What is the difference between Microsoft 365 and the one-time purchase (permanent version) of Office 2021? Explanation of how to choose

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To use Office apps, etc. provided by Skype. However, very interesting alternatives have emerged to the well-known Microsoft, a subscription version of “Microsoft 365” or a one-time purchase of “Office 2021” is required.

In this article, we will explain the differences between Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 and how to choose.

We also introduce how to make a contract with an agency, so if you are considering introducing Microsoft 365 or Office 2021, please refer to it.

Differences between Microsoft 365 subscription and one-time purchases of Office

First, let’s take a closer look at the differences between the subscription version and the one-time purchase of Office, and an overview of Microsoft 365 and Office 2021.

Overview of subscription and one-off Office

A subscription is content or services that are available for a recurring fee.

In Japan, the abbreviation “subsuku” is sometimes used.

In order to continue using it, it is necessary to pay an update fee at regular intervals, but it is characterized by the fact that you can always use the latest functions and services during the contract period.

On the other hand, a system that allows you to continue using content and services with a single payment is called a one-off Office.

Compared to the subscription version, the amount you pay at the time of purchase tends to be higher, but there are cases where the cost performance is high from a long-term perspective.

However, please note that support such as updates and repairs is often charged separately, and you may need to purchase the product again in order to use the latest functions and services.

Microsoft 365 (Microsoft 365) is a subscription version

Microsoft 365 is a subscription version service that includes Office apps such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as online storage and groupware.

Monthly or yearly payment contracts are available, and you can always use the latest version of functions and security measures during the contract period.

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Office 2021 (Office 2021) is a one-off Office

Office 2021 is a one-time purchase service that allows you to use Office apps such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

You pay one time for semi-permanent use of Office apps, but they don’t automatically update when new versions or features are released. (excluding security updates)

In the future, when services such as Office 2024 or Office 2027 appear, you will need to purchase that one-off Office license again.

How to compare and choose between Microsoft 365 and Office 2021

Next, let’s take a closer look at the features and price differences between the subscription version of Microsoft 365 and the perpetual purchase of Office 2021.

Features and support available

The functional differences between the subscription version of Microsoft 365 and the one-time purchase type Office 2021 are as follows.

Here, “Microsoft 365 Business Standard” and “Office Home & Business 2021”, which are almost the same plan for general companies, are used as an example.

Microsoft 365 Business
Standard
Office
Home & Business 2021
Desktop Office apps
License with commercial use rights
Automatic updates for new features ×
Web version Office application ×
Mobile Office apps ×
File storage and sharing ×
Security and compliance ×
support ×
Business operation and management tools ×
email and calendar ×
teamwork and communication ×

As you can see from the table above, with Microsoft 365, you can use various services and security measures in addition to Office apps, but in the case of one-time purchases of Office, basically you can only use Office apps.

If you have already introduced another groupware, etc., and you don’t need anything other than Office apps, one option is to consider purchasing Office, but basically, Microsoft 365 is recommended.

Price and payment method

Next, we will explain the differences in prices and payment methods between the subscription version of Microsoft 365 and the one-time purchase of Office 2021.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard ¥1,560/month (user)
Office Home & Business 2021 43,980 yen (user)

Microsoft 365 is a subscription version, so payments are made on a monthly or yearly basis.

For Microsoft 365 Business Standard, you can use all the functions included in the plan for 1,360 yen per month.

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In addition, you can always use the latest version of services and functions during the contract period, so there is no need to consider purchasing a new one.

On the other hand, the one-off Office license is a one-time payment, so the amount billed tends to be large.

By paying 38,284 yen for Office Home & Business 2021, you can permanently use all the features included in the plan.

However, in the case of one-time purchase type Office, since updates of services and functions are not basically performed, it may be necessary to consider replacement after a certain number of years have passed.

Number of installable units per license

The subscription version of Microsoft 365 and the one-time purchase version of Office 2021 differ in the number of installable units per license as follows.

Microsoft 365 5 PCs, 5 tablets, 5 smartphones per license
Office 2021 2 PCs per license

Microsoft 365 has no restrictions on the devices and OS that can be used, and it can be installed on any terminal without any problems.

On the other hand, the one-time Office license is only compatible with PCs, and it should be noted that the plan to purchase differs depending on whether it is Windows or Mac.

If you want to purchase Microsoft 365, it is recommended to use an agency

Considering the comparison of functions, price, and installable number, if you want to introduce Office apps, it can be said that the subscription version of Microsoft 365 is recommended rather than the one-time purchase type Office.

When introducing Microsoft 365, in addition to the method of completing the procedure from the official Microsoft website, you can use the method of signing a contract using a sales agent.

When purchasing from a distributor, there are many cases where you can receive unique services and support that are not provided by Microsoft, so it is basically recommended to purchase through a distributor.

NEC Networks & System Integration, which sells corporate licenses as a Microsoft 365 sales agent, is also developing support for the introduction of the following related solutions and services in conjunction with Microsoft 365.

Canario (Telephone brokerage by AI) AI automatically forwards incoming calls to the office to a designated phone number, chat, or email. You can eliminate coming to work just to pick up the phone.
DocuSign (electronic contract service) It is a service that reduces costs, resources, time loss, etc. until the conclusion of a contract, and realizes a reduction in back-office work. It is useful for realizing telework.
eeasy (schedule adjustment tool for business) This is a tool that works with Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar to automatically judge free schedules and schedule adjustments. You can collectively manage internal and external schedules.
Neat (device dedicated to remote conferencing) A monitor, speaker, and microphone are integrated, enabling high-quality web conferencing in spaces such as conference rooms.
Slido (Activation of seminars and events) A platform with voting and survey functions. By linking with Teams, you will be able to conduct QA and voting on web conferences.
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It is also possible to support wide-area DX and AI that are difficult to achieve with Microsoft 365 alone, so please contact us if you are looking for a method to reform the work style of the entire company and improve operational efficiency.

Differences and feature comparison summary between subscription version and one-time purchase type Office

  • While the subscription version of Microsoft 365 requires continuous payment, it has the advantage of always being able to use the latest version of functions.
  • One-time purchase type Office 2021 allows you to use the functions semi-permanently with a one-time payment, but when new functions and services are released, you will need to replace them.
  • Considering the types of services included in the plan and the number of devices that can be used at the same time, it can be said that the subscription version is more profitable than the one-time purchase version of Office.

There are many differences between the Microsoft 365 subscription version and the one-time Office 2021 purchase, so it’s not always a matter of which one is better.

It is important to be able to choose the service that is suitable for your company’s operation based on the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each.

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