What is Microsoft 365? | Get started with Microsoft 365

What is Microsoft 365? | Get started with Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a subscription based productivity suite from Microsoft. On 21st April 2020, Microsoft renamed it’s productivity suite Office 365 to Microsoft 365. From this date onwards every email regarding subscription, billing etc. will come with Microsoft 365 Branding on it.


If you talk from a developer point of view then Microsoft will have two development opportunities in future:

  1. Microsoft 365 : Development in Office 365 (which is renamed to Microsoft 365), Windows 10 and SharePoint
  2. Microsoft Azure : Development in Microsoft Azure
I will write a detailed article on what you need to know to be a Microsoft 365 developer. For now lets focus on What is Microsoft 365?
Every enterprise small, medium or large always needs office products like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email etc. for their day to day work. Now people are becoming more and more mobile everyday and this triggered Microsoft to come up with a solution where users can access their files, emails, etc. on the go.
In the market, there are other productivity suite also like GSuite from Google cloud. But Microsoft is leader in this area and all other products from other companies are compared with Microsoft 365 productivity suite. So Microsoft 365 is becoming de facto standard now days.

What you will learn in this article?

  • What is Microsoft 365 ?
  • What is difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365?
  • What are Minimum hardware and software requirements of Microsoft 365?
  • What plans are available for Microsoft 365?
  • What are steps to get started with Microsoft 365?

So lets start with the first question: What is Microsoft 365?


What is Microsoft 365 ?

Microsoft 365 is a subscription based productivity suite which provides a set of products and services to the users to improve productivity in Modern way. Because of the fact that Microsoft 365 is a cloud based service, new products are added and also what product you will get in subscription depends on what type of subscription you or your company have purchased.
Lets have a look on the some of the products below.
Apps in Microsoft 365
As an administrator of subscription, you can add or purchase more apps for example
Here by clicking on Add-ins, you can go to Microsoft store and purchase more developed by either Microsoft or other organizations. 
Lets have a look on some of the apps provided by Microsoft 365
Please note that which app will be available depends on your subscription, some apps might not be available in your subscription. We will see “what Microsoft 365 plans are available” in next section. For now let’s see what are some important apps and what are they used for
  • Booking :  Booking offers your customers to schedule appointment with your business. It also offers customizable webpage to your customers. it also have dedicated calendar for booking and a mobile which you can use on the go to manage your bookings.
  • Delve : Delve is used to manage user profiles in the organization. If you have worked in SharePoint then it is like my site.
  • Excel : Excel online which can used for spreadsheet related work.
  • Forms: Microsoft forms can be used to create forms like survey form etc.
  • Kaizala: Microsoft Kaizala is a secure messaging and work management app. It lets you collaborate with others in and outside of your organization. Using this you can send /receive instant messages , submit invoices etc 
  • My Analytics: With My Analytics you can analyses your time to see where you are investing most time what is your wellbeing etc.
  • One Drive: One drive is used to store personal files. These files can be shared with others if needed.
  • OneNote: OneNote allows users to take notes on any device on the go and then access on any other devices.
  • Outlook : It is mail client and used to send and receive emails. 
  • People : In the people app you can manage your contacts, groups, rooms etc.
  • Planner: Planner is used to planning tasks. You can create tasks , team can work on them and move to in progress , completed etc.
  • Power Apps: Microsoft Apps is becoming very popular now days. It can used to create business apps in mobile without knowing how to develop mobile app. It is for power developer. It can also be used to develop forms in SharePoint lists / library.
  • Power Automate: Power Automate is like workflows which work between different apps in Microsoft 365 and can be used to automate business processes
  • Power BI : Power BI is used for reporting purpose. It can be used to create nice looking charts/ dashboards  for business purposes
  • PowerPoint: PowerPoint  can be used to create presentations on the go. Please note that there is power point online also.
  • SharePoint : You will have SharePoint online where you can build intranet, and collaboration with people in your organization.It can be used to create sites designed for team / organization or division in side your organization.
  • Sway : Sway is used to create nice looking Reports, presentations ,News letters , stories etc. Sway  makes it easy to create and share interactive reports, personal stories, presentations, and more.
  • Teams : Teams is used to for collaboration with a team. It has a chat based interface and it integrates people, content, workspace and tools into a single platform. You can create a team, do chat /call with your team members , and integrate other applications in the teams. 
  • Stream : Microsoft Stream is can be used as a video portal in your organization. It has groups/ channels where you can add your videos. It has some nice features like it can translate your videos to text and show subtitle etc. 
  • To Do : To Do is an application that integrates with rest of Microsoft 365 and you can use it to keep track of what you need to to do
  • Word : Microsoft Word or Microsoft word online is use to create standard documents.

What is difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365?

Microsoft 365 includes everything that office 365 have. But some of the office 365 plans are still available like
  • Office 365 E1
  • Office 365 E3 and
  • Office 365 E5

All other plans are now called Microsoft 365 plans.


What is Minimum hardware and software requirements of Microsoft 365 ?

Minimum hardware and software requirement depend on what kind of device is used to access Microsoft 365. For example PC, Tablet or Mobile. But, in general, below are the hardware and software requirement for Microsoft 365.
  • CPU: 1GHz or faster
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Hard drive: 3 GB of available space (6 GB for Mac)
  • Display: 1280 X 800 screen resolution
  • Operating system: PC-Windows 7, 8, or 10. Mac-Mac OS X 10.10
  • Connectivity: Internet connection

What plans are available for Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is available In three categories for home , business and enterprise as given below.
  • Microsoft 365 for home
    • Microsoft 465 personal
    • Microsoft 365 for Family
  • Microsoft 365 for Business
    • Microsoft 365 Business Basic
    • Microsoft 365 Business Standard
    • Microsoft 365 Business Premium
    • Microsoft 365 Apps for business
  • Microsoft 365 for Enterprise
    • Microsoft 365 E3
    • Microsoft 365 E5
    • Microsoft 365 F1
    • Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise
You can find the details of Microsoft 365 home and and business here

What are steps to get started with Microsoft 365?

To start with Microsoft 365 , below are the steps.
  1. First you need to choose a plan from above plans according to your need.
  2. Purchase the subscription
  3. Start using Microsoft 365
  4. You may want to do some customization according to your need in Products like SharePoint , Flow , Power Apps etc. and then you need contact some Microsoft 365 speciliest for that.

Thats all for now.

If this article helped you then do not forget to share it on Linkedin, Facebook, twitter etc to help others.


Thanks for reading.


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About the Author
Mukesh Tiwari
Always ready to learn new technologies, A problem solver, exhibit to do attitude. Having around 10+ years of experience of development and management skills. I believe don't just set random goals but right goals suited for you.
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