What happened to Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 explained

Microsoft Office can be understandably perplexing for many users. Traditionally, Microsoft Office encompassed a suite of well-known applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Outlook. However, things took a confusing turn with the introduction of 365 cloud services, partly due to marketing decisions that caused some ambiguity.

Until recently, Microsoft 365 was known as Office 365, incorporating the same suite of products alongside their new online services under one umbrella. This led to confusion among consumers who found it challenging to discern the distinctions between these offerings, exacerbated by Microsoft selling boxed packages in retail stores labeled as Office 365. However, let’s not dwell too much on the past. Here’s what you need to understand:

Microsoft 365 now encompasses all 365 products, that is Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. and online services like Exchange for email, SharePoint and OneDrive. Office 365, although a legacy brand name, may still persist on the internet for some time.
Additionally, there are two releases of Microsoft Apps, now referred to as Web Apps and Desktop Apps, catering to different user preferences and needs.

Web Apps

  • Web Apps are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook displayed within a web browser. Publisher and Access are not available in this format.
  • There are some limitations in the web app releases around advanced formatting in Word and PowerPoint and some Excel functions. Printing can also be affected depending on the complexity of the document
  • Web apps are a low-cost solution for operations not dependent on those advanced functions found in the desktop versions
  • You can use Web apps on any device that can display them in a compatible web browser.
  • Web apps can be accessed on mobile phones and tablets

Desktop Apps

Desktop apps are downloaded and installed on your computer and they have full functionality. Note apps is short for applications traditionally referred to as programs. Both are the same thing. Though Article 5 only services the business market, this is general information for everyone

  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook etc. are now known as Microsoft Apps in the consumer market.
  • You can buy a boxed package of Office subscriptions from retail stores as depicted in the image above. Once opened all these rather environmentally unfriendly packets provide a printed authorization key with directions on how to download and activate the product. Save your time, buy them directly here.
  • You can no longer purchase these apps on a DVD. They are only available for download to your computer as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription plan,

Mobile Apps

Most Microsoft apps are available for mobile phones and tablets.

  • Corresponding apps can be downloaded and installed on mobile phones and tablets from both Android and Apple stores respectively.
  • Available apps include Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote. Publisher and Access are not available as apps
  • The apps will open in read-only mode. But they won’t allow you to create, edit and save documents unless you sign in with your 365 credentials.

Apps in the business market

  • Within the business sector, these applications are branded as Microsoft Apps for Business. Furthermore, there are additional types of apps designed to complement these core offerings. After acquiring a subscription, you can conveniently access and install these applications by logging into your profile at office.com.
  • Corresponding apps can be downloaded and installed on mobile phones and tablets, both Android and Apple stores respectively. The apps will open in read-only mode. But they won’t allow you to create, edit and save documents unless you sign in with your 365 credentials.
  • Be aware some business and enterprise 365 plans do not include this suite of apps, only web apps.
  • Microsoft apps are mutually exclusive to the Microsoft Windows operating system on your PC. Most PC’s come with the apps pre-installed, but to use them you must first sign-up for a subscription.

We hope you found our post informative on Microsft 365. Whether you have inquiries, seek advice, or wish to explore how our services can benefit your business, our team is here to assist. Get in touch with Article 5 for more details or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our consultants.

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