Microsoft Office 365: Is It a Cloud or Software as a Service?

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Those who use and love Microsoft office 365 often ask if it’s a cloud-based service or a cloud-based service. Before we set out to find the answer, one thing’s for sure it’s a brilliant solution helping millions of users and businesses worldwide. Well, the answer to the question is based on interpretation. Almost every innovative technology today is somehow related to the cloud, so it only makes sense that Microsoft 365 to be a cloud-based service as well.

Businesses today have never-ending solutions when it comes to fulfilling your cloud computing needs. With unlimited technological advancements, it is now possible for businesses to leave all the traditional physical solutions behind and invest in cloud computing solutions on either a shared or private cloud. This is usually called the “hybrid cloud” in the technological industry. Businesses can also rely on software solutions like Microsoft 365 instead of investing in a full-blown cloud computing platform. 

But the question still remains, is Microsoft Office 365 a cloud or software in terms of services.

To fully understand the depth of Microsoft Office 365, you need to know about the difference between “Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS). Cloud computing is a type of IT solution that facilitates users to access shared pools of system resources and higher-level services that can be managed with minimal effort. Cloud computing includes sharing of resources throughout the business similar to Microsoft 365. Because of this particular reason, tons of people believe that Microsoft Office 365 is similar to cloud software solutions. 

Cloud computing service eliminates a business’s need for maintaining servers, telephones, and other IT technologies. Cloud computing resources are completely online so they can be accessed from anywhere in the world by authorized parties.

Comparatively, Saas (Software as a Service) is a different solution altogether. A business uses software on a subscription basis and is hosted in centralized solutions. SaaS can be accessed by users from any web browser. If we’re categorizing Microsoft 365, it tends to fit better in the software as a service category. 

As the users know, Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription-based service through the internet using a web browser. Microsoft 365 isn’t physically stored on your computer and it can only be used by a web browser every time you use it. SaaS solutions can also be run on the cloud, however, this doesn’t make them a cloud-based service. 

So the confusion about Microsoft Office 365 stems from its accessibility, it isn’t stored on your computer, similar to a cloud service and it also has a subscription-based model thus making it similar to SaaS applications. It’s important to remember that it isn’t stored physically on your device. You can access Microsoft 365 from wherever you are, on any device you want, as long as you have a subscription and internet connection. This is similar to any other SaaS solution in the market. 

There’s a huge difference between cloud computing and SaaS, the cloud basically helps users in eliminating physical computers and servers from their workflow by offering cloud computing. This isn’t the case with SaaS, SaaS is an application and built for any one particular topic.

When comparing the two systems, look at the services they offer and they can benefit your business. This will help you understand whether to categorize Microsoft Office 365 as a cloud-based service or as a software-based service. The cloud is perfect for huge enterprises that are involved in software development, web development, and so on. SaaS is perfect for those who depend on the software application that includes all of us. 

To sum everything stated above so far, Microsoft Office 365 can neither be considered as a versatile tool, ideal to suit everyone’s needs. Microsoft Office 365 is a web-based service that allows you to access pools of files and information while enhancing efficiency for customers and businesses.  


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