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Office 365 FAQ

What is Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 is a collection of cloud-based collaboration and productivity services, including Exchange email and calendar, SharePoint sites, online Office document editing, file storage, IM, and web conferencing.

How does Office 365 relate to Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office is a suite of tools that includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote that is installed on your computer. With the use of SharePoint and Office Online, Office 365 allows users to view and edit Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote documents in a browser.  

What is the cloud?

"The cloud" describes web-based computing services that are hosted outside of your organization. With cloud-based services, IT infrastructure resides off-site and is maintained by a third party (hosted), instead of residing on-site. With Office 365, information storage, computation, and software are located and managed remotely on servers owned by Microsoft. Because this infrastructure is located online or "in the cloud," you can access it virtually anywhere, from a PC, tablet, smartphone, or other device with an Internet connection.

Is my information safe "in the cloud"?

Yes. See for more info.

When can I start using Office 365?

Caltech will begin offering some Office 365 services in 2014.

Why did Caltech choose Office 365?

Caltech conducted an extensive evaluation process based upon our specific needs. Office 365 was the closest match for Caltech's requirements and offered the best security and privacy features (FERPA, HIPAA, no data mining, no advertising, U.S. hosted data only, etc.)

Will Caltech adopt Google Apps for Education?

At this time, Caltech has no plans to adopt Google Apps for Education, but we will continue to evaluate it and other cloud solutions for future campus use.

Will my email address remain the same?

Yes, your email address will remain the same.

Will Caltech continue to offer email?

Office 365 Exchange will host Caltech email. Email migrations will begin 2015.

Will my password remain the same?

Yes, you will continue to use your access.caltech password to access all Office 365 services.

Which operating systems and browsers are supported?

Most current browsers and operating systems are supported. For specific software requirements, see here.

Is there web browser access available?

Office 365 has web based access that is compatible with most current browsers at

What happens to my Office 365 account if I graduate or leave Caltech?

At this time, if you leave Caltech, your account will be disabled.

What are the email limits for Office 365?

Individual mailboxes include 50GB of storage and individual emails can be up to 25MB.

Which email clients are supported?

Almost all current/modern email clients are supported, including Mac Mail, Microsoft Outlook, and Thunderbird.

Which mobile devices are supported?

Most current/modern mobile devices support Office 365, including iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile.