Office 365 vs SharePoint
Last updated: July 11, 2017
Microsoft Office 365 is commercial software plus services offering a set of products from Microsoft. Office 365 includes the Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications and hosted versions of Microsoft's Server products (including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync Server), delivered and accessed over the Internet, in effect, the next version of Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).
SharePoint's multi-purpose platform allows for managing and provisioning of intranet portals, extranets and websites, document management and file management, collaboration spaces, social networking tools, enterprise search, business intelligence tooling, process/information integration, and third-party developed solutions. SharePoint can also be used as a web application development platform.
Latest news about Office 365 and SharePoint:
11.07.17. Microsoft adds 5 new services for SMB to Office 365 Business Premium. To tie small businesses deeper into the Office 365 ecosystem Microsoft launched (in preview) five new tools for SMB. Microsoft Connections allows its users to create Mailchimp-like email marketing campaigns. Microsoft Listings allows to manage your business listings on Facebook, Google, Bing and Yelp and monitor online views and reviews. Microsoft Invoicing helps quickly create professional-looking estimates and invoices, so you get paid quickly. These new tools will be united in the new dashboard Office 365 Business center together with recently unveiled Microsoft Bookings and the Outlook Customer Manager. Besides the app MileIQ which tracks your business-miles on personal car also comes to Office 365 Business Premium. All new services will become available for preview over the next few weeks to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers in U.S., U.K. and Canada.
24.02.17. SharePoint Framework is generally available. Microsoft has released SharePoint Framework, that allows developers and administrators to build and deploy parts that are used by Office 365 users in their production environments. In practical terms, this means using web technologies to build apps on SharePoint that are agile, responsive and, more to the point, mobile friendly. SharePoint has been used as an application and development platform for a long time. It offers numerous sets of development and customization options. But the release of Framework is a big step in improving the SharePoint developer experience, which has often been characterized as clumsy and difficult.
13.01.17. Microsoft launched StaffHub - a new Office 365 app aimed at shift workers. Microsoft unveiled the new addition to its Office 365 suite - application for shift workers and management, called StaffHub. The program is aimed at those who don’t tend to work from desktop computers and have different schedules from week to week, such as in retail, hospitality, restaurants and other industries. Managers, who may have access to desktop or laptop computers, may use the web version of StaffHub to create the staff schedules in the program, but employees will likely only use StaffHub from their mobile phones. Staff can swap shifts with other workers in the mobile app and request time off — requests that get routed to a manager for approval. Push notifications are used to alert users of these requests and approvals along with other updates, private notes, chats and more. Plus, the app can be used for sharing notifications and internal resources. The software is available for free in Office 365 commercial plans.
21.11.16. Office 365 gets its own built-in lightweight CRM. Microsoft rolled out a new tool for business owners using Office 365 and Outlook called Outlook Customer Manager, a lightweight CRM for companies that need to track their customer interactions and history, but aren’t yet ready for a more robust platform like Dynamics 365. The new tool lets businesses track tasks and deals in progress directly in Outlook, and will pop-up reminders aimed at helping them stay on top of their customer relationships. Once enabled, Outlook Customer Manager will automatically organize customer information, including emails, meetings, calls, notes, files, tasks, deals and deadlines. This information – which is collected from email, calendar and call log data – is presented in a timeline format next to the inbox. Users can associate certain tasks with a contact, company or deal, so they can interact with their customers in a more timely fashion. It’s also able to present lists of deals by stage, close dates, priority and amount.
15.11.16. Microsoft connects SharePoint Team Sites to Office 365 Groups. Microsoft is introducing SharePoint and Office 365 team sites integration - the new feature that allows to create connected SharePoint Online team sites in seconds. Here's how the new integration works. When someone creates an Office 365 Group, the service will automatically create a SharePoint team site (with the appearance controlled by the team site administrator) that can include pages, lists, libraries and team news. SharePoint team sites provide a place where teams can communicate, share documents and work together on projects. They are easy to use and enable users create a site for every project the team is working on. Team sites are accessible on all kinds of devices so can be used by mobile workers too.
06.10.16. Microsoft released SharePoint for Android. Though Microsoft is not actively competing on the mobile OS market already for two years (i.e. not pushing its WindowsPhone), it's still very slow in releasing Android apps. Only now the company is unveiling SharePoint mobile client for Android phones and tablets. The app provides the functionality to work with team sites, documents stored in SharePoint under the main categories of Sites, Links and People. To use the SharePoint app organizations need to have an Office 365 subscription that includes SharePoint Online, with support for SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint 2016 to be added later. Earlier this year Microsoft released SharePoint mobile apps for iOS and WindowsPhone (though the second app is still in preview).
12.09.16. Office 365 now lets you invite guests to groups. From now Office 365 users will be able to include outside parties in their project, as Microsoft is rolling out guest access in Outlook on the web. Once added, guests receive a welcome email, are granted access to group files in SharePoint Online, begin receiving email messages and calendar invites sent to the group, and can access the group in Office on the web and the Outlook Groups mobile application. They also have automatic access to cloud-based file attachments. All guests have to sign into Microsoft to get Office 365 access, but they can be part of any email domain, even if it’s not part of a business.
21.07.16. Office 365 hets online booking app. Microsoft extanded its Office 365 suite with a new service called Bookings, which will allow customers to schedule appointments with a business using online software. In addition to connecting businesses and customers without the need for a phone call, Bookings will also manage other aspects to appointment management, including sending out confirmations and reminders, handling re-scheduling and cancellations, updating the business staff’s calendar, and more. Businesses are provided with a unique web page that works on both desktop and mobile where customers can select their dates and times based on current availability. Here, they’ll enter in their contact information and book the appointment. The system then automates the rest of the process surrounding appointment management.
21.06.16. Microsoft brings SharePoint to iOS. Microsoft launched a new mobile app for SharePoint customers aimed at bringing a company’s SharePoint-powered intranet portal and its content to users’ smartphones and tablets. The app is initially available on iOS – meaning it will work on iPhone and iPad – but it will arrive on both Android and Windows platforms before year end, Microsoft says. The app works with either SharePoint Online in Office 365 or SharePoint Server 2013 or 2016 in on-premises or hybrid scenarios. It features a Sites tab that lets you visit the SharePoint sites you frequent, so you can see recent activity, files, and access these files, lists, pages, and other content on those destinations. The app also works with other Microsoft mobile apps, the company notes. For example, when you click an Office document in the app, it will launch the corresponding Office mobile app; and when you view a document library on a team site, you’ll be taken to the OneDrive mobile app for iOS.
18.06.16. SharePoint adds new document libraries. Now that SharePoint 2016 is here, Microsoft is slowly releasing SharePoint Document Libraries to its commercial Office 365 subscribers using SharePoint Online. The new document libraries take SharePoint in a more user-friendly direction. They make it easier for users to access documents, edit document metadata and push content to the top of the document library. It's a big deal — which addresses persistent complains about previous editions of SharePoint around the difficulties of use. In the long run-up to the release of SharePoint 2016, Microsoft promised to focus on user experience.
02.05.16. Office 365 groups gets connectors. Microsoft released Office 365 Connectors that enable teams who have been pulled together in an Office 365 Group to share third-party services using a single sign-in or account. Office 365 Connectors can surface all the information that a team may need from services like Twitter, LinkedIn or Trello, and makes it available through the shared Groups inbox. By providing an integrated experience that link together email conversations, file storage, and calendar event management, Groups create an integrated experience for teams to focus on group activity.
23.09.15. Microsoft released Office 2016. Microsoft is releasing Office 2016, offering refreshed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other applications. The look and feel of the programs will be familiar to anyone who has used the 2013 edition of Microsoft’s productivity software. Much of what’s new with the 2016 edition is better integrated collaboration tools. A new co-authoring feature allows multiple users to edit the same document in real time, long a feature of Office’s Web-based cousins and apps built by Google and other Microsoft competitors. Also arriving is chat service Skype, which will be embedded within Office apps to let users send instant messages, share images of their work, or video chat from within a document. Other new features include a search tool to locate specific functions within Office, and a research tool that pulls data from the Internet into documents. Microsoft is pushing to sell the software suite through Office 365, the company’s subscription program, instead of the traditional model of a one-time purchase that gives the user rights to the software in perpetuity.
08.01.15. Microsoft opens Office for Android tablets to all. Microsoft launched mobile Office for Android preview back in November last year. And now it has opened up the preview for anyone, making Word, Excel and Power Point available directly in the Google Play Store. There are still a few stipulations, though: You’ll need an ARM-powered tablet with a screen size between 7 and 10.1 inches and be running Android KitKat or Lollipop. Most modern tablets then should be fine, and if you have one, you can test out Microsoft’s touch-optimized productivity suite.
20.11.14. Microsoft adds Video service to Office 365. Microsoft is now offering Office 365 Video - the new feature for posting, sharing and discovering video content. Think of it as a YouTube for Enterprise. Use cases include video sharing for customer service, video as an inter-team collaboration tool and video for improving sales and training. Where Office 365 is deployed, video will be made available across the enterprise at no additional cost to current users. Powered by Azure Media Services, Office 365 Video offers adaptive smooth streaming technology that optimizes video playback for the device it’s being viewed on. It will make it available to most Office 365 plans for enterprise early next year.
05.11.14. Microsoft Office integrates with Dropbox. Microsoft and Dropbox announced a partnership that will see Dropbox better support Microsoft’s Office suite. The deal has four main parts: Quickly editing Office docs from the Dropbox mobile app; accessing Dropbox docs from Office apps; sharing Dropbox links of Office apps; and the creation of first-party Dropbox apps for Microsoft’s mobile offerings. No you can add your Dropbox account to Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint mobile apps, navigate folders and files on Dropbox to view and edit in the native Office apps. In return, Dropbox will encourage its users to turn to Microsoft Office applications to edit and create their documents in the first place. Microsoft has another alliance with Box to ease co-existence of Office 365 and Box cloud storage and file sync software.
28.10.14. Office 365 gets unlimited OneDrive storage.. As of today, Office 365 Home, Personal and University customers are getting the storage boost. Business customers will get unlimited storage will get unlimited storage also soon. In the meantime, they have 1 TB of storage per user. OneDrive works much like Google Drive, allowing you to access content on all of your devices, plus share it and collaborate on documents. Google Drive, Box, Dropbox and other cloud-storage utilities, though, have limited storage capabilities. If you meet a limit, you have to buy more. Bitcasa, one of the few platforms to offer unlimited storage, actually ceased that operation last week, giving Microsoft a big advantage in regards to storage.
09.09.14. How artificial intelligence in Office 365 works?. Back in spring this year, Microsoft started to implement artificial intelligence in Office 365. The project codenamed Oslo was designed to automatically organize information for an employee basing of his relations with colleagues and documents. Today, Microsoft presented the main components of this artificial intelligence and makes them available for Enterprise version subscribers. So the main components are: Office Graph (virtual network built on the links between people and documents) and Office Delve (intelligent search engine, that finds and displays the appropriate information in context). For example, when you view an event in the calendar, it will show you people involved in this event, documents, emails and social posts, related to this event.
14.07.14. Microsoft lowers Office 365 pricing for small business. On October 1, 2014, Microsoft will release three new Office 365 plans tailored to meet the needs of small and midsized businesses: Office 365 Business Essentials ($5/user/month), Office 365 Business ($8.25/user/month) and Office 365 Business Premium ($12.5/user/month). This new lineup will replace our current plans for SMBs over time – Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business. The cheapest option includes only cloud office products, but not desktop versions of the Office. The middle version provides full Office apps on all your devices including your PC, Mac, iPad and smartphone and includes 1TB of cloud storage. And the Premium version will provide improved features and additional services like Yammer and Active Directory support. Microsoft is also raising the max number of employees from 25 to 300.
17.04.14. Microsoft adds Office to Google's store, launches 7$/month version. It seems that the new Microsoft boss Satya Nadella doesnэt feel natural hate towards Google like his predecessor. At least Microsoft's Office Online is now available in the Chrome Web Store. While not so long ago Microsoft urged users to avoid Google Chrome, because it's stealing their data for advertising purposes (watch the video above). By the way, according to rumors, this anti-google advertising campaign "Don't get Scroggled" is already frozen. The second news - Microsoft has launched Office 365 personal subscription plan that costs $7/month or $70/year. It allows you to install the full-fledged MS office on one computer, install the complete mobile Office on one tablet and unlimited use of Office on smartphones and in browser. Prior to that, the cheapest option of Office 365 was $100/year (for 5 users / computers).
28.03.14. Microsoft launches Office for iPad. Makes Office for iPhone and Android free. Looks like thing are changing in Microsoft after the coming of Satya Nadella. Before him Microsoft management believed that people using Android and iOS - is a temporary misunderstanding. They hoped that in the future all people will return to Windows and will be happy. But the new boss said today that "our customers are already using a number of compute platforms, giving Microsoft zero option". After that he presented the long-awaited Office для iPad. The bad news is that if you want to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint on iPad - you need to subscribe to Office 365 (which costs from $6.99/month). The same thing was with iPhone/Android before. But today, another miracle happened and Office for iPhone/Android has became free. I.e. now you can for free edit documents from cloud storage OneDrive on your smartphone. So maybe the iPad version also will become free soon. By the way, it already provides a free option to view documents and show PowerPoint presentations.