Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud

With my new Surface Pro tablet, I’m currently testing out Microsoft Office 365. What makes this so different than the other Office suites is that it’s a cloud-based program, but also works offline as well.

Many programs are shifting to this format, thereby, preventing people from pirating the software.  A rumor says that Microsoft’s Windows 10 will be cloud based. Photoshop also offers their own ‘in-the-cloud’ version of software.

There are some benefits but also cons to this;

Pros:

  • Subscriptions vary between $5.00 – $15.00 a month. You can upgrade or downgrade between plans, depending on what services and features you want included.
  • Your programs are always updated. You will always have the current software.
  • Some will find the monthly cost affordable rather than the payout of a lump sum.
  • You can work offline, with sync features to Skydrive.
  • You work syncs with Skydrive, Microsoft’s cloud drive service. This includes 7 gigabytes of storage, and you can earn more.
  • With the one subscription, you can use on multiple computers. Although, it could be argued you can do this with the disk based program; the licensing, however, is pretty clear that you’re supposed to have it only on one or two systems. This multi-user is for someone like me with a tablet and laptop, and other computers. You can also install on iPhone, iPad, Windows phone, and more.
  • You can get a month trial version to try it out.

Cons

  • Cost is cheaper within the year, but after a while, it will cost you more. You will need to weigh cost worth for yourself.
  • The download is buggy, at least for me. I had some issues with installing. Fortunately, I know technology, but I can see this causing issue for those who are less savvy.
  • You’re basically renting the program- not buying. I’m still on the fence with weighing costs, but you are renting the use of the program. If you miss a payment, you may not use the program.
  • Its confusing what plan includes what. For some, this might be a good thing- after all, you get so many choices. One of which is Lync, for video conferences, but not all plans include this feature. Read thoroughly before purchase. (Google+ hangouts seem to do pretty much the same thing but for free)
  • Office 365 works only with Windows 7 on up, or Mac OS X and up.

I’ll be including tips and tutorials for this version, but other versions as well.

If you liked this post, please share, like, and comment. I always enjoy feedback.

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