Microsoft offers a wide variety of office-related software to meet the needs of customers from small business owners to major corporations. For the business user, there are two options for licensing the Office suite: Office 2016 and Office 365.

Which is right for you? Read our analysis of the major differences bewteen Office 2016 vs. Office 365 so you can identify the option that best fits your needs.


The big difference that you will notice is how you pay for the product. Office 2016 is available for a one time, up-front payment which provides you with a license to install the software onto one computer. Once installed, it’s yours to use for as long as you like.

Office 365, however, is only available as a subscription. You pay monthly (or annually) for the software license. An Office 365 license provides the same installed software as Office 2016 but also gives you access to cloud storage with OneDrive and Skype calling features.


It’s important to note, though, that with Office 2016, you only get a license for use on one device. With Office 365 Business, you can install the Microsoft suite on up to five devices per user. So if you are a small business owner who has several computers for different uses, you may be more inclined toward Office 365.

Which to choose?

Office 365 Business provides installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and Publisher for about $100 per year per user.  Office 365 Business also permits installation on up to five computers and devices (phone/tablet) per user.

Office Home & Business 2016 provides an installation on one computer of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook for a onetime payment of about $230.

Ultimately, it comes down to how you will use the software. If you anticipate needing to use it on multiple devices, or in a mobile setting, perks Office 365 offers, the subscription model is probably best for you. If you are more concerned about life-cycle costs and don’t need Office on your mobile devices then the up-front payment for Office 2016 will have more appeal.

Either way, getting a thorough training on how to take advantage of all the ways this software can help you, is definitely worth exploring!

About The Author

1 Comment

  1. I really liked this post, especially since I’m trying to help my mom with this very thing at her bakery business. Since she doesn’t have multiple computers or users, it sounds like she should be more inclined to use Office 2016. However, I can see how Office 365 would be perfect for other situations with multiple computers being used. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>