What is Office365? And why MelbPC changed its email

In February 2014, MelbPC did a switchover from using our own ageing email servers to a free email service Outlook.com provided by Microsoft.

Outlook.com provided a way for MelbPC (and other organisations) to retain our own domain-name (melbpc.org.au), so email addresses like username@melbpc.org.au would still work, but via Microsoft’s Outlook.com servers, rather than MelbPC’s servers. MelbPC administrators could add, delete, and change email accounts (inc. password resets).

Unfortunately, this free service (with special domain-names) was short-lived – in May 2014, Microsoft announced they wanted such special “domain-name” arrangements to move to a better service called Office365, but normally for a substantial subscription fee. To “encourage” us (and other organisations) to move, Microsoft froze administrator-access from early August 2014, so since then, MelbPC administrators could NOT add, delete, or change email accounts (inc. password resets).

MelbPC investigated, and found that Microsoft had a very attractive discount for not-for-profit organisations, under certain conditions, for a “bottom-level” version of Office365 called “Office365 Enterprise E1 Plan”. We arranged to take up this offer. None of its capability is mandatory for MelbPC members to use, but much of it should be very attractive and useful.

MelbPC completed the switchover from Outlook.com to Office365 on 9th Feb 2015. Outlook is now identified as a Personal Account while the new Office365 is a Work or School Account.

More information about Office365 is at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_365 . Our “Office365 Enterprise E1 Plan” includes a suite of “cloud-services”:

  • Email services supporting names like username@melbpc.org.au
  • Ability to handle email lists/groups
  • 50GB of Mail storage, 1TB of OneDrive For Business storage per member
  • Retention policy on all Mail, excepting Junk Mail (deleted after 30 days)
  • Sending capability of up to 10MB per message (otherwise use OneDrive)
  • Office Online Apps (lightweight web-based MS Office applications)
  • Yammer (an online forum/social-networking-service) for private communication within organizations (MelbPC, in our case)

System architect and administrator readers should be interested that Office365’s advanced services include:

  • SharePoint (website framework & platform)
  • Exchange Server (email services)
  • Lync server (future name Skype for Business – VOIP phone communication, instant messaging, video conferencing, and much more)
  • Active Directory integration
  • and more.

Request New Account:

  • We prefer you use the online form here
    • Accounts are usually processed within 3 business days.
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  • Otherwise: phone the office.

Office 365 Pro Plus
This is a subscription service to a suite of full Microsoft products, for installation on up to 5 computers and offered to our Office 365 users at a very reduced rates. An Installation Guide is here.


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(Revised LW Nov 2018)