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Microsoft Office 365 FAQs

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The following are frequently asked questions regarding USM's migration to Microsoft Office 365 email and calendaring. Please contact the iTech Help Desk for assistance.

General Overview

  1. What is Microsoft Office 365?

    Office 365 is a cloud-based set of products including desktop applications and server-based products.

    Microsoft Office 365 provides faculty and staff with a 50 GB mailbox and unlimited file storage in OneDrive. In addition to having access to web versions, faculty and staff will be able to download Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus applications on up to 5 devices (PC, Mac, and/or mobile devices - Android or iOS). These applications include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote*, Access*, Publisher*, and Lync.

    *Windows PC client programs and/or features only. Cannot be used across devices.

  2. What does "cloud-based" and "in the cloud" mean?

    Cloud computing, or being "in the cloud," means that a third-party (in this case, Microsoft) provides the applications via the Internet and stores the data on their servers.

  3. Is my information safe "in the cloud"?

    Multiple copies of your data are stored for redundancy purposes.  The data is encrypted when accessed from the server. The end result is an online service that has the equivalent reliability and security as an on-campus server.

  4. How will I access Office 365 e-mail, calendar, and contacts?

    Office 365 is accessible through your web browser at or via Microsoft Outlook clients. Third-party clients, such as, Mac Mail and Thunderbird can use TCP/IP Protocols to receive e-mail. However, other functions, such as, calendaring and the global address book, will not work. For more information see OWA (Outlook Web App) under Microsoft Office 365 Tutorials.

  5. Where can I learn more about Office 365?

    Either on iTech's Microsoft Office 365 page or on the Microsoft Office 365 Community web pages.


  1. After graduation will I still have access to my Office 365 account and features?

    You will ONLY have access to OWA, Office 365 access for 1 year after your last semester completed or 1 year from your graduation date.

  2. Will I need to notify my professors of my email change?

    All communications are being sent out to faculty, staff, and students. SOAR will update with your new primary account in August 2016.

About Office 365

  1. Which is preferred... using Microsoft Outlook or Office 365 Web client (OWA)?

    This will depend on the needs of the individual user. Outlook and the web client both offer a rich user experience, but the desktop version has more capabilities.

  2. How do I know I have the correct version of software & where can I upgrade my computer software?

    Microsoft Office can be updated via our software download site*:
    *NOTE: You must be ON Campus to do this download to your work computer.

    Please note, if you are a vendor at Southern Miss you will need to follow your company’s protocol for upgrade.

    For assistance, please contact the iTech Help Desk at 601.266.HELP (4357) or enter a Help Desk work order. If needed, a time can be scheduled to upgrade your operating system or office software suite.

  3. How much storage space is available in Office 365?

    Exchange - Each user gets 50 GB Mailboxes and can send messages up to 25 MB in size.

    OneDrive including Business library, a Recycle Bin, & personal newsfeed info – 1 TB (can be expanded if required)

  4. What kind of archive system does Office 365 have?

    Microsoft Exchange Online Archiving is a Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based, enterprise-class archiving solution. Exchange Online Archiving assists with archiving, compliance, regulatory, and eDiscovery challenges.

    For assistance, please contact the iTech Help Desk at 601.266.HELP (4357) or enter a Help Desk work order.

  5. Is a different password required to open the email account in Outlook and/or the Office 365 web client?


  6. When sending an attachment, does the file size increase?

    Yes, attaching a file will increase the size of the message. Messages are limited to 25 MB, including the message text and the sum of all attachments. Files can expand by up to 30% when sent.

    If you need to transmit a large file securely, please contact the iTech Help Desk at 601.266.HELP (4357) or enter a Help Desk work order.

  7. What operating systems, Office versions, and web browsers are supported?

    Your computer must meet the following system requirements (Microsoft):

    • Microsoft Office to Outlook 2010 SP2, version 14.0.7015.1000 (or greater), or
    • Office for Mac 2011 SP1, version 14.1.0 (or greater)

    The latest version of most browsers will work with Office 365. Also see, Chrome.

    For assistance, please contact the iTech Help Desk at 601.266.HELP (4357) or enter a Help Desk work order.

  8. Will we be able to share/delegate calendar viewing in Office 365?

    Yes. For information on how to share your calendar, contact the iTech Help Desk at 601.266.HELP (4357) or enter a Help Desk work order.

  9. Will room reservations/scheduling be available in Office 365?

    Yes.  Room accounts can be requested at the iTech Help Desk at 601.266.HELP (4357) or enter a Help Desk work order.

  10. How will I change my password on the new system?

    You should continue to use USM’s account self-service tool called CampusID to change your password.

Academic/ Web Conferencing

  • Microsoft Teams

    Teams is a user-driven chat-based collaborative tool that provides a customizable team work space. As Teams is built on Office 365 Groups, whenever you create a team, it automatically comes with several additional Office 365 shared features: email, calendar, notebook with OneNote, file storage with OneDrive, Planner, SharePoint site and allows for chat and audio/video conferencing among teach members. Learn more about Teams.

  • Zoom
    Zoom is a modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio, conferencing, chat, and webinars, through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, and distance education.
  • WebEx
    WebEx is powered by Cisco for cloud-based web and video conferencing. It's a tool that allows users to host or participate in video conferencing, online meetings, and screen sharing.

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