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Last updateFri, 29 Jul 2016 8am

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Microsoft Office 365

What is Office 365?

Office 365 refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications and other office cloud productivity services that are enabled over the Internet as cloud services.

The services include online storage with OneDrive, Lync web conferencing, Exchange Online for hosted business email, 60 minutes per month of Skype to non-Skype calls, and Yammer. Each of the inclusion depends on the selected office 365 plan. Many of the Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of the latest Office applications which users can install across multiple computers and devices. The basic Office 365 plans that are online-only which is a great choice for certain mobility needs, and they are compatible with desktop versions of the latest version of Office for Windows and for Mac.

All Office 365 plans are on subscription basis paid monthly or annually. Users can decide on the desired plans.

What is a Cloud?

“The cloud" is a friendly way of describing web-based computing services that are hosted outside of your organization. The IT infrastructure reside off-premises and is maintained by a third hosted party. This will free up the requirement of needing an IT or dedicate systems on the home or business premise.

As for Office 365, the information storage, computation, and software are located and managed remotely on servers owned by Microsoft. There are many other services we use every day are a part of the cloud such as web-based email, security, mobile banking, and online data/photo storage. With this type of infrastructure, you can access the services virtually anywhere, from a PC, tablet, smartphone, and mobite devices with an Internet connection.

Basic Requirement

Internet access is the basic requirement to:

  1. Install and activate all Office 365 plans

  2. Manage your subscription account

  3. Access Office 365 cloud productivity services, including email, conferencing, IT management, and other services

Many Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of Office that is part of Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Premium and Office 365 Enterprise E3. One of the benefits of having the desktop version of Office applications is that you can work offline and have the confidence that the next time you connect to the Internet, all your work will automatically sync if you set it up that way. With this syncing, you never have to worry about your documents being up to date. Your desktop version of Office is also automatically kept up to date and upgraded when you connect to the Internet, so you always have the latest tools to help you work.

Click on the Compare Office 365 plans to choose.

Benefits

There are many benefits to using Office 365. Here are some:

  • Office Desktop available on some plans
  • Latest version of software being upgraded at no additional cost
  • Includes OneDrive storage – space is dependent on plan selected
  • A range of plans and prices to suit your business
  • Includes Microsoft Office Web apps which is a browser-based versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.
  • Includes features such as instant messaging, voice and video conferencing, Web conference, e-mail, voice mail and unified messaging (available on most business and all Enterprise plans).
  • Allows users to edit their documents anywhere as part of the Office 365 SharePoint.
  • Collaboration and share files
  • Get work done anytime and anywhere.
  • Access the services seamlessly from your desktop, notebook, tablet, or mobile phone.
  • Integrates seamlessly with Microsoft office and other Microsoft programs
  • Reduce IT requirements and cost
  • Avoid large cash outlay for software upgrades and (for businesses) new servers
  • Single sign on

The Future of Office 365

There has been lots of talk recently about Windows 10, which will be released later this year. Along with these announcements, there has also been talk of Office 2016. When this is released, it is expected to be made available to Office 365 customers with improvements to the SharePoint. This will make the Office programs more suitable universally across PCs and touch devices.