what does microsoft office include

what does microsoft office include

what does microsoft office include

Office on the web is a free lightweight web version of Microsoft Office and primarily includes three web applications: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The offering also includes Outlook.com, OneNote and OneDrive which are accessible through a unified app switcher. Users can install the on-premises version of this service, called Office Online Server, in private clouds in conjunction with SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Lync Server.[18]

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the web can all natively open, edit, and save Office Open XML files (docx, xlsx, pptx) as well as OpenDocument files (odt, ods, odp). They can also open the older Office file formats (doc, xls, ppt), but will be converted to the newer Open XML formats if the user wishes to edit them online. Other formats cannot be opened in the browser apps, such as CSV in Excel or HTML in Word, nor can Office files that are encrypted with a password be opened. Files with macros can be opened in the browser apps, but the macros cannot be accessed or executed.[19][20][21] Starting in July 2013, Word can render PDF documents or convert them to Microsoft Word documents, although the formatting of the document may deviate from the original.[22] Since November 2013, the apps have supported real-time co-authoring and autosaving files.[23][24]

Office on the web lacks a number of the advanced features present in the full desktop versions of Office, including lacking the programs Access and Publisher entirely. However, users are able to select the command “Open in Desktop App” that brings up the document in the desktop version of Office on their computer or device to utilize the advanced features there.[25][26]

Supported web browsers include Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, the latest versions of Firefox or Google Chrome, as well as Safari for OS X 10.8 or later.[27]

The Personal edition of Office on the web is available to the general public free of charge with a Microsoft account through the Office.com website, which superseded SkyDrive (now OneDrive) and Office Live Workspace. Enterprise-managed versions are available through Office 365.[28] In February 2013, the ability to view and edit files on SkyDrive without signing in was added.[29] The service can also be installed privately in enterprise environments as a SharePoint app, or through Office Web Apps Server.[18] Microsoft also offers other web apps in the Office suite, such as the Outlook Web App (formerly Outlook Web Access),[30] Lync Web App (formerly Office Communicator Web Access),[31] Project Web App (formerly Project Web Access).[32] Additionally, Microsoft offers a service under the name of Online Doc Viewer to view Office documents on a website via Office on the web.[33]

There are free extensions available to use Office on the web directly in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.[34][35]

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  • Most versions of Microsoft Office (including Office 97 and later) use their own widget set and do not exactly match the native operating system. This is most apparent in Microsoft Office XP and 2003, where the standard menus were replaced with a colored, flat-looking, shadowed menu style.

    The user interface of a particular version of Microsoft Office often heavily influences a subsequent version of Microsoft Windows. Eg:-

    Users of Microsoft Office may access external data via connection-specifications saved in Office Data Connection (.odc) files.[36]

    Office, on all platforms, support editing both server files (in real time) and offline files (manually saved) in the recent years. The support for editing server files (in real time) was originally introduced (in its current form) after the introduction of OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive). But, older versions of Office also have the ability to edit server files (notably Office 2007).

    Both Windows and Office used service packs to update software. Office had non-cumulative service releases, which were discontinued after Office 2000 Service Release 1. Now, Windows and Office have shifted to predictable (monthly, semi-annual and annual) release schemes to update software.

    Past versions of Office often contained Easter eggs. For example, Excel 97 contained a reasonably functional flight-simulator.

    Microsoft Office prior to Office 2007 used proprietary file formats based on the OLE Compound File Binary Format.[37] This forced users who share data to adopt the same software platform.[38] In 2008, Microsoft made the entire documentation for the binary Office formats freely available for download and granted any possible patents rights for use or implementations of those binary format for free under the Open Specification Promise.[39][40] Previously, Microsoft had supplied such documentation freely but only on request.[41]

    Starting with Office 2007, the default file format has been a version of Office Open XML, though different from the one standardized and published by Ecma International and by ISO/IEC. Microsoft has granted patent rights to the formats technology under the Open Specification Promise[42] and has made available free downloadable converters for previous versions of Microsoft Office including Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000[43] and Office 2004 for Mac OS X. Third-party implementations of Office Open XML exist on the Windows platform (LibreOffice, all platforms), macOS platform (iWork ’08, NeoOffice, LibreOffice) and Linux (LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org 3.0). In addition, Office 2010, Service Pack 2 for Office 2007, and Office 2016 for Mac supports the OpenDocument Format (ODF) for opening and saving documents – only the old ODF 1.0 (2006 ISO/IEC standard) is supported, not the 1.2 version (2015 ISO/IEC standard).

    Microsoft provides the ability to remove metadata from Office documents. This was in response to highly publicized incidents where sensitive data about a document was leaked via its metadata.[44] Metadata removal was first available in 2004, when Microsoft released a tool called Remove Hidden Data Add-in for Office 2003/XP for this purpose.[45] It was directly integrated into Office 2007 in a feature called the Document Inspector.

    A major feature of the Office suite is the ability for users and third-party companies to write add-ins (plug-ins) that extend the capabilities of an application by adding custom commands and specialized features. One of the new features is the Office Store.[46] Plugins and other tools can be downloaded by users.[47] Developers can make money by selling their applications in the Office Store. The revenue is divided between the developer and Microsoft where the developer gets 80% of the money.[48] Developers are able to share applications with all Office users.[48]

    The app travels with the document, and it is for the developer to decide what the recipient will see when they open it. The recipient will either have the option to download the app from the Office Store for free, start a free trial or be directed to payment.[48]
    With Office’s cloud abilities, IT departments can create a set of apps for their business employees in order to increase their productivity.[49] When employees go to the Office Store, they’ll see their company’s apps under My Organization. The apps that employees have personally downloaded will appear under My Apps.[48] Developers can use web technologies like HTML5, XML, CSS3, JavaScript, and APIs for building the apps.[50]
    An application for Office is a webpage that is hosted inside an Office client application. Users can use apps to amplify the functionality of a document, email message, meeting request, or appointment. Apps can run in multiple environments and by multiple clients, including rich Office desktop clients, Office Web Apps, mobile browsers, and also on-premises and in the cloud.[50] The type of add-ins supported differ by Office versions:

    Microsoft Office has a security feature that allows users to encrypt Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Skype Business) documents with a user-provided password. The password can contain up to 255 characters and uses AES 128-bit advanced encryption by default.[54] Passwords can also be used to restrict modification of the entire document, worksheet or presentation. Due to lack of document encryption, though, these passwords can be removed using a third-party cracking software.[55]

    All versions of Microsoft Office products from Office 2000 to Office 2016 are eligible for ten years of support following their release, during which Microsoft releases security updates for the product version and provides paid technical support. The ten-year period is divided into two five-year phases: The mainstream phase and the extended phase. During the mainstream phase, Microsoft may provide limited complimentary technical support and release non-security updates or change the design of the product. During the extended phase, said services stop.[56] Office 2019 only receives 5 years of mainstream and 2 years of extended support and Office 2021 only gets 5 years of mainstream support.[57]

    Microsoft supports Office for the Windows and macOS platforms, as well as mobile versions for Windows Phone, Android and iOS platforms. Beginning with Mac Office 4.2, the macOS and Windows versions of Office share the same file format, and are interoperable. Visual Basic for Applications support was dropped in Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac,[58] then reintroduced in Office for Mac 2011.[59]

    Microsoft tried in the mid-1990s to port Office to RISC processors such as NEC/MIPS and IBM/PowerPC, but they met problems such as memory access being hampered by data structure alignment requirements. Microsoft Word 97 and Excel 97, however, did ship for the DEC Alpha platform. Difficulties in porting Office may have been a factor in discontinuing Windows NT on non-Intel platforms.[60]

    The Microsoft Office applications and suites are sold via retail channels, and volume licensing for larger organizations (also including the “Home Use Program”. allowing users at participating organizations to buy low-cost licenses for use on their personal devices as part of their employer’s volume license agreement).[61]

    In 2010, Microsoft introduced a software as a service platform known as Office 365, to provide cloud-hosted versions of Office’s server software, including Exchange e-mail and SharePoint, on a subscription basis (competing in particular with Google Apps).[62][63] Following the release of Office 2013, Microsoft began to offer Office 365 plans for the consumer market, with access to Microsoft Office software on multiple devices with free feature updates over the life of the subscription, as well as other services such as OneDrive storage.[64][65]

    Microsoft has since promoted Office 365 as the primary means of purchasing Microsoft Office. Although there are still “on-premises” releases roughly every three years, Microsoft marketing emphasizes that they do not receive new features or access to new cloud-based services as they are released unlike Office 365, as well as other benefits for consumer and business markets.[66][67][68] Office 365 revenue overtook traditional license sales for Office in 2017.[69]

    Microsoft Office is available in several editions, which regroup a given number of applications for a specific price. Primarily, Microsoft sells Office as Microsoft 365. The editions are as follows:

    Microsoft sells Office for a one-time purchase as Home & Student and Home & Business, however, these editions do not receive major updates.

    Post-secondary students may obtain the University edition of Microsoft Office 365 subscription. It is limited to one user and two devices, plus the subscription price is valid for four years instead of just one. Apart from this, the University edition is identical in features to the Home Premium version. This marks the first time Microsoft does not offer physical or permanent software at academic pricing, in contrast to the University versions of Office 2010 and Office 2011. In addition, students eligible for DreamSpark program may receive select standalone Microsoft Office apps free of charge.

    In January 2022, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy appeared on Fox News and criticized changes to Microsoft Editor that substituted gender-neutral forms of some words for equivalent gendered terms: “postal carrier” or “mail carrier” in place of “mailman,” for example.[73]

    Microsoft Office has been criticized in the past for using proprietary file formats rather than open standards, which forces users who share data into adopting the same software platform.[74] However, on February 15, 2008, Microsoft made the entire documentation for the binary Office formats freely available under the Open Specification Promise.[75] Also, Office Open XML, the document format for the latest versions of Office for Windows and Mac, has been standardized under both Ecma International and ISO. Ecma International has published the Office Open XML specification free of copyrights and Microsoft has granted patent rights to the formats technology under the Open Specification Promise[76] and has made available free downloadable converters for previous versions of Microsoft Office including Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000 and Office 2004 for the Mac. Third-party implementations of Office Open XML exist on the Mac platform (iWork 08) and Linux (OpenOffice.org 2.3 – Novell Edition only).

    Another point of criticism Microsoft Office has faced was the lack of support in its Mac versions for Unicode and Bi-directional text languages, notably Arabic and Hebrew. This issue, which had existed since the first release in 1989, was addressed in the 2016 version.[77][78]

    On November 13, 2018, a report initiated by the Government of the Netherlands concluded that Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 365 do not comply with GDPR, the European law which regulates data protection and privacy for all citizens in and outside the EU and EFTA region.[79] The investigation was initiated by the observation that Microsoft does not reveal or share publicly any data collected about users of its software. In addition, the company does not provide users of its (Office) software an option to turn off diagnostic and telemetry data sent back to the company. Researchers found that most of the data that the Microsoft software collects and “sends home” is diagnostics. Researchers also observed that Microsoft “seemingly tried to make the system GDPR compliant by storing Office documents on servers based in the EU”. However, they discovered the software packages collected additional data that contained private user information, some of which was stored on servers located in the US.[80] The Netherlands Ministry of Justice hired Privacy Company to probe and evaluate the use of Microsoft Office products in the public sector.[81] “Microsoft systematically collects data on a large scale about the individual use of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Covertly, without informing people”, researchers of the Privacy Company stated in their blog post. “Microsoft does not offer any choice with regard to the amount of data, or possibility to switch off the collection, or ability to see what data are collected, because the data stream is encoded.”[82]

    The researchers commented that there is no need for Microsoft to store information such as IPs and email addresses, which are collected automatically by the software. “Microsoft should not store these transient, functional data, unless the retention is strictly necessary, for example, for security purposes”, the researchers conclude in the final report by the Netherlands Ministry of Justice.[83]

    As a result of this in-depth study and its conclusions, the Netherlands regulatory body concluded that Microsoft has violated GDPR “on many counts” including “lack of transparency and purpose limitation, and the lack of a legal ground for the processing.”[84] Microsoft has provided the Dutch authorities with an “improvement plan” that should satisfy Dutch regulators that it “would end all violations”. The Dutch regulatory body is monitoring the situation and states that “If progress is deemed insufficient or if the improvements offered are unsatisfactory, SLM Microsoft Rijk will reconsider its position and may ask the Data Protection Authority to carry out a prior consultation and to impose enforcement measures.”[85] When asked for a response by an IT professional publication, a Microsoft spokesperson stated: We are committed to our customers’ privacy, putting them in control of their data and ensuring that Office ProPlus and other Microsoft products and services comply with GDPR and other applicable laws. We appreciate the opportunity to discuss our diagnostic data handling practices in Office ProPlus with the Dutch Ministry of Justice and look forward to a successful resolution of any concerns.”[81] The user privacy data issue affects ProPlus subscriptions of Microsoft Office 2016 and Microsoft Office 365, including the online version of Microsoft Office 365.[86]

    Microsoft Office for Windows[119] started in October 1990 as a bundle of three applications designed for Microsoft Windows 3.0: Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1, Microsoft Excel for Windows 2.0, and Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows 2.0.[120]

    Microsoft Office for Windows 1.5 updated the suite with Microsoft Excel 3.0.[121]

    what does microsoft office include

    Version 1.6[122] added Microsoft Mail for PC Networks 2.1 to the bundle.[123]

    Microsoft Office 3.0,[124] also called Microsoft Office 92, was released on August 30, 1992, and[125] contained Word 2.0, Excel 4.0, PowerPoint 3.0 and Mail 3.0. It was the first version of Office also released on CD-ROM.[126] In 1993, Microsoft Office Professional[127] was released, which added Microsoft Access 1.1.[128]

    Microsoft Office 4.0 was released containing Word 6.0, Excel 4.0a, PowerPoint 3.0 and Mail in 1993.[129] Word’s version number jumped from 2.0 to 6.0 so that it would have the same version number as the MS-DOS and Macintosh versions (Excel and PowerPoint were already numbered the same as the Macintosh versions).

    Microsoft Office 4.2 for Windows NT was released in 1994 for i386, Alpha,[130] MIPS and PowerPC[131] architectures, containing Word 6.0 and Excel 5.0 (both 32-bit,[132] PowerPoint 4.0 (16-bit), and Microsoft Office Manager 4.2 (the precursor to the Office Shortcut Bar)).

    Microsoft Office 95 was released on August 24, 1995. Software version numbers were altered again to create parity across the suite – every program was called version 7.0 meaning all but Word missed out versions. Office 95 included new components to the suite such as Schedule+ and Binder. Office for Windows 95 was designed as a fully 32-bit version to match Windows 95 although some apps not bundled as part of the suite at that time – Publisher for Windows 95 and Project 95 had some 16-bit components even though their main program executable was 32-bit.

    Office 95 was available in two versions, Office 95 Standard and Office 95 Professional. The standard version consisted of Word 7.0, Excel 7.0, PowerPoint 7.0, and Schedule+ 7.0. The professional edition contained all of the items in the standard version plus Access 7.0. If the professional version was purchased in CD-ROM form, it also included Bookshelf.

    The logo used in Office 95 returns in Office 97, 2000 and XP. Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition also uses a similar logo.

    Microsoft Office 97 (Office 8.0) included hundreds of new features and improvements, such as introducing command bars, a paradigm in which menus and toolbars were made more similar in capability and visual design. Office 97 also featured Natural Language Systems and grammar checking. Office 97 featured new components to the suite including FrontPage 97, Expedia Streets 98 (in Small Business Edition), and Internet Explorer 3.0 & 4.0.

    Office 97 was the first version of Office to include the Office Assistant. In Brazil, it was also the first version to introduce the Registration Wizard, a precursor to Microsoft Product Activation. With this release, the accompanying apps, Project 98 and Publisher 98 also transitioned to fully 32-bit versions. Exchange Server, a mail server and calendaring server developed by Microsoft, is the server for Outlook after discontinuing Exchange Client.

    Microsoft Office 2000 (Office 9.0) introduced adaptive menus, where little-used options were hidden from the user. It also introduced a new security feature, built around digital signatures, to diminish the threat of macro viruses. The Microsoft Script Editor, an optional tool that can edit script code, was also introduced in Office 2000.[133] Office 2000 automatically trusts macros (written in VBA 6) that were digitally signed from authors who have been previously designated as trusted. Office 2000 also introduces PhotoDraw, a raster and vector imaging program, as well as Web Components, Visio, and Vizact.

    The Registration Wizard, a precursor to Microsoft Product Activation, remained in Brazil and was also extended to Australia and New Zealand, though not for volume-licensed editions. Academic software in the United States and Canada also featured the Registration Wizard.

    Microsoft Office XP (Office 10.0 or Office 2002) was released in conjunction with Windows XP, and was a major upgrade with numerous enhancements and changes over Office 2000. Office XP introduced the Safe Mode feature, which allows applications such as Outlook to boot when it might otherwise fail by bypassing a corrupted registry or a faulty add-in. Smart tag is a technology introduced with Office XP in Word and Excel and discontinued in Office 2010.

    Office XP also introduces new components including Document Imaging, Document Scanning, Clip Organizer, MapPoint, and Data Analyzer. Binder was replaced by Unbind, a program that can extract the contents of a Binder file. Unbind can be installed from the Office XP CD-ROM.

    Office XP includes integrated voice command and text dictation capabilities, as well as handwriting recognition. It was the first version to require Microsoft Product Activation worldwide and in all editions as an anti-piracy measure, which attracted widespread controversy.[134] Product Activation remained absent from Office for Mac releases until it was introduced in Office 2011 for Mac.

    Microsoft Office 2003 (Office 11.0) was released in 2003. It featured a new logo. Two new applications made their debut in Office 2003: Microsoft InfoPath and OneNote. It is the first version to use new, more colorful icons. Outlook 2003 provides improved functionality in many areas, including Kerberos authentication, RPC over HTTP, Cached Exchange Mode, and an improved junk mail filter.

    Office 2003 introduces three new programs to the Office product lineup: InfoPath, a program for designing, filling, and submitting electronic structured data forms; OneNote, a note-taking program for creating and organizing diagrams, graphics, handwritten notes, recorded audio, and text; and the Picture Manager graphics software which can open, manage, and share digital images.

    SharePoint, a web collaboration platform codenamed as Office Server, has integration and compatibility with Office 2003 and so on.[135]

    Microsoft Office 2007 (Office 12.0) was released in 2007. Office 2007’s new features include a new graphical user interface called the Fluent User Interface,[136] replacing the menus and toolbars that have been the cornerstone of Office since its inception with a tabbed toolbar, known as the Ribbon; new XML-based file formats called Office Open XML; and the inclusion of Groove, a collaborative software application.[137]

    While Microsoft removed Data Analyzer, FrontPage, Vizact, and Schedule+ from Office 2007; they also added Communicator, Groove, SharePoint Designer, and Office Customization Tool (OCT) to the suite.

    Microsoft Office 2010 (Office 14.0, Microsoft skipped 13.0 due to fear of 13[138]) was finalized on April 15, 2010, and made available to consumers on June 15, 2010.[139][140] The main features of Office 2010 include the backstage file menu, new collaboration tools, a customizable ribbon, protected view and a navigation panel. Office Communicator, an instant messaging and videotelephony application, was renamed into Lync 2010.

    This is the first version to ship in 32-bit and 64-bit variants. Microsoft Office 2010 featured a new logo, which resembled the 2007 logo, except in gold, and with a modification in shape.[141] Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Office 2010 on June 28, 2011[142] and Service Pack 2 on July 16, 2013.[143] Office Online was first released online along with SkyDrive, an online storing service.

    A technical preview of Microsoft Office 2013 (Build 15.0.3612.1010) was released on January 30, 2012, and a Customer Preview version was made available to consumers on July 16, 2012.[144] It sports a revamped application interface; the interface is based on Metro, the interface of Windows Phone and Windows 8. Microsoft Outlook has received the most pronounced changes so far; for example, the Metro interface provides a new visualization for scheduled tasks. PowerPoint includes more templates and transition effects, and OneNote includes a new splash screen.[145]

    On May 16, 2011, new images of Office 15 were revealed, showing Excel with a tool for filtering data in a timeline, the ability to convert Roman numerals to Arabic numerals, and the integration of advanced trigonometric functions. In Word, the capability of inserting video and audio online as well as the broadcasting of documents on the Web were implemented.[146] Microsoft has promised support for Office Open XML Strict starting with version 15, a format Microsoft has submitted to the ISO for interoperability with other office suites, and to aid adoption in the public sector.[147] This version can read and write ODF 1.2 (Windows only).[148]

    On October 24, 2012, Office 2013 Professional Plus was released to manufacturing and was made available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers for download.[149] On November 15, 2012, the 60-day trial version was released for public download.[150] Office 2013 was released to general availability on January 29, 2013.[151] Service Pack 1 for Office 2013 was released on February 25, 2014.[152] Some applications were completely removed from the entire suite including SharePoint Workspace, Clip Organizer, and Office Picture Manager.

    On January 22, 2015, the Microsoft Office blog announced that the next version of the suite for Windows desktop, Office 2016, was in development. On May 4, 2015, a public preview of Microsoft Office 2016 was released.[153][154][155] Office 2016 was released for Mac OS X on July 9, 2015[156] and for Windows on September 22, 2015.[157]

    Users who had the Professional Plus 2016 subscription have the new Skype for Business app. Microsoft Teams, a team collaboration program meant to rival Slack, was released as a separate product for business and enterprise users.

    On September 26, 2017, Microsoft announced that the next version of the suite for Windows desktop, Office 2019, was in development. On April 27, 2018, Microsoft released Office 2019 Commercial Preview for Windows 10.[158] It was released to general availability for Windows 10 and for macOS on September 24, 2018.[159]

    On February 18, 2021, Microsoft announced that the next version of the suite for Windows desktop, Office 2021, was in development.[160] This new version will be supported for five years and was released on October 5, 2021.[161]

    Prior to packaging its various office-type Mac OS software applications into Office, Microsoft released Mac versions of Word 1.0 in 1984, the first year of the Macintosh computer; Excel 1.0 in 1985; and PowerPoint 1.0 in 1987.[162] Microsoft does not include its Access database application in Office for Mac.

    Microsoft has noted that some features are added to Office for Mac before they appear in Windows versions, such as Office for Mac 2001’s Office Project Gallery and PowerPoint Movie feature, which allows users to save presentations as QuickTime movies.[163][164] However, Microsoft Office for Mac has been long criticized for its lack of support of Unicode and for its lack of support for right-to-left languages, notably Arabic, Hebrew and Persian.[165][166]

    Microsoft Office for Mac was introduced for Mac OS in 1989, before Office was released for Windows.[167] It included Word 4.0, Excel 2.2, PowerPoint 2.01, and Mail 1.37.[168] It was originally a limited-time promotion but later became a regular product. With the release of Office on CD-ROM later that year, Microsoft became the first major Mac publisher to put its applications on CD-ROM.[169]

    Microsoft Office 1.5 for Mac was released in 1991 and included the updated Excel 3.0, the first application to support Apple’s System 7 operating system.[162]

    Microsoft Office 3.0 for Mac was released in 1992 and included Word 5.0, Excel 4.0, PowerPoint 3.0 and Mail Client. Excel 4.0 was the first application to support new AppleScript.[162]

    Microsoft Office 4.2 for Mac was released in 1994. (Version 4.0 was skipped to synchronize version numbers with Office for Windows) Version 4.2 included Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, PowerPoint 4.0 and Mail 3.2.[170] It was the first Office suite for Power Macintosh.[162] Its user interface was identical to Office 4.2 for Windows[171] leading many customers to comment that it wasn’t Mac-like enough.[163] The final release for Mac 68K was Office 4.2.1, which updated Word to version 6.0.1, somewhat improving performance.

    Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition was unveiled at MacWorld Expo/San Francisco in 1998. It introduced the Internet Explorer 4.0 web browser and Outlook Express, an Internet e-mail client and usenet newsgroup reader.[172] Office 98 was re-engineered by Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit to satisfy customers’ desire for software they felt was more Mac-like.[163] It included drag–and-drop installation, self-repairing applications and Quick Thesaurus, before such features were available in Office for Windows. It also was the first version to support QuickTime movies.[163]

    Microsoft Office 2001 was launched in 2000 as the last Office suite for the classic Mac OS. It required a PowerPC processor. This version introduced Entourage, an e-mail client that included information management tools such as a calendar, an address book, task lists and notes.[164]
    Microsoft Office v. X was released in 2001 and was the first version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X.[173] Support for Office v. X ended on January 9, 2007, after the release of the final update, 10.1.9[174] Office v.X includes Word X, Excel X, PowerPoint X, Entourage X, MSN Messenger for Mac and Windows Media Player 9 for Mac; it was the last version of Office for Mac to include Internet Explorer for Mac.[175]

    Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac was released on May 11, 2004.[176] It includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage and Virtual PC. It is the final version of Office to be built exclusively for PowerPC and to officially support G3 processors, as its sequel lists a G4, G5, or Intel processor as a requirement. It was notable for supporting Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which is unavailable in Office 2008. This led Microsoft to extend support for Office 2004 from October 13, 2009, to January 10, 2012. VBA functionality was reintroduced in Office 2011, which is only compatible with Intel processors.

    Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac was released on January 15, 2008. It was the only Office for Mac suite to be compiled as a universal binary, being the first to feature native Intel support and the last to feature PowerPC support for G4 and G5 processors, although the suite is unofficially compatible with G3 processors. New features include native Office Open XML file format support, which debuted in Office 2007 for Windows,[162] and stronger Microsoft Office password protection employing AES-128 and SHA-1. Benchmarks suggested that compared to its predecessor, Office 2008 ran at similar speeds on Intel machines and slower speeds on PowerPC machines.[177] Office 2008 also lacked Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support, leaving it with only 15 months of additional mainstream support compared to its predecessor. Nevertheless, five months after it was released, Microsoft said that Office 2008 was “selling faster than any previous version of Office for Mac in the past 19 years” and affirmed “its commitment to future products for the Mac.”[178]

    Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 was released on October 26, 2010,.[59] It is the first version of Office for Mac to be compiled exclusively for Intel processors, dropping support for the PowerPC architecture. It features an OS X version of Outlook to replace the Entourage email client. This version of Outlook is intended to make the OS X version of Office work better with Microsoft’s Exchange server and with those using Office for Windows.[179] Office 2011 includes a Mac-based Ribbon similar to Office for Windows.

    Microsoft OneNote for Mac was released on March 17, 2014. It marks the company’s first release of the note-taking software on the Mac. It is available as a free download to all users of the Mac App Store in OS X Mavericks.[180]

    Microsoft Outlook 2016 for Mac debuted on October 31, 2014. It requires a paid Office 365 subscription, meaning that traditional Office 2011 retail or volume licenses cannot activate this version of Outlook. On that day, Microsoft confirmed that it would release the next version of Office for Mac in late 2015.[181]

    Despite dropping support for older versions of OS X and only keeping support for 64-bit-only versions of OS X, these versions of OneNote and Outlook are 32-bit applications like their predecessors.

    The first Preview version of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac was released on March 5, 2015.[182] On July 9, 2015, Microsoft released the final version of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. It was immediately made available for Office 365 subscribers with either a Home, Personal, Business, Business Premium, E3 or ProPlus subscription. A non–Office 365 edition of Office 2016 was made available as a one-time purchase option on September 22, 2015.[157]

    Office Mobile for iPhone was released on June 14, 2013, in the United States.[183] Support for 135 markets and 27 languages was rolled out over a few days.[184] It requires iOS 8 or later.[185] Although the app also works on iPad devices, excluding the first generation, it is designed for a small screen.[183] Office Mobile was released for Android phones on July 31, 2013, in the United States. Support for 117 markets and 33 languages was added gradually over several weeks.[186] It is supported on Android 4.0 and later.[187]

    Office Mobile is or was also available, though no longer supported, on Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and Symbian. There was also Office RT, a touch-optimized version of the standard desktop Office suite, pre-installed on Windows RT.[188]

    Originally called Office Mobile which was shipped initially as “Pocket Office”, was released by Microsoft with the Windows CE 1.0 operating system in 1996. This release was specifically for the Handheld PC hardware platform, as Windows Mobile Smartphone and Pocket PC hardware specifications had not yet been released. It consisted of Pocket Word and Pocket Excel; PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook were added later. With steady updates throughout subsequent releases of Windows Mobile, Office Mobile was rebranded as its current name after the release of the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system. This release of Office Mobile also included PowerPoint Mobile for the first time.[189] Accompanying the release of Microsoft OneNote 2007, a new optional addition to the Office Mobile line of programs was released as OneNote Mobile.[190] With the release of Windows Mobile 6 Standard, Office Mobile became available for the Smartphone hardware platform, but unlike Office Mobile for the Professional and Classic versions of Windows Mobile, creation of new documents is not an added feature.[191] A popular workaround is to create a new blank document in a desktop version of Office, synchronize it to the device, and then edit and save on the Windows Mobile device.

    In June 2007, Microsoft announced a new version of the office suite, Office Mobile 2007. It became available as “Office Mobile 6.1” on September 26, 2007, as a free upgrade download to current Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6 users. However, “Office Mobile 6.1 Upgrade” is not compatible with Windows Mobile 5.0 powered devices running builds earlier than 14847. It is a pre-installed feature in subsequent releases of Windows Mobile 6 devices.[192] Office Mobile 6.1 is compatible with the Office Open XML specification like its desktop counterpart.[192]

    On August 12, 2009, it was announced that Office Mobile would also be released for the Symbian platform as a joint agreement between Microsoft and Nokia.[193][194] It was the first time Microsoft would develop Office mobile applications for another smartphone platform.[195] The first application to appear on Nokia Eseries smartphones was Microsoft Office Communicator. In February 2012, Microsoft released OneNote, Lync 2010, Document Connection and PowerPoint Broadcast for Symbian.[196] In April, Word Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile and Excel Mobile joined the Office Suite.[197]

    On October 21, 2010, Microsoft debuted Office Mobile 2010 with the release of Windows Phone 7. In Windows Phone, users can access and edit documents directly off of their SkyDrive or Office 365 accounts in a dedicated Office hub. The Office Hub, which is preinstalled into the operating system, contains Word, PowerPoint and Excel. The operating system also includes OneNote, although not as a part of the Office Hub. Lync is not included, but can be downloaded as standalone app from the Windows Phone Store free of charge.

    In October 2012, Microsoft released a new version of Microsoft Office Mobile for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8.

    Office Mobile was released for iPhone on June 14, 2013, and for Android phones on July 31, 2013.

    In March 2014, Microsoft released Office Lens, a scanner app that enhances photos. Photos are then attached to an Office document. Office Lens is an app in the Windows Phone store, as well as built into the camera functionality in the OneNote apps for iOS and Windows 8.[198]

    On March 27, 2014, Microsoft launched Office for iPad, the first dedicated version of Office for tablet computers. In addition, Microsoft made the Android and iOS versions of Office Mobile free for ‘home use’ on phones, although the company still requires an Office 365 subscription for using Office Mobile for business use.[199][200][201][202][203] On November 6, 2014, Office was subsequently made free for personal use on the iPad in addition to phones. As part of this announcement, Microsoft also split up its single “Office suite” app on iPhones into separate, standalone apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, released a revamped version of Office Mobile for iPhone, added direct integration with Dropbox, and previewed future versions of Office for other platforms.[204][205]

    Office for Android tablets was released on January 29, 2015,[206] following a successful two-month preview period.[207] These apps allow users to edit and create documents for free on devices with screen sizes of 10.1 inches or less, though as with the iPad versions, an Office 365 subscription is required to unlock premium features and for commercial use of the apps. Tablets with screen sizes larger than 10.1 inches are also supported, but, as was originally the case with the iPad version, are restricted to viewing documents only unless a valid Office 365 subscription is used to enable editing and document creation.

    On January 21, 2015, during the “Windows 10: The Next Chapter” press event, Microsoft unveiled Office for Windows 10, Windows Runtime ports of the Android and iOS versions of the Office Mobile suite. Optimized for smartphones and tablets, they are universal apps that can run on both Windows and Windows for phones, and share similar underlying code. A simplified version of Outlook was also added to the suite. They will be bundled with Windows 10 mobile devices, and available from the Windows Store for the PC version of Windows 10.[154][153] Although the preview versions were free for most editing, the release versions will require an Office 365 subscription on larger tablets (screen size larger than 10.1 inches) and desktops for editing, as with large Android tablets. Smaller tablets and phones will have most editing features for free.[208]

    On June 24, 2015, Microsoft released Word, Excel and PowerPoint as standalone apps on Google Play for Android phones, following a one-month preview.[209] These apps have also been bundled with Android devices from major OEMs, as a result of Microsoft tying distribution of them and Skype to patent-licensing agreements related to the Android platform.[210][211] The Android version is also supported on certain Chrome OS machines.[212]

    On February 19, 2020, Microsoft announced a new unified Office mobile app for Android and iOS. This app combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a single app and introduces new capabilities as making quick notes, signing PDFs, scanning QR codes, and transferring files.[16]

    Office Web Apps was first revealed in October 2008 at PDC 2008 in Los Angeles.[213] Chris Capossela, senior vice president of Microsoft business division, introduced Office Web Apps as lightweight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that allow people to create, edit and collaborate on Office documents through a web browser. According to Capossela, Office Web Apps was to become available as a part of Office Live Workspace.[214] Office Web Apps was announced to be powered by AJAX as well as Silverlight; however, the latter is optional and its availability will only “enhance the user experience, resulting in sharper images and improved rendering.”[215] Microsoft’s Business Division President Stephen Elop stated during PDC 2008 that “a technology preview of Office Web Apps would become available later in 2008”.[216] However, the Technical Preview of Office Web Apps was not released until 2009.

    On July 13, 2009, Microsoft announced at its Worldwide Partners Conference 2009 in New Orleans that Microsoft Office 2010 reached its “Technical Preview” development milestone and features of Office Web Apps were demonstrated to the public for the first time.[217] Additionally, Microsoft announced that Office Web Apps would be made available to consumers online and free of charge, while Microsoft Software Assurance customers will have the option of running them on premises. Office 2010 beta testers were not given access to Office Web Apps at this date, and it was announced that it would be available for testers during August 2009.[218] However, in August 2009, a Microsoft spokesperson stated that there had been a delay in the release of Office Web Apps Technical Preview and it would not be available by the end of August.[219]

    Microsoft officially released the Technical Preview of Office Web Apps on September 17, 2009.[220] Office Web Apps was made available to selected testers via its OneDrive (at the time Skydrive) service. The final version of Office Web Apps was made available to the public via Windows Live Office on June 7, 2010.[17]

    On October 22, 2012, Microsoft announced the release of new features including co-authoring, performance improvements and touch support.[221]

    On November 6, 2013, Microsoft announced further new features including real-time co-authoring and an Auto-Save feature in Word (replacing the save button).[222][23][24]

    In February 2014, Office Web Apps were re-branded Office Online and incorporated into other Microsoft web services, including Calendar, OneDrive, Outlook.com, and People.[223] Microsoft had previously attempted to unify its online services suite (including Microsoft Passport, Hotmail, MSN Messenger, and later SkyDrive) under a brand known as Windows Live, first launched in 2005. However, with the impending launch of Windows 8 and its increased use of cloud services, Microsoft dropped the Windows Live brand to emphasize that these services would now be built directly into Windows and not merely be a “bolted on” add-on. Critics had criticized the Windows Live brand for having no clear vision, as it was being applied to an increasingly broad array of unrelated services.[224][225] At the same time, Windows Live Hotmail was re-launched as Outlook.com (sharing its name with the Microsoft Outlook personal information manager).[226]

    In July 2019, Microsoft announced that they were retiring the “Online” branding for Office Online. The product is now Office, and may be referred to as “Office for the web” or “Office in a browser”.[227]

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    what does microsoft office include

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    Microsoft 365

    Microsoft 365 is the modern version of the Microsoft Office suite. 

    Microsoft 365 is subscription-based, and includes the standard Microsoft Office applications: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote.  

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  • Everyone at USD qualifies for a version of Microsoft 365.  Read more below to learn which version is available for you!


    The Microsoft 365 Online (A1) suite is available to those with a USD email address but is limited to: 

    The Microsoft 365 Local Install (A3) is available for the following user groups:

    The Microsoft 365 Online (A1) suite includes in-browser use of the following applications:


    The Microsoft 365 Local Install (A3) suite includes the following applications for installation on your computer:

    Users with the Microsoft 365 Local Install (A3) license are able to use the installed Office suite or the Online Applications – there are no restrictions for this license.

    Applications missing from the side bar?  Request a license here

    Need more help?  Contact the ITS Help Desk

    Missing the install button?  Request a license here

    Need more help?  Check out our detailed install instructions here, or contact the Help Desk

    In order to integrate with the USD technology ecosystem, some Microsoft 365 applications have been disabled.  



    Reason for Disable

    Microsoft Exchange

    USD uses Gmail for Education as our primary mail system

    Microsoft Teams

    USD uses Google Chat as our primary messaging and collaboration tool

    Microsoft Bookings

    Microsoft Bookings conflicts with other USD tools and systems



    Although OneDrive is available through your MS365 suite, all files in OneDrive are permanently deleted upon leaving or graduating from USD.  

    ITS recommends using Google Drive, which remains accessible for alumni and does not delete data.  


    The Microsoft 365 Local Install (A3) suite is available for all students. 

    Additionally, it is available for any USD employee that has been issued an ITS computer enrolled in the CRP program.  This includes the following user groups:

    what does microsoft office include

    If you are unsure if you qualify for this license, you can submit the request form here.  

    If you don’t qualify for an A3 license, but you need the Office Suite to work, you can still create and edit Office documents using the Microsoft 365 Online (A1) suite!

    The online applications have slightly fewer features, and require an Internet connection to use.  However, most users will find that they meet usage needs. 

    If the Online Applications do not meet your needs, you can purchase a Microsoft Office 365 subscription through their website.  

    The most commonly used features from the Microsoft 365 Local Install applications are also available in the Online Applications.  However, there are some key features that are unavailable. 

    Click here to read an ITS summary of the most notable differences.

    Click here to read Microsoft’s complete feature comparison

    In November 2020, Microsoft changed their licensing model with USD, migrating the university to a full MS365 subscription-based environment.  As a result, some users that previously qualified for MS365 no longer qualify for the locally installed applications. 

    ITS knows this is inconvenient for affected users – that’s why we have the Online Applications available for everyone at USD.  

    Some users might not automatically receive a license – this will most often occur with staff or PhD students.  

    If you are missing a license but you should have one, you can submit a request form from the ITS Software Order page, or you can contact the ITS Help Desk for assistance.

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    By Nicola Wright


    One of the most popular software suites in the world, Microsoft Office is used by 1.5bn people worldwide.

    Almost everyone who used a computer in the past thirty years will have come into contact with Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, sent an email through Outlook, or messaged someone on Skype.

    what does microsoft office include

    Millions of modern businesses rely on the suite’s tools to communicate, create documents, and balance their books. But there’s a lot more to Office than many users realize, particularly since the release of Office 365.

    If you’re considering taking advantage of Office in the cloud, or just want to find out a little more about the inner workings of this ubiquitous but oft-underrated set of digital tools, read on; we’re going back to basics to answer the most common questions about Office 365 as part of Microsoft FAQ series.

    Launched in 2001, Office 365 is a cloud-based, subscription model version of Microsoft’s popular productivity suite Microsoft Office. Office 365 contains the same core applications as traditional versions of Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and depending on the plan purchased, may also include other apps and services such as Publisher, Planner, OneDrive, Exchange, SharePoint, Access, Skype, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams.

    There are a number of different packages available when licensing Office 365, including versions for personal use, multi-user households, students, businesses, nonprofits, and education institutions.

    There are also online- and mobile-only versions of Office, known as Office Online, through which users can get access to feature-limited versions of Office apps for free.

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  • This FAQ will be focusing on Office 365 for Business unless otherwise stated.

    Office 365 is a subscription-based service, meaning rather than buying a copy of the suite outright for a one-time, up-front cost, users instead pay a monthly subscription fee to access the service at a level of their choosing.

    With Office 365’s subscription-based model, users always have access to the latest version, as the platform is updated at Microsoft’s end, whereas as perpetual, on-premise users would have to buy a new copy of the latest edition to be able to use new features.

    Office 365 is also built as a cloud-first application; although desktop versions of its apps are available with certain plans, it’s designed to be used online. All applications, services, and data generated by Office 365 are hosted on Microsoft’s servers.

    Users don’t need to install software or maintain any hardware on which to run it. Office 365 also comes with email hosting, and cloud storage space, so users can host their files online and have access to them wherever and whenever they need to, from any device that connects to the internet.

    Being cloud-based, Office 365 also comes with a host of features not available in previous, perpetual versions.

    Microsoft Office has been providing computer users with productivity tools for almost three decades; today, over a billion people use Office products worldwide. For businesses, however, Office offers a great deal more than word processing and spreadsheet editing.

    Though its eminent core apps still equip businesses with the basic tools they need to perform everyday tasks like managing data, create documents, and communicate information, Office has evolved into a vast suite of intelligent tools that allow organizations to be more productive and efficient. And with many tailored plan options available, companies of all sizes and circumstances can get access to these tools instantly.

    Services such as Outlook can provide a powerful, professional-looking platform through which businesses can build brand recognition and market their services. Outlook’s extensive calendaring features can also help organizations better collaborate and manage their time.

    With Office 365, all apps and services are connected, both to each other and to the wider web, facilitating teamwork, saving employees time and enabling them to work better together through tools such as team chat, online meetings, co-authoring and sharing files, and group emails. The inclusion of cloud storage and mobile apps in the Office 365 suite also allows organizations to work wherever, whenever, with secure access to content, conversations, tasks, and schedules from any device.

    With data security a hot-button topic for organizations across all industries, many businesses choose Office 365 because of its layered security measures, proactive data monitoring, privacy protection, and 99.9% uptime service level agreement.

    Great productivity tools help everyone in an organization be more productive, communicate more effectively, and get more done. The Office 365 suite makes performing essential tasks like finding information, sharing knowledge, communicating with colleagues, processing data, and planning and organization faster and more straightforward, reducing time spent on administrative tasks and leaving businesses more time to create, innovate, and move the business forward.

    Apps recently added to Office 365 furnish business users with even more essential tools to help them grow, including:

    Using a cloud-hosted productivity suite can also have a positive effect on a company’s bottom line. Not only are subscription-based services typically more cost-effective, and more flexible if business circumstances change, Office 365 does not require any hardware investments. All infrastructure is handled at Microsoft’s end, reducing the need for IT expertise manage the suite in-house and potentially reducing spend on internal IT services.

    While Microsoft has long-dominated the productivity software market, the business world remains, broadly speaking, Office-dominated; if someone wants to send you a document or spreadsheet, you can make a safe bet that it’ll be in Word or Excel format.

    However, the spread of cloud computing has leveled the playing field somewhat when it comes to business software, giving organizations of all sizes access to products and services that would previously have required a hefty outlay in hardware and software expenses. Now, digital business tools are more accessible, and modern businesses are slowly moving towards a new way of working. This shift has given rise to a number of potential challengers to Microsoft’s productivity crown.

    Traditional alternatives to Office like Corel WordPerfect and LibreOffice are yet to make the jump to cloud-based suites, leaving Google’s G Suite the only real alternative to Office 365. Like Office 365 G Suite has a popular free version which includes ad-supported versions of apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, alongside an allowance of free cloud storage and email hosting.

    But, the suite also has a subscription version, aimed at businesses and enterprises of all sizes. G Suite features many similar functionalities to Office 365, like business email addresses, secure messaging and email encryption, security and admin controls, video and voice calls, and extensive support.

    There are three subscription levels with G Suite, ranging from $5-25 per user, per month; a simpler structure than Office 365’s seven-layered licensing structure, but similar in price. The big difference here is when you get up to Microsoft’s Enterprise-level plans, they must be paid for upfront for the year. Users should examine each of Office 365’s plans carefully, as certain plans don’t come with things one might assume will be included, like email accounts and calendar functionality.

    Generally speaking, when taking into account apps, emails, and file storage, Office 365’s entry-level subscriptions are more generous that G Suite’s, and the two are pretty much on-par when you get up to the mid-level plans.

    Some key disparities, when it comes to the apps included in these suites, lie in the areas of business continuity; Microsoft’s apps are more feature-rich than Google’s, and most of the Office 365 plans come with desktop versions of the included apps, whereas G Suite is cloud-only.

    You might have heard talk of Microsoft 365, introduced by Microsoft in mid-2017. Despite its similar branding, Microsoft 365 is not to be confused with Microsoft Dynamics 365, or Office 365.

    Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of productivity apps, while Microsoft 365 is a package of services which includes Office 365, alongside other business tools. A user can subscribe to Office 365 without also subscribing to Microsoft 365—but all Microsoft 365 users will also have access to Office 365.

    Microsoft 365 was developed to give businesses access to all the baseline tools they need to run their basic IT infrastructure, secure their business, and get things done. Alongside Office 365, Microsoft 365 includes Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), meaning subscribers get access to features like email and calendaring, file storage, data protection controls, cyber threat protection, administration and deployment controls, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

    All the services included in Microsoft 365 are available separately, though many businesses may find it more convenient and cost-effective to opt for the Microsoft 365 bundle, especially if they are not existing Microsoft business customers.

    Exactly what’s included in Office 365 for Business depends on which subscription level the user opts for, but the core apps and services available through Office 365 include:

    Some Office 365 applications also have mobile versions to help business do more on the go, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, Yammer, and OneNote. Office 365 subscriptions also include 1 TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage for each user.

    what does microsoft office include

    Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll put together a job spec that’ll attract professionals with the skills and experience you need.

    SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. Launched in 2001, SharePoint is primarily sold as a document management and storage system, but the product is highly configurable and usage varies substantially between organizations.

    Many Office 365 plans include SharePoint Online; a cloud-based service, hosted by Microsoft, for businesses of all sizes. Instead of installing and deploying SharePoint Server on-premises, any business can subscribe to an Office 365 plan or to the standalone SharePoint Online service. Your employees can create sites to share documents and information with colleagues, partners, and customers.

    SharePoint allows users to:

    All Office 365 plans except Office 365 Business or Office 365 ProPlus include SharePoint Online.

    OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud-based file storage service. All kinds of files, including documents, images, music, and video can be stored on OneDrive, and these files can be accessed, managed and shared securely from almost any device, provided it has internet access. OneDrive is where all files are stored for Office 365 users, and allows files to be synced across desktops, browsers, and mobile devices.

    All Office 365 business and enterprise-level users receive 1TB of OneDrive storage, with subscribers to Enterprise E3 and E5 plans receiving unlimited cloud storage.

    Over 85% of Fortune 500 companies use OneDrive for Business, and if a company is not subscribed to Office 365, they can subscribe to OneDrive for Business as a standalone service. OneDrive for Business can be deployed either: in a public cloud, more often than not as part of an Office 365 plan; as a hybrid service in conjunction with SharePoint 2016; or on-premise, as part of SharePoint 2013 or 2016 deployments.

    Skype for Business is a version of the popular chat and conferencing service designed specifically for commercial use. Through Skype for Business, organizations can access all the telecommunications tools they might need on a daily basis, including send instant messages between colleagues, utilize video conferencing features, record conversations, share screens, give whiteboard presentations, and hold meetings with up to 250 people at a time, from any device. Skype for Business integrates with other apps in the Office 365 suite for seamless communication and collaboration.

    Microsoft Lync, released in 2011, was an instant messaging client for Microsoft users. It was replaced by Skype for Business in 2015. Extended support for customers still using Microsoft Lync ends in April 2023.

    Skype for Business features all of Lync’s capabilities, plus additional functions like offline messaging, multi-party HD video, and file transfer preview.

    Source: Nigel Frank Microsoft Technology for Business Salary Survey 2018

    Primarily a chat-based collaboration product, Teams’ main function is to facilitate teamwork and promote productivity, with three key areas of functionality; chat, project management, and extensive integration with Office 365.

    Teams brings together the chat capabilities of Skype for Business, along with collaboration tools like document sharing, useful AI-powered features such as chatbots, and online project management tools, providing a hub for modern teams to work.

    Teams was initially launched as a largely chat-based communications platform, and Microsoft is currently working on bringing Skype’s full functionality into Teams. In the meantime, Microsoft has stated that Skype for Business users should continue to use Skype for Business until Microsoft Teams’ capabilities meet their needs, however, it’s also encouraging users to start using Teams alongside Skype, which will make migration and user adoption a much easier process when the time is right.

    Yammer is a social network for enterprises that aims to help employees connect and communicate. It provides a space for cross-departmental messaging and information sharing; Yammer is essentially the “outer circle”, for delivering organization-wide news, announcements, and engagements. Think of Yammer a digital company message board.
    It differs from Teams in that Teams is designed for fast, intimate, and close-knit collaboration between project teams, and features a number of project management and document sharing tools.

    Microsoft Exchange is Microsoft’s email server solution. It’s the foundation on which email clients such as Outlook run. Everything that happens in Outlook—incoming and outgoing mail, tasks, contacts, calendars— is stored and processed on the Exchange server. Exchange allows organizations to create their own, independent mail system.

    Microsoft Graph is an API. API stands for Application Programming Interface—these interfaces enable a piece of software to allow another piece of software to use its data and/or functionality in a structured, predefined way. For example, if you go to buy a movie ticket on a theatre’s website using a credit card, the site will use an API to communicate with your credit card provider in order to verify your details and complete the transaction. These two sites are totally disparate, and do not share any data; the API gives them an interface through which they can connect behind the scenes and exchange information securely.

    Microsoft Graph does the same thing for all apps and services under the Microsoft 365 umbrella, acting as a sort of digital switchboard through which Office 365, Windows 10, and EMS can relay data. The Graph connects users, emails, calendars, tasks, and devices, and helps users find relevant, contextual data wherever it may be located within Microsoft 365. Users generate an enormous amount of data every day, and Microsoft Graph helps make the most of that data by allowing it to be shared among apps, rather than being siloed.

    Using Microsoft Graph, developers can build their own apps and workflows which utilize Microsoft 365 data, bringing new functionality to the solution and helping developers integrate their services with platforms like Azure, Excel, Intune, Outlook, One Drive, OneNote, SharePoint, Planner, and more.

    There are currently two licensing models for business users wanting to implement Office 365. Companies with less than 300 users can opt for one of three Office 365 for Business plans, and for larger companies, there are four Office 365 for Enterprise plans, all of which support unlimited users. License types can be mixed to suit the needs of the business.

    Discounts are available for Office 365 enterprise agreement customers (typically 250+ licenses) who want to purchase through volume licensing.

    Is there discount pricing for certain organizations?
    There is significantly reduced pricing available for educational institutions and nonprofits.

    Nonprofits can get Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials, usually $5 per user, per month, for a donation, and Office 365 Nonprofit Business Premium for $3 per user, per month, rather than $12.50.

    Office 365 Education, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, and other classroom tools, is available to eligible academic institutions—those with school-specific email addresses and internet access—for free.

    Source: Business at Work 2018

    Though many Office 365 plans include downloadable desktop versions of popular Office apps, the suite itself is hosted by Microsoft, rather than on the customer’s own in-house servers, and its services are largely accessed through the web.

    As such, internet access is needed to implement and launch all Office 365 plans, and customers will need to go online to manage their account. Internet connectivity is necessary to access Office 365’s cloud services, like email, conferencing, and system management.

    Desktop versions of certain Office apps allow customers to work offline if required, and sync all offline documents once the device is reconnected, ensuring all work is up to date.

    As much of Office 365’s infrastructure is hosted at Microsoft’s end, and the installation of desktop versions of its apps is optional, most Office 365 implementations can be executed in a matter of days.

    However, for businesses users, there’s likely to be a large amount of legacy data to be migrated in terms of documents, emails, contacts, shared calendars etc. Office 365 implementation partners can help new users transition to Office 365 smoothly, and get everything configured correctly.

    Typically Office 365 implementation would entail migration of email data to Office 365 from Exchange, consultation to ensure the alignment of processes to business needs, set up of services like Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS), Skype, and Yammer, service element design, and security configuration.

    FastTrack is a free deployment service provided by Microsoft to help businesses get Office 365 up and running quickly. This service is carried out remotely.

    FastTrack is only available to customers purchasing 50+ licenses, and customers with upwards of 500 licenses will receive additional technical support and software solutions to help migrate data to the cloud.

    FastTrack guidance includes core onboarding, service onboarding, and data migration, user adoption services, and account set up for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business Online, Microsoft Teams, Power BI, Project Online, Yammer Enterprise, Office 365 ProPlus, and Microsoft StaffHub. It’s important to note that the service provides remote guidance only; Microsoft will not send technicians to set up Office 365 on the customer’s behalf.

    Office 365 plans eligible to receive FastTrack deployment assistance are: Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Enterprise E3, Office 365 Enterprise E4, Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 ProPlus, all Office 365 US Government plans, and Office 365 Education plans A3 and A5.

    Many existing Office customers who currently run a perpetually licensed, on-premise version of Office can use Office 365 and enjoy all the features that cloud connectivity brings with it. Office 365 works best with Office 2016, the latest version of Office, but also works with Office 2013, and Office 2011 for Mac. Older versions of Office, such as Office 2010 and Office 2007, may also work with Office 365 but might operate with reduced functionality.

    According to a recent report, Office 365 is the most popular suite of applications in the enterprise sector, even beating out non-productivity products like Salesforce, and cloud service platforms like AWS to be crowned the most-used in the sector.

    Within Microsoft’s own ranks, Office 365 is thought to be the biggest revenue generator in Microsoft’s “commercial cloud” stable of products, which also includes, Azure, Dynamics 365, Power BI, and Enterprise Security + Mobility, demonstrating just how ubiquitous and peerless the suite is when it comes to product software.

    The business productivity tools market itself is worth $15bln, so there’s a lot to play for, but despite enterprise users of Google’s G Suite climbing to 4 million this year, Office 365 continues to dominate.

    In October 2017, the number of Office 365’s monthly business users reached 120 million, up from 100 million in April 2017. In Q4 FY 2017, revenue from subscription licensing of Microsoft Office surpassed revenue from traditional, perpetual licensing for the first time, further illustrating Microsoft users’ gradual adoption of both cloud technology and subscription licensing.

    Around the same time, Microsoft reported that it was running ahead of its projected timeline for moving all Office users to the cloud; the company expects 70% of its Exchange/Outlook users to be using Office 365, rather than on-premises versions, by 2019.


    Office 365 Consultant

    An Office 365 Consultant will provide pre- and post-sales consultancy to Office 365 customers, assisting them in the preparation for, transition to, and delivery of, their Office 365 solution. They’ll confer with the end user organization to gather requirements, establish exactly what they need from Office 365, and work out how best to deliver on those requirements, liaising with IT infrastructure managers, IT directors, and architects to create a roadmap to implementation.

    Office 365 Architect

    An Office 365 Architect is responsible for executing the end user’s vision of Office 365 through migration, configuration, and assessment, planning, and design of technical solutions.

    Maintenance and support

    Office 365 Systems Administrator/Support Engineer/Analyst

    An Office 365 Administrator can be given many different titles, but the core responsibilities are the same; provide business-as-usual support, undertake any project-based work that may arise, and deal with escalations from the first-line or helpdesk support team. The admin will be the go-to Office 365 expert in their organization, and ensure the solution is always running efficiently by performing tasks such as installing updates and reconfiguring settings to ensure optimal performance.

    Unified Communications Engineer

    A Microsoft Unified Communications Engineer will provide technical support and maintenance for the digital and telecommunications elements of Office 365, including Lync/Skype for Business, Exchange, and Active Directory.

    IT professionals who want to earn a certification in Office 365 should follow the Productivity track within Microsoft’s new certification plan, which covers Microsoft Office 365, Exchange, Skype for Business, and SharePoint.

    There are two certifications on the Productivity track; the mid-level MCSA: Office 365, and the top-level MCSE: Productivity.

    To earn the MCSA: Office 365, which demonstrates your skills in transitioning to and administering cloud-hosted business applications with Microsoft Office 365. Entrants are required to pass two exams; Exam 70-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements, and Exam 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services.

    Though the MCSA: Office 365 is the most relevant to professionals working or wishing to work with Office 365, entrants can also hold the MCSA: Windows Server 2012, of MCSA: Windows Server 2016 to qualify to sit the MCSE: Productivity exam.

    Once one of these three MCSAs has been achieved, entrants can then progress onto the MCSE: Productivity. To achieve this certification, entrants must pass one of their choice of eight exams:

    Each exam costs USD $165 per attempt, so attaining an MSCA would cost USD $330, and an MSCE a further USD $165. This cost is for a single attempt, and retakes must be paid for again.


    Mac: Intel processor


    Mac: 4 GB RAM


    Mac: 6 GB of available disk space. HFS+ hard disk format (also known as Mac OS Extended or HFS Plus).


    Mac: 1280 x 800 1280 by 800 screen resolution.


    Mac: Mac OS X 10.10 or later.

    As Office 365 is a cloud-hosted platform, many new and prospective customers will have questions about security and privacy. A company’s data is its most valuable asset, and as we’ve seen in numerous high-profile data breach cases in recent years, the consequences of failing to adequately secure business data are severe.

    While no cloud service can be guaranteed to be impenetrable, hosting business data and infrastructure in Microsoft’s public cloud allows users to take advantage of the company’s mammoth investments in security. Office 365 data is held in Microsoft’s global data centers, where dedicated threat management teams actively anticipate, prevent, and mitigate malicious access 24/7; a level of security that virtually no company can operate in-house.

    Office 365 comes with native antivirus, anti-spam, and anti-malware as standard. All communications are screened with Exchange Online Protection (EOP), and email is encrypted both at rest, and in transit with SSL/TLS. Office 365’s Message Encryption feature enables users to send encrypted email to anyone, no matter which email service recipients use.

    File-level access can be assigned to individual users through Azure Rights Management, ensuring only those with the right user credentials can access sensitive information, and multi-factor authentication safeguards access to the service.

    There is now one single admin center for Office 365, known as the Microsoft 365 admin center. All Office 365 customers will use this admin center, whether they license Office 365 as part of a Microsoft 365 plan or not. Through this admin center, administrators can manage and monitor applications, services, data, devices, and users. Administrative settings for all Office 365 applications, such as SharePoint and OneDrive, are accessible through the Microsoft 365 admin center.

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    Mauro Huculak

    last updated 1 June 22

    Can’t decide between Microsoft 365 or Office 2021? In this guide, we’ll help you pick the best option for you.

    what does microsoft office include

    Yearly payments

    Microsoft 365 is the best option for anyone who needs all the Office apps and everything the service offers. You can share the account with up to six people. The subscription is also the only option that provides a continuity of updates at a low cost of ownership. However, it may not be for everyone since there are monthly or yearly fees, and the features may not benefit everyone.

    Single payment

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  • Office 2021 might be better if you only need Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The only caveat is that the upfront cost could be high. You have to pay again to upgrade and do not get additional features.

    If you’re new to the suite of Office apps, you will find two products, including Office 2021 and Office from Microsoft 365, that can complicate the decision. Although these products give you access to the same set of apps, the difference comes down to the list of benefits and costs.

    Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is the name for the subscription version of the service that offers the same apps available with Office 2021. In addition to the benefits of the previous marketing name, the only difference is that you will get some extras.

    Microsoft 365 is the new brand for the paid service that replaces Office 365.

    Since this is a subscription-based service, you will be making monthly or yearly payments to use the apps (such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, and others) on all your devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone). However, this is true as long as only five devices are accessing the account at one time.

    Also, if you opt for the Family subscription plan, you can share the account with up to five additional users for six people using the plan in total.

    The most significant advantage of this offering is that you never have to think about upgrades ever again. When you install the Office apps from Microsoft 365, you’ll always be in the latest version. Once the apps are installed, they’ll automatically receive security and maintenance updates, improvements, and new features throughout the subscription lifetime.

    The service gives you access to cloud-based features to improve your productivity in school, office, and across devices (Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android). Everyone in the plan will get 1TB of OneDrive storage (up to 6TB in total with the Family subscription) and Skype minutes. The subscription also includes phone and chat support from Microsoft to help you resolve any problems with the apps.

    If you have a lot of photos and videos, in addition to the existing 1TB of cloud storage, you can purchase up to 1TB of additional OneDrive storage in 200GB increments for an extra $1.99 per month, doubling the total storage capacity to 2TB (1TB already included with the plan and 1TB with the additional plan) for $9.99 per month. The option is available for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family members. However, there’s a caveat. In the Family plan, only the primary account holder will receive the additional storage.

    Microsoft 365 is the best option since you can install the apps on every device (Windows 11, 10, 8.1, and macOS). It is also the only option that provides continuous updates at a low cost of ownership. In contrast, Office 2021 only allows you to install the apps on one device running Windows 11 (or Windows 10), and you have to pay again for future upgrades.

    If you need access to the suite of apps, Microsoft 365 is perhaps your best choice.

    The cloud service option comes in two offerings. If you would be the only one using the apps and services, the “Microsoft 365 Personal” plan is for you. It costs $70 a year (or $7 per month), and it gives you access to all the apps, alongside 1TB of OneDrive storage.

    On the other hand, if you want to share the subscription with family or friends, the “Microsoft 365 Family” plan is for you. It costs $100 per year ($10 per month), you can share (using the “Services & subscriptions” tab in your Microsoft account online) the benefits with up to six family members and friends, and everyone gets their own 1TB of OneDrive storage. Also, they can access the services on up to five devices at the same time.

    Either plan you choose, you will have access to the additional services, including the Microsoft Family Safety experience to manage screen time, app, and game usage, share location, monitor driving behavior for young drivers, and more.

    Other premium features include Microsoft Editor for grammar checking and other AI-based creative tools. For instance, “PowerPoint Presenter Coach” helps you practice presentations, and “Designer” enables you to create effective slide presentations. “Resume Assistant” is a great tool to write the best resumes in Word with insights powered by Microsoft LinkedIn. Also, there’s “Money in Excel” to view, track, and organize your finances. You will also receive creative content like icons, fonts, stock photos, and premium templates that you can use in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

    The subscription also comes with access to the premium version of Outlook online, which includes everything on the free version, plus 50GB of storage, no ads, and message encryption and enhanced security. As a subscriber, you will also get special offers from many Microsoft partners.

    Some services bundled with Microsoft 365 are available without a subscription using a Microsoft account. However, you will only get limited functionalities that can be unlocked only with the paid subscription.

    When you choose one of the subscriptions, you should get the yearly plan to save money, plus you do not have to worry about payments throughout the year.

    The company also offers the service at no extra cost using a valid school email address if you are a student or teacher. This plan lets you install Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams, and other school tools for free.

    Windows 7 is no longer supported, which means that you will need to upgrade to Windows 11 or at least upgrade to Windows 10 to install the apps.

    Microsoft Office 2021 refers to the standalone version of the apps that you can own forever after the one-time purchase.

    The standalone version of Office (also referred to as the “on-premises” or “perpetual” version) allows you to install and update the apps on one computer. However, you cannot upgrade to the next version. In other words, it’s possible to continue using the apps through their lifecycle (usually five years) and beyond (without updates). When the time comes to upgrade, you will have to purchase a new product license again.

    Office 2021 comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook (only on the business version), but it includes only a limited scope of features, and it does not have the same benefits available with a Microsoft 365 subscription. For instance, you won’t find cloud and AI-based features or other services like the premium version of “Outlook.com” and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage.

    Another advantage of Office 2021 is that you continue to use the apps without an internet connection. Although you can also use the apps with a Microsoft 365 subscription without a connection, you will need to get online every 31 days to reactivate. Otherwise, the apps will switch to the reduced functionality mode, which only gives you view and print access to the documents.

    The standalone suite of apps was designed for commercial customers with volume licenses who aren’t ready for cloud apps and have specific requirements to use the apps on-premise. However, anyone who is not prepared for a subscription-based service can purchase this offering.

    Anyone can purchase Office 2021, but this version has been designed for certain commercial customers.

    what does microsoft office include

    In the case of home users, this option makes sense only if you do not mind the upfront cost and want a more traditional experience. It may also be a good choice if you plan to use the apps on one computer, don’t need additional features, or are not ready for the Microsoft 365 subscription.

    Although you’re getting one license for one Windows 11, Windows 10, or macOS device with this option, you can also install the apps on your phone, but with limited functionalities.

    Office 2021 comes in three options, including Office Home & Student 2021, Office Home & Business 2021 (opens in new tab), and Office Professional 2021 (opens in new tab), and they’re usually priced at $150, $250, and $440, respectively. Office Home & Student 2021 comes with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, while Office Home & Business 2021 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Office Professional 2021 comes with all the apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

    Unlike previous versions, Office 2021 is only supported on Windows 11, Windows 10, or the three most recent versions of macOS. If you must install Office on Windows 8.1, you have to use a Microsoft 365 subscription.

    Ultimately, the decision comes down to the apps and services you need to get the work done. If you plan to use Office for years to come, Microsoft 365 is hands-down your best option. The reason is that with the subscription, you will get full access to the apps and benefits at a low cost of ownership.

    Get more and stay productive with the latest features

    Microsoft 365 gives you access to all the Office apps and extra features, such as 1TB of OneDrive, Outlook premium, and cloud-based features. You can also install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other apps on up to six devices, and you can share the subscription with other people (using the Family plan), and they can use the service on up to five devices at the same time.

    Pay once and use it forever

    Office 2021 includes all the popular apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, with all the essential features to get work done.

    Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he’s a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

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    what does microsoft office include
    what does microsoft office include

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