Finding the right software to fulfill your personal needs can be a confusing task. As consumers, we have so many different services available at our fingertips that it becomes difficult to keep track of where things are. Whether you are a student, retired professional, parent, or an on-the go mobile professional, we all look for a few common factors; productivity, ease of use, and the best possible deal for our pockets. Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between each type of Office license to help you find the right fit.

What Office license is the right one for you?

Microsoft Office offers a couple of different options: Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, and Office 2019 Suites. You can Compare all Microsoft Office product pricing and availability on the Office website for more details. To better understand which option will benefit you, let’s explore our device ecosystem, how Office versions work with it, and  the difference between Office 365 and Office 2019.


One-time purchase: The essentials to get everything done with Office 2019

With the latest update on our stand-alone software, Office, we updated the classic suite of applications with the latest 2019 features to enhance the way people work from their devices.

Office 2019 offers a variety of tools compatible with the latest Mac OS and Windows PC versions and devices. With Office Home & Student 2019, you can create, edit, and design content with some of the latest advanced versions of your classic tools. When you choose the standalone version, you still receive updates for bug and security fixes, but you don’t get any new features regularly.

  1. Included apps:  Classic 2019 versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  2. Usage: You can install the desktop version of the Office suite on one PC or Mac device. For this version, you’ll make a one-time payment. If you want, you could buy the subscription and switch the license to other versions like Office 365 Home or Personal.
  3. Productivity: Even though you can install Office 2019 on only one PC or Mac, you can still open documents and perform basic edits on your mobile device by logging in with your Microsoft account.
  4. Requirements:
  • PC: Microsoft account, Internet access, Windows 10, 1.6 GHz, 2-core processor, 4 GB RAM; 2 GB (32-bit) RAM, 4 GB of available disk space, and 1280 × 768 screen resolution
  • Mac: Microsoft account, Internet access, Intel processor, 4 GB RAM, 10 GB of available disk space, Mac OS Extended or APFS, and 1200 x 800 screen resolution
  • System: Go to for compatible versions of Windows 10 and mac OS and for other feature requirements.

Subscription: Work smarter anywhere you go with Office 365 and AI tools


If you love taking thousands of pictures and videos or focusing on messaging and collaboration, Office 365 will be the ideal version for you because it comes with 1 TB of OneDrive storage. Another benefit is the ability to install on multiple devices: Office 365 can be installed on multiple computers / tablets / phones.

People often use a mix of brands in their life, between devices like iPhones, Windows PCs, or Mac computers. Office 365 offers a consistent user experience no matter what platform you choose to work in. The power of intelligent tools available for Office 365 users can enhance productivity. Some of the power tools and monthly updates are only available in this license of Office. You can find what's new in Office 365 every month for every device.

From Microsoft Word helping you create a professional resume with Resume Assistant to PowerPoint Designer generating stunning design options for your presentations, you will always have the most up to date and advanced tools in your Office suite apps.

  1. Included apps: This license of Office includes the full collection of the latest versions of your Office suite apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook plus Access, and Publisher for PC only. Note: App availability may vary depending on the platform and device.
  2. Included services: Skype, 1 TB of OneDrive storage per person, and ongoing technical support
  3. Usage: With this license, you can install Office in all your devices (PC, Mac, tablets and phones) and stay signed in to Office on 5 devices at the same time to access all your documents with annual or monthly subscription.
  4. Productivity: Office 365 ensures you have plenty of storage space—and don’t have to pay for monthly cloud services—with 1 TB of OneDrive storage. Use this space to save pictures, videos, documents, and files currently living on your phone, making them available across your computer and other devices. For example, thanks to cloud storage, you could open the My OneDrive folder on your laptop to quickly access pictures you took over the weekend. You could also edit a shared budget in Excel on your iPhone by opening the file in the OneDrive mobile app.
  5. Requirements: Go to this page to check system requirements for each device.
  6. Versions: Office 365 is available in two versions (Home and Personal), and both offer a consistent experience across all platforms.
  • Office 365 Home: The Home version is ideal for those who currently have multiple users in their household or simply wish to share the cost with others around them. With an annual or monthly subscription, it offers up to six individual licenses for six users. Each user can install Office on all of their devices and stay signed in to Office on five devices at a time. Each user also receives 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage with advanced security.
  • Office 365 Personal: The Personal version is ideal for the single user with multiple devices. This version allows you to install Office on all of your devices and stay signed in up to five devices at a time to access all your documents with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage with advanced security.


Office 365 plans for business, schools, and non-profits

If you are looking to utilize Office productivity tools in other environments such as businesses, schools, and non-profits, Office 365 offers specific licenses that provide extra options for these contexts. Most of these licenses include the fully installed desktop apps plus the online versions, file storage, and email. You can find more details about the difference between Office 365 and Office 2019 and decide what works best for you: Small business, Enterprise, School, or Non-profit.

Online version: Create, share and collaborate for free with Office on the web

Office Online is a free version of Office that you can use in a web browser. You only need to create a Microsoft account with a new or existing email address. You can access Office from anywhere using a desktop browser and work with anyone in real time. Office Online is free and requires no installation.

Office Online includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Sway, Outlook, People, Calendar, OneDrive, Forms, and Skype. To use Office Online, go to and sign in.

The Office suites offer solutions for a broad variety of customers. Office apps continue to allow users to choose their preferred brand of devices and still have a consistent experience—Microsoft calls this the cross-platform experience. We hope this information helps you focus more on what tools you need to better do what you love no matter what devices and brands you use.