Microsoft 365 vs. Office 2021: Which One is Right for You?

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 2021: Which One is Right for You?

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 2021: Which One is Right for You?

Webtech Nepal Nov 18, 2022 826 views

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 2021: Which One is Right for You?

Microsoft products are used for work and education by billions of people all around the world. These people may be working or learning from their homes, offices, classrooms, or a combination of all three settings.

This productivity suite is available in personal, small business, corporate, and educational editions and is utilized by people working in 106 languages throughout nearly every country.

It was in October of 2021 when Microsoft released Windows 11 and Office 2021. After 30 years, Microsoft has released the newest version of its office suite. However, Microsoft 365 is also available if you go to their website.

Some may wonder, “Why does Microsoft have two versions of the same product?” As such, we will explain the differences between Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 to clear up any confusion.

Differentiating between a One-Time Purchase and a Subscription

Microsoft 365 is a subscription service that provides access to the most recent versions of Microsoft’s modern productivity software. Individuals, families, students, teachers, and non-profits can all find a Microsoft 365 plan that suits their needs.

Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, among others, are all included in the full version of Microsoft Office, which is part of the Microsoft 365 subscriptions for personal and commercial use. More space is available on the cloud; you may share and edit files in real time with your colleagues. With a subscription, you’ll have access to perpetual tech support and the most recent upgrades, fixes, and security patches at no additional cost. Monthly or annual payments are accepted for subscriptions. You can include up to five family members or friends in your Microsoft 365 Family plan and give them access to the same subscription features you do.

In addition to the online versions of Office, file storage, and email, Microsoft offers more basic options with fully installed desktop software for businesses, schools, and non-profits. What’s most practical for you to do is up to you. In the context of a business, an enterprise, an academic institution, or a charitable organization.

Office 2021 is a one-time buy, meaning you pay once to install it on as many computers as you need. Both PCs and Macs can make one-time purchases. Unfortunately, no upgrade paths are available; therefore, if you want to move up to the next major release, you will have to pay full price.

Comparing Office 2021 Vs. Microsoft 365 Subscription

1. Cost

Microsoft 365: With Microsoft 365, you can pay a lower monthly fee or save money by paying for the entire year’s subscription.

Office 2021: One-time payment must be made in advance for the entirety of the lifecycle, according to Office 2021.

2. Applications

Microsoft 365: Install the most recent versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook on your Windows or Mac computer with Microsoft 365. It also includes OneNote.

You will always get access to the latest features, tools, security upgrades, and bug patches as soon as they become available.

Office 2021: Get programs from the Office suite, such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, with Office 2021.

3. Feature updates

Microsoft 365: Microsoft 365 ensures that your applications will improve continuously.

Office 2021: You will obtain all of the most recent improvements and features and any necessary bug fixes and safety enhancements.

There are security patches available for Office 2021, but there are no new features to be had. Upgrades to major versions of the release are not included.

4. Install Office on multiple computers (Mac or PC).

Microsoft 365: You can use Office applications no matter where you are or what device you’re working on if you have Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, or Microsoft 365 Apps for Business installed on all of your devices and are signed in to at least five of them simultaneously.

There is no additional cost for computers, Apple iPads, or mobile phones.

Office 2021: Office 2021 software can be installed on either a personal computer or a Macintosh computer.

5. Tablets and mobile phones with enhanced capabilities.

Microsoft 365: Install the free mobile applications that come with Microsoft 365, and when you sign in to Office apps on your device, you’ll get access to additional features.

Office 2021: Install the free mobile applications for Office 2021 to receive access to fundamental editing capabilities on tablets or phones with displays that are less than 10.1 inches.

6. Additional storage space available online

Microsoft 365: Microsoft 365 allows you to safely store your files in the cloud and access them from any device, regardless of location.

Get one terabyte of online storage with OneDrive and one terabyte of storage with Microsoft 365 Family for up to six people, including yourself.

Office 2021: Office 2021 does not include cloud storage or other available features.

7. There is the provision of technical help.

Microsoft 365: You can contact them at any point during their membership for help with technical issues and billing and subscription questions.

Office 2021: The initial phase of technical support is restricted entirely to the installation process.

Additional Advantages of Using Microsoft 365

You will also get access to various features and the previously mentioned applications and services. You can seamlessly insert royalty-free creative content into your Microsoft 365 documents, such as stock pictures, icons, fonts, templates, and more.

You also gain access to products driven by artificial intelligence, such as the PowerPoint Presenter Coach, Resume Assistant, Designer, and Ideas. The use of AI to assist you in automatically completing tasks is one of the ways that these value-added services simplify your life.

For instance, Microsoft Word is smart enough to recognize when you’re putting together a resume, so it can provide you with appropriate templates to use. When developing a presentation, ideas could include different layouts or pictures. And Designer will assist you in selecting the proper formatting for your Word document and ensuring that it is maintained consistently throughout all of the pages.

Is Microsoft 365 the Best Available Alternative?

After reading through all of the advantages that come with using Microsoft 365 in comparison to Office 2021, you could be forgiven for thinking that selecting the former is the obvious path to take. However, it is more complex than it sounds.

If you keep a computer for two years or longer, you do not need cloud storage, and you use the basic functions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, then it is in your best interest to go with Office 2021. This version is appropriate for young students or retirees who do not frequently utilize these applications and are not typically linked to the internet.

Professionals who use smartphones provided by their employers may choose the single-purchase option, mainly if they don’t use these apps outside the scope of their jobs.

On the other hand, if you have at least two users in your organization willing to share a Microsoft 365 plan for at least three years, it is more cost-effective to go with the subscription plan.


Office 2021 is designed to meet the requirements of customers who have volume licenses but have yet to be ready to transition to cloud applications such as Microsoft 365 and have specific requirements to use the products on-premise.

On the other hand, customers who need more preparation to commit to a subscription-based service can purchase Office 2021. Ultimately, the decision will be made based on the programs and services necessary to do the job.

Microsoft 365 is your organization’s finest option to consider if you want to continue using Office for many years. With the assistance of Webtech Nepal, you can have Microsoft 365 up and running in no time, which is the most excellent choice if you want your company to grow while fostering smooth collaboration among your employees.