What is Office 365?
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For small and midsize businesses
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Office 365 for Nonprofits FAQ
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"Office 365" refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services), such as Lync web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business, and additional online storage with OneDrive and Skype world minutes for home.
Many Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of the latest Office applications, which users can install across multiple computers and devices. The Office 365 plans that are online-only are a great choice for certain business needs, and they are compatible with desktop versions of the latest version of Office, Office 2010, Office 2007 (with slightly limited functionality), Office 2011 for Mac, and Office 2008 for Mac.
All Office 365 plans are paid for on a subscription basis, monthly or annually.
"Microsoft Office" is the name we still use for our familiar productivity software. Office suites have traditionally included applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. All the new Office suites (for example, Office Standard 2013) include the latest versions of these applications. These suites can be installed on only one PC and do not come with any cloud-based services included in Office 365.
Office 365 works best with the latest version of Office, Office 2010, and Office 2011 for Mac.
Office 365 works with slightly limited functionality with Office 2007. If you have an earlier
edition of Office, you will need to update to a newer version of Office in order to use Office
365; or you can subscribe to one of the many Office 365 plans that include the latest version of
Office. In addition to getting the latest version of Office as part of your subscription,
you will also get automatic updates, so your Office will always be up to date.
Internet access is required to install and activate all Office 365 plans and to manage your subscription account. Internet connectivity is also required to access Office 365 cloud productivity services, including email, conferencing, IT management, and other services.
Many Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of Office, for example, Office 365 Small Business Premium and Office 365 Enterprise E3. One of the benefits of having the desktop version of Office applications is that you can work offline and have the confidence that the next time you connect to the Internet all your work will automatically sync, so you never have to worry about your documents being up to date. Your desktop version of Office is also automatically kept up to date and upgraded when you connect to the Internet, so you always have the latest tools to help you work.
"The cloud" is a friendly way of describing web-based computing services that are hosted outside of your organization. When you use cloud-based services, your IT infrastructure resides off your property (off-premises), and is maintained by a third party (hosted), instead of residing on a server at your home or business (on-premises) that you maintain. With Office 365, for example, information storage, computation, and software are located and managed remotely on servers owned by Microsoft. Many services you use every day are a part of the cloud—everything from web-based email to mobile banking and online photo storage. Because this infrastructure is located online or "in the cloud," you can access it virtually anywhere, from a PC, tablet, smartphone, or other device with an Internet connection.
Office 365 is highly scalable and can support everything from a one-person business to companies with tens of thousands of users.
Office 365 small business plans are best for companies with up to 10 employees, and can accommodate up to 25 users.
Office 365 Midsize Business is best for companies with 11 to 250 employees, and can accommodate up to 300 users.
Office 365 enterprise plans fit organizations ranging in size from a single employee to 50,000-plus users.
Office provides the following apps:
Office for iPad: View, create and edit documents with touch-friendly Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps. You can count on Office for iPad to keep your content and formatting intact so the document looks great when you’re back on your PC or Mac. In Word, add comments or track changes while you work together with others. Review and update Excel spreadsheets and easily add formulas or charts. Make changes to PowerPoint presentations and project them wirelessly on a big screen.
You can view documents for free with Office for iPad. Editing and creating documents requires an eligible Office 365 subscription: Office 365 Home, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Enterprise and Government E3 and E4, Office 365 for Government G3 and G4, Office 365 Education A3 and A4, Office 365 ProPlus, or Office 365 University.
Office Mobile: Office Mobile is preinstalled on Windows Phone 8 and is available for select models of iPhone and Android phones. Office Mobile offers great Office content viewing and on-the-go content editing capabilities. And you can count on Office Mobile to keep your content and formatting intact so the document still looks great when you’re back on your PC or Mac. Office Mobile for iPhone and Android phones can be used for free for non-commercial use, simply download the app from the store on your phone.
In order to edit or create documents or to access documents stored in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business on premises, you must have a qualifying Office 365 plan: Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Enterprise and Government E3 and E4, Office 365 for Government G3 and G4, Office 365 Education A3 and A4, Office 365 ProPlus, and Office 365 University.
Outlook Mobile: Windows Phone 8 includes a pre-installed version of Outlook that you can use to access your Outlook.com, Office 365, or Exchange email.
OneNote: You can use the mobile OneNote app to access your notes while on the go. This app is available on Windows Phone 8, iPhone, iPad, and Android phones.
Lync Mobile: If your organization uses the newest version of Lync, you can use the mobile Lync app to stay connected while on your mobile device. This app is available on Windows Phone 8, iPhone, iPad, and Android phones.
OWA: If you have an Office 365 subscription that includes Exchange Online, you can use the OWA app to sort, scan, and respond to email, and stay on top of your schedule. This app is available on iPhone and iPad.
SharePoint Newsfeed: If your organization uses the newest version of SharePoint, you can use the SharePoint Newsfeed app to access your newsfeed from your mobile device. This app is available on Windows Phone 8, iPhone, and iPad.
Office 365 is offered in a number of countries/regions and languages. If your country's/region's name doesn't appear in the list, we have not currently launched a version of Office 365 for your market. We're continuing to launch Office 365 in new markets and will publicly announce when we launch Office 365 in any new market.
The new Office 365 services for business launched on February 27, 2013. After this date we will start enabling our existing
customers to upgrade to the new service, which includes the new client software. Find more details on how and when
the upgrades will happen.
Find more details on how and when the upgrades will happen.
You don't need to install anything in order to use Office 365.
To help you easily connect your desktop version of the latest version of Office, Office 2010, or Office 2007 to Office 365, Microsoft provides Office 365 customers an installable piece of software—called "Office Desktop Setup"—at no charge.
Office Desktop Setup provides many benefits, including:
Automatically detecting necessary updates.
Installing updates and components upon approval or silently from a command line.
Automatically configuring Outlook and Microsoft Lync for use with Microsoft Office 365.
Uninstalling itself from the client computer after running.
You can find and install Office Desktop Setup in your Office 365 administration center.
If your plan includes a subscription to Office, you will also be able to install that directly from the Office 365 administration center.
You can add the domain name you own to Office 365 to create both domain-based email addresses and a public-facing website.
Find your domain registrar or DNS hosting provider. Compare domain management in Office 365 subscriptions.
Yes. If you purchase Office 365 licenses for the accounts you create during your free trial, the information and configuration for these users' accounts will remain intact. Once your free trial expires, you won't be able to continue using Office 365 for free. You will have an additional 30 days to purchase Office 365 before your account information is erased. Once your trial account information has been erased, it cannot be retrieved.
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.
Office 365 for Nonprofits will be available in up to 90 countries by July 2014. To see the full list of countries
launched to date, please visit www.microsoft.com/office365nonprofits.. Scroll down the page and click the Office 365 Availability by Country link.
Designed to help nonprofits and NGOs do more good, this global offering provides eligible customers with
access to Office 365, Microsoft’s best-in-class cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools.
Nonprofits can learn more, check their eligibility, and apply for a donation by visiting www.microsoft.com/office365nonprofits.
Yammer is included in the Nonprofit E1 and E3 offers but not the Nonprofit Small Business and Small Business Premium offers. All of the features and software services included in the Enterprise and Small Business offers are also in the Nonprofit offers, with the exception of dual access rights.
You will not be automatically billed for the Office 365 Enterprise E3 for Nonprofits offer after the free trial expires. If you take no action after your trial expires, you will simply lose access to Office 365, with an additional 30 days to take action before your account information is erased. Customers who have not received a validation decision by the time the free trial expires may call customer support to extend the trial. Once your organization is validated as an eligible nonprofit, you will have the option to reassign your users to any of the Office 365 for Nonprofits offers, including the donated E1 and Small Business offers.
Yes, customers interested in any of the nonprofit offers available must sign up for a Nonprofit E3 trial or Small Business Premium trial on Office.com to kick off the validation process. Once validated, a customer will have the option to transition the Nonprofit E3 trial to the Nonprofit E1 offer, or from the Small Business Premium trial to the Nonprofit Small Business offer if desired.
Office 365 Small Business for Nonprofits and Office 365 Small Business Premium for Nonprofits are designed to offer greater value to organizations of up to 25 users by providing a simpler admin and product experience. If your organization will have 25 or fewer users and does not require the advanced functionality in the Enterprise offers, sign up for the Office 365 Small Business Premium for Nonprofits trial. You can transition to the Enterprise offers as your needs grow in the future.
Office 365 Enterprise E1 for Nonprofits and Office 365 Enterprise E3 for Nonprofits are available for an unlimited number of users and include additional benefits specific to medium or large organizations, such as Active Directory integration, Yammer Enterprise, and Compliance. Sign up for the Office 365 Enterprise E3 for Nonprofits trial if your organization will have more than 25 users or will require this advanced functionality. You cannot transition from the Enterprise offers to the Small Business offers.
Some Office 365 plans are not included in the Office 365 for Nonprofits program. Once an organization has a nonprofit tenant, it is not possible to acquire those plans. In the case of standalone plans, however, those features or workloads are usually included in one of the Office 365 for Nonprofits program’s offers, such as the donated Office 365 Enterprise E1 for Nonprofits offer or the discounted Office 365 Enterprise E3 for Nonprofits offer. We may expand the Office 365 for Nonprofits offer in the future but have no plans to do so at this time.
No. A customer that has become eligible for Office 365 for Nonprofits offers can purchase only Office 365 for Nonprofits offers going forward.
Nonprofit customers should use the standard support channel for Office 365.
Eligible organizations: Nonprofits and non-governmental organizations must be recognized as charitable organizations in their respective countries in order to be eligible for Microsoft Nonprofit Programs. Eligible organizations must also operate on a not-for-profit basis and have a mission to benefit the local community, which could include but is not limited to:
To be validated as an eligible nonprofit, you must sign up for the E3 for Nonprofits trial offer or the Nonprofit Small Business Premium trial offer and provide the organization’s basic information to kick start the validation process. Signing up for the trial does not commit you to a paid offer. Eligible organizations must hold recognized charitable status as defined in their countries in order to be eligible. Eligible organizations must operate on a not-for-profit basis and have a mission to benefit the local community. If an organization is not eligible for Office 365 as a donation, it may be eligible for other services depending on its legal status and mission.
Microsoft works with its software donation partner TechSoup Global to determine if a nonprofit fits its broad eligibility requirements. In many cases, the response time is instantaneous once a nonprofit applies for a donation and, in most cases, it shouldn’t take more than three to seven days, provided the nonprofit is responsive to any requests for information. If a nonprofit is required to submit additional information to confirm eligibility, the timing is dependent on several factors, including how quickly that organization can provide the additional information required for validation. Required documentation may include the certification or registration provided the nonprofit’s governing body. For example, in the U.S. we require a copy of the IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter.
Organizations need to be re-evaluated for nonprofit eligibility every two years. We will be defining how this process is enforced and facilitated in the coming months.
Office 365 for Nonprofits is intended primarily for employees of eligible nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit members or beneficiaries are NOT eligible for Office 365 for Nonprofits licensing. Nonprofits may license volunteers that have significant fiduciary or managerial responsibilities for the organization, such as members of the Board of Directors. A volunteer of an eligible nonprofit organization can receive a license for Office 365 ONLY if they meet ALL THREE of the following tests:
Commercial customers wishing to transition to a nonprofit offer should speak with customer support to understand the options available to them and ensure a smooth transition. Users that have commercial licenses that become approved for nonprofit offers will still retain their commercial licenses. However, after they have been approved for nonprofit eligibility, they may purchase only nonprofit offers going forward.
Customers who signed up under the Office 365 for Nonprofits Pilot program do not need to take any action, assuming they activated their subscription prior to the September 10 launch date. If a customer was approved for Office 365 for Nonprofits offers during the Pilot but has not yet activated the subscription, the customer will need to sign up for a new Office 365 Enterprise E3 for Nonprofits Trial on Office.com to restart the validation process. Our vendor managing validation has been given a list of customers that fall into this category so that their validation can be expedited.
Users that have commercial licenses that become approved for nonprofit offers will still retain their commercial licenses. However, after they have been approved for nonprofit eligibility, they may purchase only nonprofit offers going forward.
Customers in this category should now have the Office 365 Enterprise E1 for Nonprofits offer visible to them in their Office 365 admin portals, with the ability to transfer users to the offer from the License Management tab. Religious organizations who have been paying for an Office 365 Enterprise E3 for Nonprofits subscription may be eligible for a credit for the unused portion of the subscription, subject to Microsoft credit policy.