Office365 Impressions

So, for the last year and a half, I’ve been beating the drum for migration of our small office up to Google Apps for Business, as it provided a cloud based email system and allowed for my “I’ll-Only-Use-Outlook-for-Email-and-I-hate-change” office people.

Now, Office365 is officially out of beta, and it looks pretty appealing. It’ll provide an Exchange back end, so Outlook will behave nicer, it doesn’t seem to cost much more, and, if we get the full blown package, it’ll finally upgrade the office out of the Office2003 black hole we’ve been stalled in for nearly a decade.

My worry is that there are hidden snafus and issues that people aren’t speaking about on the official forums. I certainly can’t trust testimonials from existing MS clients.

Does anyone have any experience or warnings regarding this product suite?

We are rolling out Office 365 shortly. It looks good from testing. Now we just need some experience with it when the real usage starts.

I can say for a fact that I know more about O365 that anyone here on this forum.

It has been out of beta for over a year, mystery. (The current preview is for the next version of O365).

There’s no hidden snafus or gotchas that I can think of. Complexity ramps from simply using mailboxes on the cloud, up to administrating those mailboxes using remote Exchange Powershell, all the way up to establishing a hybrid O365/on-prem organization complete with ADFS 2.0 and Exchange federation.

TL;DR: I like O365, and not just because [deleted for your protection].

Impressions: I have helped a client do a migration from, of all things, Novell Groupwise, to Office 365 and they have been using it for about 6 months. Very solid and easy to manage in my opinion. No downsides that I can see.

We’ve been using since Feb; I like it. There’s a weird bug with room reservations and time zones, but I can’t find the email chain that explains what it was and how it was resolved.

Neato. I’ll forward to my folks.

So MS is going to give Office 365 subscribers 1TB of OneDrive space, up from 20GB currently

Wow. That will be very nice. With my wife back in school and 4 kids all needing to write papers and make presentations, Office 365 has been a pretty reasonable option for us here at home.

Why? Google docs is free. If you need more space google charges $2/month for 100GB. But realistically you’ll never need than 15GB per user for office docs. 15GB is a lot of spreadsheets. You only need to pay them anything at all if you store your pictures and movies on google drive.

You can use the OneDrive storage for a lot of other stuff other than docs and spreadsheets.

And the nice thing about this plan is if you say get the 5-user 365 subscription, it’s 1TB for each user!

Yes, like I said, you only need to pay them anything at all if you store your movies/photos in the cloud.

If you actually need 1TB of cloud storage, it’s like MS throws in office for free. If you don’t, google docs is free. is free too, don’t forget.

Does that work offline now? It didn’t the last time I checked. Beyond that, they’re pretty comparable. does look just like normal office, if you’re dealing with people that would balk at relearning a new UI.

I don’t know if you do or do not have kids in school. If you don’t, then the main reason is just that of formatting. We tried to do the Google Docs thing, but there were just too many little issues here and there with formatting and converting to MS Office formats that it was worth the price so I wasn’t having to play tech support for my kids. Office is what they use at school, and it is the format they are expected to use to turn their work in. Honestly, $100/year is worth not having to deal with any of the admittedly small hassles of trying to use Google Docs.

For $100, you get the 5-user license of 365, and that’s basically 5 TBs for $100. Google will sell you 1 TB for $120/year.

I thought it was only 1 TB for the MS account that the 365 sub is licensed to. Since I purchased it with my account, we have to use that log in on each device we install it on. Still, 5 PCs and 5 iPad installs for the price, plus now 1 TB of storage and it works out to a good deal for us.

We currently have it installed on three PCs, plus it allows my wife and I to both have it on our iPads. Honestly, I am currently in a position where I would pay the $100 just to not have my teenage daughter go in to nuclear meltdown mode because Google Docs changed the formatting. The rest is just gravy.

There’s a way to assign each license to a user (use the Office 365 page where you manage your keys, under "Share Your Subscription Benefits), and each user gets their own dedicated One Drive storage.

Google Docs is pretty good if you’re just using it casually, but if you need to trade documents around and turn them in with certain formatting it’s still not quite good enough. Also there’s the always very real possibility that Google will get bored with supporting Docs and terminate it, as they do.

Office 365 is cheap enough that it’s worth the small price…especially if you’re a student or have a .edu address. I’m still on my $80 4-year subscription that I bought while taking a couple of classes.

You could also use for free, as discussed above. I agree it’s not a lot of money, and just not being bothered is clearly worth it to you.