The licensing around Microsoft Project is very confusing at first, with numerous articles on the web showing contradicting information. Microsoft retired and renamed some of the licenses which caused some confusion, see this article from Microsoft for more information.
The information below should clarify the licenses and tell you what they are used for, as well as for who they are best suited for.
Currently there is 3 versions of Microsoft Project: Project Online Essentials, Project Online Professional, Project Online Premium.
Project Online Essentials used to be called Project Online Lite.
With Project Online Essentials you can get the following
1. Web-based interface for team members
2. Update tasks, issues, and risks
3. Submit timesheets
4. Share documents and collaborate with Skype for Business presence
Project Online Professional is for Project Managers.
Note: Includes all Project Online Essentials features
Note: Desktop client is only for 1 user (5 pc’s)
1. Rich user interface through desktop client
2. Anytime/anywhere access through Web interface
3. Project scheduling and costing
4. Resource management
5. Publishing projects to the cloud
6. Includes the most current version of the Project desktop application, instantly streamed to your Windows PC.
7. Each subscription license allows for up to five concurrent installations of the Project desktop application.
Project Online Premium is for Portfolio and resource managers
Note: Includes all Project Online Professional features
1. Portfolio selection and optimization
2. Demand management
3. Enterprise resource management
4. Out-of-box portfolio reports
Project Pro for Office 365
Project Pro for Office 365 was a desktop client that you used to connect to Project Online or use as standalone, but it was retired by Microsoft. The alternative now is Project Online Professional, which includes the desktop app.
Project Online was retired and the alternative now is Project Online Premium.
Feel free to check out our pricing on Project Online licenses here.