Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Office 365 FAQs – Everything you wanted to know about Microsoft Office 365 beta



Q: What is Office 365?
A: Microsoft Office 365 delivers the power of cloud productivity to businesses of all sizes, helping to save time and money and free up valuable resources. Office 365 combines the familiar Microsoft Office desktop suite with online versions of our next-generation communications and collaboration services:Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online. Office 365 services are easy to administer and simple to use—with the robust security, reliability, and control you need to run your business.

Q:  Why do I need Office 365?
A: In today’s competitive global market, businesses of all sizes need technology that enables flexibility and cost-effectively adds value to their organization.  Cloud-based services provide a way to meet these objectives. They deliver feature-rich productivity tools to users while helping to relieve the burden of managing and maintaining business systems—freeing up IT departments and businesses to focus on initiatives that can deliver true competitive advantage.

Q: What services and tools are included in Office 365?
A: Microsoft Office 365 includes: Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and the latest version of Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop suite.


Office 365 offerings and versions

Q:  Do you have a service plan for small businesses and professionals?
A:  Yes.  Office 365 provides a set of professional web-enabled productivity tools designed specifically for smaller businesses and professionals who do not have large IT needs. That’s why we made it easy to try, simple to learn, and straightforward to use.  Designed for organizations with less than 25 people, it’s free for the first 30 days and then just $6 per user per month. Learn more here.

Q:  How will Office Live Small Business customers be impacted by Office 365?
A:  Office 365 for small businesses will replace Office Live Small Business as the premier productivity service for small businesses. The Office Live Small Business service will continue to run as it does today through at least October 2011. As a valued Office Live Small Business customer, you will be offered 3 months free of the Office 365 service should you choose to transition your account to Office 365.  Nothing will change for Office Live Small Business customers now.  Please continue to use Office Live Small Business and we will notify you based on your decision to continue usage of our service when your account is ready to be transitioned, likely in the second half of 2011.  Click HERE for more information on Office 365 and Office Live Small Business.

Q:  What are your Office 365 service plans for enterprises?
A: Office 365 for enterprises is the best solution for organizations that are looking to move to the cloud, while staying in control of their IT services. We have a variety of plans to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes and varying IT needs. Priced from $2 - $28 per month per user, each plan has the same 99.9% uptime guarantee and includes the security and support you expect from Microsoft. Learn more here.

Q: What is the Office 365 for kiosk offering?
A: Many enterprise and medium-sized organizations have employees who spend most of their time away from a computer or in many cases multiple employees sharing a single computer—sometimes called kiosk workers. Getting kiosk workers access to email and helping them stay connected to the broader organization is still important. Office 365 has several subscription plans that offer value and flexibility for companies with kiosk workers, starting at just $4 per month per user. Kiosk plans can be combined with our Office 365 for enterprises plans for greater IT control and efficiency. See Office 365 for enterprises for more information.

Q: Is there a government offering for Office 365?
A: Office 365 for enterprises works well for most federal, state and local governments.  However, we recognize that some government organizations have additional regulatory needs.  Read more about the current offering for government organizations in the United States.


BPOS customers

Q:  As a BPOS customer, what does Office 365 mean for me?
A: Office 365 is the introduction of new productivity online services and capabilities. It provides new online platform capabilities related to the introduction of the latest underlying 2010 server software into Microsoft Online Services datacenters.  Please visit the Microsoft Office 365 transition center to learn more about how Office 365 will impact BPOS customers.


Purchase information

Q:  When can I purchase Office 365?
A:  Office 365 will be available for purchase in early 2011. Enterprise customers can contact a Microsoft sales representative or Microsoft partner directly for purchase details, or click HERE for information about volume licensing.


Office 365 Beta

Q:  Why should I sign up for the Office 365 beta program?
A: Microsoft uses a limited beta release to test services with real-world users before releasing them broadly. By signing up to participate in the beta program, it is an excellent unique opportunity to get an early peek into the new service offering, and you can help us build a better product by providing feedback. Because this beta program is limited, not everyone who signs up will be able to participate.

Q: Which countries/regions are able to participate in the Office 365 beta program?
A: There are 13 countries/regions eligible to participate in the limited beta release. These countries/regions include: Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. However, we encourage all markets to stay up-to-date on Office 365 through this site, the Office 365 blog, and Facebook and Twitter

Q: What languages will be offered in the Office 365 beta release?
A:  The limited beta release will be offered in following languages: Chinese (traditional), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

Q:  What Beta programs are being offered?
A: There are two different limited betas for Office 365.  Office 365 for small businesses and professionals is ideal for organizations that have 25 or fewer employees and no IT support. Office 365 for enterprises is ideal for larger, IT-based organizations.

Q:  Does everyone who signs up get access into the beta?
A:  While we will do our best to accommodate all interested and eligible parties, we have a limited number of beta spots available.

Q:  How do I sign up for the Office 365 beta?
A: Click the 'Sign Up' button to join the list of potential beta testers. You will be asked to provide your name and a valid email address so we can contact you when there is availability in the limited beta.

Q: What happens after I sign up?
A: You will receive notification from Microsoft that you are on the list for potential Beta service testers. If a Beta spot becomes available, we will contact you and provide instructions to complete your registration for the limited Beta.

Q:  What happens if I don’t get access to the Office 365 beta?
A: If a beta spot does not become available, we will keep you up-to-date with a monthly communication on the latest news and developments from the Office 365 beta team prior to general availability.

Q: What happens at the end of the Office 365 beta?
A: The limited beta program will end 30 days after Office 365 general availability. Then participants may choose whether or not to continue with the service as a paid offering.



Q: What are the system requirements for Office 365?
A: Office 365 will have new system requirements that customers and partners should note. Those requirements are as follows:
Operating System Requirements
Windows XP SP3 with RPC over HTTP update
Windows XP Home is supported but will not support federated identity
Windows Media Center edition is supported but will not support federated identity
Windows Vista SP2
Windows 7
Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

Office Client Requirements
Office 2007 SP2 or Office 2010*
Office 2008 for Mac and Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition
.NET Framework 2.0 or later
Microsoft Lync 2010
Mac Messenger 9

Browser Requirements — Administration Center and My Company Portal
Internet Explorer 8 is required for Windows XP
Internet Explorer 7 or above for Windows Vista and Windows 7
Firefox 3.x
Safari 4.x

Browser Requirements — Outlook Web App
Internet Explorer 7 or above
Firefox 3 or higher
Safari 3 or higher on Macintosh OS X 10.5
Chrome 3 and later versions

Browser Requirements —Outlook Web App Light**
Internet Explorer 5.5+
Firefox 2+
Safari 3+

** OWA Light is designed to optimize the OWA experience for slower connections and alternative web browsers. For more information about the differences between OWA Premium and OWA Light, see TechNet: Client Features in Outlook Web Access

Q:  Office Communicator 2007 R2 is my standard currently.  How do I continue to use Communicator with Microsoft Office 365?
A: Office Communications Online is replaced by Microsoft Lync Online in Office 365. Microsoft Lync 2010 will be required with Lync Online.



Q: I am a Microsoft partner, what does Office 365 mean to me?
A: Please visit our Partner page for more information on how to get involved today.


Q:  Will Microsoft continue to update me about Office 365?   What should I expect?
A: Yes. Stay tuned to this site, the Office 365 blog, and Facebook  and Twitter.


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