What is Office 365? An Overview And Explanation Of Applications and Features

What is Office 365? An Overview And Explanation Of Applications and Features

If you have used a Computer in the past 30 years, the chances are that you have come face to face with Microsoft's office suite.

These include various applications ranging from Word to Excel to even Skype.

As such, modern business relies on these applications to communicate, create documents and balance their accounts.

With the advent of Office 365, Microsoft has streamlined its entire application lineup to further benefit end-users and enterprises.

Before Office 365, users had to purchase individual or enterprise licenses for applications or the entire Office suite.

These licenses offered them the ability to use particular products, but only a limited amount of devices could download and install the program. Office 365 is a subscription-based service that allows users to access all of its Suite monthly/yearly fees.

Why Choose Microsoft Office 365?

As mentioned earlier, Office 365 follows a subscription-based model. So, after you log-in and download your required programs, you will always have the latest version.

You will not need to purchase any additional licenses and will not need to buy yearly copies, unlike before.

Office 365 is an entirely cloud-based application, so you can use the entire Office suite on the go even if you haven't downloaded the applications on your computer or laptop.

This particular feature means that you can access your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the fly while also having the ability to edit and view documents on your web browser as well.

Moreover, an Office 365 subscription provides you with a One Drive subscription, a cloud-based backup platform.

So, all your documents and other important files are automatically backed up as soon as you open the application.


Moreover, you are presented with many options that include personal use, students, businesses, educational institutions, and nonprofits.

Mobile Version: H3

With the switch to Office 365, the application now offers a mobile version as well.

You can use any of the applications on either your mobile's web browser or by downloading them on your native App Store on both iOS and Android.

Desktop Based Apps: H3

Just like previous iterations, you can download and install Microsoft Office on your Windows or Macbook.

However, This is not always necessary.

Having a desktop application provides ease of use as opening .docx or .ppt files get much more accessible.

But, if you have a laptop or device that cannot run the Office suite, you can quickly run the web application and let Microsoft's servers do all the grunt work for you.

Cloud-Based Apps:

As mentioned earlier, online web applications are Office 365's biggest draw.

Gone are the days when you needed to install the entire Suite or needed a beefy computer or tons of RAM to open a large excel spreadsheet.

Now, a ten-year-old device can run the latest version of Office flawlessly regardless of its hardware limitations.

If a device can run a browser, it can run the entire Suite of Office applications.

This feature is highly advantageous when you are on the go.

You can also access your OneDrive documents on the web application.

What Applications and Services Can I Expect?


While particular niche applications are available in specific Office 365 packages depending on what you opt for, here are the primary applications included in the Suite:

  • Word: Used to edit, create and format .docx documents.

  • Excel: Used to edit, create, and format spreadsheets.

  • PowerPoint: Used for creating and presenting slides/presentations.

  • Outlook: All-in-one mail manager.

  • OneNote: Digital note-taking app that seamlessly integrates into the entire Microsoft ecosystem.

  • Publisher: Used for large-scale publishing (magazines, newspapers, brochures, etc.).

  • Exchange: Mail server application for enterprise users.

  • SharePoint: Collaborative document and storage system meant for enterprise users.

  • Skype for Business: Skype is an instant messaging and video chatting application.

  • Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams is a collaborative group-chatting and video-conferencing application.

Some of these particular applications have mobile versions.

However, all of them have web apps that you can access from any device that can run on a web browser.

The Advantages of Microsoft Office 365:


After you've understood the particular features of Microsoft Office 365, understanding their practical relevance and if they are worth it is imperative.

Previously, getting a license for the entire Office suite was relatively expensive.

Now, the 365 subscription lets you access all of these applications at a relatively lower price.

Here are a few advantages of switching to an Office 365 application:

  • Cost-Effective: You get access to over ten different applications at a fraction of the actual cost

  • OneDrive Storage: Free 1 TB Cloud Storage on Microsoft’s OneDrive

  • Web-Based Applications: Access any Office 365 application on the go without needing to install it

  • Perpetual Updates: Always use the latest version of any Office 365 with their cloud-based updates

  • Wildly Used: Since Microsoft Office is wildly used, almost all of the files you open and use from third-party sources will be compatible.

  • Enterprise Level Support: Whether you are a sole user or part of a larger corporation, Microsoft support responds to your queries and tickets swiftly.

Getting an Office 365 subscription is a brilliant choice, especially if you are already using Microsoft's office suite's previous iterations.

If you belong to a larger corporation or are a student, you might be able to avail exclusive discounts by referring to your organization's policies.


Office 365 is Microsoft's response to Google's G-Suite.

With its cloud-based applications and inexpensive subscription-based service, you can access all the core applications you have used for decades on your web browser or download them to your device.

With support added for mobile applications alongside a promise for constant perpetual updates, you'll always have access to the latest version.

Do note that Microsoft is constantly updating its pricing and is adding new features to the Suite to remain competitive.

So, make sure to look up the most recent prices and an exclusive discount for you depending on your particular situation.