M365: Exchange versus M365

Office: What’s Changed?

For as long as I can remember, when you ordered a computer, you purchased Office. Everyone needs this basic tool kit which includes Word, Excel, Power Point, and so on. Then, Microsoft would come out with new releases every few years and one of the older years would be ‘end of life’ and no longer supported. Most updates were backwards compatible, so you could open documents from prior versions after you upgraded. Then people would start sending attachments created with the latest Office version and you’d eventually give in and purchase the latest version of Office and get it installed. Sound familiar?

Microsoft 365 has changed how all of this works, and I would say that the changes are for the better!

First, Office is available as a subscription. Yes, that means a monthly recurring charge, but there are quite a few perks with this new process.

  • With your license, you can install Office on up to 5 of your personal devices. That means the one subscription will cover your desktop, laptop, and even your tablet. You’re already saving money!
  • You can also access your Office programs through the web at Office.com. So, if you’re on someone else’s computer, you can go to a web browser and log in, even if Office is not installed on that computer, or it’s an out-of-date version.
  • For your team, turn off subscriptions when your staff size shrinks. You’re not stuck having purchased Office software and now it’s just sitting there unused.
  • Need to scale up? Add monthly subscriptions. It’s a lot less cash outlay to add a couple Office subscriptions than to purchase 5 Office licenses, especially if you’ll only need them in the short term.

Add OneDrive to the mix and even changing computers will be less painful, since your documents will be associated with your Microsoft 365 license. When I needed to use a different laptop temporarily, I logged in with my Microsoft 365 credentials and within a very short period of time, all my local documents were available on the temporary machine – no copying files and hoping you got everything, then copying back to reflect all the changes!

Office subscriptions are available ‘a la carte’ or in M365 packages. We recommend looking at the Business Standard or Business Premium to get the biggest bang for your buck. – CMW