What is the difference between Office 365 and Office 2019

Wondering what is the difference between Office 365 and Office 2019? Are both not the latest version of the Office applications we use daily?

Most users find both confusing, fortunately in this post, you’ll learn the difference between the two and understand which suits you and/or your organization best. 

What is Office 365?

what is the difference between office 365 and office 2019

This is a subscription-based service that provides users with Office applications and cloud-based services on a monthly and annual basis. Office 365 has various subscription plans for home users, small and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises, non-profit organizations, and schools.

Some of these subscription plans include the traditional Office applications such as Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, etc, that users can install on their computers while some don’t.

Keep in mind that Office 365 offers web-based access to the traditional Office applications like Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, etc but also offers a wide range of other web-based apps and services like Yammer, Teams, Stream, Sway, and many more.

All Office 365 subscription plans include about 1TB of cloud storage, Office Online i.e. web-based versions of Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, the full functionality of Office mobile apps, continuous updates to new features, security fixes, and ongoing tech support.

What is Office 2019?

what is the difference between office 365 and office 2019

Office 2019 is the standalone version of the suite of apps that doesn’t require a subscription. It is sold as a one-time purchase with a single up-front payment for one PC or Mac and it is yours to keep forever.

Microsoft Office 2019 allows users to install and update the Office apps on one device but users won’t be able to upgrade to a newer version – meaning that users can continue to use the apps for about five years or more (without updates).

However, if you want to upgrade from office 2019 to a newer version, you’ll need to purchase a new license.

Office 2019 includes essential apps like Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and it is valid for home or business use.

What is the difference between Office 365 and Office 2019?

Here are the main differences between Office 365 and Office 2019.

1. Pricing: Office 365 is a subscription-based service i.e. you pay a small monthly fee or pay annually while Office 2019 is a one-time purchase.

2. Apps and Updates:  Office 365 includes so many apps and services i.e. all Office apps plus cloud-based apps, as well as updates in real-time which guarantees the latest available version whereas office 2019 comes with Office apps like Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint but users won’t be able to upgrade to a newer version.

3. Availability: With one subscription, users can install Office 365 on up to five devices including PCs, Macs, tablets, and phones while Office 2019 is only available on one device i.e. either PC or Mac.

4. Security: In Office 2019, security updates are included but require manual patching while in Office 365 patch updates will happen automatically and the latest versions will fix security bugs.

5. Cloud Storage and Web Apps: 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user is included in office 365 as well as web apps like Microsoft Teams whereas OneDrive cloud storage is not included in Office 2019 and there is little integration with Office web apps.

Pros and Cons of Office 365 and Office 2019

Office 365                                                                    


  • Access to all apps                                        
  • Up to six people can use at a time           
  • Customer support                                       
  • Windows 10,8, 7,macOS support             


  • Monthly or yearly payments                     
  • Overwhelming changes                              
  • Cost for unnecessary features                  
  • Limited functionality of service issues   

Office 2019


  •  One-time payment
  • Main apps access
  • Free upgrades        
  • Traditional experience          
  • Security updates          
  • Windows 10 and macOS support 


  • One device license
  • Limited features scope
  • No upgrades
  • No older Windows support

Which Should You Go For?

This decision depends on your requirements. If you’ll be using the apps for a long period, purchasing a Microsoft Office 365 subscription is perhaps your best option. This is because with the subscription, you’ll get full access to the apps and benefits at a low cost of ownership.

When is Office 365 the right choice?

If your company or organization encourages flexibility and remote work as well as a strong collaboration via the use of chat, video, and voice conferences, then Office 365 is the best option for you or your business.

Implementing an Office 365 environment can actually take your business to the next level, using the power of cloud-based technologies.

Office 365 will not only offer your end-users the tools they need like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook but will give them the ability to use web-based technologies such as Microsoft Teams and OneDrive (both included in the Office 365 license), and flexibility to work from any device they choose.

When is Office 2019 the right choice?

Office 2019 is the right choice If you’re planning to buy a large volume of licenses, if your workforce only uses Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook on a desktop, and if you only use on-premise applications.

Also, note that Office 2019 is only supported on devices running Windows 10 or the three most recent versions of macOS, unlike the previous versions.

If you must use the most recent version of Microsoft office and you are still on Windows 8.1. or Windows 7, you have to buy an Office 365 subscription.


Certainly by now you know the answer to the question “what is the difference between Office 365 and Office 2019” and it’s no longer confusing.

Office 365 is a subscription-based model while Office 2019 is a one-time purchase. With Office 365, you get access to more products and services than in Office 2019 where you only have access to core apps like Words, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel).

With office 365, you’ll get monthly updates and upgrades to Office (whether you like it or not) but with Office 2019 you get no upgrades.   

Although these two give you access to the same set of apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, the main difference comes down to the list of benefits and cost of ownership.

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