Released in June of 2011, Office 365 is a cloud based software plus tool that offers apps that are intended to boost the productivity and cloud storage of Office. After paying a monthly subscription fee, users have access to the Office applications provided by the software tool, as well as other productivity services that are provided via the Internet. The services users have access to include the latest Desktop versions of Office applications, which they can install on their PC, OneDrive storage space and on 60 Skype minutes a month.
What Office 365 Versions are Available?
- Office 365 Home ? This plan provides users with an auto-renewal subscription for up to 5 PCs or Macs; 5 tablets, including iPads, Android devices, or Windows, as well as 5 phones. It offers users access to several Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype, just to name a few. This version provides 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, as well as ongoing access to all updates.
- Office 365 Personal ? This version also provides an auto-renewal subscription, but for 1 PC or Mac, as well as 1 table, including iPads, Android devices or Windows, as well as 1 phone. Users of this version have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Skype and much more. They also receive 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage and ongoing access to all updates.
- Office 365 University ? This version provides Office 365 for 2 PCs, Macs or tablets, including iPads, Android devices, or Windows, as well as 2 phones. It gives users access to various Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. It also provides 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage and ongoing access to all updates.
- Office 365 Business ? With this version, users will enjoy fully installed Office applications on their PCs or Macs. They will also be able to utilized various office apps on their tablets and phones and receive 1TB of file storage and sharing.
- Office 365 Business Premium ? Users will receive all of the features of Office 365 Business with this version, as well as email with a 50GB mailbox and HD video conferencing.
How to Purchase Office 365Purchasing Office 365 is simple. Once users decide which version they would like to use, they can purchase it by visiting Office365.com. From there, they can choose which subscription they would like; either monthly or yearly. Once a user selects the version that they would like to use, they simply have to enter their payment information into the secure site, and once the payment is processed, they will have access to all of the features available on the version of Office 365 that they chose. Users can also choose to have their access renewed automatically, or they can renew is manually.
Pricing for Office 365
The pricing for Office 365 varies, depending on the version that a user choose. Currently, the pricing is as follows:
- Office 365 Home – $99.99 a year, or $9.99 a month
- Office 365 Personal – $69.99 a year, or $6.99 a month
- Office 365 University – $79.99 for a 4-year subscription
- Office 365 Business ? Prices start at $8.25 a month per user
- Office 365 Business Premium ? Prices start at $12.50 a month per user
Is Office 365 Beneficial for Business owners?
Benefits of Office 365There are several benefits that Office 365 users will enjoy having the ability to take advantage of. These benefits include:
- Ability to always stay up to date ? When a user signs up for Office 365, they will have automatically be granted access to the latest version of Office, which means that they will be able to use the newest versions as they become available. Office 365 is compatible with the latest Office desktop versions of Office 2010 and 2007, as well as Office 2011 and 2008 for Mac users.
- Easy mobile access ? Users of Office 365 are able to have access to their favorite programs while theyre on the go, thanks to the applications mobile access. Users can easily access, edit and view their documents on Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and they can share them with others through SharePoint, too. Users also have the ability to partake in communication via Skype, or they can take notes while theyre on the go with OneNote. Users can also easily share information or exchange important documents with their clients or their partners, and they can access shared calendars from anywhere in the world.
- Highly secure ? Users information is kept completely private and secure through Microsofts reliable data centers. To help secure information, anti-malware and spam protection are built directly into all Office 365 applications, ensuring that users information is secure from unauthorized users. There is never any need to worry about receiving viruses through emails since all emails are scanned before they are sent to a users inbox. Plus, theres never a need to worry about documents or messages being scanned for advertising purposes.
- Highly affordable and reliable ? There isnt an upfront cost for equipment and a single user subscription can be utilized on various PCs or Macs. Once the monthly or annual subscription is paid, users can begin enjoying the high security standards and high functions that Office 365 offers.
Office 365 Features and UpdatesOne of the things that make Office 365 so unique and powerful is the ongoing updates. As soon as Microsoft creates an updated to one of its applications, that application is automatically updated on Office 365. This means that users have instant access to all updated Microsoft applications and never have to worry about going through the hassle of installing the updates themselves.
Microsoft is constantly updating their applications, so the new features that are available are ever-changing. As such, there is no way to know what updates will occur in the future; however, there have been some recent updates that were created in July of 2016, which include:
- Researcher for Word ? This updated feature is available for Word 2016 and is available on all versions of Office 365. Researcher for Word helps users find and incorporate sources and content that they may need for a research paper, for example. Users can explore materials that are related to their topic right from a Word document, and add it to their document with a properly formatted citation, with just one click! Researcher for Word uses Bing Knowledge Graph to locate and pull in content from the web related to a document, providing structured, safe and credible information.
- Editor for Word ? This feature is available for Word 2016 or Windows, and is available on any version of Office 365. Editor for Word is designed to help anyone who utilizes Word actually write better. It provides advanced proofing and editing functionality, which provides users with the experience of human linguists, in addition to Microsofts machine learning capabilities within the Cloud. This feature has the ability to do a variety of things, like flag unclear phrases or complex words; for example, it would recommend the phrase the majority of if the word most has been utilized too much in a document. Since Editor is a cloud service, it will continue to get better as time goes on. In fact, an upcoming update in the fall will actually explain to users why the replacement suggestions made by Editor are better. It will also create a gold dotted line under issues with writing styles.
- Focused Inbox for Outlook ? This features is designed for Outlook 2016 for both Windows and Mac, as well as Outlook on the web and is available for any version of Office 365. The Focused Inbox feature that was first available on mobile is now available in Outlook 2016 for both Windows and Mac, as well as Outlook on the web and Outlook.com. This updated feature allows users to focus on the emails that are most important by separating their inbox into two tabs: Focused and Other. The emails that are the most important will be available in the Focused tab, while all other emails will remain out of the way, but easily accessible between tabs, which allows users to easily take a quick look at them. Users can train this features by simply dragging emails from one view to the other.
- @mentions for Outlook ? This updated feature is designed for use with Outlook 2016 for both Windows and Mac and it is available with any version of Office 365. This new feature makes it easier to collaborate their emails. All a user has to do is type in the @ symbol anywhere within the body of an email and then start typing in an address. The user will then be able to see a variety of email address options, and pick the address they would like to use. Once the email address is highlighted by the user, the owner of that email address will be notified that they are being asked to take a specific action within your message. Also, if the a person isnt a part of an email conversation, they will automatically be added to the To: line, which will allow them to receive a copy of the users email. Essentially, the @mentions for Outlook works the same way the @ symbol works within popular social networking services, such as Twitter and Facebook.
- Zoom for PowerPoint ? This updated features is designed for PowerPoint 2016 for Windows and is available for Office 364, however, users have to be on the Office Insider Program to access it. This feature allows users to construct presentations with a new type of navigation. They can present their slides in any order they would like that makes the most sense for their audience, without their existing slide show flow being interrupted. Those who use Office Insider using PowerPoint 2016 on their Windows desktop can easily incorporate Zoom in three simple ways to create summary slides, depending on the depth of the content and the use of the sections. For instance, a Summary Zoom for a presentation that has specific sections, or a Slide Zoom for a deck that only has a few slides.
Other Updated Features in Office 365
As if those updates weren’t enough, Microsoft is also making other updates available for Office 365. These updates are designed for various Office 365 updates on a variety of platforms, including:
- Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android and Phones and Android Tablets ? The Discover More Office Apps functionality will be available for Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android phones. Users who utilize Word for Android tablets will have the ability to move tables by dragging them with their fingers instead of having to use copy and paste.
- Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for iPhone and iPad. Find Shared and Recent Files as well as Print in Another App functionality will be available for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Also, OneNote is now faster and more responsive with the Apple Watch.
- Office 2016 for Mac. A new Shared with Me feature is available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, which features an improved Selection Pain in Word, as well as an improved date picker, drop down lists and other controls within Word.
- Office 2015 for Windows. Outlook also receives updates in the form of summary cards for flight, hotel and rental car reservations. Word, Excel and PowerPoint can also publish to Docs.com. And, Excel receives new data transformations and enhancements to connectivity.