When you buy a subscription to Office 365, you get client applications to download and run on your computer, along with various web applications running in your browser. So, which applications do you get by default and how do you get access to them?
When you subscribe to Office 365, you can download the desktop versions of all the usual Office apps that you know of and perhaps (perhaps) love words, Excel, and so on. You also get access to the online versions of these apps and as long as you store your documents in OneDrive, you can move quite smoothly between your desktop and online versions. In addition to all that, you get access to several applications online. It's less confusing than it sounds, but let's break it down.
Note! The apps described here come with Office 365 (also known as O365 ) writing. Microsoft can ̵
Traditional Desktop Client Apps You Can Download
Office 365 gives you access to the same desktop apps you are familiar with. In fact, with an Office 365 subscription (unlike the standalone permanent license), you can install these desktop apps on multiple computers, even on both Windows and MacOS.
With your Office 365 subscription, you get the following desktop applications when you download the default office suite:
- Outlook: Microsoft's Deserved Email Client
- Words: Powerful Word Processing
- Excel: For Spreadsheets and Data Analysis
- PowerPoint: For Slideshow Presentations
- OneDrive: While OneDrive itself is free, an Office 365 subscription contains an additional TB of cloud storage
- OneNote: A listing app where we
- For VOIP and video calls
- Publisher: A simple desktop publishing app
- Access: For simple database creation and management  If you have used Office before you are familiar with the Most of these programs, even if you haven't used any of them.
New Web Applications You Can Access
For anyone new to Office 365, you may not be familiar with the web applications that come with your subscription. Some of them are available for free use, even without an Office 365 subscription, but some require subscription. We note which ones are listed below.
But just because there are free versions does not mean that they work the same as when you use them as part of an Office 365 subscription. While the functionality is usually the same, the O365 programs are tightly bound, giving you better inter-app options and synchronization.
These web apps also use OneDrive for storage, which means that everything you create or edit is automatically saved in your OneDrive. This means that you can use Office 365 anywhere in the world from any computer with a web browser and access all your OneDrive files. When you return to your computer, all files you created or edited will be synchronized in OneDrive.
When you open Office 365 online, all apps are available from the app launcher (the nine-point button at the top left of any Office 365 online app).
Depending on the app you are using, you will either see a list of apps …
… or a tile.
Regardless, it is the same list of apps and here is what they do:
- Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote: These are online versions of the familiar desktop apps. They are pretty stylish, but not as powerful as their desktop engines. We have a decline in the differences if you are interested.
- Outlook: The online version of Outlook is actually Outlook.com, and it is quite different from the desktop version. For one thing, the People, Calendar and Tasks feature in the desktop client is broken into separate online apps (see below).
- People: Contact Manager who comes as part of Outlook on the client application, but
- Calendar: Calendar functionality that comes as part of Outlook on client app, but is a separate online app.
- Tasks: Features that come as part of Outlook on client app, but are a separate online app. This one is only available in Office 365 and not in the free online office apps.
- Sway: Online presentations intended to tell history through a rolling story rather than individual images.
- Skype: Phone and video calls that come with Windows 10. There is a "desktop version" that you can download, which contains more functionality then built-in version, and if it sounds complicated it is. We've written up the differences for you, so you don't have to do it yourself.
- Flow: A trigger-based workflow system, available only if you purchased an Office 365 subscription or standalone flow subscription.
- Forms: Create questionnaires, quizzes, surveys and questionnaires easily and quickly. Only available if you have purchased an Office 365 subscription.
- Bing: A link that takes you to Microsoft's search engine in a new tab.
- MSN: Remember when portals were a big thing? Have you ever used them now? No, we don't. But
- Office: A link to the Office homepage where you can open other apps and view or edit files you have opened with any Office 365 app.
If you have associated your Office 365 subscription with a domain (that is, you purchased email functionality for a domain you own), you also get an administrative board that allows you to manage users, groups, security, and compliance, and various other things. However, if you have only purchased the subscription to use the Office tools, you do not need the administrator tools, and you will not have access to them.
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