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;
- 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.
- 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.
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