If you have been following Microsoft and their company updates, chances are you have been hearing about Excel 365. Valid questions you may be asking are, what is the difference between Excel 2019 and Excel 365? Do I need to update to Excel 365? The answer to these questions lies in what kind of Microsoft licensing arrangement your company has. Microsoft offers both a perpetual version and a subscription-based version of their software.
What is the Perpetual Version?
The perpetual version of Microsoft software is a one-time stand-alone version of the software, with most features installed on the individual computer. This means that when Microsoft releases updates to their software, people with a perpetual license will not receive these updates. They will always and forever have the version of Microsoft software they bought, and the included features will never change. The fact that new functionality is not included can be annoying for some users. They will not have access to new features Microsoft releases unless they decide to buy the more recent version of the software.
Excel (and the other Microsoft products) that include the year in their name are perpetual versions. Excel 2021 was just released this Fall. The last perpetual version was Excel 2019. This computer-based version of the software is why companies may still use Microsoft 2016 or 2019 software. They have a nice functional version and are hesitant to spend the money to update until the productivity and features fail.
What is the Subscription-Based Version?
The subscription-based version of Microsoft software is precisely what its name suggests it is – available 365 days a year. This licensing arrangement provides users with the most up-to-date cloud version of the software that Microsoft offers, with access through the internet. One pays for this access monthly or annually.
This version allows for a more time-sensitive response from Microsoft regarding positive and negative reviews of the functionality. Unfortunately, there is the potential for businesses to get overwhelmed with the gradual Microsoft releases. People can quickly get confused about where they can find new or old features with these updates as many involve the movement of a button or a visual redesign.
The business and which style of Microsoft Software most benefits employees will determine which licensing option a business pursues. While the perpetual version is available for purchase, Microsoft heavily encourages users and companies to pursue the subscription option.