Is there a list of 365-only features for Office for Mac software?

Hello,

I had been under the impression that Office for Mac 2016 and 2019 were the same software versions as their 365 counterparts, receiving the same monthly updates, until they are "frozen" three years after release (like Office for Mac 2016 was at version 16.16.x).

However, ribbon customization is only available for 365 subscribers; it is disabled for Office for Mac 2016 and 2019 users. There is no pre-purchase mention of this that I can find, other than that the 2019 includes "Classic" versions of the apps. The unavailability of Ribbon customization is only mentioned in this thread or the app itself, as far as I can tell.

Is there any list of other features only available for 365 subscribers, so that I can best inform my clients who are deciding between 365 or one-time purchase?

Thank you,

Ivan.

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Answer
Answer

OK... It appears that Microsoft marketing once again has managed to befuddle :-) Your concern is the distinction between what is considered Premium as opposed to Classic, right? It isn't a matter of what the individual program provides. The distinction is exactly as you interpreted it:

  • Classic simply refers to the perpetual [Retail] license product for which no feature enhancements are provided: IOW, what you get when you buy is what you have when you die.

  • Premium refers to the subscription bundles & indicates that the software will receive enhancements continuously as they are pushed out.

Stated another way based on the forthcoming major release we'll call Office 2021: On the day it is initially offered by Microsoft the programs in the Retail license package [Classic] will be identical to what is being provided to Microsoft 365 Subscribers [Premium]. However, as time passes Premium customers will receive enhancements to the product which Classic customers will not, even though all will receive security updates & bug fixes. The update nomenclature will be identical for everyone: The difference will be exactly what is installed based on the type of license.

Here is a transcript of a conversation had with Microsoft just a few minutes ago. In particular note the final reply from the agent named Helen:

Hello Bob, how may I assist you today?

June 13, 2021, 9:39 am

Helen

I continuously see reference to Classic as opposed to Premium Office programs yet nowhere can I find anything that clarifies the distinction. What is the specific difference between, e.g., Classic Word & Premium Word?????

June 13, 2021, 9:39 am

Bob

To ensure I understand your query, you want to know the difference between Classic word and Premium word?

June 13, 2021, 9:41 am

Helen

Isn't that what I wrote:?????

June 13, 2021, 9:42 am

Bob

Kindly be informed that there is nothing like classic word, but the premium word is the Microsoft 365 subscription

June 13, 2021, 9:43 am

Helen

The marketing materials published by Microsoft explicitly refer to Classic v. Premium. Take a look at the comparison chart on this page: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/buy/compare-all-microsoft-365-products?rtc=1

June 13, 2021, 9:46 am

Bob

However, nowhere that I can find is there anything that quantifies the distinction.

June 13, 2021, 9:46 am

Bob

The premium features is for Microsoft 365 subscription and the classic features is for the one time purchase as it has limited features.

June 13, 2021, 9:49 am

Helen

Here's another link which may be useful to you if you haven't seen it before:

AI: Artificial Intelligence or Automated Idiocy???
Please mark Yes/No as to whether a Reply answers your question.

Regards,
Bob J.

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Answer

Is there a list of 365 Only features?

No.

Should there be?

Yes.

Is there a list of feature differences between Windows and Mac?

No.

.

Why not?

.

Because MS is too cheap to create up to date documentation of their products.

It allows them to make vague statements about how 365 is "better" than one-time payment versions without providing concrete proof to back up their statements.

Instead they now depend on independent authors to create the how too books, like Suzanne Barnes who volunteers here.

.

On the Windows side, the Onetime payment versions are locked for features. If you continue to get new features on Mac side you are lucky. Any new features that do show up in one-time payment PC apps are a mistake, like the new 2019 icons showing up in 2016 also.

Yes, MS focuses it's development on the PC side. There are a lot of features that are not translated to Mac. There is a functional reason, some features simply cannot be done on the MAC side because the MAC OS's don't support them.

MS talks big up front, but does as little on the back end as it can. 365 comes with 'free support'. Except when you try to use that support, you can't reach them, they won't tell you how to use the product (they claim to only do trouble shooting, but they don't do that well).

The closest approximation to the list you are looking for from MS are these links. They are monthly list of "updates" and new features. But it is all in monthly entries, everyone have to waste their own time reading all of them to create a full list. And even that list is not complete ... MS doesn't document in public every change they make ... <sigh>

Update History Office 365 Pro Plus / 2016 / 2013 / 2010 / Mac

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office-2019 2019 / 2016 CTR history

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office365-proplus-by-date Office 365 History

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*****
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As computer scientists we are trained to communicate with the dumbest things in the world – computers –
so you’d think we’d be able to communicate quite well with people.
Prof. Doug Fisher

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Last updated September 13, 2021 Views 92 Applies to: