Microsoft 365: What is Microsoft 365?

Written by Andy Irvine
Here's why Microsoft 365 is still the market leader in Modern Worplace cloud applications and how you may be missing out.
Microsoft 365: What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 was developed from the former Office 365, building on top of the SaaS (Software as a Service) solution to provide more collaborative features, better built-in security and enable stronger productivity across your business. Hold video meetings, connect from any device and location, all whilst easily sharing updated documents necessary for your business operations.  


There are many different packages to choose from to make your journey to fully stacked with Microsoft 365 easy and suited to your needs. Read more about which Microsoft 365 package could be right for you. 


In this handy guide to Microsoft 365 we’ll dive into why Microsoft is still the market leader in Modern Workplace cloud applications.  


A Brief History of Microsoft 365 

Microsoft 365 was launched by Microsoft back in 2011 as Office 365. Their intention with Office 365 was to create a cloud-first alternative to their individual applications, and from its success, Microsoft 365 was born.  


As of August 2022 Microsoft’s total global share of the SaaS cloud computing market reached 8.7%, the largest software company in the world by sales revenue. It’s no surprise that Microsoft 365’s share of productivity software market in 2022 is dominating an astounding 48.08% of the global market, and why there are more than a million companies globally using Microsoft 365 today, and nearly 250 million monthly active Microsoft Teams users.  


The COVID-19 pandemic that saw the global workforce go remote – Tony’s Chocoloney had already begun its journey to the cloud before it migrated over to Microsoft, but adopting Microsoft 365 enabled them to expand their social projects. Stephanie Iller Drachman: US Special Projects at Tony’s Chocolonely commended Microsoft 365 for its swift integration: 


“We spend time on Teams having important conversations, figuring out new ways that Tony’s can show up and share something sweet at the same time we educate people about important issues” 


For more information on this and other case studies, follow along here. 


What is it used for? 

Because it merges traditional, household named applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint with connectivity tools like SharePoint, Teams and Outlook, it’s used to integrate teams across the globe who would otherwise find it difficult to do business remotely.  


On top of helping businesses become remote, Microsoft 365 leads the way in boosting business productivity to help teams achieve more with and work more creatively. Automated saving reduces the risk of losing work, and shared versions of documents can be shared over Teams to limit duplicates. For larger teams, SharePoint can be a great way of bringing all your workforce together, updating documents in real-time for everyone – and connect everything via email and calendar. 


How does it work? 

Being productive from anywhere means that your software has no fixed premises. That is, unlike storing Microsoft 365 on every individual device (known as on-premise software), it’s accessible through a Microsoft login. It’s a centralised, cloud-based solution that’s hosted in the Microsoft cloud. 


The SaaS subscription model works by charging a fixed monthly fee per user. For Microsoft 365, administrators can assign licenses to individual users. For example, purchasing the Microsoft E5 subscription with 100 licences enables you to distribute Microsoft 365 among 100 users. For information about how Microsoft 365 could work for your business, read more here. 


Microsoft provides a financially backed 99.9% application uptime guarantee for Microsoft 365 users. And it also comes with its own security benefits no less, with Microsoft’s state-of-the-art security infrastructure and processes which allow for this guarantee to place with such confidence.  


What Security Features are Included in Microsoft 365? 


1. Identity and Access Management 

Enforce role-based access levels to mitigate against suspicious login attempts and protect company resources. Limiting all-access passes to IT administrators, they can assign different access levels to staff based on what resources they require.  


2. Threat Protection 

Identify threats to your team early with integrated, automated security solutions that secure your email, data and applications. Detect and act against threats before they cause damage and prevent future attacks.  


3. Information Protection 

Locate, organise and protect your team’s sensitive information across the cloud, your apps and endpoints. Microsoft Information Governance (MIG) helps you stay GDPR compliant by supporting your team’s information lifecycle and records.  



Business has never been more seamless than with Microsoft 365, because you can sign in from any device. Wherever you are, whether you’re on your work phone, laptop or tablet, you can pick up exactly where you left off, because your files are stored in the cloud.  


You could be working on a document on your phone in the taxi to an important meeting, open your laptop when you’re in the meeting, and find that your edits have synced automatically.  


While you can access Microsoft 365 from both PC and MAC OS, features and how to access these can differ. 


Microsoft 365 for PC 

You can use Microsoft 365 apps with Windows 11 or later versions. The interface will change on apps opened up in Windows to support the operating system’s own interface. You don’t have to purchase a specific license for PC, as the cloud-based application operates in the cloud. PC does however have stronger security features and management tools to protect your company data more effectively. This is only available on the Microsoft 365 Business Premium bundle, which you can see in more detail below.  


Microsoft 365 for MAC 

What’s different about using Microsoft 365? Feature compatibility may be the only issue facing MAC users as Microsoft 365 for PC sees more over time. You could however argue that these feature updates won’t stop you using the solution in the way that PC users do. Currently, there are more options for securing PC over MAC, so this may sway your decision.  


The Features Included in Microsoft 365 

Microsoft 365 includes the newest version of Office 365, including productivity applications such as: 

  • Word  
  • Excel 
  • PowerPoint 

And combines these with collaboration and sharing tools like: 

  • Outlook 
  • Teams 
  • SharePoint 
  • Onedrive 
  • Onenote 
  • To Do 


It also adds in best in-class security features to keep your data protected and safely flowing between your teams, without damage or threat from external attacks.  


Prices start at £4.50 user/month ex. VAT with Microsoft Business Basic which includes: 

  • Teamwork and collaboration 
  • Web and mobile versions of Office apps 
  • Email and calendaring 
  • File storage and sharing 
  • Security and compliance 
  • Support and deployment 
  • Tools to build and manage your business 


The next package up is the Microsoft 365 Business Standard which is £9.40 user/month ex. VAT, and this includes all the above solutions as well as: 

  • Desktop versions of Office apps for PC and MAC 


The most inclusive package is the Microsoft 365 Business Premium at £16.50 user/month ex. VAT which includes all of the above plus: 

  • Advanced threat protection 
  • PC and mobile device management 




Do you Need Microsoft 365 to use Word, Excel and other Products? 

No. You can still buy the standalone versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. As a business you can do a one-time purchase and get access to Office apps, but you’re missing the collaborative and security features that makes Microsoft 365 so accessible. They can also only be purchased for one device at a time. 




Getting Set up  

Getting started on Microsoft 365 is simple – download and installation instructions differ slightly depending on whether you use a MAC or PC, but you must ensure that any previous versions of Office 365 have been uninstalled. You can set this up centrally, so your users can simply login online and download.  


At Boldfield, businesses across the UK have entrusted us with installing Microsoft 365 across their workforce. Enlist Boldfield to introduce you properly to this expectionally powerful Microsoft service.  



Halting your Microsoft 365 is just as simple. 

  1. Navigate to the Services & Subscriptions page and sign in using your Microsoft account (the one you used to purchase your subscription).  
  2. Identify the subscription you wish to cancel and select Manage
  3. Depending on your subscription type, select Cancel, or Upgrade. 
  4. Make sure to scroll through and follow the instructions on the page to proceed with cancellation.  


For more detail on this, contact one of the sales specialists at Boldfield

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