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What is Microsoft 365?

Let’s have a look at Wikipedia, and see what it says:

“Microsoft 365 is the brand name used by Microsoft for a group of software plus services subscriptions that provides productivity software and related services to its subscribers. For consumers, the service allows the use of Microsoft Office apps on Windows and OS X, provides storage space on Microsoft’s cloud storage service OneDrive, and grants 60 Skype minutes per month. For business and enterprise users, Microsoft 365 offers plans including e-mail and social networking services through hosted versions of Exchange ServerLyncSharePoint and Office Web Apps, integration with Yammer, as well as access to the Office software.”

I have also seen the following description (from Pete Skelly at ThreeWill).

“Microsoft 365 is an ‘evergreen’ Software as a Service (SaaS) environment which provides a continually updated suite of software services including email, calendaring, tasks, search, collaboration sites and more from Microsoft.”

That is a LOT of crunchy goodness!

Why do I want to migrate to Microsoft 365?

Basically, Microsoft 365 offers everything a typical business user needs and works with to collaborate with others and get stuff done. There are also new things appearing, like Delve, which is designed to help you discover information (within Microsoft 365) that is currently relevant or interesting to you. I’m sure there will be more new things to come.

Microsoft 365 is hosted in “the cloud,” providing an organization the opportunity to reduce or possibly eliminate physical hardware and infrastructure. The way I see it, is that having Microsoft 365 in use at ThreeWill significantly reduces my need to monitor and patch servers, worry about backups, etc.

A common reason to leverage or migrate to Microsoft 365 is for email/Exchange. I was involved in helping move ThreeWill move to email on Microsoft 365, and I must say that Microsoft has made this a fairly easy process. It is also possible to configure a hybrid between an on-premises Exchange and Exchange Online in Microsoft 365 (see related reference below if you are interested in this).

Another reason could be to save money. I know we saved money on email hosting by moving to Microsoft 365.

Something to note, Microsoft 365 users can install Office on up to five devices, including Windows-based computers and Macs. Very cool indeed!

What would you add?

Please add this to the comments below.



SharePoint is a web application platform in the Microsoft Office server suite. Launched in 2001, SharePoint combines various functions which are traditionally separate applications: intranet, extranet, content management, document management, personal cloud, enterprise social networking, enterprise search, business intelligence, workflow management, web content management, and an enterprise application store. SharePoint servers have traditionally been deployed for internal use in mid-size businesses and large departments alongside Microsoft Exchange, Skype for Business, and Office Web Apps; but Microsoft’s ‘Microsoft 365’ software as a service offering (which includes a version of SharePoint) has led to increased usage of SharePoint in smaller organizations.

While Microsoft 365 provides SharePoint as a service, installing SharePoint on premises typically requires multiple virtual machines, at least two separate physical servers, and is a somewhat significant installation and configuration effort. The software is based on an n-tier service oriented architecture. Enterprise application software (for example, email servers, ERP, BI and CRM products) often either requires or integrates with elements of SharePoint. As an application platform, SharePoint provides central management, governance, and security controls. The SharePoint platform manages Internet Information Services (IIS) via form-based management tooling.

Since the release of SharePoint 2013, Microsoft’s primary channel for distribution of SharePoint has been Microsoft 365, where the product is continuously being upgraded. New versions are released every few years, and represent a supported snapshot of the cloud software. Microsoft currently has three tiers of pricing for SharePoint 2013, including a free version (whose future is currently uncertain). SharePoint 2013 is also resold through a cloud model by many third-party vendors. The next on-premises release is SharePoint 2016, expected to have increased hybrid cloud integration.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is the brand name used by Microsoft for a group of software plus services subscriptions that provides productivity software and related services to its subscribers. For consumers, the service allows the use of Microsoft Office apps on Windows and OS X, provides storage space on Microsoft’s cloud storage service OneDrive, and grants 60 Skype minutes per month. For business and enterprise users, Microsoft 365 offers plans including e-mail and social networking services through hosted versions of Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server, SharePoint and Office Online, integration with Yammer, as well as access to the Office software.

After a beta test that began in October 2010, Microsoft 365 was launched on June 28, 2011, as a successor to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (MSBPOS), originally aimed at corporate users. With the release of Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft 365 was expanded to include new plans aimed at different types of businesses, along with new plans aimed at general consumers wanting to use the Office desktop software on a subscription basis—with an emphasis on the rolling release model.


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