It’s not uncommon to get confused between Office 365 and Office Online. Office 365 is a subscription version of Office 2013. Sorry if bringing in 2013 confused you more, but here is a simple way I can put it together: Office 2013 is successor to Office 2010 which many of you buy in a single one-time fee – buy it, own it, all yours. Office 365 is like a rental version for which you can pay monthly or yearly fees to use it.
As of now you can subscribe to a monthly or a yearly subscription plans costing around $7 and $70 respectively. Office 365 comprises of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, and Outlook. Microsoft is also including OneDrive online storage upto 1TB capacity.
Office Online is a complimentary service provided by Microsoft which is a trimmed down version of the Office 365, but is meant for online environment only. Office Online comes with free to use applications including Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online, OneNote Online, and Outlook via its .com website. OneDrive gives free 15GB cloud storage, with several ways to increase it, including paid option as well.
All these free applications are basic versions of the full installed counterparts, which means you will miss several editing features offered in installed versions, like for instance the Data tab in Excel Online is limited to sorting data in ascending or descending order. Word Online does not display rulers and gridlines and it can’t open documents that are encrypted with a password.
Office Online is available in the form of free Mobile apps for Android, Windows Phone, and Apple AppStore. They all include apps for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook and same features and functionality as that of the Office Online.
But there is a small twist here, there is a Office 365 for business subscription through which you get the full, installed versions of all the Office applications-Word, Excel, PowerPoint features on the mobile devices as well. The mobile apps available with Office 365 business plans also come with Lync 2013, Yammer, OneNote, and more apps for business.
That’s it for now, follow us for more updates on Office 365, Office Online, and OneDrive. In forthcoming articles we focus on each of these apps and know their differences like for instance how does Word Online differ from Office 365 Word? Stay tuned.