Posted by: kurtsh | April 5, 2015

INFO: Difference between using & installing Office for Mac 2011 vs Office 365 on Mac

I was recently asked by a client to explain how Office 365’s applications (Word, Excel, etc.) are installed & used by a Apple Macintosh owner.

  • imageWhat’s the difference between Office 365 and just plain old Office for Mac?
    I’ve documented the differences below, however the biggest difference is that with Office 365, you always get the latest versions of the MacOffice applications at no extra cost – which is especially important for Mac users since Microsoft is going to release a new version later this year. (Office 2016 for Mac)  With Office 365 you get to install the Office suite of applications on up to 5 PCs or Macs (or any combination of the two) for only $99/year.  This is a subscription that must be renewed every year to continue using Office, as opposed to Office for Mac 2011 which is a one-time fee, however you are not eligible for functionality updates – only security patches – and you will need to re-purchase the software when we release Office 2016 for Mac.
  • imageAre the bits for Office 365 stored on the local Mac?
    Yes, “Office 365 for the Mac” is completely installed on the local Mac for offline use (i.e. on an airplane) just as it is for “Office for Mac 2011”, however when a network connection is available, Office 365 for Mac has the added benefit of checking for security patches, feature updates & new version releases to upgrade to.  Office for Mac 2011 will not.
  • What about a Mac that is about 3 years old—will that be a problem for either offering?
    Office 365’s applications will run fine.  The software is essentially Office for Mac 2011 with an installation manager built in.


Office for Mac 2011 Home & Business

Office 365 Home


(one-time purchase)


Number of installations allowed

1 (Mac only)

5 (any mix of Windows PCs or Macs)

Number of mobile installations


5 phones & 5 tablets (any mix of iOS/Android)


Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook


Only security patches

Automatic upgrades to new versions (including upcoming Office for Mac 2015), feature patches and security patches

Installation process

Fully installed locally on Mac for offline use (from installer or CD)

Fully installed locally on Mac for offline use (from Office 365 site)



60min/month International calling


Install support only

Full tech support via chat or phone (no extra charge)

Online Storage


10TB/Unlimited Online Storage via OneDrive (Note: This is not fully announced, but all Office 365 owners get unlimited storage in our cloud, although it will say 10TB.  It comes with a Mac sync client)


For more, read the following site:


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