Microsoft has been busy of late.
They have a new product on the market, Office 365. Its been around for a few months but is now mostly ready for use.
Like most other software vendors they are seeing the revenue shift from perpetual licensing over to subscription based model.
On the Mac side, things have always been a little disjointed compared to the PC side, in previous years the Mac version was always one year ahead of PC side.
Hopefully MS plan to align these products into one standard life cycle product release.
The Mac has always suffered from less apps than the PC side of things. This has not changed yet
Office 365 comes in a variety of flavours-
You have a wide range of different options to subscribe to, we found the Office 365 Small Business Premium to be the best feature/price option out there for SMB.
With this version you do get 365 based cloud email services, lets face it 365 Exchange email down here in NZ is pretty bad, we have moved more than a few clients off this service due to various reasons, speed being the number one issue.
So, for this version, its a $228 purchase price, which allows 1 user, 5 devices full access for one year.
1 user, 5 devices…I had to have a chat to MS about this definition.
They stated that a business can own a license under one login/email account, then install that license on up to 5 devices- Desktops/Laptops/Tablets/Smartphones.
So effectively the 5 device yearly subscription has just become very cost effective compared to previous versions, even after 5 years of subscription to Office 365 Small Business Premium, its still around half the price of a 5 seat perpetual license.
You still get the full desktop apps with the subscription, they can be installed on either Mac or PC, or other devices.
You also get a variety of cloud services, like Web based office apps, Skydrive Pro, Team sites etc.
The web interface is quick and visually appealing.
I think that MS have a winner here, you get more for less.
Some of the services do not work 100% just yet, I also got a lot of ‘your account does not have that ability’ when loggin in via various portals on web and iPhone. Im sure these will be sorted soon.
Oh and one small thing, Office mobile is now available for iPhone, released very quietly a few days ago. iPad version not yet, MS suggest to use the web based version on that device.