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Office 365 vs Office Professional Plus 2021

Office 365 Vs Office 2021 Professional – Why Buying is the Most Cost-Effective Option

Microsoft Office is the most popular office suite in the world. Used by billions of people daily, it has grown from a few basic office tools to an entire suite of productivity tools and is available in many versions.

It is the sheer number of versions and purchasing options that many people find confusing. In this post, we discuss two of the most popular versions and the difference in the way they are purchased.

Read on to find out how to make huge savings on the cost of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft 365 vs Office 2021 – The differences

Office 365 and Microsoft Office 2021 Professional are very similar in many ways. They both offer the same core of programs that are central to most versions of office. However, there are distinct differences between the versions.

At first glance, the most obvious difference is in the purchasing method and pricing of the versions. This difference will be covered in depth a little later. Before that, let’s have a look at some of the other major differences between Office 2021 professional and Office 365.

Cloud Storage

While everyone with a Microsoft Account is automatically allocated 5GB of free Onedrive cloud storage, users that subscribe to Office 365 have between 1TB and 6TB of cloud storage, depending on the package you use.


Both products get continual updates from Microsoft, but there are differences in the types of updates that are applied: 

  • Microsoft 365 – Because it’s a subscription-based product, it means that Office 365 is continually evolving as new features and security updates are released.
  • Office 2021 – This is a “traditional” form of software that, once purchased, won’t change much until physically upgraded to a newer version. However, it does receive all critical security updates and other patches and fixes that are released.


These days, an internet connection is usually required to download Office 2021 and is definitely required for Microsoft 365. However, after it is installed and activated, Microsoft Office 2021 will quite happily work offline. The same cannot be said for Office 365. It doesn’t like being offline for any length of time and will stop working completely if it spends more than 30 consecutive days offline.


There are very few differences between the apps in the two versions. There are a few more features available in Excel in Microsoft 365 and more support for PDF editing in the same application.


Both suites offer collaboration tools, with both versions including Microsoft Teams in the package. Office 365, with its included cloud storage, may make collaboration slightly simpler. However, there are plenty of other cloud storage solutions available, so this is far from a deal breaker.

Office 2021 vs Microsoft 365 – The Purchasing Models

Based on the differences we have already discussed, there is very little to choose between the two options. Certainly, they don’t affect the functionality of either suite or aren’t meaningful enough to have a bearing on the final choice.

Or, to put it another way – They both get the job done!

The major difference that most people need to consider before choosing between Office 365 and Office 2021 Professional is the purchasing options. Put simply, Microsoft Office 365 is available as an ongoing subscription only. By comparison, Microsoft Office 2021 is a more traditional “perpetual license.”

In other words, you pay for it once, and it is yours to use for as long as you like.

Let’s take a deeper look at both versions and their costs.

Microsoft 365 Pricing

As mentioned, Office 365 is available only on a subscription basis. This means that your license is only valid for the period you have subscribed for.

In effect, this is at the core of the two different updating philosophies. In Office 365, you are continually paying for a product that is always evolving. Whereas, with Office 2021 Professional, you pay a one-off fee for the program as it currently stands.

But, “hiring” your software and qualifying for the feature updates can be costly, especially when multiple licenses are required in a business environment. Home users and small businesses will also find the ongoing costs prohibitive, especially in the current uncertain times.

Examples of some of the subscription fees are detailed below: 

Home Versions 

  • Microsoft 365 Personal – $69.99 per year
  • Microsoft 365 Family – $99.99 per year

Business Versions

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic – $6.00 monthly per user
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for Business – $8.25 monthly per user
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $12.50 monthly per user
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium – $22.00 monthly per user

Microsoft Office 2021 Professional Pricing

As you can see, it doesn’t take much for software prices to escalate with Office 365. By comparison, the more traditional purchasing model of Office 2021 Professional is a one-off payment with no ongoing costs.

The usual cost of Microsoft Office 2021 Professional is detailed below: 

  • Office Professional 2021 – $439.99 – (Important – Read on to find out how to make huge savings on this price)

What is important about the above statement is the “usual cost”. At this price, there isn’t much to choose between the options. However, this is direct from the Microsoft site. There are far better options available that allow you to purchase Microsoft Office for a fraction of the usual cost.

Buying a Genuine Copy of Microsoft Office 2021 for a Fraction of the Usual Cost

One major disadvantage of the Office 365 Model is it is only available directly from Microsoft. This means market forces cannot dictate the price, only Microsoft can!

The story is different with Office 2021 Professional. Retailers can bulk purchase genuine Microsoft Office 2021 Professional product keys. These can then be resold to the end user for a fraction of the usual cost.

To be clear, these are genuine product keys that allow the user to download and install a full version of Office 2021 Professional Pro and use it for as long as they like without further costs.

As an example of the savings that can be made, the figures below show the costs for two identical versions of Office 2021 Pro.

Now, the picture becomes a lot clearer, and the statement “Why buying Office 2021 is the most cost-effective option” suddenly makes sense. It doesn’t take a lot of arithmetic to work out that for a one-off purchase, you get unlimited use of the latest software for less than the annual cost of the most basic Office 365 package.

Although there are some limited advantages to Office 365, the cost of the package and the availability of far cheaper options that don’t involve ongoing costs mean that Office 2021 professional is the outright winner when comparing the products.

Summing Up

The major difference between Office 2021 Professional and Office 365 is the purchasing model. The low prices available for Office 2021 Professional make it the more cost-effective option by a long shot.

Brytesoft can fulfil your software needs for a fraction of the usual cost. We supply a range of Microsoft Office Applications, including Office 2021 Professional Plus. Better yet, our commitment to customer care means you can buy Office 2021 not just for a bargain price but safe in the knowledge that our friendly staff are always here to assist with any queries or issues.


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