The Ultimate Office 365 FAQ

Building a business around Office 365 means that you have to be constantly on your toes. The service and applications constantly change and evolve. That means our product knowledge has to as well.

In fact, in the year leading up to August 2015 there were over 450 updates to Office 365. We’ve built this page for our own sanity and those trying to find answers to questions about the service.

This page concentrates on the Business and Enterprise versions of Office 365 and not the Personal, Home or for Nonprofit versions.

Last updated: 22 April 2016

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is Microsoft’s software as a service subscription offering that encompasses a number of it’s personal productivity, communication and collaboration tools. The simplest way of looking at it is as a way of paying for Microsoft Office on a month to month (or year to year) basis; along with a number of subscription services that make the software more useful e.g. services that replace your Exchange Server, File Server and Lync Server (if you have one). It’s quite a broad topic so you can find more about it on our dedicated What is Office 365 page.

Office 365 can be purchased in a number of ways and you can find out more on our Office 365 Plans page.

Does Office 365 Work Offline?

Yes and no.

Desktop: If you have loaded Office Professional Plus on the PC you’ll have access to these applications when offline. If you’ve cached your documents in OneDrive for Business (both SharePoint and OneDrive for Business files) then you’ll be able to access and edit these on the move. Changes will upload when you next go online.

NB: Office Professional Plus will try to re-activate periodically. If it has not successfully done so within a 30 day period then you may end up with a restricted version of the software.

Web Browser: All the Web Apps e.g. Word Online, Excel Online, etc… won’t work offline since they are loaded into the browser editing online documents. So no internet connection; no access to files or indeed editing files.

The only exception to this is Outlook Web App where you can set it to work in Offline Mode in Settings –> General –> Offline Settings:

Outlook-Web-App-Offline-Settings

With these settings you’ll be able to compose and reply to e-mails within the browser to be sent next time you’re online.

Mobile Devices: With your mobile applications e.g. Word for iPad or Office for Android; you’ll have access to the applications themselves as well as the data; assuming you’ve saved them somewhere on the device or with synching software.

Does Office 365 include Visio?

No it doesn’t; though it can be added to your subscription – currently for 8.10 GBP + VAT / month.

Visio-Subscription

Does Office 365 have Access?

Again this is a yes and no answer. If you purchase an Office 365 Business or Office 365 Business Premium subscription then it does not:

Office-365-Business-Premium

However, if you purchase an Office 365 E3, E4 or Office 365 ProPlus subscription then it does include Microsoft Access:

Office-365-E3

You can find out more on our What is the difference between Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus page.

It should also be noted that if you purchase a Office 365 ProPlus subscription and install it on an Apple Mac in OSX mode then you won’t get Access either.

Does Office 365 work on an Apple Mac?

Yes it does. Extremely well since the last update to Office for Mac 2016 (release July 2015). Prior to that it was a pretty hit and miss experience.

The user interface has involved significantly and the integration with SharePoint and OneDrive for Business is much improved over the prior Office for Mac 2011 version of the software.

As with all applications within Office 365 it is constantly evolving with releases of new features scheduled quarterly.

Office-for-Mac-2016

Does Office 365 have SharePoint?

This depends on which version of Office 365 you are purchasing. If you are simply purchasing an Office 365 Business or an Office 365 ProPlus subscription then you’ll only get the desktop version of Microsoft Office. If you only buy standalone services such as Exchange Online Plan 1 (or Plan 2) or Skype for Business then you also won’t get SharePoint Online. All other Office 365 plans include SharePoint Online.

Note that you can also buy SharePoint Online separately for 3.10 GBP + VAT / month:

SharePoint-Online

Does Office 365 work on an iPad?

Yes, absolutely. And it’s becoming a better experience all the time. Microsoft has released stand alone versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the iPad. Of course to fully use these applications you’ll need to have a full license to the desktop versions of the software as well.

iPad-Apps

In our opinion the best app is probably Outlook for iPad (doesn’t require a desktop subscription) since you can do more with it than on the standard iOS mail client. You can also configure most of your other (non Office 365) e-mail accounts on it as well.

Another Microsoft app is OneNote (which does not require a desktop subscription) and is also a free download for Mac OSX and Windows.

In order to access your files you can do so through Dropbox or OneDrive for Business (or even personal OneDrive) and save straight to them.

All in all a good experience with the downloadable app.

If you don’t want to install these apps (or have the license) then you can use the standard iOS mail, calendar and contact apps as long as your Office 365 service is set up correctly.

Does Office 365 have Publisher?

Yes. As long as you are purchasing either an Office 365 Business or Business Premium license

Office-365-Business-Premium

Or an Enterprise license that include Office Professional Plus such as Office 365 E3

Office-365-E3

Otherwise no.

Also please note that if you’re using an Apple Mac in OSX mode; then you won’t be able to install Publisher.

Does Office 365 work on a Surface Pro?

Yes, though you’ll still need to purchase a subscription. The Surface Pro runs a full versions of either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 so consider it the same as any other Windows laptop

Does Office 365 work on a Chromebook?

Yes, though only through a web browser. Assuming you have the correct type of license you’ll be able to access your e-mail through the Outlook Web App and edit documents through SharePoint Online using the Word / Excel / PowerPoint Web Apps.

Does Office 365 include web hosting?

No, though you can host individual files and directories within OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online.

There used to be a Public Website function which had a Content Management System attached to it, but it wasn’t very good and was recently phased out.

To be clear, you can’t host a website in Office 365.

Does Office 365 include Outlook?

It depends on if you have bought a plan containing Office 365 ProPlus e.g. Office 365 Business, Business Professional or E3 or E4. If so then yes.

Otherwise if you have an plan containing Exchange Online (without an associated desktop application) then you’ll be able to check your e-mail on a web browser on a desktop. You’ll also be able to configure the mailbox on your iOS or Android device using their native apps or through the mobile Outlook versions.

Does Office 365 Come with Skype for Business Online (Lync Online)?

This depends on which version of Office 365 you are purchasing. If you are simply purchasing an Office 365 Business or an Office 365 ProPlus subscription then you’ll only get the desktop version of Microsoft Office. If you only buy standalone services such as Exchange Online Plan 1 (or Plan 2) or SharePoint Online then you also won’t get Skype for Business. Most other Office 365 plans will get you Skype for Business Online included.

Note that you can also buy Skype for Business separately for 1.30 GBP + VAT / month:

Skype-For-Business