Microsoft Office 365 is what Microsoft offered for online web services and productivity software. This is a ‘cloud-based’ service, meaning software, applications and files are saved on a central database that can be accessed as long as there is an Internet connection. It is purchased by having a subscription which is paid for periodically, either monthly or yearly. This ‘software as a service’ site requires a registration for you to use it.
Office 365 was first released by Microsoft on 2010, and afterwards released to the general public on the 28th of June, 2011. When released, it only had two types of subscription plans – the Professional Plan and the Enterprise Plan. The Professional Plan was for companies and organizations of 25 or a smaller number, whereas the Enterprise Plan was for bigger groups of people. Nowadays they already offer four (4) plans: Office 365 for Enterprise (bigger businesses with IT staff), Office 365 for Small Business (businesses without their own IT staff), Office 365 for Education (specially made for schools), and Office 365 for University (intended for students and other academic purposes).
This cloud-based service is a mixture of different software programs. First of which is Microsoft Exchange Online. Somehow similar to Microsoft Outlook being an e-mail client, this lets you access your data for email, check your calendar and even your contacts. Second product is Microsoft SharePoint, which is used to store data and accumulate documents that make it similar to a centralized system. The third program is Lync (previously known as Microsoft Office Communication Server), a communication software which provides voice and video calls, as well as instant messaging and even conferencing. The fourth part is Office, now in web-based versions of Word, PowerPoint & Excel to make files lighter and yet still able to keep the same format of the files being made and saved.
Being a cloud-based solution, Microsoft Office 365 is dependent on your internet connection. Somehow it’s seen as a downer to the program. However the benefits of having Microsoft Office 365 such as having your files accessible when you need them can make up for its other liabilities.