1 year ago
All articles   >   Top 5 Essential Differences Between Microsoft 365 & 2021

Top 5 Essential Differences Between Microsoft 365 & 2021

As Microsoft updates its available software, some people may have noticed references to Microsoft 365 and Microsoft 2021. Is there a difference? Yes, and for those who rely on Microsoft applications, these differences are pretty significant! No matter which plan you choose, Bigger Brains has the materials for training you effectively. Here are the top 5 differences between Microsoft 365 and Microsoft 2021 and how they would affect you.



Microsoft 365 offers different subscriptions based on the individual’s apps and services. These subscriptions vary from a personal to a business standard membership. The benefit of a Microsoft 365 subscription is that you can pay all at once or break it down into a monthly charge. Either way, using Microsoft 365 results in a reoccurring payment, but you have the option of the cost being monthly or yearly.


On the other hand, Microsoft 2021 is a one-time purchase. Once you pay for the software, you own that version for life (until the product is no longer supported). Additionally, say you only need access to Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint. With Microsoft 2021, you can purchase standalone software versions without purchasing a bundle. This is a good option for those who may not use all the apps and services provided by Microsoft 365.



One of the leading promotional pieces of Microsoft 365 is the fact that it is constantly updating. Whether Microsoft adds new features to PowerPoint or improves the functionality of Excel, improvements are continually being fed into Microsoft 365 software. For innovative people who love to stay on top of new technology, Microsoft 365 may be the better choice. Accessing new features and showing others how to use new elements properly is a level of expertise that anyone can quickly obtain through Microsoft 365.


One important thing to note about Microsoft 2021 is that it will not automatically update when new features are released. Microsoft 2021 does not usually include feature updates, but sometimes they do happen. Usually, the only updates you will be able to run in Microsoft 2021 are security updates to keep your information safe. While this is still beneficial, if you search for Microsoft software to stay relevant, you won’t find that with Microsoft 2021. This option is a good choice for those who may not always be connected to the internet or are only interested in the software for basic functions.

Graphic gray and yellow background of hands typing on laptop (possibly using Microsoft 365 / 2021) keyboard while working at desk, top down view, copy space



When using a Microsoft 365 account, you can access and install software on up to 5 different computers. This is beneficial for people who may not always work in one place or those with multiple devices. Accessing and installing your information from any device is a significant benefit for those who work on the road.


When using Microsoft 2021, it is essential to know that you can only install the software on one device. In the past, Microsoft allowed users to install software on two devices, but this has changed with 2021 versions. Because of this, if you are using this software for business purposes, it is vital to initially access it from your work computer. On the other hand, if you plan on using this software for personal use, make sure to initially access it from the device that will be most convenient for you.

Mobile Apps


Mobile apps are one of the newest features to join the Microsoft universe. Since the release of the Microsoft Office app in 2020, Microsoft 365 users everywhere have been able to optimize their workflow by accessing their information on the go. One relevant thing about the Microsoft mobile apps is that you have to have a free Microsoft account or a Microsoft 365 account to use them.


As mentioned before, unfortunately, purchasing Microsoft 2021 will not provide access to Microsoft mobile apps. To access Microsoft mobile apps without a Microsoft 365 account, you would need a free Microsoft account. While that may irk some people, most people purchasing Microsoft 2021 accounts are not people who would benefit from mobile apps. As previously mentioned, a Microsoft 2021 account is typically suitable for people who are not always connected to the internet or are only interested in the software for its basic functions.



For those constantly working on projects or reports, a Microsoft 365 subscription may be the best option for you! With most Microsoft 365 subscription, users are provided with 1TB of OneDrive storage. This is highly beneficial to people who are constantly generating reports, papers, and other important files. With this additional space, at no extra charge, you can confidently focus on creativity instead of worrying about storage space.


While Microsoft 2021 may be the better purchase for those who are only interested in the base features of Microsoft’s software, it is important to know that this option does not include any storage. While Microsoft 2021 users may not need the newest features or apps, planning for adequate storage space is always essential.

You might also like...

Bigger Brains Course Catalog and Pricing

Fill out the information below to receive a download link for our latest course catalog.

Get More Information

Looking for eLearning content or other training solutions for your company? Let us know how we can help!