[June 16, 2016: an updated version of this article can be found here:.] Microsoft has taken great strides towards simplifying its products and services. It has discarded products that were overlapping (Live Mesh discarded in favor of Skydrive, Messenger discarded in favor of Skype), it has streamlined its product names (rebranding the Windows Live services, for example), and introduced the consistent interface used on Windows computers, servers, tablets and phones. Nothing is ever simple with Microsoft.
OneDrive for Business is part of Office 365 and offers the ability to store files in the cloud, access them from multiple computers, and share them with others. Accessing OneDrive for Business using a Mac can accessed on a college owned device by downloading and installing the client at. I use Office at home on multiple Macs. Excel for Mac 2011. Things get murkier when you add multiple computers to the mix, because of If the Office 365 subscription option had been available at Office 2008’s launch, the total cost for those same six years would have been $600, or a savings of $240.
There are still areas where you can be hopelessly confused. Here’s something you need to understand if you want to take advantage of some of Microsoft’s best new services. Microsoft has two different databases that have credentials for you – your email address and a password. They’re separate.
They’re used for different things. It’s possible that someday Microsoft may come up with a way to combine them but right now it’s up to you to keep them straight. And in typical Microsoft fashion, they’re not used consistently.
Everyone can and should have a Microsoft account. It is an email address and a password; it might be your primary email address, or it might be a Hotmail or address.
(You can use the Hotmail or Outlook.com address for email, if you choose, but you don’t have to – you might only use it to log into other services.) The can be used to log into a Windows 8 computer and it gives you access to online file storage with Skydrive, as well as a host of other services. Separately – separately! – subscribers to have an Office 365 account.
It is an email address and a password; it might be your primary email address, or it might be (yourname)@(business).onmicrosoft.com. The Office 365 account is used to log into your mailbox (either in Outlook or in ) and other Office 365 services.
It may also be the account that’s associated with your business subscription to Microsoft Office. See how it works? My Microsoft account is, with a complex password. That’s the one I type to log into my Windows 8 computer. My Office 365 account is, with a different complex password. That’s the one I type to log into my mailbox.
For reasons that will become obvious, Microsoft sometimes distinguishes between a Microsoft account and an organizational account, as in this window that comes up when Office 2013 is first installed: The key is remembering that the two accounts are separate. They can be the same email address; you can set the password to be the same, if you like; but they are separate accounts and Microsoft’s servers look in different databases to authenticate you for various services. Here’s a quick overview. Email address – Your primary address or – Hotmail or – Outlook.com – Your primary address or – onmicrosoft.com Used for – Log into Windows 8 – Log into Windows Phone 8 – Log into Skype / Xbox – Log into Office 365 hosted Exchange mailbox – Log into Office 365 Sharepoint / Lync Office subscription Office 365 Home Premium Office 365 ProPlus Online files Skydrive Skydrive Pro Perfectly clear! What could go wrong? There’s one truly unfortunate crossover: as a consumer, you purchase a subscription to with a Microsoft account.
For $99, you can install Microsoft Office on up to five devices, a with only one side effect: the term “Office 365” becomes hopelessly muddled for you, because virtually nothing else about Office 365 applies to those consumer accounts. That’s how you get: “How do I link my Microsoft Office 365 account with my Skype account? Sign into Office 365 with your Microsoft account.” Yeah, I guess that’s technically accurate for some consumers, but it’s doomed to failure for all the business people who sign into Office 365 with their Office 365 accounts and can’t link the accounts to Skype. It’s confusing and frustrating. If you have both a Microsoft account and an Office 365 account, they will sometimes cause conflicts because Microsoft is not handling them well behind the scenes. Open up your Office 365 business webmail, then try to go check your personal Outlook.com webmail. You’ll get an error message: It’s not nice.
People are forced to to check one or the other, so the accounts don’t fight with each other. You can see IT pros complaining about the confusing setup, among other places. Very little is simple in 2013. Microsoft is moving faster than I would have predicted to clean things up from an even more complex muddle only a few years ago, so this is not awful, just something to know.