What Is the Difference Between Azure and Office 365?

What is the difference between Azure and Office 365?
Difference Between Azure and Office 365

Image Description:  Azure and Office 365

What Is the Difference Between Azure and Office 365?

Businesses have to make informed decisions to achieve their organizational goals. To do that, they must choose the right platform with appropriate features and the latest security protocols. Businesses are often debating which platform is the best. They are often confused about the difference between Azure and Office 365. Therefore, in this article, we have explored both the platforms and draw comparisons between the two to help you choose the one most suited for your business. 

Before we dive into the difference between Azure and Office 365, let us understand what these two platforms entail and what their features are.

What Is Azure?

Azure is a cloud computing platform that provides businesses with everything they need to run computing operations virtually, such as storage, networking, servers, analytics, and so on. There was a time when businesses only had to manage their physical hardware for computing operations, including Ethernet switches and disk storage. Today, companies use public cloud computing platforms such as Azure. These platforms maintain all the computing hardware, and companies can rent hardware resources anytime they need it. 

Companies can pick and choose from different Azure services, such as managing and deploying applications. Since you are renting the resources, you don’t have to deal with the inefficiencies and the costs associated with the physical hardware. A lot more companies are opting for cloud computing services and on-premise data centers. Some are also using multiple cloud computing services, depending on their requirements and business goals. If your business wants to make dramatic changes in the computing environment but also doesn’t want to commit to one service provider, Azure is the best option.  

Users of Azure

All types and sizes of businesses can benefit from using Azure. It is used by 80% of the Fortune 500 companies.  This cloud computing platform attracts a lot of small and medium-sized businesses. It has helped many SMBs avoid huge costs for equipment and the burdens of maintaining and upgrading computing systems. Since smaller businesses don’t have in-house IT departments, they usually have to outsource those services, which end up adding to their cost.  It also makes it easier for companies to remove or add computing resources in a matter of minutes. The flexibility provided by the businesses is increased compared to a traditional on-premise data center.

How Is the Data in Azure Stored?

When using cloud computing services, the data is not stored in the company’s servers. Azure stores data in one of the many Microsoft data centers across the globe. Microsoft data centers are located in 36 regions worldwide and are growing in numbers.

Services Provided By Azure

There are hundreds of services provided by Azure, but here are some of the major ones.

Computing Services

Azure allows the users to launch virtual machines in Windows and Linux platforms. It also allows pre-configured machine images for most software packages. 

Azure makes use of PaaS feature, and it enables the users to manage or publish apps and websites relatively easily. 

Storage Services

Storage services provided by Microsoft Azure allow data storage and access on the cloud by utilizing the SMB protocols and REST APIs.

The Queue services allow programs to interact in a synchronized fashion using queries.

Mobile Services

HockeyApp can be used for distribution, development, and beta-testing apps on mobile. 

Mobile engagement is one of Azure’s features that collect real-time analytics that shows the behavior of the user and sends notifications to mobile phones too. 

Data Management

Azure search offers text-search and a subset of Odata’s filters with the help of REST or SDK APIs.

Azure helps handle data-intensive queries that exceed 1BT via a data warehousing service referred to as SQL Data Warehouse.

Media Services

It offers PaaS that helps in encoding, analytics, streaming, and content protection.

Management Services

Automation features will be easy for you if you know about Microsoft Azure. All the complex, manual, error-prone, long-running, and frequent activities performed in cloud and environments are easy to manage with Azure automation.

It also offers Microsoft SMA (Service-Management Automation) Software that is used by developers for running, managing, and constructing run books to orchestrate, automate, and integrate complex IT business processes

Developer Services

Azure is used by developers to gain detailed insights into the apps.


Azure provides users with a global content delivery network (CDN) for audio, images, applications, and video. CDN can be managed by a REST

Microsoft Machine Learning

The machine learning of Microsoft is part of Cortana Intelligence Suite. It offers properties such as data interaction and analytics using natural speech recognition

What Is Office 365?

Difference between Azure and Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 was launched in the early 2000s. It is a cloud-based subscription model version of the productivity suite Microsoft Office. Office 365 contains the same applications as a traditional version of Office, including Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, Word, Onenote, and so on. Depending on the plan, it can include other services and apps like OneDrive, Sharepoint, Skype, Microsoft Team, Exchange, Yammer, and Access. 

There are multiple packages available in Office 365, such as versions of multi-user households, personal use, nonprofits, education institutions, businesses, and more. There are also mobile-only and online versions of Office referred to as Office Online. Office Online helps users get access to feature-limited versions of Office apps free of cost. 

Users of Office 365

Office has been providing users with productivity tools for three decades. Today, billions of people use Office worldwide. However, for businesses, Office offers many more features than spreadsheet editing and word processing. The core apps help businesses with the basic tools they require to perform different tasks, such as create documents, communicate information, and managing data.

It has been equipped with intelligent tools that allow companies to be more efficient and productive. With various options available different-sized businesses with different requirements can access the tools instantaneously.

Outlook provides users a professional platform that can help businesses market their services and build brand recognition. Outlook’s calendar feature can help companies better manage and collaborate their time. In Office 365, all services and apps are connected to the wider web as well as each other, saving employee’s time, facilitating teamwork, and enabling them to work better through various tools, such as online meetings, teamwork, co-authoring, group emails, and sharing files. The mobile apps and cloud storage in the Office 365 suite allow organizations to work whenever, wherever with secure access to conversations, content, schedules, and tasks from any device. 

With data security concerns for all organizations across different sectors and industries, many companies are choosing Office 365 because of its proactive data monitoring, layered security measures, 99.9% uptime service level agreement, and privacy protection. 

How Can Office 365 helps Businesses Grow?

A good set of productivity tools can help everyone in a company be productive and communicate effectively and generally get more work done. The Office 365 suite makes it easier for performing essential tasks like sharing knowledge, finding information, processing data, communicating with colleagues, organizing and planning faster, reducing the time consumed on admin tasks and giving businesses more time to design, innovate, and accomplish the organizational goals. 

Office 365 or Microsoft 365 has added more features so that users can utilize those tools to grow their business, such as:

  • A basic email marketing tool, Microsoft connections, has been added. It is also a customer engagement platform. 
  • Microsoft Listings is a tool that helps companies manage their business information such as Google, Yelp, Bing, and Facebook. 
  • Outlook Customer Manager is an intelligent and simple customer manager add-on for companies that don’t need a full-blown CRM system
  • Microsoft Invoicing is an app that generates and sends professional invoicing to customers and accepts payments on the go.
  • Microsoft Bookings allows users to manage customer schedules and appointments.
  • MileIQ is a mileage logging platform that automatically classifies and submits business travel
  • Business Center is an access point for all Office 365 business apps, through which users are able to track metrics such as outstanding invoices, bookings, and email subscriptions.

The cloud-hosted suite has a positive effect on businesses. Since Office 365 is a subscription-based service, that’s why it is more flexible and cost-effective. Office 365 also doesn’t require hardware investments. Everything is handled by Microsoft, which reduces the need for IT professionals and internal IT services. 

What Services Does Office 365 Offer For Businesses?

The type of services included in Office 365 depends on the subscription level users choose. Here is a list of core services and apps available:

  • Excel
  • Word
  • Outlook
  • Publisher
  • OneNote
  • PowerPoint
  • Exchange
  • Skype for Business
  • OneDrive for Business
  • Sharepoint
  • Microsoft Teams 

Some applications also have mobile versions that help businesses do more work on the go, including Powerpoint, Excel, Onedrive, and so on. 

Why Use Office 365?

Integrate and Explore

Office 365 integrates with Microsoft Office and other programs without any hiccups. It takes only a few minutes to create a trial account that you can integrate and test with the cloud. 

Collaborate Anytime Anywhere

Office 365 helps users get access to email, contacts, calendars, and documents from any device and browser. This enables a unified collaboration between employees. 

It Stays Up and Running

When you run your applications and store your data in Office 365, all your important business documents and applications like email will be available to you even if your company goes through unforeseen circumstances such as flood or fire. 

It Is Flexible 

Office 365 has multiple options that enable enterprises to buy only the office solutions if they need it and convert CAPEX into OPEX. 


With SSO or Single Sign-On users can store the password in the system to avoid having to constantly sign in. 


Users get business-class services, such as a financially-backed uptime guarantee, IT admin phone support, disaster recovery, privacy controls, standards, and geo-redundant data centers


It has an in-built security system with continuous compliance. You always know who has access to your data and where it is stored. You can also remotely wipe out all your data from your mobile phone if it is stolen or lost. 

No- Licensing Issues

Office 365 has all licensing and, therefore, can be deployed company-wide. Everybody will have the same version of Microsoft Office, and all the users can upgrade at the same time.

Collaboration in Real-Time

Teams are able to collaborate with Excel, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Word. Users can have access to real-time addition and edit their coworkers are making to a file. Every version is saved automatically, so you can revert back to the older one. It ensures quicker and simpler collaboration with departments and employees, leading to increased productivity levels. 


Office 365 contacts, email, and calendar are all synchronized. You can update a contact on your mobile device, and it will automatically get updated on all your other devices. You can also access the data from any other device or save a file on your PC while working on it on your tablet or Smartphone

Difference Between Azure and Office 365

  • To understand the difference between Azure and Office 365, we must understand that Office 365 is a SaaS product while Microsoft Azure is a cloud service provider, which is a combination of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. 
  • The reason why most businesses opt for Azure is that it allows personalized business applications from a virtual machine perspective and helps develop custom web applications that can be integrated with SharePoint Online. It extends Office 365 with mobile application support. For businesses running with Office 365, Azure can help them work on a hybrid infrastructure. 
  • Office 365 is a suite with standard apps such as Lync and SharePoint. It is run on the cloud and is a Microsoft-managed software. Azure allows the user to run the platform as a service. A developer can use it to create different custom applications and publish them on it. It gives the users complete control over which virtual machine to deploy. 

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When it comes to collecting documents, a user can access them from where they were stored in Exchange. Both the emails and attachments are integrated between Office 365 and Azure. Azure is not an active directory, but it also supports the components of Office 365. Azure and Office 365 are two major platforms used by businesses to further their goals.