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Office Pro 2019 vs Office 365 Business: Which one should you choose?

Microsoft’s productivity suite Office has been going through a lot of change lately. Microsoft Office is available in a subscription plan as well as the desktop-only one-time purchase. We have found that there is a lot of confusion about the differences between the versions. In this article, we’ll explore the different options available to your business.

If you’re looking for more info on Microsoft 365 for Business and Enterprise read this article.


The short answer: Office Pro 2019 vs Office 365 Business

Office Pro 2019
Access all the desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook for one device only.

The software can be installed on a single device and does not include cloud storage or any collaboration features.

Microsoft support is included for 60 days. You also get updates to ensure the quality of your security & to fix potential bugs or glitches, but you don’t get any feature upgrades like new software.

Office 365 Business
On the base business plan, you’ll get advanced-versions of all Office 2019 applications.

On Office 365 Business Premium: you’ll get access to collaboration tools such as SharePoint, Exchange and Teams.

All subscriptions of Office 365 come with at least 1T of cloud storage, 24/7 support, regular security and feature upgrades. Each person can install Office Apps on multiple PC, Mac & Mobile devices.

Advanced features only available in Office 365

Office 2019 includes “a meaningful subset of features that are found in Office 365.”* In other words, the software you get when you make the one-time purchase of Office 2019 is not as complete as the version you get when you subscribe to Office 365. Here’s a rundown of the key differences:

PowerPoint features

In the Office 365 version of PowerPoint, you get a tool called “PowerPoint Designer” that suggests alternative layouts to your slides, making it easier to create more professional presentations.

Office 2019’s PowerPoint also includes a tool that can convert hand-written notes (on tablets) to text and hand-written shapes to formalized shapes. This is demonstrated in a video produced by Microsoft that highlights Office 365’s superior performance.

Available on Mac, PC & Mobile – up to 15 different devices per user

When compared to the one-time licence of Office 2019, you’ll get access to all your Office Applications on a myriad of devices, allowing you to work from anywhere, across devices.

With Office 365, you’ll get access to all your favourite apps directly on your PC, Mac, Mobile phone or any web connected device via your web browser. It doesn’t matter if you have an Android, iPhone, Mac, or connected Chromebook, you’ll be able to keep on working wherever you are.

  • One licence works on Mac, PC & Mobile;
  • Up-to 15 devices per user – 5x PC, 5x Mac & 5x Mobile;
  • Access Office Apps from any internet-capable device;
  • Install on any five devices at any time.

Excel features

Office 365’s version of Excel includes Excel Data Types, which can pull in information automatically from the internet. Microsoft again demonstrates the superiority of Office 365 in its “Twins Challenge” video series:

Word features

Office 365’s version includes an Ink Editor (for touch screens) that allows you to draw on your document to make quick edits. There are other features like Resume Assistant and integrations into websites like Linkedin.

Collaboration tools

In addition to the advanced features only available with Office 365, the subscription version also offers a variety of collaboration tools. The backbone of these tools is OneDrive, Microsoft’s file hosting and synchronization service that provides a generous 1T of storage for each user. The advantages of your entire office adopting OneDrive – which range from increased security, the ability to work from any device, real-time collaboration on documents, and improved auditing and compliance.

On the more advanced plans, you’ll get access to Microsoft’sTeams. Office productivity is all about collaboration and communication. With OneNote, you’re getting a powerful app with cutting-edge features that’s easy to use. It’s perfect for agile teams and those looking for an uncluttered environment. Unlike other Office apps that have a legacy to preserve and millions of users, OneNote can be as hard or as soft as you want it to. Microsoft Teams is built from scratch with the modern workplace in mind.

We have written an in-depth article on Microsoft Teams and how you can improve workplace collaboration.


Full comparison of Office Pro 2019 and Office Business 365

Full comparison of Office Pro and office business

Summary: which to choose?

The case for Office 2019

Despite Office 2019 not having the full set of features made available in Office 365, choosing Office 2019 may still be the best option for some businesses. If all you need are the classic office tools, Office 2019 is a simple and cost-effective solution. After about two years on the subscription model (again depending on the plan), you’ll have spent more than if you make a one-time purchase of Office 2019.


Office 365: a complete solution for modern offices

For businesses looking to leverage the advantages of the digital office, Office 365 is a powerful integrated solution. Not only do you get the most advanced productivity features of all Office apps, but you also get a full suite of tools to enable efficient office-wide collaboration.


Want to get more from Microsoft’s solutions? See how we can help.