Microsoft 365 vs Office 365

Reseller’s guide to explaining the differences

As a software reseller you understand Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are two different products aimed at different customers to meet their specific business needs. However, for your end users, it may not be so clear and they may have some confusion around these products.

How then do you effectively explain the differences to your customers without getting bogged down in too much detail? Simply start with our handy summary below…

In a nutshell

Office 365 is a suite of apps and services focused on business productivity. Microsoft 365 is a bundle of services that includes everything Office 365 has to offer together with an operating system, a suite of security solutions and a machine learning component.

In a little more detail

Office 365 is basically a bundle of email and office productivity tools served as a cloud service on a subscription model. It includes Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and – depending on subscription – also other Microsoft products such as Skype for Business, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, and more.

Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive suite of services creating an interconnected experience for its users. On top of Office 365 suite, it also includes other services such as Windows 10 (Microsoft’s latest – and safest to date – operating system), Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), a suite of security and mobility tools, and machine learning (AI component). This complex package initially debuted in two configurations: Business and Enterprise, with the third, Education, introduced shortly after. Let’s have a quick look at these three incarnations of M365:

• Microsoft 365 Business: Designed specifically for small-to-medium sized businesses with up to 300 users.
• Microsoft 365 Enterprise: Aimed towards larger organisations seeking a single, secure platform for sharing and cooperating among within the company.
• Microsoft 365 Education: Created exclusively for schools and other learning institutions with the goal of empowering educators and students and facilitating better collaboration.

Not entirely different

Despite their differences, Office 365 and Microsoft 365 still have some things in common, which is probably adding to the customers’ confusion. On top of including the same set of business productivity tools (within O365), Office 365 and Microsoft 365 can be both used on desktops, smartphones and other mobile devices.

They’re also both available on a subscription model with several plans to choose from depending on customers’ needs. While Microsoft 365 has less predefined options to choose from, it also allows end users to create a customised fit by buying licenses for all the components they’re interested in.

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