In this post, I will discuss a quick summary of all the Microsoft 365 apps. In April 2020, Microsoft rebranded office 365 as Microsoft 365. It is primarily a name change, but these name changes and new products have created a great deal of confusion over the years. 

In this post, I will summarize every app included in Microsoft 365. In a future companion Post, I'll show you how the apps are grouped into the various Microsoft 365 products, so be sure to check that one out as well. Let's get started. 

Microsoft 365 Core Apps

Microsoft 365 includes nine well-known core apps. Except for publisher and Access, all of the apps can be used on a mac or pc desktop, as an online service in multiple browsers, or as an iOS or Android mobile app. Publisher and Access are desktop apps only for the pc.


Word is a word processing app designed primarily for text-based documents. It allows you to enter and format text, save, and print. Over the years, word has added many new features, including essential publishing functions and collaborating live with other users. It was the very first app for office originating in 1983. 


Excel is used to manage spreadsheets containing cells of data. It has built-in formulas to manipulate financially, date and time, statistical, text, database, logical, engineering, and other data types. Newer versions of Excel include charts and graphs and links to external data sources. 


PowerPoint is used to create and share presentations using a series of slides. Slides can contain text, graphics, audio, and post, all of which can be imported from other software. PowerPoint includes templates, themes, animation tools, slide transitions, drawing tools, and other features to help create these slides. 


Outlook is used to send, receive, and store email. It also includes contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes. Outlook primarily connects to mail accounts on Exchange Server but can connect to other external mail systems as well. 


OneNote is used to take notes and gather information containing text drawings, tables, screen clippings, and audio. There is no layout or structure, so it allows freeform additions to the canvas. OneNote allows for multi-user collaboration across many apps. 


OneDrive is a cloud-based storage service linked to your Microsoft account. It provides synchronization to local files on your computer or mobile devices. Synchronization allows you to share files between multiple apps and from various locations. Even when disconnected from cloud storage, you can work with files offline and sync them later. 


Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform. It allows you to send and receive chat messages, transfer files, attend live Post meetings, and even make VoIP calls to other Teams users. With phone system integration, you can make and receive calls to mobile phones and the public switch telephone network (PSTN). Teams also can provide post conferencing integration into room-based meeting equipment. 


The publisher is an entry-level desktop graphic design app. It is like a word for text and formatting but focuses more on page layout and design. Publisher includes templates for address labels, business cards, events, photo albums, invitations, brochures, stationery, postcards, and other design sets. The publisher is easier to use than more expensive graphic design programs but lacks many of the features. Publisher is only available as a desktop app for Windows PC's. 


Access is a database management system (DBMS) that allows you to develop software and manage basic relational databases with a graphical interface. Access is designed for small databases, and the GUI interface is easier to learn but lacks the capabilities of enterprise-level systems. Access is only available as a desktop app for Windows PC's. 

Microsoft 365 Business Apps. 

The business versions of Microsoft 365 include all core apps just mentioned as well as cloud services. These cloud services provide advanced threat protection, device management, and enhanced collaboration between users in a secure cloud environment. It is intended for small businesses with up to 300 users. 


Exchange is the backend server for business-class email and calendaring. Exchange is managed through an admin centre where you can manage mailboxes, groups, resources, global contact lists, mail connectors, and alerts. You can also trace messages and view mail flow reports. 


SharePoint is a team collaboration tool that allows you to create online content for file sharing, news, knowledge bases, SharePoint lists, and other group resources. Each user can create their SharePoint pages and share them with others in the organization. SharePoint can also manage complex workflow processes and is highly integrated into other Microsoft 365 apps. 

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for business takes OneDrive a step further by offering additional organization and administration functions. It increases the storage size to 5TB and provides easy sharing and collaboration with other users in the organization. 


Intune provides management and data protection for all endpoint devices in your organization. It provides data security and can make sure operating systems are up to date for Windows, Mac, iOS or Android devices. You can create policies to deploy apps to devices and control access to your network resources. 

Azure Information Protection

Azure Information Protection provides encryption and rights management to documents and emails. You can apply for this protection while working in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Outlook, and other apps so that all files and email shared are protected. It can be used to block sensitive information from being sent outside your organization and require authentication from recipients. 

Teams Phone

Teams Phone is an add-on license that turns Teams into a powerful phone system. It allows you to assign phone numbers to Teams users, make and receive phone calls, create call tree menus, manage call routing groups, record voicemail, forward calls, and other features found in traditional phone systems. You can even port your existing phone numbers to Microsoft for use with Teams Phone. 

Enterprise Apps

Microsoft 365 Enterprise Apps Microsoft 365 is available in an enterprise subscription which provides several additional apps. Some of these app's work in the personal or business license versions of Microsoft 365 but are primarily designed for enhanced collaboration between users in larger organizations. 


Bookings is a web page and mobile app that provides appointment scheduling for customers. It integrates with Outlook to optimize your staff's calendar and gives customers the flexibility to book appointments. 


Forms allow your users to create surveys, quizzes, and polls and collect responses. The forms can be shared with others in the organization and incorporated into PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, and other Microsoft apps. 


Yammer is a social networking app for your organization. It helps your staff connect and communicate from a central interface. It integrates with Teams and other apps to gather ideas, provide feedback, and keep everyone informed. 


Stream is a Post delivery service for your organization. You can upload training Posts, meeting recordings, and other Posts to the cloud and make them available to your users. Posts can be categorized into groups and shared based on your access preferences. 


Sway is a digital storytelling app for creating interactive reports, enhanced presentations, newsletters, photo collections, announcements, and other documents. You can choose from a list of templates or create one from an existing document. When you select a current document such as this PowerPoint presentation, Sway will collect all the information from that presentation and add visual design elements to turn it into a story. It's a different method of sharing your information. List is a new Microsoft 365 app to track issues, events, assets, work progress, schedules, and more. You can create a list from other apps like Excel or choose from a template. 


Lists integrate nicely to other apps like Teams, Excel, PowerApps, and Power Automate to export data or create rules to trigger notifications. You can easily share your lists with others in the organization. 

PowerApps is a suite of apps, services, connectors, and a data platform for the rapid application development of apps for your business. It can connect to SharePoint, Dynamics, Excel, SQL server, and over 260 other data sources. You can quickly develop apps without writing code and easily share them with others in your organization. It's a great tool to create apps without having to be a full-fledged programmer. 

Power Automate

Power Automate allows you to automate mundane and repetitive tasks. It was previously known as Microsoft Flow. Instead of writing code, you use the point-and-click flow designer to build business logic and automate tasks. You can have these workflows activate based on unattended triggers, on a specific schedule, or manually such as clicking a button. 


Planner is a task app for personal and teamwork project planning. It integrates seamlessly with OneNote, Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint, and other apps. Planner is not sophisticated, but its simplicity is what makes it useful. You can create content-rich task cards, checklists, and charts quickly and share them with your team in a matter of minutes. 

To Do

To-Do is a daily task management app. It is integrated with Outlook and other apps. You can set up reminders, assign colors, categorize tasks, prioritize, and add notes. You can add tasks to a personalized "My Day" list for those tasks you want to focus on each day. 


MyAnalytics, previously known as Delve, is an app that summarizes workers time to help managers and employees gain insights into daily work habits and productivity. It uses your Microsoft 365 app use, meeting schedules, and collaboration activities to build analytic reports. It provides a dashboard of the past four weeks of activity to show your work patterns related to focus time, well-being, networking, and collaboration. It makes recommendations on how you can improve your productivity. 

Power BI

Power BI is a business intelligence tool used to analyze and visualize data from Excel and other data sources. You can pull real-time data from hundreds of data sources into a dashboard and create visual representations of that data. It provides AI-powered answers to your queries and helps you examine what-if scenarios within the data. 

Standalone Apps 

Here are several standalone apps that may require additional licensing or are included as add-ons for Microsoft 365. 


Project is a set of tools for project management. It helps a project manager with scheduling, assigning resources, tracking progress, managing budgets, and analyzing the workloads of projects. The project is available as a desktop app and an online service and integrates with other Microsoft 365 apps. 


Visio is used to create simple or complex diagrams. These diagrams can be flow charts, timelines, engineering designs, org charts, floor plans, or other graphs. Visio comes with ready-made templates and over 2,50,000 shapes to incorporate into your diagrams. 


Whiteboard is a freeform canvas that allows users to collaborate on ideas together via the cloud. You can select colored pens, use a ruler, insert text, and copy/paste objects onto your canvas. The canvas grows automatically as you work. Whiteboard allows multiple users to share the canvas at the same time. 


Editor is a grammar and spelling extension with more than 20 different languages. It makes suggestions for refining your writing. Editor works in Word and Outlook and can be added to the Microsoft Edge browser for assistance across the web. It's a Microsoft 365 version of Grammarly. 


Fluid or Fluid Framework is a very recent app that Microsoft developed to allow users to create and share tables, charts, lists, and other components from anywhere. Like Lego blocks, these components can be used and edited by anyone in any app. They are independent of the app used to create them and can be immediately shared. Project 


Cortex is a knowledge management service that uses AI to analyze your data and automatically organize it into topics. It's broken down into multiple add-ons to existing Microsoft 365 apps such as SharePoint, Outlook and others. The first add-on is SharePoint Syntax which uses advanced AI and machine learning to apply metadata to SharePoint content and automate data categorization. 


Kaizala is a mobile messaging app for group communication and work management. It allows colleagues, vendors, distributors, partners, and customers to connect and chat through a simple interface. Kaizala can send messages, pictures, documents, post, and audio to these groups. 


MileIQ is a mileage tracking and reporting app for mobile devices. Your miles are automatically logged and recorded while the app is running in the background. You can then categorize which drives are personal or business. 

Microsoft 365 is filled with apps for your personal and business needs. Microsoft continues to add more apps to the lineup, so this will change over time. Stay tuned for the companion post to this one, where I cover the licensing options that include all these apps.

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