Yesterday Microsoft released its final version of Office 2013, or as it’s officially known, Microsoft Office 365. The long-awaited software has gone through months of public testing. Scott Lowe, Founder and Managing Consultant of the 1610 Group joined the Morning NewsDesk Show to share his thoughts on Microsoft’s latest news.
Lowe shared that for a recurring annual fee of $99.99, a subscription to Office 365 contains the usual Office suite products – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher – and in addition to those, subscribers will receive an ongoing set of upgrades as Microsoft makes improvements to the software. Furthermore, it comes with 20GB of SkyDrive space and 60 Skype minutes per month.
“Probably the most important thing is the cloud integration piece with the new suite,” he said. He clarified that While it has cloud aspects, such as storing all your files in SkyDrive, Office 365 is not truly cloud-based because it doesn’t necessarily run with an “always-on connection.”
He went on to explain what he called “Office On-Demand.” If a user is on a remote machine or one other than their own, it has the capability to “stream” the applications down to that machine from a central cloud-based repository that Microsoft maintains. Another example he gave was if a user was on an unsupported platform, such as the iPad or a Mac without Office 2011, they could go into their “MyOffice” account and use the Office Web Apps through the service.
Lowe stated that the most obvious comparison of Office 365 would be to GoogleDocs. “This is Microsoft’s initial foray into this,” he said. “They’ve had Office Web Apps for awhile, and frankly, they’ve been quite good.”
Lowe described this a completely consumer-based play right now, as Microsoft’s business version of Office 365 will not be released until February. He referenced the clause in Office 365 that says it’s squarely for non-commercial use. He discussed some potential licensing risks that could be encountered as people will try to use the home version of Office 365 for corporate activities, especially in work from home scenarios. See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and Scott Lowe on the Morning NewsDesk Show.