Microsoft’s office productivity solutions have become a mainstay in today’s digital age. Yet, navigating through Microsoft’s offerings – specifically, Microsoft 365 and Office 365 – can be a complex task. This article aims to be your digital compass, guiding you through an all-in-one pricing overview and comparison of these powerhouse platforms. With your needs, budget, and challenges in mind, we’ll demystify the differences and similarities, helping you to make an informed decision. Whether you’re an individual, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation, there’s a plan designed just for you.

Kickstarting Your Digital Journey

Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are often used interchangeably, but there are differences between them that can have significant impacts on your personal or business needs. Essentially, Microsoft 365 is a suite of productivity tools and services that extends beyond Office 365, integrating Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. On the other hand, Office 365 primarily includes cloud-based productivity apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others. Both offer various plans, each tailored to suit different use-cases and budgets. The tricky part comes in determining which plan best aligns with your goals – that’s where we come in.

Over 1 million companies across the globe rely on Office 365 to support in-office and remote teams, and Canada represents the third largest Office 365 market in the world. For these business and enterprise users, prices have remained largely unchanged since the suite’s launch over 10 years ago. Microsoft has not changed the price of Office 365 since it first launched in June 2011. Meanwhile, Microsoft 365 has remained unchanged since its launch in March of 2017. However, as of March 1, 2022, Microsoft has increased its commercial pricing schedule for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 users. Education plan and private consumer products are unaffected – only commercial and enterprise Microsoft 365 and Office 365 license holders experienced cost increases.

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365)

Personal and Family Plans

Microsoft 365 offers several plans tailored for personal and family use. Each plan presents a balance between functionality and cost, providing features such as premium Office apps, cloud storage, advanced security, and more. The Microsoft 365 Personal plan, designed for individual use, offers access to all premium Office applications, along with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage. The Family plan extends these benefits to up to six people, delivering exceptional value if you’re planning to share your subscription. Check out the Microsoft 365 pricing page for the most current pricing and feature details.

Plan Number of Users Cloud Storage Price (Annual) Price (Monthly)
Microsoft 365 Personal 1 1 TB CAD $79.00/year CAD $8.00/month
Microsoft 365 Family 1-6 Up to 6 TB (1 TB per person) CAD $109.00/year CAD $11/month

Key Takeaway: Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Plans offer individuals and households robust productivity tools coupled with cloud storage and advanced security. Carefully consider the number of users and your specific requirements to select the best plan.

Business Plans

When it comes to meeting the needs of businesses, Microsoft 365 shines with its diverse array of business plans. From the Basic plan for businesses seeking cloud services to the Premium plan providing comprehensive productivity and security tools, there is a solution for every business size and requirement. Importantly, these plans also offer scalability, allowing businesses to adjust their subscriptions as they grow. Consult the Microsoft 365 Business plans pricing page for a detailed overview.

Plan Price (Monthly) Price (Annually)
Microsoft 365 Business Basic (formerly Office 365 Business Essentials) CAD $9.24 user/month CAD $7.70 user/month, CAD $92.40 user/year
Microsoft 365 Apps for Business (formerly Office 365 Business) CAD $13.20 user/month CAD $11.00 user/month, CAD $132.00 user/year
Microsoft 365 Business Standard (formerly Office 365 Business Premium) CAD $19.20 user/month CAD $16.00 user/month, CAD $192.00 user/year
Microsoft 365 Business Premium (formerly Microsoft 365 Business) CAD $33.84 user/month CAD $28.20 user/month, CAD $338.40 user/year

Key Takeaway: Microsoft 365 Business plans are designed to cater to diverse business requirements and sizes, offering flexibility and scalability. Ensure to evaluate your business needs accurately before settling on a plan.

Enterprise Plans

Designed for larger organizations, Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans offer the most comprehensive feature sets. These plans, such as E3 and E5, provide unmatched productivity, collaboration, and security capabilities. Additionally, they deliver advanced analytics, compliance tools, and voice capabilities. Enterprise plans may require a more substantial investment but often provide a high return on value due to the sheer volume of powerful tools and solutions they deliver. For the most updated details, visit the Microsoft 365 Enterprise pricing page.

Plan Price (Monthly on an Annual Commitment)
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 CAD $47.90
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 CAD $73.00

Key Takeaway: Microsoft 365 Enterprise Plans provide a comprehensive suite of tools and solutions tailored for larger organizations. While they come at a higher price, the return on investment can be significant due to their advanced capabilities.

Office 365 Enterprise – Unpacking Its Plans and Pricing

Enterprise Plans

Similar to Microsoft 365, Office 365 Enterprise plans provide an extensive array of productivity tools and services designed for larger organizations. While they don’t include some of the advanced features of Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans, they do offer more flexibility in terms of cost, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious enterprises. Refer to the Office 365 Enterprise pricing page for the most updated pricing and feature details.

Plan Price (Annually)
Office 365 Enterprise E1 CAD $7.70 user/month, CAD $153.60 user/year
Office 365 Enterprise E3 CAD $30.60 user/month, CAD $367.20 user/year
Office 365 Enterprise E5 CAD $50.60 user/month, CAD $607.20 user/year

Key Takeaway: Office 365 Enterprise plans offer a comprehensive productivity solution for larger organizations at a more affordable price point. If your enterprise is on a tight budget but still requires a robust productivity suite, these plans could be a viable option.

Head-to-Head: Microsoft 365 vs Office 365

Comparing Features and Benefits

Choosing between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 boils down to evaluating their features and benefits against your needs. At a glance, both offer access to popular productivity applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. However, Microsoft 365, with its inclusion of Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, extends the value proposition with superior security features, device management, and unique tools like Microsoft Editor and Money in Excel. This comprehensive analysis can help you understand which plan offers the best value to your personal or professional life.

Feature Microsoft 365 Office 365
Desktop Apps Yes Yes
Web Apps Yes Yes
Mobile Apps Yes Yes
Cloud Storage Yes Yes
Email and Calendaring Yes Yes
Microsoft Teams Yes Yes
Microsoft Family Safety Yes No
Money in Excel Yes No
PowerPoint Designer and Presenter Coach Yes No
Microsoft Editor Yes No
Outlook Play My Emails Yes No
Advanced Security and Device Management Yes No
Advanced Threat Protection Yes Yes
Business Email Yes Yes
SharePoint Yes Yes
OneDrive Yes Yes
Price Varies Varies

Key Takeaway: While Microsoft 365 and Office 365 share many features, Microsoft 365’s extra offerings could be invaluable depending on your specific needs. Evaluate your requirements carefully to make the most informed choice.

Analyzing Value for Money

When evaluating value for money, it’s essential to consider not only the cost but the return on your investment. On the surface, Office 365 may seem like the more cost-effective choice. However, when you factor in the additional features and services offered by Microsoft 365 – such as advanced security, better device management, and productivity-enhancing tools – you may find that the extra investment is worth it. Of course, the best value for you will depend on your specific needs and budget.

Key Takeaway: Value for money extends beyond just the price tag. By considering the return on investment in terms of features and services, you can make a decision that provides the best value for your personal or professional use.

Updated Pricing Model

Since Microsoft has updated its commercial pricing model, some users have experienced only minor price increases, while others have seen more substantial increases across the past year.

On March 1, 2022 Microsoft updated their list pricing for the following commercial products:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic (from $5 USD to $6 USD per user)
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium (from $ 20 USD to $ 22 USD)
  • Office 365 E1 (from $8 USD to $10 USD)
  • Office 365 E3 (from $20 USD to $23 USD)
  • Office 365 E5 (from $35 USD to $38 USD)
  • Microsoft 365 E3 (from $32 USD to $36 USD)

These increases will apply globally with local market adjustments for certain regions. There are no changes to pricing for education and consumer products at this time.

However, customers using these products should remain alert to the possibility of future price changes. Microsoft has not offered any guarantee that these prices will not increase in the future, so all users should continue to factor this into their budgeting.

The changes took effect on March 1, 2022, but users continued paying their current contracted price until their license was up for renewal. From this renewal date onwards, they have been paying the new amended price. All new customers after March 1, 2022, have had to pay the increased rate.

Your Decision-Making Companion

Key Considerations When Choosing Between Microsoft 365 and Office 365

Selecting the right plan involves considering your specific needs, budget, and long-term goals. Key considerations should include the number of users, the level of security required, the need for device management, and the specific productivity tools you find most valuable. It’s also essential to consider the flexibility and scalability of the plan, especially for businesses that anticipate growth or change.

Key Takeaway: Choosing the right plan requires careful consideration of various factors. Ensure to evaluate your needs and goals thoroughly before making a decision.

Who Should Opt for Microsoft 365? And Why?

Microsoft 365 is a great choice for users who require advanced security features, better device management, and the latest productivity tools. Businesses, in particular, may find the enhanced features and scalability of Microsoft 365 business and enterprise plans to be an invaluable asset.

Key Takeaway: If you prioritize advanced features and services and don’t mind paying a little extra, Microsoft 365 could be the best choice for you.

Who Should Opt for Office 365? And Why?

Office 365 could be the perfect choice for individuals or businesses with basic productivity needs or a tight budget. It offers all the essential productivity tools at a lower price point, making it an attractive option for users who don’t require the advanced features of Microsoft 365.

Key Takeaway: If you’re on a budget or only require the basic productivity tools, Office 365 could be the right choice for you.

Turning the Tables: Your Ultimate Decision

Now that you’re equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the offerings of Microsoft 365 and Office 365, it’s time to make your decision. Remember, there’s no universally correct choice here; the best plan for you will depend on your specific needs, budget, and goals.

Steps to Purchase Your Chosen Plan

Once you’ve settled on a plan, the purchase process is straightforward. Go to the Microsoft 365 or Office 365 official website, navigate to the pricing page, select your preferred plan, and follow the prompts to complete the purchase. You’ll need a Microsoft account to finalize your purchase. If you don’t have one, you’ll be given the option to create one during the purchase process.

Key Takeaway: Purchasing your chosen plan is a simple process. Remember to have or create a Microsoft account to finalize the purchase.

Getting Started with Your New Office Suite

After purchasing your plan, it’s time to make the most of your new Office Suite. You’ll receive an email from Microsoft containing your product key and instructions on how to download and install the Office apps on your device. Familiarize yourself with the various apps and features included in your plan and start exploring how they can enhance your productivity.

Key Takeaway: Once you’ve purchased your plan, follow the provided instructions to download, install, and get started with your new Office Suite.

Sealing Your Digital Success

Choosing between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 is not just about comparing prices. It’s about strategically selecting the tools that will enhance your productivity, secure your data, and ultimately, contribute to your success – whether in personal projects or business ventures.

Final Thoughts on Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Selection

In the end, your choice between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 hinges on your specific needs, budget, and future goals. Both offer a fantastic suite of tools designed to enhance productivity and streamline workflows. Whichever plan you choose, rest assured that you’re investing in a platform built on the pillars of innovation, security, and collaboration. Now, you’re one step closer to boosting your digital prowess and achieving your goals.

Key Takeaway: The selection process between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 is a strategic decision that can enhance your digital journey. Make your choice with confidence, knowing that either way, you’re investing in your success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I want to switch plans or cancel my subscription?

Microsoft allows you to switch to a different plan or cancel your subscription at any time. If you decide to change plans, you can upgrade from a Microsoft 365 Family plan to a Microsoft 365 Personal plan, or vice versa. Similarly, you can upgrade your Office 365 plan to a Microsoft 365 plan. If you choose to cancel your subscription, you’ll have access to the services until the end of your current billing cycle.

Can I mix and match different Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans?

Yes, you can mix and match different plans within Microsoft 365 and Office 365. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial for businesses, allowing them to provide different users or departments with the tools they need without paying for unnecessary features.

How does Microsoft 365 and Office 365 handle data privacy and security?

Both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 take data privacy and security seriously. They utilize robust encryption methods for data at rest and in transit. Additionally, Microsoft 365 offers advanced security features such as threat detection and prevention, data loss prevention, and advanced compliance capabilities.

What support is available if I encounter problems with my chosen plan?

Microsoft offers comprehensive support for all Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans. You can access support through various channels, including online chat, phone, and email. Additionally, Microsoft’s extensive online resources, such as how-to articles and user communities, can help you solve common issues and make the most of your plan.

Can I use these services on multiple devices?

Yes, you can install and use Microsoft 365 and Office 365 services on multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The number of devices you can use depends on your specific plan. For instance, Microsoft 365 Personal allows for use on one device, while the Family plan allows for use on up to six devices.



Article Updated for Jun 23, 2023

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Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

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