Office 365 is a line of subscription services offered by Microsoft, as part of the Microsoft Office product line. The brand encompasses plans that allow use of the Microsoft Office software suite over the life of the subscription, as well as cloud-based software as a service products for business environments, such as hosted Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server, and SharePoint among others. All Office 365 plans include automatic updates to their respective software at no additional charge, as opposed to conventional licenses for these programs—where new versions require purchase of a new license.
After a beta test that began in October 2010, Microsoft launched Office 365 on June 28, 2011, as a successor to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), originally aimed at corporate users. With the release of Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft expanded Office 365 to include new plans aimed at different types of businesses, along with new plans aimed at general consumers, including benefits tailored towards Microsoft consumer services such as One Drive (whose integration with Office was a major feature of the 2013 suite).
The Office 365 service consists of a number of products and services. All of Office 365’s components can be managed and configured through an online portal; users can be added manually, imported from a CSV file, or Office 365 can be set up for single sign-on with a local Active Directory using Active Directory Federation Services. More advanced setup and features requires the use of Power Shell scripts.
The email service, task management, calendar application, and contacts manager included with business and enterprise Office 365 subscriptions are under the Outlook on the web brand. It includes Outlook Mail, Outlook Calendar, Outlook People, and Outlook Tasks. Microsoft introduced an email feature called Clutter with Office 365. Clutter remembers user’s preferences as it comes to the relevance and importance of emails. It analyses user’s pattern of behavior about email topics, if user keeps ignoring emails about a certain topic, Clutter moves those emails to a folder with the same name in Outlook. Users can enable and disable this feature by logging on to Office 365 portal.
Business and enterprise-oriented plans for Office 365 offer access to cloud-hosted versions of Office’s server platforms on a software as a service basis, including Exchange, Skype for Business, SharePoint, and the browser-based Office Web Apps suite. Through SharePoint’s One-Drive for Business functionality (formerly known as SharePoint My-Sites and Sky-Drive Pro, and distinct from the consumer-oriented One-Drive service), each user also receives 1 TB of online storage. Certain plans also include unlimited personal cloud storage per user.
The Office 365 platform uses a rolling release model; updates to the online components of the service are provided once per quarter. On launch, the 2010 versions of server components were used with Office 365. These services were automatically upgraded to their Office 2013 counterparts upon its release in February 2013. With the introduction of Office 2013, Office division head Kurt Del-Bene stated that minor and incremental updates to the Office desktop software would be provided on a similarly periodic basis to all Office 365 users by means of the streaming system, as opposed to the three-year cycle for major releases of Office that had been used in the past.
The program provides education institutions with a set of hosted collaboration services, communication tools, and mobile, desktop, and web-based applications, as well as data storage capabilities. The suite includes Microsoft applications for collaboration including: Office Live Work-space, Windows Live Sky-Drive, Windows Live Spaces, Microsoft Shared-View Beta, Microsoft Outlook Live, Windows Live Messenger, and Windows Live Alerts.
The above is a brief about Office 365. Watch this space for more updates on the latest trends in Technology.