“Office 365” refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services), such as Skype for Business web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business, and additional online storage with OneDrive for Business and Skype minutes for home.
Many Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of the latest Office applications, which users can install across multiple computers and devices. The full, installed applications include: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. (Publisher and Access are available on PC only.) And you can install them across multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, Android tablets, Android phones, iPad, and iPhone. When you have an active Office 365 subscription that includes the desktop version of Office, you always have the most up-to-date version of the applications.
The Office 365 plans that are online-only are a great choice for certain business needs, and they are compatible with desktop versions of Office 2013, Office 2010, Office 2007 (with slightly limited functionality), Office 2016 for Mac, Office 2011 for Mac, and Office 2008 for Mac. This does not include the Exchange Online Kiosk or Office 365 Enterprise K1 plans.
All Office 365 plans are paid for on a subscription basis, monthly or annually.
“Microsoft Office” is the name still used for the familiar productivity software. Office suites are available as a one-time purchase and include applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which can be installed on only one PC or Mac. The applications are not automatically updated; to get the latest version, you can purchase the product again when the new version becomes available. The latest versions currently available for one-time purchase are Office 2016 for Windows and Office 2016 for Mac. These suites do not come with any of the cloud-based services included in Office 365.