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Compare Microsoft Office Versions and How to Check Your Current Version

January 15, 2024 1.9K views

Microsoft Office is a widely recognized office suite that has undergone significant development over the years. With versions like Microsoft 365, Office 2021, Office 2019, and Office 2016, it can be challenging to differentiate between them. Whether you're a new user or looking for the best version, understanding the differences is crucial. In this article, we provide insights into major Microsoft Office versions, focusing on Microsoft 365, Office 2021, Office 2019, and Office 2016.

Microsoft

Comparison between the Microsoft Office Versions

Microsoft Office has been the go-to office suite for home, student, and business users, with over 1.5 billion users worldwide. Its flagship products, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, OneNote, and Outlook, have become essential tools for boosting productivity and professionalism. It caters to both PC and Mac users, but there are different versions of the product available, each tailored to specific needs. Hence, we will talk about microsoft office versions comparison as it is important to understand the differences before making a purchase decision. If you find it hard to choose the suitable veision, you can choose WPS Office as the best alternative for Microsogt Office.

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Microsoft 365

Microsoft Office 365 is more than just your average email app. It's a powerhouse of tools that can supercharge your productivity. In this post, we're diving into some lesser-known but highly effective features that can take your Microsoft Office 365 experience to the next level.

Microsoft 365

Features

  1. Collaborate Like a Pro: Microsoft Office 365 allows teams to collaborate in real-time through instant messaging, audio/video meetings, and screen sharing.

  2. A Single License for All: Microsoft Office 365 offers a single license fee to simplify app subscriptions and stay up-to-date with the latest versions.

  3. Secure Cloud Storage: Microsoft Office 365's secure cloud storage, OneDrive, provides up to 1TB of storage for real-time collaboration and protection from leaks and malware.

  4. Share Links, Not Files: Share files through OneDrive links, allowing recipients to edit and track changes in real-time.

Microsoft 365 features

Plans and price

Home & Personal

Microsoft 365 pricing offers different plans tailored for home and personal use. These plans provide a range of options to suit various needs and budgets.

  1. Microsoft 365 Personal: $1.99/month or $69.99/year

  2. Microsoft 365 Family: $6.99/month or $99.99/year

  3. Microsoft 365 Basic: $1.99/month

Microsoft 365 family

Business

For businesses, Microsoft 365 offers plans specifically designed to meet their requirements, with various options available for different-sized organizations.

Microsoft 365 Business plans

Microsoft 365 Business Basic:

  • Suitable for smaller companies who need reliable web-based productivity tools alongside trustworthy, capable corporate email

  • Offers Teams, Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business

  • Does not include desktop Office apps

  • Costs around $6.00 per month/user

Microsoft 365 Business Standard:

  • Provides users access to everything that's included in Business Basic plus desktop Office apps, including Yammer, 1 TB OneDrive storage, and limited use rights to Power Apps and Power Automate

  • Costs around $12.50 per user/month

Microsoft 365 Business Premium:

  • Includes everything in Business Standard plus premium security features such as Azure AD Premium, Advanced Threat Protection, Azure Information Protection, and Intune

  • Offers cloud-based advanced security tools to protect email against spam, malware, and known threats with Exchange Online Protection

  • Costs around $24.00 per user/month

Office 2021

Office 2021 is an innovative software suite that transcends traditional boundaries, empowering you with a remarkable array of tools to turbocharge your work efficiency. From intuitive collaboration features to seamless integration with cloud storage, the 2021 version of Office introduced game-changing functionalities designed to elevate the user’s  workflow to unprecedented levels.

Microsoft Office 2021

Features

  1. Dynamic arrays in Excel: Excel's dynamic arrays can be used to simplify calculations and data analysis.

  2. XLOOKUP function in Excel: XLOOKUP allows for precise data retrieval and analysis.

  3. Full dark mode support: Dark mode supports Office 365 apps, reducing eye strain and improving focus.

  4. Real-time co-authoring: Real-time collaboration makes teamwork more efficient.

  5. OneDrive support: OneDrive provides secure cloud storage to store, access, and share files across devices.

Office 2021 features

Editions

Office 2021 Home & Business for PC/MAC:

  • Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

  • Suitable for both private and business use.

  • Comes with all the necessary licenses that Home & Student also has.

  • Offers a slightly more extensive package than Home & Student.

  • Requires a retail license.

office home and business 2021

Office 2021 Home & Student for PC/MAC

  • Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • Basic variant of the Office 2021 packages.

  • Mainly intended for home use and students.

  • Can only be installed on 1 device.

  • Provides a perpetual license.

Office 2021 Professional

  • Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, and Skype for Business.

  • Suitable for growing small businesses that need the classic Office apps plus Outlook.

  • Ideal for companies with multiple users.

  • Requires a volume license.

  • Uses the Click-to-Run method for online installation.

Office professional 2021

Office 2021 Professional Plus

  • Only available through volume licensing channels.

  • Includes core applications plus Outlook, Publisher, Access, and Skype for Business.

  • Uses the Click-to-Run method for online installation.

Price

Office Home & Business 2021:

  • Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

  • One-time purchase installed on one PC or Mac for use at home or work.

  • Cost: $249.99 for a one-time purchase.

Office Home & Student 2021:

  • Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • One-time purchase for 1 PC or Mac.

  • Cost: $149.99 for a one-time purchase.

Office Professional 2021:

  • Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

  • One-time purchase for 1 PC or Mac.

  • Cost: $439.99 for a one-time purchase.

Office Professional Plus 2021:

  • Only available through volume licensing channels.

  • Includes core applications plus Outlook, Publisher, Access, and Skype for Business.

Office 2021 is a standalone version of Microsoft's Office suite designed for businesses and consumers who prefer to avoid Office 365. It features collaboration features such as real-time co-authoring, OneDrive support, and integration with Microsoft Teams.

Office 2019

Office 2019 is a groundbreaking release that introduces a host of innovative features and improvements, tailored to enhance your productivity and streamline your work processes. With Office 2019, you can take advantage of advanced data analysis capabilities, empowering you to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions. The new version also offers enhanced collaboration tools, enabling seamless teamwork and real-time co-authoring.

Microsoft Office 2019

Features

  1. Advanced presentation features: Enhance your presentations with advanced features for better visual impact.

  2. More powerful data analysis: Excel provides improved tools for analyzing data, allowing for more robust data analysis capabilities.

  3. Improved inking features: Experience enhanced inking features in various Office applications, making it easier to annotate and draw.

  4. Easier email management: Outlook offers improved features for managing your emails more efficiently.

Office 2019 features

Editions

Home & Business for PC/MAC:

  • Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

  • Suitable for both private and business use.

Home & Student for PC/MAC:

  • Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • Suitable for home and student use.

Professional:

  • Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, and Visio.

  • Suitable for businesses and professionals.

Professional Plus:

  • Only available through volume licensing channels.

  • Includes core applications plus Outlook, Publisher, Access, and Skype for Business.

Price

Office Home & Business 2019:

  • Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

  • One-time purchase installed on one PC or Mac for use at home or work.

  • Cost: $249.99 for a one-time purchase.

Office Home & Student 2019:

  • Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • One-time purchase for 1 PC or Mac.

  • Cost: $149.99 for a one-time purchase.

Office Professional 2019:

  • Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, and Visio.

  • One-time purchase for 1 PC.

  • Cost: $439.99 for a one-time purchase.

Office Professional Plus 2019:

  • Only available through volume licensing channels.

Office 2016

Office 2016 revolutionizes the way you work by introducing a range of cutting-edge features that optimize your productivity and streamline your workflow. With its powerful suite of applications, Office 2016 empowers you to create stunning documents, analyze complex data sets, deliver impactful presentations, and efficiently manage your emails. The 2016 version also introduces innovative collaboration tools, enabling real-time co-authoring and seamless integration with cloud storage service.

Microsoft Office 2016

Features

  1. Cloud Integration: Ability to create, open, edit, save, and share files in the cloud directly from the desktop, enhancing accessibility and collaboration.

  2. "Tell Me" Search Tool: Introducing the "Tell Me" search tool, which helps users quickly find and execute commands in applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Access, Visio, and Project.

  3. Enhanced Collaboration: Co-authoring capabilities in Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote, allowing multiple users to collaborate in real-time on the same document.

  4. Improved Productivity: Enhanced version history in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, making it easier to track and revert to previous document versions.

Editions

Home & Student:

  • Applications: Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, offering essential tools for academic and personal use.

  • Licensing: Licensed for use on one computer, making it ideal for individual users.

  • Suitable For: Designed for home and student use, catering to educational and personal needs.

Home & Business:

  • Applications: Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook, providing a comprehensive set of productivity tools.

  • Licensing: Licensed for use on one computer, making it suitable for individual users.

  • Suitable For: Geared towards home and small business use, offering a range of applications to meet various needs.

Standard:

  • Applications: Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Publisher, offering a robust suite of productivity applications.

  • Licensing: Licensed for use on one computer, ensuring dedicated usage.

  • Suitable For: Targeted at small businesses, providing a comprehensive set of tools for efficient operations.

Professional:

  • Applications: Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access, offering an extensive range of applications for professional use.

  • Licensing: Licensed for use on one computer, allowing focused utilization.

  • Suitable For: Tailored for businesses and professionals, delivering advanced tools for enhanced productivity and efficiency.

Professional Plus:

  • Applications: Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, and Skype for Business, providing a complete suite of applications for professional use.

  • Licensing: Only available through volume licensing channels, catering to large-scale organizational needs.

  • Suitable For: Designed for businesses and professionals, offering a comprehensive range of tools for collaborative and productive work.

Price

  • Licensing: Office 2016 is available as a one-time purchase, providing a perpetual license for the software.

  • Pricing: Prices for a single Office 2016 Home and Business license range from $229.99 to $399.99, offering different pricing options to suit varying needs.

  • Applications: The Office 2016 Home and Business license includes fully installed versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, providing essential productivity tools.

  • Office 365: Office 2016 apps are also included in Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscriptions.

How to Check the Office Version You Are Using

Here is how you can check the version of Microsoft Office you are using:

Step 1: Open a Microsoft Office such as Word, Excel or Powerpoint

Microsoft Excel

Step 2: Click on “file” on the ribbon menu at the top left corner.

Microsoft excel file menu

Step 3: On the file menu, select “account” from the list. Users can then check the version of Microsoft Office installed in their system. Example: This PC has Office 2013 installed.

Microsoft Office Version info

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Features

  • Compatibility with Microsoft Office formats ensures seamless file exchange with colleagues and clients.

  • The user interface is intuitive, allowing easy access to all features and tools right from the main window.

  • Edit and format documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with ease.

  • Choose from a variety of templates to create professional-looking documents and presentations quickly.

  • Open and save documents in multiple formats, including Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and PDF.

  • The robust editing software, Writer, enables you to create and edit texts, images, custom charts, tables, and more.

  • Enjoy features like PDF conversion and file recovery for accidental deletions.

WPS Office homepage

Pros

  • WPS Office is available for both PCs and mobile devices, ensuring easy accessibility across different platforms.

  • The user interface is user-friendly, making it easy for beginners to navigate.

  • With a wide range of features, document editing and formatting become effortless.

  • It offers a comprehensive suite of applications to perform various tasks required in an office environment.

  • The free version provides essential tools, allowing users to get started without any cost.

Cons

  • Performance may be affected when dealing with very large files.

  • Integration with third-party software might have limitations compared to other office suites.

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FAQ

Q1. What is the latest version of Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office 2021 is the latest version of the Office suite, released on October 5, 2021, for Windows and macOS. It introduces new features like dynamic arrays, XLOOKUP for Excel, full dark mode support, and performance improvements. Office 2021 is the final standalone version, as future releases will be branded as Microsoft 365.

Q2. Can I get an old Microsoft Office for free?

Microsoft Office has never released an Office suite that is free. However, users can download the older versions available online and use it if they have the license key. License key of the newer version of Microsoft Office can also be used in the older versions.

Decoding the Perfect Microsoft Office Version: Unveiling the Ideal Choice

Discovering the ideal Microsoft Office version for your needs is essential. After examining Microsoft 365, Office 2021, Office 2019, and Office 2016, we've provided an in-depth comparison of their features, editions, and pricing. Additionally, we guide you on how to check your current Office version. For a remarkable alternative, explore the feature-rich and free WPS Office suite. Make an informed decision and enhance your productivity today.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.