What is Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365)?

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365

Microsoft’s multitude of Business and Enterprise variants — licensed as month-to-month or annual subscriptions — offer greater superior feature units than the Home and Personal variants, with collaborative programs and control gear designed for assembly organization safety and compliance needs.

What is Microsoft 365?

As a product line, Microsoft Office dates lower back almost 3 many years, with early versions essentially combining Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a reduced package deal. Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365), which has been to be had on account that 2011, differs from that old style bundle in  respects: First, it is bought as a subscription (billed month-to-month or yearly), rather than as a perpetual license with a hard and fast one-time price. Second, it combines a collection of on line offerings, including enterprise-elegance email, cloud report storage, and steady communique gear along side the conventional laptop apps.

Because it’s a subscription offering, the ones laptop packages are up to date mechanically whilst a new version is available. If your subscription is cutting-edge, you get the brand new versions, with security releases month-to-month  and function updates every six months, at the same calendar as Windows 10.

Microsoft 365 is to be had in Family and Personal versions (previously called Office 365 Home and Personal, respectively) which are supposed for use by households, students, and individuals for non-public, non-business use.

In this guide, we cowl the multitude of Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise variants, which provide a more advanced function set than the Family and Personal editions, with collaborative programs and control gear that are designed for meeting enterprise protection and compliance challenges.

Which online offerings are in Microsoft 365?

The genuine mix of apps and services available with a Microsoft 365 subscription depends on which version you have chosen. The following five offerings are not unusual to all enterprise and organization plans:

•             Microsoft to carry multi-user virtualization to Office


This commercial enterprise-elegance e mail offering offers each Microsoft 365 subscriber to your organisation a mailbox with a most potential of fifty GB or 100 GB, with the capacity to get admission to e mail via a web browser or using the Outlook app on Windows, on a Mac, or on cell gadgets. Malware and spam filtering are built in, as are primary functions like shared mailboxes and (for some Microsoft 365 subscriptions) advanced capabilities like eDiscovery.


Every Microsoft 365 enterprise subscriber gets 1 TB of private OneDrive for Business garage, with sync clients to be had for every desktop and mobile platform. The Windows 10 customer makes use of the same sync patron because the consumer OneDrive provider, retaining information in a separate area. The Files on Demand feature lets in customers to view and manage cloud-based garage the use of File Explorer. Administrators of Enterprise plans can improve customers to limitless garage if a terabyte is not enough.


The SharePoint interface is now smooth where it was as soon as clunky, allowing groups to share documents and sync facts in File Explorer using the identical computer customer as in OneDrive for Business. Both SharePoint and Exchange Online consist of administrative controls to restrict users from sharing private facts out of doors the company.


This collaborative platform replaces the older Skype for Business service, presenting unified communications, HD video conferencing, and instant messaging for Microsoft 365 subscribers in an company, at the side of a group-and-channel-based totally architecture that covers a whole lot of the same feature set as alternatives like Slack. The free model of Teams permits small organizations to apply the carrier without having to pay any license expenses. Usage of Microsoft Teams has increased dramatically due to the fact early 2020, whilst pandemic-associated shutdowns made it a really perfect preference for far off-work eventualities. The developers in the back of Teams were delivery new functions monthly for computer, cell, and internet-primarily based apps.


Some Microsoft 365 plans consist of services centered for particular audiences. The Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Business Premium plans, as an example, include services for small and medium-sized groups; these tools consist of Microsoft Bookings, which allows clients to agenda and control appointments, and MileIQ, a mileage-tracking service. All Enterprise plans consist of the Yammer social networking provider and a selection of commercial enterprise automation tools, which includes Microsoft Power Apps to construct custom bureaucracy, Power Automate to streamline repetitive workflows, and Power BI Pro, a complicated business analytics tool.

Which laptop apps are available in Microsoft 365?

Every Microsoft 365 plan that includes computer apps offers the following Office programs for all supported versions of Windows and for MacOS: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. On Windows PCs best, Access and Publisher are to be had. Microsoft these days announced plans to include a “light-weight” version of Visio with its business plans. These apps are updated automatically to the present day model, with month-to-month safety updates and two times-annual characteristic updates.

Microsoft 365 subscriptions offer in step with-person licenses, because of this that the apps can be set up and used on as much as 5 phones, five tablets, and 5 PCs or Macs simultaneously. From their private subscription portal, a person can check in the use of their Microsoft 365 credentials and control installs without having to enter product keys or worry about activation. By assessment, perpetual-license versions of Office are usually certified to be used on one tool most effective and cannot be transferred.

Web-primarily based versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint provide fairly robust equipment that permit enhancing of files stored in OneDrive for Business. These equipment work in any contemporary laptop browser with out requiring additional software program. Most commercial enterprise plans also provide Outlook at the net.

When you register with an energetic subscription on cell devices (iOS and Android) , a brand new unified Office app offers a unmarried place to create, view, and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. The Outlook app affords a unified view of business and personal electronic mail and calendar debts. Mobile apps also are available for Microsoft 365 offerings, together with OneDrive, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams.

Which Microsoft 365 version is right on your business?

For small agencies, 4 Microsoft 365 plans assist up to 300 users. All expenses quoted beneath are modern-day as of June 2021 and anticipate an annual commitment. (Monthly plans without a commitment commonly fee about 25% greater.)

Microsoft 365 Business Basic (previously Office 365 Business Essentials)


Includes only the net offerings, along with Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business, without get admission to to Office laptop apps. This plan is appropriate for organizations that need to have controlled e mail and cloud garage however have an existing funding in Office computing device programs.

Microsoft 365 Apps business (previously Office 365 Business)

$eight.25 per person per month

Includes best the Office laptop apps and OneDrive for Business cloud record garage. It does now not include Exchange Online e-mail or another on line offerings. It’s a good desire for small businesses that need clean get admission to to Office apps and cloud storage however do not need to replace their e mail to Microsoft’s servers.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard (formerly Office 365 Business Premium)

$12.50 in step with person according to month

Includes all the on line services and desktop apps.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium (previously Microsoft 365 Business)

$20 in line with consumer in line with month

Includes all the online services and desktop apps, plus superior cyberthreat protection and Microsoft Intune tool control.

For larger companies, Microsoft gives 3 Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans that assist a vast wide variety of customers. Unlike their Office 365 predecessors, these plans now encompass in keeping with-consumer Windows Enterprise licensing, get right of entry to to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Microsoft Intune device management gear, Windows AutoPilot, and Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.

Microsoft 365 F3


Offers on line services and on-line versions of the Office apps but does no longer include computer apps. This plan is in particular centered at companies that need to provide e mail and cloud storage to frontline employees.

Microsoft 365 E3

$32 in line with user in line with month

Combines the total assortment of online services and computing device apps and is the most popular plan for larger businesses. It consists of advanced electronic mail preserve and discovery capabilities for coping with litigation issues. It lacks a few functions, along with the potential to combine Microsoft Teams with an business enterprise’s cellphone device, and it consists of a subset of Azure Active Directory Premium functions.

Microsoft 365 E5

$fifty seven according to consumer according to month

Includes a few advanced eDiscovery features however justifies its better rate tag with company-grade security functions. For example, each Microsoft 365 E5 subscription is automatically an endpoint for Microsoft 365 Threat Analytics and may be incorporated with Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection.

Several legacy Office 365 Enterprise plans are nonetheless to be had:

Office 365 Enterprise E1


Offers on-line offerings and on-line versions of the Office apps, but does not encompass computing device apps. Organizations that want to stick with precise Office versions even as shifting email and cloud storage to Microsoft’s servers will locate this plan appropriate.

Office 365 Enterprise E3

$20 in line with user in step with month

Includes the same set of on line offerings and laptop apps as in Microsoft 365 E3.

Office 365 Enterprise E5

$35 according to consumer in keeping with month

 Includes the equal lineup as in its Microsoft 365 counterpart, minus the Windows Enterprise license and associated features.

In addition to the ones preconfigured plans, person Microsoft 365 services are available on an a la carte foundation. Additional plans are to be had for nonprofit companies, governmental corporations, and educational institutions.

Managing Microsoft 365 in an business enterprise

Microsoft 365 consists of a management dashboard that directors can use to manipulate licenses, subscriptions, capabilities, and security. That console may be overwhelming, or even then some functions can only be managed thru PowerShell commands.

Even in small companies, it is essential to have a skilled Office 365 administrator who can manage users and configure safety alternatives well. Unless you have in-house body of workers with proper education, it’s well worth outsourcing this management undertaking to a managed provider company.

At a minimum, every administrator need to recognize the subsequent entry factors for Office 365 management:

Microsoft 365 portal Users can access net-based services here and also control installations of Office computer apps.

Microsoft 365 Admin Center For those users who have additionally been assigned administrator roles, this portal includes configuration options for coping with customers and agencies, licenses, and billing. Options at the bottom of the navigation pane allow get entry to to admin centers for specific offerings, consisting of Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business.

Azure Active Directory Admin Center Every Microsoft 365 business subscription additionally includes a loose Azure Active Directory account. Administrators can control users and gadgets from this portal and can also configure relationships with out of doors companies and current nearby servers. Note that some capabilities require premium Azure AD subscriptions.

Securing money owed and content

Microsoft 365 offerings are designed to be stable through default. You can make several modifications to default settings to strike the right balance among security and comfort.

First, permit multi-thing authentication by way of signing into the Azure Active Directory portal as a international administrator. Each person wishes to provide alternate method of contact, such as a phone range for receiving SMS messages. The Microsoft Authenticator app is specially beneficial as a primary manner of producing one-time codes or receiving push notifications for signing in to Office 365 services.

Next, enable the self-provider password reset. You’ll discover a link to this selection within the Security & Privacy segment of the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal.


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