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Microsoft 365 vs Office 365: What’s the Difference?

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Used by more than 100 million companies worldwide, Microsoft is one of the most popular software offerings on the market. Yet, despite the popularity, some confusion persists around the platform’s product offerings, specifically Microsoft 365 and Office 365.

Kipp Sorenson, CPO at JourneyTEAM explained the difference between the two platforms this way: “Our clients often get confused between the differences between Office 365 and Microsoft 365. When you think of Office 365, think about the good ‘ole Office days of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more as a subscription offering from Microsoft. Microsoft 365, on the other hand, is a bundle of services that could include Office 365 and additional things like Email, Teams, SharePoint, Power BI, and much more. There are different licensing/services bundles that can address the needs of most companies and their unique benefits.”

Put simply, Office 365 and its subsequent tools (i.e. Outlook, Exchange, Teams, SharePoint, Yammer, etc.) is part of the larger Microsoft 365 suite which includes Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) and Windows OS.

Below, we’ll dive more into what each platform is, its differentiators, and the benefits and use cases of both platforms.

microsoft 365 vs office 365

What is Microsoft 365?

As stated above, Microsoft 365 is a bundle of Windows OS, EMS, and numerous productivity applications. The subscription-based offering also includes access to the company’s threat protection features and flagship operating system. The platform is geared more towards larger or enterprise-level organizations looking for a secure solution that enables users to share and collaborate. Additionally, the strong data security features included with Windows 10 and Office 365 (with your Microsoft 365 subscription) safeguard data from potential cyber threats.

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is part of the Microsoft 365 platform and features numerous productivity, communication, and collaboration tools, including Outlook, Teams, and Word. All tools are designed to work together, maximizing productivity and efficiency. Typically, small- to mid-sized businesses rely on Office 365 only for productivity and collaboration tools. It’s when organizations want additional collaboration tools that they turn to Microsoft 365.

What’s Included in Each Platform?

The Microsoft 365 platform is fairly straightforward and includes Windows OS and EMS. The productivity tools within Microsoft 365 include:

  • Excel: Spreadsheet program where users can format, organize, and calculate data.

  • Word: Word processor that allows users to create simple or complex documents.

  • Teams: A collaboration platform that includes document sharing, online meetings, and more.

  • PowerPoint: A presentation program where users can create electronic presentations.

  • OneNote: Note-taking software that users can use to capture ideas, organize data, and more.

  • Outlook: Microsoft’s preferred email platform used to send and receive emails and schedule meetings.

  • Forms: Create forms, surveys, or quizzes that can be shared across teams.

  • Sway: Users can create and share interactive reports, presentations, and personal stories within Sway.

  • Delve: A data visualization and discovery tool, Delve allows users to capture, organize, and report on business data.

  • Power Apps: PowerApps is a suite of applications, connectors, and services as well as a data platform where users can build custom applications for business needs.

  • OneDrive: Internet-based storage platform that houses business documents and resources.

  • SharePoint: SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that acts as a document management and storage system.

  • Yammer: A collaborative platform that’s used mainly for private communications within an organization.

Why Use Each Platform?

The biggest benefit of using both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 is the increase in productivity, efficiency, and connectivity across the organization. This is done by:

  • Streamlining knowledge sharing: OneDrive, SharePoint, and Yammer provide organizations with simple, easy document management and sharing while Teams and Outlook keep everyone on the same page.

  • Anytime, anywhere access: Because both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are cloud-based offerings, users can access applications from any device, any time.

  • Intelligent process automation: Both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 have workflow management capabilities that automate numerous processes, saving businesses valuable time.

  • Advanced security features: Both platforms feature robust security tools that safeguard business applications and data. Admins can restrict user access to specific files, folders, or applications ensuring only approved users access certain data.

  • Improving customer experience and engagement: Microsoft applications enable businesses to delve deeper into customer data, providing valuable insights on how to improve the customer experience and engage with them more effectively.

Platform Pricing

Both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 offer various subscription plans. A breakdown of pricing for each platform is below.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 Family

Microsoft 365 Personal

Office Home and Student

$99.99/year or $9.99/month (subscription)

$69.99/year or $6.99/month (subscription)

$149.99 (one-time purchase)

Office 365


Office 365 Business Basic

Office 365 Apps for Business

Office 365 Business Standard

Office 365 Business Premium


Business Standard

Business Premium


$6 user/month

$8.3 user/month

$12.50 user/month

$22 user/month

Implement Microsoft Solutions with Expert-Level Help

Ultimatley, the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365 comes down to this: “Microsoft 365 is the cornerstone of any productive business that needs reliable, secure, and productive applications for business essential functions,” said Eric Beins, COO at JourneyTEAM. “Whether it's managing your day-to-day in Outlook or adherence to compliance with security and identity policies, M365 is the workplace suite that allows you to accomplish what you need without any hassles. It's designed to scale from small businesses all the way to the enterprise corporation by giving control and insights to administrators all while providing intuitive interfaces for end users. With Office 365 you're getting the tools you've come to depend on plus new workplace productivity enhancers like Teams, SharePoint, and Viva.”

When deciding between the two, take the time to consider how you and your users work as well as your specific collaboration, communication, online storage, and accessibility needs.

At JourneyTEAM, we’ll work closely with you to create a Microsoft 365 platform that meets your specific needs—no matter how specific. To learn more about our services and offerings, contact a JourneyTEAM representative today.


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