The company I work for is using SP2013 + OWA and is really conservative about software upgrades. I was trying to push a project to upgrade OWA to OOS, which seems to be really easy and straightforward to implement. However, I cannot find any side-by-side feature comparison or the list of changes between these two applications. The only key difference that I found is that OOS will do the job that was done by Excel Services, but that's applicable only to SP2016+. And of course I understand that OOS is the actively supported and developed product that receives many new features to be on par with M365. But I'm more interested in what value OOS can provide for users. Something like more file formats support, better collaboration features, more features from desktop apps available in browser, etc. Something that I can showcase to non-technical people. And I need to be specific, not just feeding them with generic marketing statements.

Can anyone point me to a relevant blog post or MS article? My Google skills seem to be inefficient in this case...

1 Answer 1


For 2013, there is little feature difference. For 2016+, OOS is required as they do not support OWA.

2016+ removed Excel Services which was moved into OOS. That is the primary feature difference between the two.

There isn't an article on a feature comparison.

  • Well, that's unfortunate that even Microsoft didn't highlight advantages of using OOS. I guess they just assuming everybody will have to upgrade sooner or later, or even better move to the cloud. I was looking at the release notes for the OOS major releases I see that there are multiple improvements, but most of them are not described in details. Thank you for your reply, though!
    – Egor
    Jul 31, 2020 at 19:05
  • Release notes are provided in each KB article on the product, but they're primarily language and/or security fixes. There really isn't much advantage/change in OOS v OWA in terms of a 2013 environment.
    – user6024
    Jul 31, 2020 at 19:06
  • KB articles are not detailed enough. The best information source I found is MS/O365 blogs, like this one for the latest major release from November 2018: techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/office-365-blog/…
    – Egor
    Jul 31, 2020 at 19:08

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