Last year, Microsoft announced that it would no longer sell perpetual licenses for their products like Office Home and Business 2019 and Office Professional Plus 2019. This deeply discounted option to use Office 365 on PCs and Macs seemed destined for a subscription-only licensing model.
However, a year later, the tech giant quietly announced that they would release a new perpetual licensing version of Microsoft Office during the second half of 2021.
The company also announced they would release new versions of Exchange Server, Project Server, SharePoint Server, and Skype for Business Server (although these will follow a subscription model).
So what’s the best approach for your business? Let’s take a look.
Microsoft 365, formally known as Office 365, is the only option for anyone who needs unlimited access to a wide range of Office 365 apps. Furthermore, it’s the best option if you need to use it across multiple devices.
At its most basic, a single subscription can be shared by up to six people who access the account simultaneously, or you can pay $9 per month for a single user. Finally, this subscription-based solution offers an endless stream of upgrades and updates with a low cost of ownership for apps like Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word.
Microsoft 365 also comes with artificial intelligence and cloud features that enable real-time collaboration and automation. This approach helps staff maintain productivity across devices.
The Microsoft bundle also offers one terabyte (TB) of OneDrive storage (which can be expanded for a small monthly fee), Skype minutes, and real-time customer support.
While perpetual licensing comes with a one-time fee and limited options, Microsoft 365 allows access to all its applications for a monthly or yearly subscription. However, you might also end up paying for functions and features you’ll never use during your day to day operations.
Pros and Cons of Microsoft 365
|Unlimited access to all office apps||Limited functionality and potential service issues|
|$9 a month per user||Ongoing monthly or yearly payments|
|Free real-time upgrades||Paying for features, you don’t use|
|Windows 10 and macOS support||Some changing can be overwhelming|
|24/7 customer support|
Perpetual licensing is ideal for home-based users. In this scenario, you can obtain immediate access to popular software like Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word with necessary functionalities for a one-time fee.
If you don’t need access to extensive features and you’re happy to use it on a single device, then the perpetual licensing model makes the most sense. You make a one-time payment (that’s on the higher end of the spectrum), and you never have to pay again.
This software pricing model doesn’t provide regular upgrades or updates. But you’ll get all the necessary security updates.
One of the drawbacks here is that you risk using an obsolete version of the software in a year or two. However, the software usually has a life-cycle of five years, so you can still get a lot out of it.
Pros and Cons of Perpetual Licensing
|Access to core apps||Limited features|
|One time fee||One PC per license|
|Traditional computing experience||No customer support|
|Regular security updates||No upgrades|
|Windows 10 and macOS support||Only provides support for Windows 10 and macOS|
|No 1 TB OneDrive storage or Skype minutes|
So what’s the best option for your business?
The answer to the question depends on your specific needs. If you’re working in teams and plan to use office apps for an extended period of time, Microsoft 365 makes perfect sense. This approach ensures seamless access to their entire catalogue at a low cost of ownership.
To learn more about Microsoft 365, schedule a commitment-free consultation.