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.
Note: 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.