Microsoft Office 365 FAQ

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Microsoft Office 365


Q. Can I switch between Office 365 plan families (Plans P or E)?
A.

We encourage you to buy the plan family (Plans P or E) you want to move forward with in the future. If, after purchase, you decide you want a plan from a different family, you will have to cancel your subscription and then buy a different plan (e.g., cancel your subscription to Plan P and then buy Plan E). Please be aware that your data may not be preserved, and you will have to provide sign up information again.

Q. How many users per plan does Office 365 support?
A.

Plan P supports between a minimum of one and a maximum of 50 users per account. You cannot migrate a Plan P account into an Plan E account.

E plans support between a minimum of one and a maximum of tens of thousands of users. If you believe your organization will have more than 50 users, we recommend you select an E plan.

Q. What is Office 365?
A.

Microsoft Office 365 delivers the power of cloud productivity to businesses of all sizes, helping to save time and money and free up valuable resources. The Office 365 service offering combines the familiar Microsoft Office desktop suite with online versions of our next-generation communications and collaboration services: Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online. Office 365 services are easy to administer and simple to use—with the robust security, reliability, and control you need to run your business.

Q. Why do I need Office 365?
A.

In today’s competitive global market, businesses of all sizes need technology that enables flexibility and cost-effectively adds value to their organization. Cloud-based services provide a way to meet these objectives. They deliver feature-rich productivity tools to users while helping to relieve the burden of managing and maintaining business systems—freeing up IT departments and businesses to focus on initiatives that can deliver true competitive advantage.

Q. Is Office 365 “Office in the cloud”?
A.

The Office 365 service offering is that and so much more! With some Office 365 plans, you have access to familiar Office applications that run locally on your PC and are downloaded, updated and licensed straight from the cloud. Those Office 365 service plans expand this experience by combining those Office applications with the latest versions of our cloud productivity services: Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online. These services combine to provide you with the most comprehensive productivity solution for your business needs.

Q. What happens to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite? How do I move to Office 365 from Business Productivity Online Suite?
A.

Office 365 replaces the Business Productivity Online Suite. Enterprise customers can contact a Microsoft sales representative or Microsoft Partner directly for purchase details, or get more information about volume licensing.

Existing Business Productivity Online Suite customers can transition during the 12 months following general availability of Office 365 in 2011. Check out our blog and the new Office 365 transition center for more information and ongoing guidance and discussion about the transition.

Q. My enterprise/midsize business has advanced IT needs for robust security, reliability, and user productivity. What does Office 365 provide and how much does it cost?
A.

At Microsoft, we believe that one size does NOT fit all, and customers want choices. That's why we offer a range of options from basic e-mail for $2 per user per month to a complete solution for $27 per user per month that includes full Office Professional Plus desktop software, along with Office Web Apps; the most advanced versions of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online; phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week; advanced IT controls; and full enterprise voice capabilities with Lync Server on premises (Plan E4 only). 

Q. I am a professional or small business. If I do not have IT expertise within my small business, can I still use Office 365? How much does it cost?
A.

Office 365 for professionals and small businesses offers a simple, monthly subscription to an easy-to-use set of web-enabled tools for small businesses, independent consultants and professionals.

Working with the business-class productivity tools people know and use today, Office 365 for professionals and small businesses provides virtually anywhere access to email, important documents, contacts, and calendars on nearly any device*. Subscriptions start at just $6 per user per month, and Office 365 is backed by powerful security features and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.  

Q. Will Office 365 replace Microsoft Office Live Small Business?
A.

Yes! Office 365 includes the most compelling elements of Office Live Small Business—email, public websites, and more. While nothing will change for Office Live Small Business customers now, the transition to Office 365 will likely begin in late 2011 or early 2012. Customers who choose to have their accounts transitioned will get Office 365 for small businesses for free for three months.  

Q. What are the system requirements for Office 365?
A.

Office 365 will have new system requirements that customers and partners should note. Learn more about Office 365 system requirements.

Q. What is the Trust Center?
A.

Visit the Trust Center for security, privacy and compliance information for Office 365. Learn more >

Q. What does it mean to work ‘from virtually anywhere and on nearly any device’?
A.

The Office 365 service offerings enable you to work with email, documents, and data from virtually anywhere and nearly any device with a familiar productivity experience across PC, phone, and browser.

This means that an appropriate device, Internet connection, and supported versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari browser are required. Access from mobile devices requires Wi-Fi capability or depends on carrier network availability. Some mobile functionality requires Microsoft Office Mobile 2010, which is included with specific releases of Windows Phones and Nokia phones. Office Mobile 2010 is not included in Office 2010 applications, suites, or Office Web Apps. There are some differences between the features of the Office Web Apps, Office Mobile 2010, and the Office 2010 applications.


* Access from mobile devices requires Wi-Fi capability or depends on carrier network availability.

International availability

Q. In what languages, regions and countries will Office 365 be available?
A.

Office 365 is offered in the following 21 languages: English, Br Portuguese, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish, Romanian, and Russian.

Office 365 is available in 41 countries/regions: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, and United States.

Q. Will Microsoft be offering global pricing on Office 365?
A.

Yes

Office 365 trial

Q. How do I sign up for the Office 365 trial?
A.

Click the "Try Office 365" button on the Get Office 365 page to join the trial. You will be asked to provide information such as: Country/Region, Organization language, First name, Last name, Company name, Address, City, State, Zip code, Phone number, and Email address. You will also be asked to select a Domain Name for your service and a Microsoft Online Services ID.

Q. What happens after I sign up?
A.

Once you sign up for the trial, you will automatically be placed into the Office 365 homepage, where ‘Getting Started’ indicators provide an overview of the beta and resources to get started. Trial subscription information will be emailed to you at the email address you provided on the sign up form. This email contains information about how to proceed with the trial. You will also receive a weekly email to help you move along with the trial process.

Q. What if I want to switch trials?  For example, what if I am participating in the Plan P1 trial and decide I want to switch to the Plan E3 trial?
A.

If you want to switch trial programs, you can abandon your current trial and sign up for the other trial.

Q. What happens at the end of the Office 365 trial?
A.

Participants will have 30 days after trial activation to choose whether or not to continue with the service as a paid offering. If you do not continue with a paid offering, your trial account will end.

Domain names

Q. What if I already own a domain name?
A.

Your Microsoft Office 365 account comes with a domain name—(eg: contoso.onmicrosoft.com)—but if you have your own domain name already, you can use that domain name with Microsoft Office 365 services too.

If you already own a domain name for your company, you can add it to Office 365 to create both domain-based email addresses and public facing website. If you wish to keep your current website hosted with another provider, we offer the flexibility to associate your company domain with that website provider while also associating your company domain with your Office 365 email account. You can manage your domain configuration within the Management portion of your Admin account information center.

Q. What do I need to do to add a domain name to Office 365?
A.

To add your organization’s custom domain to Office 365, you must have access to the DNS records for that domain. If you do not have access, you should contact the person at your company that manages the company domain account.

How to buy

Q. How do I sign up for Office 365?
A.

If you are an administrator of your organization, you can sign up for Microsoft Office 365 for midsize businesses enterprises on the sign-up page. During the sign-up process, you are asked to set a new domain name and create a Microsoft Online Services ID for your account. Before signing up for Office 365, make sure that your computer has one of the combinations of operating system and Internet browser listed in the Office 365 system requirements. After you sign up for Office 365, you need to configure your computer so that software updates can be installed. These updates are required when connecting Microsoft Office desktop applications to Office 365. For more information about configuring your computer to install updates, see Set up your desktop for Office 365.

Q. How do I buy a subscription after trying Office 365?
A.

When you buy subscriptions after participating in a trial, you can either purchase subscriptions that you were in trial with, or you can choose other subscription options. For example, if you were in trial with Microsoft Office 365 for midsize businesses and enterprises, you can buy a subscription for Office 365, or you could instead buy a subscription for Microsoft Exchange Online or Microsoft SharePoint Online, or both.

When you buy a subscription, user accounts created during your trial subscription are automatically included. If you buy other subscriptions—subscriptions that you were not in trial with—you’ll need to assign users licenses for the new subscriptions after you make your purchase.

We encourage you to buy the plan family (Plans P or E) you want to move forward with in the future. If, after purchase, you decide you want a plan from a different family, you will have to cancel your subscription and then buy a different plan (e.g., cancel your subscription to Plan P and then buy Plan E). Please be aware that your data may not be preserved, and you will have to provide sign up information again.

Q. Will my trial information be transferred to my subscription?
A.

If you choose to buy any of the service plans you were in trial with, your data will be preserved for a seamless transition. For example, you can convert a Plan E3 trial into a subscription for any of the Plan E service plans.

However, for example, if you participate in the Plan P trial and want to buy a Plan E service plan, your data may not be preserved and you may need to provide this information again.

Q. How do I add more subscriptions after I purchase my trial subscription?
A.

To purchase additional Office 365 services in Microsoft Online Services, you choose one or more subscriptions from the catalog and then pay for the services by using a credit card or by requesting an invoice. Your subscriptions are renewed automatically every year. If you like, you can try a subscription first to see how the service works and then purchase that subscription later, carrying over any data or configuration you have done while in trial.

Q. How do I cancel my subscription?
A.

To cancel a subscription, please call Microsoft Online Services Support. To see the phone numbers and business hours for support for your location, see Contact Support for a billing or subscription issue. Each subscription has a one-year term that renews at the end of the term.

Q. Is there a minimum purchase requirement?
A.

There is a one-seat minimum purchase requirement for an initial order and one-seat for any add-on orders.

System requirements

Q. Will Office for Mac 2011 be available for customers to purchase through Office 365?
A.

Office for Mac will not be available for purchase through subscription as part of Office 365. However, customers who are using Office for Mac 2011 will be able to use some of the Office 365 hosted services. See following questions for detail.

Q. Does Outlook for Mac 2011 connect to Exchange Online?
A.

Customers who are using Outlook for Mac 2011 or Entourage for Mac 2008 with Exchange Web Services will be able to connect to Exchange Online to have a rich client experience through Office 365 for email, calendar, contacts, tasks and notes.

Q. Are Office for Mac 2011 customers able to connect to SharePoint Online?
A.

Customers who are using Word for Mac 2011, PowerPoint for Mac 2011 and Excel for Mac 2011 will be able to open, save and upload files to and from SharePoint Online as well as co-author from within Word for Mac 2011 and PowerPoint for Mac 2011 using SharePoint Online. Customers will also be able to connect to SharePoint Online through Document Connection 2008.

Q. Does Communicator for Mac 2011 connect to Lync Online?
A.

Customers who are using Communicator for Mac 2011 will not be able to connect to Lync Online through Office 365.

Q. Are customers able to use the Office Web Apps from a Mac?
A.

Customers can access the Office Web Apps from Safari and Firefox, commonly supported browsers on Macs.

Plans for education

Q. What is Office 365 for education?
A.

Microsoft Office 365 for education will bring together cloud versions of our most-trusted communications and collaboration products with the latest version of our desktop suite. Office 365 for education will enable Microsoft to deliver on our commitment to education like never before—providing our most powerful productivity technologies to schools and universities worldwide.

Q. What services does Office 365 for education offer?
A.

Office 365 for education will include the following services:

Exchange Online

Cloud-based email, calendar and contacts with the most current antivirus and anti-spam solutions. Includes the ability to get email on virtually any mobile phone and options for voice mail, unified messaging and archiving.*

Microsoft Office

The world’s leading productivity tool on the desktop (Office Professional Plus) and on the Web (Office Web Apps) now seamlessly connected and delivered with cloud services – for the best productivity experience across the PC, Phone and Browser.

SharePoint Online

Cloud-based service for creating sites to connect students, educators and staff. Includes enterprise social networking and customization options.

Lync Online

Cloud-based instant messaging, presence, and online meeting experiences with screen sharing and voice and video conferencing.

Q. Can I trial Office 365 for education?
A.

Office 365 for education is not currently available for trial. However, you can sign up for the Office 365 for enterprise (Plan E3) trial to have a similar evaluation experience as Office 365 for education.

Q. In which countries/regions is Office 365 for education available?
A.

Office 365 for education will be available in 39 countries/regions: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, and United States.

Q. How do Live@edu and Office 365 for education relate?
A.

Today’s Live@edu services that millions of students and educators rely on will be transitioned to Office 365 for education. Office 365 for education will include new services not available in Live@edu today, such as advanced Exchange features, Lync Online, SharePoint Online, archiving, voicemail, and Blackberry support.

Q. Will existing Live@edu schools get Office 365 for education?
A.

Customers who have Live@edu today will be transitioned to Office 365 for education. Microsoft will also continue to offer Live@edu in markets where Office 365 for education is not available.


BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services

Q. What are BlackBerry Business Cloud Services from RIM?
A.

Microsoft and Research in Motion (RIM) announced in March 2011 that by the end of 2011 RIM will provide a hosted BlackBerry service for Office 365 customers, known as BlackBerry Business Cloud Services. A public beta is expected to be available in early October.

Blackberry Business Cloud Services will provide BlackBerry users with email, calendar, PIM, and additional capabilities.

Q. Who is the service available to?
A.

BlackBerry Business Cloud Services will be available to Office 365 customers with both an Exchange Online Enterprise subscription and a BlackBerry Enterprise data plan from their mobile operator.

RIM and Microsoft are working together on a plan to transition existing customers of BPOS and Microsoft Hosted BES Services to the new services from RIM once they are available.

Q. Can I use my BlackBerry with Office 365 prior to RIM’s service availability?
A.

Until general availability of the BlackBerry Business Cloud Services, BlackBerry smartphone users can use the BlackBerry Internet Service connection to obtain email over the air, and do a wired sync for calendar and contacts. As well, customers with on-premises Exchange and BES can use rich coexistence with Office 365 to enable BlackBerry device users on-premises.

Q. Where I can find more details and updates on the services?
A.

RIM and Microsoft will provide updates with more information about the services and availability through the year.

For more details please refer to:



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