Microsoft 365 & Office 365: what’s the difference?


09 Mar Microsoft 365 & Office 365: what’s the difference?

Is your organisation looking to invest in Office 365 as part of its digital transformation strategy? Or, perhaps, you’re looking to renew your Office 365 subscription but want to know more about Microsoft’s other cloud services? While researching the Microsoft Cloud, you have discovered Microsoft 365 and are now wondering what it is and how it differs from Office 365? The burning question on your mind is: “Microsoft 365 & Office 365 – what’s the difference?”

What is Microsoft 365?

In July 2017, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the launch of Microsoft 365 – Microsoft’s re-shape and re-structure of its enterprise productivity products and cloud services. But ‘Microsoft 365’ is more than just a different name for a similar product.

Microsoft 365 is a bundle of cloud-based services that bring together the best of Microsoft’s solutions, including Office 365.

Microsoft 365 encompasses:

  • Office 365
  • Windows 10
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS).

As Satya explained, the goal is to help customers successfully implement digital transformation in their organisations. It’s to help them unleash the potential of mobile and flexible working while keeping their assets safe and secure from the latest and greatest security threats. It’s to make sure customers are getting the most value from Microsoft as they prepare for the future of the workplace.

Let’s look at each component of the Microsoft 365 package in turn.

Office 365 

Office 365 gives organisations access to the Office applications that Microsoft have become so well-known for (Word, Outlook and Excel), all in the cloud. But these apps are joined by a whole host of other tools (Teams, Flow, Skype for Business, Yammer and more) to make Office 365 the ultimate end-to-end productivity suite for the digital workplace.

Windows 10

Windows 10 is the latest and safest version of Microsoft’s operating system for personal computers.

Windows 10 Enterprise Mobility + Security 

(EMS) is a security package that brings together Microsoft’s cutting-edge security technology. It supports digital transformation by:

  • Controlling user access in the cloud
  • Providing identity-driven security
  • Managing mobile devices
  • Managing applications
  • Managing your virtual desktop
  • Protecting your data and assets
  • Using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict security threats.

What are the benefits of Microsoft 365?

When Satya Nadella introduced Microsoft 365, he described it as: “a complete, intelligent, [and] secure solution to empower employees.” So, as we pick out the main benefits of Microsoft 365, let’s look at these three areas.


The digital workplace is mobile and flexible, meaning workers can work where they want, when they want and with whatever devices they want. To make this a reality, a productivity suite has to have the full range of tools to make this possible, as well as ensure security is taken seriously at every turn.


(AI) is the next great step forward in workplace productivity, and Microsoft are now rapidly introducing it into their products and services. One of the benefits of Microsoft 365 is that it gives you the foundation to make the most of AI, both in terms of boosting productivity and protecting against security threats.


Cybersecurity is a real and imminent threat for all organisations. Businesses need to establish robust security measures to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. On top of the fact that Windows 10 is the safest version of Windows, EMS provides a holistic approach to security which:

  • Makes sure you have all bases covered
  • Keeps you protected against the latest threats
  • Gives you peace of mind, so you can focus on growing your business.

Microsoft 365 & Office 365

So, which one is best for you?

The simple answer to this is that if you are already using – and paying for – the three components that make up Microsoft 365 separately, then upgrading makes sense as it will be quick, easy and save you money – an easy choice.

But every business functions differently and must consider its own needs and requirements, which is why it’s essential to seek out the advice from trusted experts. At CPS, we will work closely with you to figure out which option is best for you. It’s important to note that there are multiple subscription options of Office 365 and Microsoft 365, for large enterprises and SMBs. 

To learn more about digital transformation and for help deciding which solution  is the best for your business going forwardget in touch with CPS today.

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About the author
Sorcha Piotrowski
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