I need Word, Excel and PowerPoint. What should I choose - Office 2021 or a Microsoft 365 subscription?

Get Office 2021 forever or get a yearly subscription to Microsoft 365? To solve this problem, you need to understand how these offers differ from each other. We'll help you with that. WHERE DO WE PUT IT? This is the primary question you need to ask yourself when choosing a product. The fact is that the Office 2021 suite of applications can only be installed on ONE computer (Windows or Mac). At the same time Microsoft 365 subscription allows you to install Excel, Word, PowerPoint and a couple of other necessary programs to five devices at once. And users are not limited to computers: all services are easily installed even on smart phones and tablets running iOS and Android. The owner of the family version of the subscription (Microsoft 365 for Family) can give access to the installation of all applications from the package for five other people. You don't have to choose relatives: there's an option to share the subscription with friends, loved ones and colleagues. The annual fee will be less, but several people will be able to use the latest Microsoft tools on different devices.

If a person plans to install office applications only on one computer (for example, at home or at work), it would be more convenient for him to make a one-time purchase and not think about regular subscription renewals. OUTLOOK, ACCESS, PUBLISHER - DO I NEED THESE PROGRAMS? Now that we know how many computers we have, let's move on to the main list of programs. In Office 2021 users will find just three basic services - Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Nothing superfluous, a basic set for work. It is important to note that all applications will receive regular security updates, but new functionality may bypass Office 2021 owners. Conventionally speaking, if in the next couple of years Microsoft adds a face-recognition algorithm to PowerPoint for photos, you might only get it if you buy a more recent version of Office. Microsoft 365 has a noticeably larger set of programs available. The basic package is enhanced with Outlook, Access database management system and Publisher system that allows to easily create different marketing materials. If this is the first time you're hearing the names of the last two services, you probably won't need them - just take Office 2021 and don't bother. But otherwise, you can't do without Microsoft 365. It's worth keeping in mind that subscribers of Microsoft 365 package will also receive all the latest software updates, including new functionality. So the example of the facial recognition algorithm will be relevant to them. WHAT ADDITIONAL FEATURES WILL THERE BE? Basically, additional "pluses" will go to Microsoft 365 subscribers. All Microsoft account holders have 5GB of space in the secure OneDrive cloud storage, but subscription users get an additional 1TB. If it's a family version, each user will have 1TB of space (up to 6TB total). You can upload absolutely any files to the cloud: photos, videos, music, documents, etc.

Office 2021 owners are also not left empty-handed, because they will also get a token five gigabytes, which will become available after the activation of a Microsoft account. All in all, it's not a bad bonus either, which will allow to slightly relieve the hard drive on a PC or flash memory on a smartphone. WHAT ABOUT TECHNICAL SUPPORT? It's there, but there are nuances. In the Office 2021 suite of applications support is included only for installation - if the user can not cope, he will certainly help from Microsoft service. But once the programs are "up" on the computer, the rest of the potential problems, if they suddenly arise, the user will have to fight with the help of search engines. Microsoft 365 owners receive free technical service for the duration of the subscription - from the first day until the last day. Microsoft helps solve any issue related not only to the installation, but also to the operation of all the applications in the suite. SO WHAT SHOULD I CHOOSE? Let's summarize who will be enough for a one-time purchase and who can't do without an annual subscription. Office 2021 is for people who plan to install the most basic set of programs (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) on one computer only. They don't need additional functionality and feature upgrades - the standard features that are already in the applications are enough. They are not interested in cloud solutions either: as a last resort, cloud space can be purchased separately.

Microsoft 365 is suitable for more advanced users who want to receive all updates on time and have constant technical support from developers. Subscription holders will be able to install all programs on several computers, as well as share access to them with family, friends and colleagues. As a bonus, each user will get large cloud storage.


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