I've been confused about this because of ambiguous language since Microsoft Office 365 launched. I remember spending an hour or so trying to figure out a definitive answer at launch time. I've spent about 15 minutes doing the same now, and I just want to get this sorted now, once and for all.
I remember when Office365 originally launched, Microsoft was saying that they would not be providing "updates" for customers who decided to purchase the normal, old-school, "perpetual" licenses (retail copies or otherwise). I also remember them saying that if you bought a Product Key card (also a perpetual license) that Microsoft would "remember" the moment that you activated and downloaded a copy of Office using the Product Key, and would always save a "snapshot" (presumably of that build) of Office, and that you would never be able to update that either.
What has never been clear to me is what they meant by "update".
As I see it, there are four (or five) categories of "updates."
No new functionality: these were usually small patches and hot fixes
Restoring original functionality that doesn't work as promised or intended: theses were usually small patches and hot fixes
Minor feature updates
New functionality within the same major version: these were larger patches
Major feature updates
These usually corresponded to service packs (Windows X, SPx), or new physical releases (Windows 8.1, Windows Server X R2)
New major versions
These usually included new major functionality as well as a new look and interface and corresponded to major new releases (Windows 7 to 8 to 10)
So it is clear to me that if I have a valid Office 365 subscription, I get all of the above. What is not clear to me is which, if any, of the above kinds of updates does a perpetual (physical or digital) license entitle me to?
Microsoft seemed to be implying to me that I wouldn't get any of the above, which seems ridiculous. At the very least, I should be entitled to (1.) security fixes and (2.) bug fixes with any license I buy. I could also reasonably see another line drawn somewhere between (3.) minor feature updates and (4.) major feature updates. I would never expect to get a (5.) major new version - that has always required a new license.
Does any one have a definitive answer to this?