In a movement toward cloud computing, Microsoft began offering the Office 365 software suite on June 28, 2011. Office 365 is a Software as a Service (SaaS) package, providing Microsoft Office applications and data storage options, all hosted by Microsoft. Microsoft provides hosted server products such as Exchange Server, SharePoint Server and Lync Server.
To access Office 365, you must have a Microsoft account.
The Office 365 suite is accessed over the Internet instead of locally on a user's computer. Businesses gain access through a subscription service, paying for either a Professional subscription (25 or fewer employees) or an Enterprise subscription (over 25 employees). An educational plan is also available for school systems and is a replacement for the Office [email protected] service.