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Up and Running with Office 365
Illustration by Neil Webb

What is Office 365?


From:

Up and Running with Office 365

with David Rivers

Video: What is Office 365?

Before we dive into setting up and using Office 365, you might be wondering what Office 365 is exactly and how it can be used. Well, a simple definition of Office 365 might be, a hosted collaboration and productivity suite. Hosted meaning everything you need is online and accessible from virtually anywhere because it's not installed locally on your computer. And then there's collaboration and productivity, meaning you get anywhere access to your emails, your contacts, your calendar, and web-based versions of the Office suite apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. And because Office 365 includes SharePoint connectivity, sharing and collaborating on the files you create with these web apps has never been easier.

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Up and Running with Office 365
2h 11m Appropriate for all May 16, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Get started using Office 365, the Microsoft hosted collaboration and productivity suite that allows businesses and teams to email, collaborate on documents, and share calendars. Author David Rivers tours the subscription service, showing how to administer user accounts; share and collaborate with a team site; and manage mail, contacts, and calendars with the Outlook web app. The course also explains how to connect with colleagues using the instant messaging and social media features.

Topics include:
  • What is Office 365?
  • Choosing the right plan
  • Defining and adding users
  • Uploading files to the cloud with SkyDrive
  • Viewing and editing your website
  • Sending and receiving email
  • Importing contacts into Outlook Web App (OWA)
  • Managing tasks
  • Creating documents on a team site
  • Adding web parts to a page
  • Sending instant messages
  • Setting up newsfeeds
Subjects:
Business Computer Skills (Mac) Computer Skills (Windows) Email Spreadsheets Word Processing
Software:
Office 365
Author:
David Rivers

What is Office 365?

Before we dive into setting up and using Office 365, you might be wondering what Office 365 is exactly and how it can be used. Well, a simple definition of Office 365 might be, a hosted collaboration and productivity suite. Hosted meaning everything you need is online and accessible from virtually anywhere because it's not installed locally on your computer. And then there's collaboration and productivity, meaning you get anywhere access to your emails, your contacts, your calendar, and web-based versions of the Office suite apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. And because Office 365 includes SharePoint connectivity, sharing and collaborating on the files you create with these web apps has never been easier.

Office 365 is not simply a web version of Office 2013, and it shouldn't even be thought of as Microsoft answer to Google apps. Yes, you get cloud-based, or web-based, versions of Word, and Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, but you'll also get Exchange for your email platform and Outlook web access. You get SharePoint for document sharing and collaboration, and you get access to communication services that give you instant messaging, HD video conferencing, PC phone calling, and more.

Now, let's talk about it works now. Office 365 is a subscription- based service targeted to home users, professionals, and businesses. You pay a monthly fee per person, whether it's your own home version or in your organization, which when calculated can be far cheaper than running all these apps locally on servers and end-user computers while hiring personnel to administer and maintain them. There are different plans for different home or business scenarios at different costs, and we will discuss those plans in greater detail in the next movie.

The first person to sign up for the Office 365 subscription is automatically made an administrator with admin privileges. Then the administrator can define and add new users. Of course users added to the system can have different levels of access as well, so you can actually have more than one administrator. The cool thing is, you don't have to be a Microsoft certified systems engineer to be an administrator in Office 360. One can get by with some fairly basic knowledge of Microsoft Office, a little SharePoint, Outlook, and Exchange knowledge, and little more.

New email accounts can be opened for users, and existing email accounts can also be used. Team sites can be created using SharePoint services for sharing and collaborating on files, and instant messaging, high-def video conferencing, live meetings can all be accessed via the Lync Online service if you decide to install it. There is also Windows Live and Windows messaging. All right! Let's talk about using Office 365. For people in your organization, they'll access your Office 365 portal and they'll log in with their email address and a password provided by the administrator.

They will change a password when they log in for the first time. From their homepage users can then access the web-based versions of the Microsoft Office Apps, Outlook, and SharePoint. They can also access Lync Online, and if on the appropriate subscription plan, Web app versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, for their mobile devices. All right! Some additional key points. Although Office 365 is cloud-based, allowing you to work from anywhere on almost any device, you can work offline and sync up later with Outlook and SharePoint.

You can continue to use your full-fledged Office apps installed locally on your computer and set them up to give you quick access to the cloud. It's reliable. Microsoft provides a financially backed 99.9% uptime guarantee, and Office 365 maintains the latest defenses against viruses and spam. So, with a basic understanding of what Office 365 is, let's explore the various subscription plans that are available, beginning with options for home users. We will do that next.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with Office 365.


Expand all | Collapse all
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Q: Where did the Save button go? How do I update the files I’m editing?
A: All files are now automatically updated/saved on the fly while editing, so there’s no need to save manually. Hence the absence of the Save button.
Q: How do I rename my Excel workbook or PowerPoint presentation?
A: Click the name of the file in the title bar and edit it there.
Q: I can’t see my headers and footers.  How do I edit them in Word?
A: Go to the Insert tab, and click Header & Footer.  Any existing data will appear and can be edited.
Q: Where is Track Changes in the web apps?
A:  That functionality is not yet available.  You can open your file in the desktop app to use that feature and then continue to work on it in the web app without losing the Track Changes information.
 
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