Office 365 is a subscription service that includes the most recent version of Office, which currently is Office 2016. It comes with the applications you’re familiar with, like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, plus extra online storage, ongoing tech support at no extra cost, and more.
You can choose to pay for an Office 365 subscription on a monthly or yearly basis, and the Office 365 Home plan lets you share your subscription with up to four members of your household. Different Office 365 plans are available for home and personal use, as well as for small and midsized businesses, enterprises, schools, and nonprofits.
Office 2016 is also sold as a one-time purchase, which means you pay a single, up-front cost to get Office applications for one computer. One-time purchases are available for both PCs (such as Office Home & Student 2016) and Macs (such as Office Home & Student 2016 for Mac). One-time purchases don’t have an upgrade option, which means if you plan to upgrade to the next major release, you'll have to buy it at full price.
Office Online is the free version of Office that you can use in your web browser.
Compare Office 2016 as a one-time purchase to an Office 365 subscription
(Example: Office Home & Student 2016)
|Office 365 subscription
(Example: Office 365 Home)
|Cost||Pay a single, one-time cost||Pay a small monthly fee, or save by paying for a full year|
|Office applications||Get Office 2016 applications, like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Your apps won't be updated when new features are released.||Get the latest version of Office applications, like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Right now that’s Office 2016, but your version will continue to receive new feature updates. PC users also get Access and Publisher.|
|Feature updates||Security updates are included, but you won’t get new features that are added to Office 2016. Upgrades to major releases are not included.||Your version of Office will always be improving. Get the latest features and updates from Microsoft. Major upgrades to future versions are included.|
|Install Office on more than one computer (Mac or PC)||One-time purchases are designed for a single operating system, so your copy of Office is good for either one Mac or one PC.||With Office 365 Home, you can install Office desktop applications on up to 5 computers, which can be a combination of Macs and PCs. If you don’t need all of those installs, share them with members of your household.|
|Install Office and get advanced features on tablets and phones||Get basic editing features only on your tablet or phone.||Get extra features when you sign in to Office apps on your device. With Office 365 Home, you'll get these extra features on up to 5 tablets and 5 smartphones.|
|Extra online storage||Not included.||Securely store your files in the cloud and access them from anywhere. Get 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user, for up to 5 users.|
|Technical support is included||Initial technical support is included for installing only.||Contact us throughout your subscription at no extra cost for help with technical issues, or for subscription and billing support.|