Microsoft Office 365
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|Type of site||Software as a service, software plus services|
|Available language(s)||33 languages|
|Launched||June 28, 2011|
Office 365 is a subscription-based service which offers access to various services and software built around the Microsoft Office platform.
Serving as a successor to Microsoft's Business Online Productivity Suite, it first included hosted versions of Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, Office Web Apps, along with access to the Microsoft Office 2010 desktop applications on the Enterprise plan. With the release of Office 2013, Office 365 expanded to include new plans aimed at different types of businesses, along with a new plan aimed at home users.
After a beta testing process which began in October 2010, Office 365 was officially launched on June 28, 2011.
Microsoft first announced Office 365 in October 2010; beginning with a private beta with various organizations, leading into a public beta in April 2011, and reaching general availability on June 28, 2011. Facing growing competition from Google's similar service Google Apps, Microsoft designed the Office 365 platform to "[bring] together" its existing online services (such as the Business Productivity Online Suite) into "an always-up-to-date cloud service" incorporating Exchange Server (for e-mail), SharePoint (for internal social networking, collaboration, and a public web site), and Lync (for communication, VoIP, and conferencing). Plans were initially launched for small business and enterprises; the small business plan offered Exchange e-mail, SharePoint Online, Lync Online, web hosting via SharePoint, and the Office Web Apps, with the enterprise plan also adding per-user licenses for the Office 2010 Professional Plus software and 24/7 phone support.
With the release of Office 2013 in February 2013, the server components were updated to their respective 2013 versions, and Microsoft expanded the Office 365 service with new plans, such as Small Business Premium, Midsize Premium, and ProPlus. A new Office 365 Home Premium plan aimed at home users was also introduced; the new plan offers access to the Office 2013 suite for up to five computers, along with expanded SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype calls monthly. The plan is aimed at mainstream consumers, especially those who want to install Office on multiple computers. With these new offerings, Microsoft also began to offer prepaid Office 365 subscriptions through retail outlets alongside the normal, non-subscription-based editions of Office 2013.
On March 19, 2013, Microsoft detailed its plans to provide integration with the enterprise social networking platform Yammer (which they had acquired in 2012) for Office 365: such as the ability to use a single sign-on between the two services, shared feeds and document aggregation, and the ability to entirely replace the SharePoint news feed and social functionality with Yammer. These features are expected to be released later in 2013.
Cloud services 
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, Lync, SharePoint, and the browser-based Office Web Apps suite. Through SharePoint's SkyDrive Pro functionality (formally known as SharePoint MySites, and separate from the consumer-oriented SkyDrive service), each user also receives 7 GB of online storage.
Rolling updates are provided for their respective software; on launch, the 2010 versions of each component were used, and were automatically upgraded to their Office 2013 counterparts upon its release in February 2013. 
Office applications 
Some plans for Office 365 also include access to the current versions of the Office desktop applications for both Windows and OS X for the period of the subscription. In the case of Office 2013 on Windows, it is installed using a "Click-to-Run" system which allows users to begin using the applications almost instantaneously whilst files are streamed in the background. Updates to the software are installed automatically, covering both security updates and major new versions of Office. A feature known as "Office on Demand" is also available, which allows users to temporarily stream an Office 2013 application on any compatible computer without needing to fully install it.
In December 2011, Microsoft announced that the Office 365 platform was now compliant with the ISO/IEC 27001 security standards, the European Union's Data Protection Directive (through the signing of model clauses), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for health care environments in the United States. At the same time, Microsoft also unveiled a new "Trust Center" portal, containing further information on its privacy policies and security practices for the service.  In May 2012, Microsoft announced that Office 365 was now compliant with the Federal Information Security Management Act: compliance with the act would now allow Office 365 to be used by U.S. government agencies.
Office 365 is available in a number of different subscription plans aimed at different market segments, and containing varying services and features:
- Office 365 Home Premium: Aimed at mainstream consumers and families; includes access to most Office applications for home/non-commercial use (excluding InfoPath and Lync) on up to five devices, 20 GB of additional SkyDrive storage, 60 minutes of Skype international calls per month.
- Office 365 Small Business: Offers access to hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services only.
- Office 365 Small Business Premium: Aimed at businesses with 1-10 employees and limited IT experience. Offers access to the Office applications on up to five devices per user, plus hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services.
- Office 365 ProPlus: Offers access to the Office 2013 Professional Plus applications for up to 25 users on up to five devices per user.
- Office 365 Midsize Business: Aimed at businesses with 10-250 employees. Offers access to the Office 2013 applications from ProPlus, plus hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services.
- Office 365 Enterprise: Intended for use in enterprise environments. Offers access to all Office applications, hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services, plus enterprise-specific compliance and support.
- "Microsoft Office 365 FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions". Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- "Office 2013 vs. Office 365: Should you buy or rent?". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Microsoft Office 365 Launching June 28". PC Magazine. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "Microsoft takes aim at Google Apps with Office 365". Network World. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Microsoft Office 2013 Pro released to the masses, Office 365 updated". Ars Technica. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Review: Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium Edition hopes to be at your service". Ars Technica. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Office 365 for businesses gets upgraded, new bundles added". ComputerWorld. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Office 2013 available now: Microsoft ditches DVDs in push for cloud subscriptions". The Verge. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Office 365 and Yammer integration: What's coming". CNET. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "Office 365: SkyDrive Pro - SkyDrive Pro replaces SharePoint MySites and provides business users with cloud-based document storage". Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "Microsoft touts Office 365 security compliance". Seattle Times. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Microsoft Boosts Office 365 Security To Meet European Data Protection Requirements". CRN. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Office 365 hard enough to penetrate US government". The Register. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Paul Thurrott (2012-07-16). "Office 2013 Public Preview: Office 365 for Home and Businesses". Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Microsoft launches four-year, $80 Office 365 University subscription for students". Engadget. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "The New Office 365: What’s a Small Business to Do?". Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Microsoft Updates Office 365 for Business, Adds New Plans". PC Magazine. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
Further reading 
- "Microsoft Announces Office 365". Microsoft News Center. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation. October 19, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- Fried, Ina (October 19, 2010). "Microsoft Office 365 bets on the cloud". CNET News. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- Gradwell, Andrew (October 19, 2010). "Microsoft unveils Microsoft Office 365". Cloud Hypermarket. Hypermarket Ventures Ltd. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
- Knor, Eric (October 25, 2010). "What Office 365 says about Microsoft". InfoWorld. Infoworld, Inc. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- Krill, Paul (October 19, 2010). "Microsoft unveils Office 365 cloud platform". InfoWorld. Infoworld, Inc. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- Kolakowski, Nicholas (October 20, 2010). "Microsoft Office 365 Profiled at Gartner Conference". eWeek. Ziff Davis Enterprise Holdings Inc. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- Kolakowski, Nicholas (October 24, 2010). "Office 365, Ozzie Departure, Ballmer Tablet Talk Marked Microsoft Week". eWeek. Ziff Davis Enterprise Holdings Inc. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- Perez, Juan Carlos (October 19, 2010). "Microsoft launches Office 365, makes cloud move". Computerworld. Computerworld Inc. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- Kincaid, Jason (October 19, 2010). "Microsoft Rolls Up Cloud Services Into Office 365, Takes Aim At Google Apps". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- Whittaker, Zack (June 28, 2011). "Microsoft admits Patriot Act can access EU-based cloud data". Cloud Data. ZDNet. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- Franz, Markus (August 17, 2011). "Adding Domains in Microsoft Office 365". Netzwelt. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
Franz, Markus (August 17, 2011). "Prepare for email migration or Exchange hybrid deployment in office 365". Netzwelt. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
See also 
- Official website
- Office 365 for Government organizations
- Toby Knight & Chris Goosen: Moving Email from On Premise Into the Cloud