Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, nearly every company was using Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — business software that were bundled together as Microsoft Office (or simply Office). Until 2012, Office was unrivaled in the business productivity suite market, with over a billion users worldwide.
Office was originally sold only as a perpetual license and installed on computers. Today, it is available under two business models: traditional software licensing model with Office 2019 and a cloud-based subscription model with Microsoft 365.
If your company is still using Office 2019 or older versions of the productivity suite, then this blog may convince you to shift to Microsoft 365.
What is the main difference between Office 2019 and Microsoft 365?
While both Office 2019 and Microsoft 365 offer the popular productivity apps Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, they follow different payment schemes.
To use Office 2019, you have to pay a single, upfront fee for one computer. This means that after that one-time purchase, you can use the Office apps throughout its support life cycle (typically five years) and even beyond.
Microsoft 365, on the other hand, adopts a subscription model wherein you pay a small monthly or annual fee to access the productivity apps and related services. If you stop paying, then your license is revoked, and it will only be restored once you restart payments.
Pricing plans for small businesses (as of September 2021)
Office Home & Business 2019
$249.99/PC or Mac
Office Professional 2019
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
Why should I switch to Microsoft 365?
At first glance, Office 2019’s one-time payment for lifetime access may seem more favorable than Microsoft 365’s recurring payment for access. However, Microsoft 365 has plenty of advantages over Office 2019.
Office 2019 does not include all apps available in Microsoft 365. Office Home & Business 2019 (designed for small businesses) only includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, while
Office Professional 2019 (tailored for growing small businesses) has all of those apps plus Access and Publisher.
On the other hand, even the most basic Microsoft 365 business plan already gives you access to OneDrive (1 TB cloud storage), Teams, SharePoint, and Exchange.
Ongoing new features and functionalities
Office 2019 comes with a fixed set of features — you won't get any new ones unless you upgrade to Office 2021 (which will be available starting October 5, 2021) or other future versions, which you have to pay at full price again per PC.
In contrast, Microsoft 365 subscribers automatically receive new features, security and maintenance updates, and improvements as soon as they are available. This ensures that you are always using the most up-to-date versions of Office apps.
For Office 2019, Microsoft offers support for installation, but not for any problems that may arise thereafter. On the other hand, you get to enjoy round-the-clock phone and email support with Microsoft 365 business plans.
What’s more, unlike the usual 10 years of support (like with Office 2016), Office 2019 only has seven years of support (until October 2025). After that time, it will no longer receive any security fixes.
Microsoft also recently announced that the new standard support span for Office 2021 is only five years, which highlights its move to push customers to its subscription plans.
It’s time to move to Microsoft 365
The business landscape has changed so much in recent years. In 2020, for example, companies were forced to adopt work from home (WFH) arrangements to stay operational. To adapt to this sudden shift and enable WFH, Microsoft 365 received many new features and tweaks. For example, in August 2020, individual tasks from To Do and Outlook and team tasks from Planner were all rolled into a single window with the Tasks app in Teams. In July 2021, two new presenter modes in Teams — side-by-side and reporter — were released.
When you subscribe to Microsoft 365, you can always take advantage of new app features, which will let you quickly adapt to the constantly evolving business world.
Ready to transform your business with Microsoft 365? Let Microsoft Registered Partner and Microsoft Small Business Specialist, SpectrumWise, help you with planning, deployment, and support. Schedule a consultation with us today.