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Benefits and Limitations of Office365

Office365, 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, Office 365 offers plans including e-mail and social networking services through hosted versions of Exchange Server, Lync, SharePoint and Office Web Apps, integration with Yammer, as well as access to the Office software.





After a beta test that began in October 2010, Office 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, Office 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.


Microsoft Office 365 Features and Benefits

1: Access from anywhere with Office 365

2: Reliability, Compliance, Compatibility & Security

3: Single sign-on

4: Exchange Online (EXO)

5: Lync Online (LYO)

6: SharePoint Online

7: Office Web Apps


Let’s have a Quick Look


1: Access from anywhere with Office 365

The biggest advantage is you can access your Enterprise Software from Anywhere and can access to emails, documents, contacts, and calendars on any device. You can access the services seamlessly from your desktop, notebook, or mobile phone.

The Software will be on Microsoft Datacenter.


2: Reliability, Compliance, Compatibility & Security

Business-class service including IT admin phone support, with 99.9% uptime guarantee, geo-redundant data centers, disaster recovery, robust security, privacy controls and standards.

Compliance with government and industry regulations is a big deal in today’s business world. Microsoft Office 365 services have been certified as compliant with ISO 27001 standards, completed SAS70 Type I and II audits, and achieved the EU Safe Harbor seal.

Microsoft Online Services supports not only Windows 7 and Vista (SP2), but also Windows XP SP3. Even XP Home edition or Media Center edition can be used, although it doesn’t support federated identity. Mac users can also access the Office 365 applications, using OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

The online Web portal for administration works with Internet Explorer 7 or later, Mozilla Firefox 3.x, or Apple Safari 3.x. The Outlook Web App can also be accessed with any of those browsers or with Google Chrome 3 and later versions.


Now comes to Security Microsoft’s online services have been designed with high security. Office 365 applications are accessed through 128-bit SSL/TSL encryption so that if a transmission is intercepted by someone without authorization, they won’t be able to read it.



Antivirus signatures are kept up to date, and security measures are applied in accordance with the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing initiative. Exchange Online uses Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) to protect mail messages from malware, and it uses anti-spam filtering and antivirus with multiple virus engines.

The Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) is applied to Microsoft Online Services development, deployment, and maintenance. Microsoft monitors the systems continuously for suspicious activity and has a robust incident response protocol in place.


3: Single sign-on

We can configure Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) to achieve single sign-on, so that users can log on to the domain and be automatically authenticated to Office 365.

4: Exchange Online (EXO)

Exchange Online – EXO provides you the benefits of Exchange Server 2010. User Mailboxes up to 25GB and can be reduced based on your requirement.

Attachments up to 25 MB are allowed. Users can restore deleted items, including items deleted from the Deleted Items folder. Even if an item has been permanently deleted or manually purged, it can be recovered if you enable Single Item Recovery (disabled by default). And if you, as administrator, delete a user, you can request that the mailbox be recovered for 30 days after the deletion.

Microsoft has started rolling out Clutter, a feature of Office 365 that uses machine learning to surface important email and sweep away the noise across desktop and mobile clients.

Users connect to Exchange Online via Outlook 2007 or 2010, with such features as Outlook Anywhere (RPC-over-HTTP) and Cached Exchange Mode. With Outlook 2010, you get all the new Exchange 2010 features, such as conversation view, ignore, MailTips, personal archive, protected voicemail, and voicemail preview.

Users can also connect via Outlook Web App if they don’t have the Outlook client installed, over any of the most popular Web browsers. There is a Light version that supports older and alternative browsers.

Mac users can use Microsoft Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition (free update for those who use Entourage 2008). IMAP and POP access are supported, and Exchange Active Sync for mobile devices (Windows phones, Palm devices, iPhone/iPad, and some Android and Nokia devices) is also supported.


5: Lync Online (LYO)

Lync Online – LYO is the communications service component of Office 365. Providing users with instant messaging, audio and video calling between PCs (PC to PSTN calling is in the works but won’t be available at release), Web conferencing, and presence. With the Lync 2010 client software (available at no extra charge), users can send IMs (the text of which is encrypted) and display presence status and monitor presence status of others. Lync integrates with Outlook so users can find and communicate with others from within Outlook (“click to communicate”).

Users can connect to Lync Online directly over the Internet (without having to be on the corporate network via VPN or RAS), but file transfer is not available in that situation. Thanks to the federation feature, users can also IM people in other organizations that use Lync Online or host their own on premise Lync servers.


6: SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online makes collaboration easy. You get 500 MB of storage per user account with a storage quota of up to 100 GB per site collection. Your company can have up to 1 TB total storage. SharePoint sites work with all Microsoft Office 2010 applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, InfoPath, SharePoint Designer, and SharePoint Workspace. Sites can be accessed via IE 7/8, Firefox 3, or Safari 3.1.2 and through mobile devices including Windows Mobile 6.5.x, Windows Phone 7, Apple iPhone 2.0 and above, and Nokia E and N series.


7: Office Web Apps

Microsoft Office Web Apps is part of Office 365, but it doesn’t take the place of the full-featured Office applications; it supplements them. For sophisticated document creation and manipulation, you need a rich local application. But there are times when you’re away from your Office-equipped computer and need to do a quick edit. That’s where Web Apps come in. No matter where you are or what computer you’re using, you have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and you can create or edit content and post it to your SharePoint site or save it in your SkyDrive folder.


Microsoft Office 365 Limitations


Relying on network and bandwidth. If your Internet provider goes down, then you haven’t any access to your enterprise software and data. Microsoft does not control how you access the Internet and, therefore, cannot account for any failures.

Having data controlled by someone other than your employees. Your data is hosted in Microsoft’s data center.

Moving to Office365 will initially dismiss any previously assigned calendar viewing permissions.  Users will be required to reestablish non-default calendar permissions.  The default is for everyone to view “free-busy” information without details

Some mail clients and mobile devices will require initial reconfiguration

Security and Privacy risks must be assessed and the service must be used responsibly avoiding the use of the service with sensitive data, and/or protecting the data with encryption and/or other controls.


Retention Policy

Office 365 also has limits on the number of recipients that can be sent email in a 24-hour period, which is 10,000 addresses in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields of all messages sent in that 24-hour period.  Each message may be sent to a maximum of 500 recipients.  Distribution lists count as 1 recipient, and can be easily used as a work around to this limitation.  Other options would include the use of a listserv, or using a shared mailbox that is housed on-premise to send bulk/mass emails.

For more information on Bulk E-mail, please see Microsoft’s Outlook 365 help site.


Deleted Items are kept for a maximum of 30 days in the Deleted Item folder; this is not a change from our current policy. Deleted Item recovery is set to 14 days in Office 365, as opposed to our current local setting of 30 days. Once an item is deleted, and the recovery period has expired, there is no way to retrieve that item. A fee-based license is available that would provide the ability to retain deleted items indefinitely, using the “legal hold” feature.

Public folders are supported now in Office 365, however they are not visible using the Outlook Web Access (OWA).


*When sending email using the web application, Outlook Web Access (OWA), the message size limit is 10 MB.


Few Points Taken from University of Florida – Information Technology and Wikipedia


Praveen Kumar

MCTS, MCITP | Exchange Server

Publisher @ Techrid.com


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