What Is Office 365? How Does It Differ From Microsoft Office?

Office 365 may be a suite of services offered by Microsoft. It's an equivalent Office you already know and use a day, but with a rather different interface and lots of more features.

Microsoft's branding of its Office 365 offering may have led to some confusion on how it differs from the Microsoft Office productivity suite that we're all conversant in. So, what's the difference?

What Is Office 365? How Does It Differ From Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office is that the name still used for all of the Microsoft software applications that we use, like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Unlike Office 365, however, these applications are often installed on just one computing system and don't accompany any cloud-based services. The "cloud", if you are not familiar, describes the means of storing and accessing your data over the web, rather than using your computer's disk drive.

Therefore, once you save files to the cloud, you'll access them from virtually anywhere (desktops, laptops, tablets or mobile devices) and that they will always be up so far, as long as you've got access to the web. Once you use cloud-based services, your IT infrastructure is maintained by a 3rd party. As Microsoft Office isn't powered by the cloud, the software must be purchased and installed from a disc.

Office 365, on the opposite hand, includes Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, etc.) and other productivity services, like the SharePoint intranet site, instant web messaging using Lync, OneDrive cloud services, the Outlook Web App online mail, and therefore the Exchange Server e-mail server program. Office 365 plans also allow applications to be installed on multiple computers and devices.

The service package is powered by the cloud, supplying you with the liberty to access your applications and files from virtually anywhere. With Office 365, you'll work on documents stored within the cloud, even when you're offline. Once you reconnect to the web, all of your changes will automatically synchronize. Your data is stored and managed remotely on servers owned by Microsoft. Lastly, because Office 365 is cloud-based, subscribing to the Office 365 suite requires downloading it, instead of purchasing it on a disc.

In addition to be ready to work on regular desktops and laptops, Office 365 is meant to figure on touch-screen devices, like tablets and touch-screen laptops. Currently, subscribers can install Office 365 on machines running Windows 7 or 8. Older versions of Windows (Vista or XP) aren't supported.

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