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Microsoft 365 and Office 365 – Are They the Same?

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Those paying attention to how Microsoft brands its products may have noticed that in recent months, discussions centered around Microsoft’s office productivity apps have used two names to describe these applications: Microsoft Office 365, and Microsoft 365.

These might seem at first glance to be interchangeable terms, but are they really? We explore this terminology change on today’s blog.

Microsoft 365 and Office 365: Are They the Same Thing?

When discussing their cloud-based productivity tools, Microsoft in recent months has made some changes to the terms they use to describe their communication, collaboration and productivity tools. Until recently, these were typically referred to as Office for the PC installed version, or Office 365 for the cloud-based tools.

Recently, however, there’s been more focus on a new product called Microsoft 365.

But is this really a new product? Yes and no. What it really is, is the bundling of the existing Office 365 Business Premium productivity tools – delivering many of the same benefits that users and organizations received in the past – with the Windows 10 platform and something new called Enterprise Mobility + Security.

Office 365 and Microsoft 365: Compare and Contrast

Office 365 continues to include the following benefits and features:

  • 1 TB of cloud storage per user.
  • Installed and cloud version of Office applications.
  • 50 GB email, with contacts and calendar.
  • Microsoft Teams chat-based workspace.
  • Audio and video teleconferencing.
  • Network security and data protection.
  • Support for up to 5 devices per user.
  • And much more.

Microsoft Office 365 includes all of the above, bundled with Windows 10 and the Enterprise Mobility + Security tools.

MobileDevices office fromaboveBundling with Windows 10 stands to benefit organizations that are new to Microsoft, or that are running older versions of Windows. Over time, older versions will face end-of-life support issues. Support for Windows 7, for instance, will end in January of 2020. Organizations that want to avoid these issues will likely need to upgrade to Windows 10 and may find it more cost effective to select the bundled option.

Another key difference between Office 365 and Microsoft 365 is the addition of the Enterprise Mobility + Security tools, or EMS. EMS includes changes and improvements like:

  • Application and device management in a single console, using Microsoft Intune. No need to toggle between different portals to manage devices or applications; users and administrators can enroll devices or access organizational resources in one place.
  • Windows Defender to enhance the security of mobile devices with tools that detect suspicious activity on mobile devices.
  • Advanced Threat Protection to prevent security breaches and block unauthorized users from accessing organizational resources.
  • Conditional Access, to ensure that only authorized devices and users are able to access email, SharePoint and other applications.

Office 365 or Microsoft 365: Which is Right for my Business?

Office 365 and Microsoft 365 both offer significant benefits for organizations that need best-in-class security and support for mobile devices. So how do you decide which version makes the most sense for your business? Here are some points to consider.

  • Microsoft 365 is a bundled solution that offers some cost advantages for organizations that need to upgrade from older versions of Windows that are nearing the end of their support, such as those still using Windows 7.
  • Microsoft 365 may also offer advantages for organizations that are increasing their use of mobile devices. If your employees regularly need access to network resources from mobile devices, the security advantages of Microsoft 365 may be a better fit.
  • For organizations that are running versions of Windows with a longer support window, such as Windows 8 or higher, Office 365 may be a more cost-effective solution.
  • If mobile device usage isn’t a big concern for your organization, Office 365 may also be a better fit.

No one solution is the right fit for every organization. That’s why at Tolar Systems, we focus on helping our clients determine the solution that makes the most sense for their business, rather than pushing every client to upgrade. We support both options and can help your organization determine whether to stick with Office 365, or upgrade to the Microsoft 365 bundled solution. Contact us today to get started.

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