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Microsoft OfficeWhat kind of Microsoft Office do I need in my business?

I think there is some confusion about Windows and Microsoft Office.  I come across lots of people who get confused between Windows, Microsoft Ofifce , Home, Professional etc.

The question frequently arises, what do I really need?


Windows – this is an Operating System, there is a Home Version and a Business version, and the current release is 10. (big update coming very soon)

To secure your data at rest (that is anything on your machine) you need Windows 10 Pro with Bitlocker turned on. This will encrypt your DEVICE – if you have a desktop and a laptop to encrypt them both you need Windows 10 Pro on both.

Microsoft Office

Stand Alone

You bought this from a shop or downloaded it from somewhere. It is only on your machine and not linked to anything – no access to OneDrive unless you have a personal account. It does NOT get monthly updates. It is not part of an organisation.

Microsoft Office 365 Home

There are various flavours of the Home version and it is likely where you started from.


Microsoft Office Home

Office 365 Home Sales Page from Microsoft

 Office 365 Home comes with an account and you get access to a personal OneDrive.

If you have an Outlook.comaccount (used to be Hotmail) on its own,  then you may well have access to a personal Onedrive even without a Home Subscription.

This means that it is not part of an organisation – even if the organisation has only one person.

The business tools – Microsoft Azure Information Rights Management Protection, Boookings, Mileage and more, will not work with it.

Microsoft Office 365 Business

Various subscription packages (you can opt to pay annually)

These are for use in Business are licensed for Business and give you access to a whole range of Business tools.

Microsoft Office Small Business

Office 365 for Business Sales Page

To use encryption, you will need one of the Business Packages.

I recommend Small Business Premium as the one to go for – it comes with an Exchange Account included and you will need to have your email directed via Exchange in order to make use of the Mail Flow Rules that control Encryption.

What about on a Mac?

If you are working on a Mac, then you will have switched on File Vault to encrypt the Mac itself, protecting your data at rest.

With regards to Microsoft Office the same recommendations apply – Small Business Premium – including an Exchange Account and you will need to route your email via the Exchange so that the Mail Flow Rules work.

Has this helped?

Hopefully this post has answered some of the questions around the version you need to get more done in less time. If you have any questions leave a comment below.

What kind of Microsoft Office do I need in my business?