and 1,300, depending on the provider. This package includes only the core applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The more expensive Microsoft Office 2021 Professional suite includes integration with Publisher, Access, and Microsoft Teams Messenger. However, the price of the license is up to 2,499 .
For Microsoft 365, we have several plans to choose from:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic, €5.1 per month – no access to Office desktop apps
- Microsoft 365 for Business, €8.8 per month – Classic subscription with access to Office on desktop
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard, €10.50 per month – version for large companies with SharePoint access
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium, €18.6 per month – top version with enhanced security, Azure Data Protection, and Intune access
Small businesses can use a Microsoft 365 Business subscription. However, the most popular plan is Microsoft 365 Business Standard, which represents the best compromise between price and the features it offers.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard costs 126 EUR per user year, or 500-600 depending on the euro exchange rate. This means that the price of the classic Microsoft Office 2021 Home & Business license will be amortized after just two years of use. The payback period of the professional version is up to 5 years. Note that Microsoft releases a new version of Office On-Premise every 2-4 years.
Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 – Software Development
When it comes to cloud and on-premises offices, software development should not be overlooked. If we choose Microsoft 365 more than once a year, we’ll receive important updates that introduce security patches and new useful features. Recently added an updated user interface compatible with Windows 11.
We can’t believe the new features in Office 2021. Local builds only get bug fixes and security. In this respect, Office 2021 is no different from older versions of Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8). Microsoft 365 is comparable to Windows 10 and 11 – it receives many updates throughout the life of the software.
Microsoft has promised monthly updates to its classic office suite, Office 2021, and Office 365 will even receive updates several times a month.
Is this the end of the classic Office On-Premise?
Microsoft Corporation said it will continue to develop the classic version of Microsoft Office, while the company says it is doing everything it can to make the transition from classic Office to Microsoft 365 easier. The era of classic software is slowly passing, and Office in the cloud is evolving. . In the future, SaaS will replace the classic local solutions.
Before doing this, it is important to know that Microsoft has decided to “cut” support for the classic version of Office. Office 2019 and Office LTSC 2019 releases have 7 years of support, while Office 2021 can only count for 5 years of updates. This means the end of support will be announced on October 13, 2026. Note that Microsoft does not currently offer 10-year support for in-place builds. This situation shows that the classic office suite is not the main product.
The on-premises office has an important advantage over the cloud version
Microsoft 365 is closely related to the cloud. To get the most out of Office Suite, you must be connected to the Internet. Note that Microsoft 365 will stop working if the computer is not connected to the Internet for 30 days because the program cannot verify the payment to the user.
Office 2021 licenses do not have these restrictions. Users can use the package without any restrictions.