The Difference Between Outlook and Outlook 365

Microsoft Outlook has been a popular email client for well over a decade. Release after release of the client has been pushed throughout the years, but recently, the program has shifted to something new: Outlook 365.
The issue is that many users don’t know the difference between Outlook and the Outlook 365 model.

Understanding Outlook 365

The main difference, aside from enhanced features, that Outlook 365 has over its predecessor is that it comes in both a subscription plan and a standalone plan. But, many consumers believe that they’ll have to pay a monthly subscription to get the e-mail client.

Subscription vs Standalone

Outlook is included within the Office 365 bundle. You’ll receive all of the great Office apps and programs, but the programs will depend on your purchase option.
Users will pay either a monthly or yearly subscription for access to Office and Outlook 365. The prices are as follows:
  • Office 365 Home: $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year.
  • Office 365 Personal: $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year.
All of the subscription options come with Outlook, Publisher and Access, which is a very nice addition for the small added cost.
There are two standalone versions of Office 2016 this year, and one will be irrelevant to this article, but we’ll include it to be thorough.
  • Office Home & Student 2016: A cost of $149.99, but you will not receive Outlook in the bundle.
  • Office Home & Business 2016: This package costs $229.99 and will include Outlook.
It’s important to note that this is a one-time payment with no recurring subscriptions needed, which is nice for casual users that don’t need the latest upgrades and updates.
But, you’ll lose a lot of power in the process.

What Functionality Will Be Missing Without 365?

This is the only way to get Outlook without a subscription at the moment. So, you’ll be stuck getting the entire Office Suite of programs and apps, which isn’t a bad thing as they’re extremely useful.
However, when you buy the standalone version, you’ll have the same great features available in the Office 365 version.
But, you will miss out on some handy features that you would get with Office 365:
  • Tablet and Phone Access: You cannot use your tablet or phone with the standalone version. Since you won’t have access to the apps, you’ll have to check your email using another client, which is very inconvenient especially if you’re syncing your email.
  • Cloud Storage: OneDrive allows you to save documents and files to OneDrive. You’ll only receive 15 GB of storage on your account, while others will have 1 TB of storage.
  • Updates: Patches may be installed on standalone Outlook, but you will not always be up to date with new features or functionality. If you have a subscription, you can automatically begin using the new version when it comes out.
  • Support: Technical support over the phone and in chat is not available for the standalone version without a fee. If you have issues with your installation or a technical issues arises in the future, Microsoft will not assist you.
There was a time when Outlook Express was included with Internet Explorer. This was with Windows 98 – Windows Server 2003 operating systems and have been discontinued. Since then, Outlook has become a more robust mail client that has been included in the company’s Office package, which is a premium product.
The mail client is different than the email address that can be created and used on the web.
If you use email for business purposes, it’s a good idea to use Outlook 365 to ensure your version is always up to date. Users that use Outlook for personal email will save money with the standalone version.