All About Productivity in Microsoft Office 365

Housed on SkyDrive, Microsoft's New Cloud Office Goes Beyond Just the Programs

Microsoft 365
Courtesy Microsoft

Office 365 is Microsoft's latest cloud-based office suite for PC and Mac. It takes on a new purchasing format known as an office suite subscription, which is the newer format Microsoft encourages users to adopt.

At the time of this writing, you can install Office 365 on up to five computers or devices. If you only need to install to one device or decide you do not need all the extra features mentioned below, you may be more interested in Microsoft's more traditional desktop version of Office.

Office 365: Programs and Features

Office 365 includes the latest Office programs. For a visual run-down of what's new in specific programs please click through these Office Programs: Image Galleries.

Compatible Operating Systems

Office 365 can be used on devices running later versions of Windows or Mac OS X. This is a major advantage for Mac users in particular since, for past versions of Office, Mac users have waited for about a year after it is released for PC.

If you have a mobile device or desktop running another operating system, you will likely be able to use free, simplified versions of Office known as Microsoft Office Online (Web Apps) which also require an internet connection.

You may also get more advanced versions of Microsoft Office Mobile Apps for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone.

While you are not required to run Windows in order to subscribe to Office 365, Windows is the intended environment for optimal Office 365 productivity.

Office 365 Extras

Office users have been using add-ins to bring in additional features such as the ability to write math equations. With Office 365 and Office for desktop, the emphasis has shifted to apps.

This is just one example of how Office 365 represents an evolution from the traditional suite. So, while including all those traditional desktop features, you can get extras with the subscription.

 

Read more about these trends:

6 Ways Cortana Helps You with Office 365 Documents and Productivity Tasks

Office 365 Users Get a New Project Management Tool Called Planner

Office 365 Users Get Incredible New PowerPoint Features: Morph and Designer

A Productivity Ecosystem

The many aspects of Office 365 come together to create an ecosystem that goes beyond just the Office programs. Users also have access to services such as a OneDrive cloud storage account and free Skype minutes.

Office 365 for Consumers, Households, and Students

You may want to start your search for the right plan in this Quick Comparison Chart of Office 365 Plans and Subscriptions.

Office 365 Home Premium - Intended for individuals, families, and elementary or secondary students.

Office 365 University - Intended for students, instructors, and administrators of qualifying higher educations institutions such as colleges or universities.

Office 365 for Business

Businesses and organizations will have several Office 365 versions to choose from. 

Microsoft Office for Business and Enterprise

Buying a Subscription to Office 365

The online Microsoft Store has a specific site page dedicated to Office 365. This is also the link you should click to for a final check on the official system requirements and details.

Please read these specifics before purchasing an Office 365 subscription.

Some upgrade deals are available for those who have bought an older version within certain time frames.