Power BI Desktop vs Power BI Service


This article outlines the key things you need to know regarding Power Bi and Power BI Service. 

Features and Benefits


Power BI Desktop

Power BI Service 


Free download - developed and supported by Microsoft

Paid - cloud-based version, supported by Microsoft 

Licence is c.£8.20 per user, per month or Free if you are an MS 365 E5 customer


What can you do? 

  • Create and consume reports on your desktop
  • Export to .csv
  • Export reports to pdf
  • Share report files via email


  • Publish Power BI Desktop reports to the cloud
  • Consume reports in the cloud
  • Share and collaborate with others. For example, embed in SharePoint and workspaces.
  • Restrict access to reports
  • Set reports to auto refresh or be sent out to email recipients 
  • Available anywhere, no IP required as this is controlled by PBI service access
  • Please note: Those who wish to consume reports need a licence to view them.


More information can be found here:


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