Difference between WSS & MOSS





    Can anyone please tell me the difference between Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) ?

    It's not clear enough for me!



    Friday, March 14, 2008 12:59 PM

All replies

  • Sally --


    Below is my standard answer on this topic (with a small update thanks to feedback from Mike Walsh), please let me know if you'd like any further info on the subject or have any followup questions.


    WSS is free with the purchase of a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 license (although it is not included with the installation files for the OS; you have to get it via a separate download), while MOSS requires the purchase of additional licenses.  Both require Internet Information Services (IIS) 6 or greater as their web server and some flavor of SQL Server (as their backend database).  WSS is really the base product, while MOSS contains all the features and functionality of WSS and adds way more stuff on top of it.


    I would encourage you to check out a blog post I wrote comparing WSS and MOSS functionality and intended uses:


    Regarding the differences between WSS and MOSS 2007, there are several features that you get with MOSS that aren't available in WSS:

    • Search and cohesion across site collections - In WSS, each site collection is an island unto itself.  MOSS adds the portal umbrella that pulls together those separate site collections and allows for searching across them.
    • Personalization - MOSS allows users to have individual, personalized sites; WSS doesn't. (MySites are an example of a personalized MOSS site and available via a specific MOSS site template)
    • User Profiles - MOSS allows you to import, store, and update personal data on your users, it's not available in WSS
    • Audience Targeting - MOSS allows you to target content to specific user groups; WSS doesn't.
    • Crawl and Index sources outside of SharePoint for searching- MOSS allows you to return search results for indexed sources such as file shares, web sites, Lotus Notes databases, and much more; WSS can only crawl and index WSS sites.
    • Search administration and customization - MOSS gives its admins much more control over the configuration of its search engine; WSS doesn't.
    • Site Templates - MOSS provides additional site templates (and workflows) for content management and portals; WSS does not have these templates.

    For more information on the differences between WSS and MOSS, you might want to check out the following link:

    Microsoft site detail features available across SharePoint product SKUs:



    Friday, March 14, 2008 7:16 PM

    Thank you so much,it was very helpful.

    seems that you have experience in sharepoint.

    can you please guide me regarding my other threads on

    Automated testing of applications for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server2007.


    Any good explanation about Automated testing of applications for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server2007 that exactly what it means?!



    Many thanks


    Monday, March 17, 2008 11:48 PM

    hi john, my company is currently consolidating our OA system and we are considering using MOSS. the areas we are most interested in are:
    - workflow
    - granular security
    - full BI (BI within MOSS or more?)
    since WSS already supports workflow and seems to subject to the same security as MOSS and we are thinking we can built web parts to achieve some/most of the BI features offered by MOSS, how do we justify the cost to buy MOSS to cover those 3 parts? can you enlighten me on what makes MOSS can do that WSS can NOT do on these 3 areas?

    i just don;t think it's worth to spend a fortune for MOSS just for those enterprise features. thanks!!


    Tuesday, March 18, 2008 6:51 AM