3 min read

What is Office 365?

What is Office 365?

You will no doubt have used Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel. You have probably seen adverts for Office 365 or Microsoft 365, but you might still be wondering:

What is Office 365?
What is Microsoft 365?
Are they the same or are they different?

In this article we will explain what it is and the license your business needs.

Why is it confusing?

Firstly, Microsoft 365 was rebranded to Microsoft 365 during 2020. So we'll call it Microsoft 365 from now on!

Another reason behind your confusion could be that Microsoft 365 isn’t one product; it’s a suite of different applications and online services, all sold in various packages or plans under a single brand name; Microsoft 365. 


How does Microsoft 365 work?


Microsoft 365 packages and plans

In order to decide the best plan for your business you need to compare the plans. read compare our article about choosing right the Microsoft 365 plan for your business.

Payment and subscription

You will need to decide whether to take out a plan on a monthly or annual subscription. Gone are the days where you would buy software off the shelf as a one-time purchase.

Because Microsoft 365 uses a per-user licensing model, you can install the software on up to 5 computers per user. So, if you’re like me with a PC in the office, a Mac laptop, and a PC at home, you’re free to use the software on all of those machines with a single-user license.

What's the most popular Microsoft 365 plan for small businesses?

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is by far, the most popular plan used by our clients. It's a good all-rounder and is of great value if you need access to all of the applications and cloud services.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium costs from £9.40 per user per month; let’s take a look at what you get for your money:

What comes with a Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription?

With a subscription, you’ll have access to the latest version of the familiar Microsoft 365 applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium          

Online, cloud-based services

As well as the above applications, Microsoft 365 Business Premium includes a suite of online services, enabling you to share information and communicate with colleagues, partners and customers. These include:

Email and calendars

You might have previously had an on-premise Microsoft Exchange server for your email and calendars, or had this functionality included with a Small Business Server, but now this is provided for you in the cloud.

You get a massive 50GB of storage per user, which is the equivalent of what most small businesses might previously have had for the entire company!

Your emails and calendars are accessible through Outlook or a web browser, and will fully sync with your mobile device.

File storage and sharing

OneDrive for Business is a cloud storage solution that allows users to access files from virtually anywhere, on almost any device. Again, the amount of storage provided is generous, with 1TB for each user.

Instant messaging

With Skype for Business, you can communicate with other users via instant message, voice calls and video calls.

Other online services

There are loads more online services than we can cover here:

  • Online conferencing
  • Microsoft Teams – a chat-based workspace that is similar to Slack
  • Yammer – a social network just for your company
  • Sharepoint – a team site for sharing documents
  • Microsoft online – versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote that run in your web browser
  • Planner – a work management tool for planning and organising tasks
  • Sway – a way to create engaging web-based presentations
  • Delve – a tool for searching and discovering content in Microsoft 365

What devices are compatible?

PC, Mac, tablets, via apps on iOS and Android.

Setting up Microsoft 365

It can be quite challenging and time-consuming to migrate your existing data and get set up with Microsoft 365. We would always advise teaming up with a Microsoft Partner for peace of mind. If you have an internal IT specialist, then they should be able to set it up for your business too.


Superfast IT is a Microsoft Partner specialising in Microsoft 365. With dozens of successful deployments under our belt for businesses in Birmingham and the West Midlands, we can provide the assistance you need to make it a smooth transition. Please get in touch for more information.


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