Office 365 vs. Microsoft 365: What’s the difference?

Published On: April 2nd, 2019Categories: blog, cloudBy

From accessing your data and software from anywhere on any device to improved productivity and collaboration, cloud computing benefits are skyrocketing. One of the most popular cloud-based software suites is Office 365. But did you know there is also a suite called Microsoft 365?

Their names are similar, but Office 365 and Microsoft 365 do have some differences. If you’re considering making the move to cloud-based services and storage, you’ll want to consider both, as well as the security of your data, before making a decision. And while we had no hand in Microsoft’s arguably confusing and similar naming scheme, we can make sure you understand what each service does and which one is the right fit for your business.

What do these include?

To understand the differences, let’s start with a look at the two services.

Office 365

Launched in 2013, Office 365 is a subscription-based version of Microsoft’s popular Office suite, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. It also includes new apps and services geared for improving office productivity and collaboration, such as OneDrive, Teams, SharePoint, and more.

Related: Office 365 and digital transformation: What CIOs need to know

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 takes productivity further with an all-in-one business bundle that includes Office 365 along with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise Mobility and Security.  Launched in 2017, it’s a great option for those looking for Office 365 plus additional security and mobile device management.

Related: Microsoft 365: A cheat sheet

Which one should you choose?

The answer to that question depends on your needs. Should you upgrade to Microsoft 365 if you already have Office 365? At some point, the answer will probably be yes. Whether you need to do it today depends on factors such as whether you already have other tools in place for information protection, malware prevention, preservation, compliance, and archiving with continuous backup.     

Related: Microsoft 365 Business vs Office 365 comparison

All of the services included in Microsoft 365 can be purchased separately as well, but you will miss out on some of the machine learning benefits and advanced security features offered by Microsoft 365.

Microsoft 365 advanced security features

Even if you already have the services offered through Microsoft 365 separately, there are security benefits you gain by moving to the bundled service. In February of 2019, Microsoft 365 began offering the following new features:

  • Identity & Threat Protection: This new package brings together security value across Office 365, Windows 10, and EMS in a single offering. It includes best-of-breed advanced threat protection services, including Microsoft Threat Protection (Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Windows Defender ATP, and Office 365 ATP including Threat Intelligence), as well as Microsoft Cloud App Security and Azure Active Directory.
  • Information Protection & Compliance: This new package combines Office 365 Advanced Compliance and Azure Information Protection. It’s designed to help compliance and IT teams perform ongoing risk assessments across Microsoft Cloud services, automatically protect and govern sensitive data throughout its lifecycle, and efficiently respond to regulatory requests leveraging intelligence.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive, interconnected, secure experience for your business productivity, Microsoft 365 is definitely the way to go.

When in doubt, contact your managed IT service provider for help. They can help you evaluate your current environment and decide which option is going to work best for you. And if you’re migrating to the cloud for the first time, you’re going to want some expert help to make sure the migration goes smoothly.

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