1. What is Office 365? How is it different from Microsoft Office?
"Office 365" refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services), such as Lync web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business, and additional online storage with SkyDrive and Skype world minutes for home.
Many Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of the latest Office applications, which users can install across multiple computers and devices. The Office 365 plans that are online-only are a great choice for certain business needs, and they are compatible with desktop versions of the latest version of Office, Office 2010, Office 2007 (with slightly limited functionality), Office 2011 for Mac, and Office 2008 for Mac.
All Office 365 plans are paid for on a subscription basis, monthly or annually. "Microsoft Office" is the name we still use for our familiar productivity software. Office suites have traditionally included applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. All the new Office suites (e.g. Office Standard 2013) include the latest versions of these applications. These suites can be installed on only one PC and do not come with any cloud-based services included in Office 365.
2. Is Internet access required for Office 365?
Internet access is required to install and activate all Office 365 plans and to manage your subscription account. Internet connectivity is also required to 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, for example, Office 365 Small 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, so 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.
3. What do I need to install when I sign up for Office 365?
You don't need to install anything in order to use Office 365. To help you easily connect your desktop version of the latest version of Office, Office 2010, or Office 2007 to Office 365, Microsoft provides Office 365 customers an installable piece of software—called "Office Desktop Setup"—at no charge.
Office Desktop Setup provides many benefits, including:
- Automatically detecting necessary updates,
- Installing updates and components upon approval or silently from a command line,
- Automatically configuring Outlook and Microsoft Lync for use with Microsoft Office 365, and
- Uninstalling itself from the client computer after running.
You can find and install Office Desktop Setup in your Office 365 administration centre. If your plan includes a subscription to Office, you will also be able to install that directly from the Office 365 administration centre.
4. What happens to my data if I cancel my subscription?
Your data is yours. If you decide to cancel your Office 365 subscription, you can download your data—for example, your email and documents on team sites—and save it to another location. You should save your data before you cancel. After you cancel your subscription, data associated with your Office 365 account will be available to your administrator(s) in a limited function account for 90 days.
5. What do I need to do to add a domain name?
To add your organisation's custom domain to Office 365, you must have access to the DNS records for that domain. If you do not have access, you should contact the person at your company that manages the company's domain account.