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Microsoft Office OEM 2016 or Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365

For those of you who love giving your hard earned $$ to Microsoft you now have a method of sending recurring funds! Kidding aside Microsoft is not the first software company to come up with the concept of a recurring license as this has been around for some time. Actually Microsoft has been doing this as well to a certain degree with their enterprise customers. The big difference now is that they have deployed Office 365 to the masses.

So a definition is likely required of both OEM Office 2016 and Office 365 before we go any further.

OEM Office 2016- This is a "for purchase" Office 2016 software. OEM software is licensed with the computer system on which it was originally installed and is tied to that original machine. OEM licenses are single-use licenses that cannot be installed on more than one computer system, even if the original machine is no longer in us. If you get a new computer or would like a newer version of Office you purchase a new OEM license. This is typically the way Microsoft Office has been sold to the general consumer and small-medium business since inception.

Office 365- For business users, Office 365 offers plans providing e-mail and social networking services through hosted versions of Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server, SharePoint and Office Online, integration with Yammer, as well as access to the Microsoft Office 2016 software. Each Office 365 user license allows for that "user" to connect up to 5 devices (laptop, iPad, tablet, smartphone.....). When a newer version of any of the included Microsoft software becomes available the user will have the ability to upgrade to the newer software.

So how do you choose which is the right way to procure Office for your Thompson/Okanagan business? Good question and there is no clear black and white answer. There are, however, pros for both options.

OEM Office 2016 Purchase Pros

  • You pay for it once and it's yours
  • It is likely the way you are "used" to purchasing software
  • If you use on the same PC for more than approx. 24 months you will pay less over the entire period

Office 365 Recurring Purchase Pros

  • Payments are recurring and users can be increased/decreased easily
  • Microsoft "add on" software such as Project and Sharepoint can be easily added and "plugged in" to your 365 account
  • Each user license can be deployed on up to 5 devices
  • Your Office software is always current

As more and more services become recurring, cloud based it is almost inevitable that this will one day be the only way to purchase Microsoft Office products. So far it has been our position to offer both options to our clients. We have noticed however a significant increase in the amount of Office 365 products that we are managing and deploying for businesses.

Office 365 4 devices