What is Office 365?
Office 365 is the cloud version of Office. It has all the functionality of the desktop version, but the convenience of working on the web. That means you can access the applications, and your own files too, from a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone anywhere, simply by connecting to the Internet.
What’s the difference between buying Office 365 and Office 2013?
In real terms, the most significant difference to users is that Office 2013 is purchased outright; whereas Office 365 is ‘rented’ on a monthly or annual subscription. Some people will still prefer to pay a one-off fee to own the product for life. But there are restrictions to a one-time purchase, the most significant being that it limits the use of Office applications to one PC per purchase. With Office 365 up to 5 devices can be used on one license
But if I pay on an ongoing basis, won’t I end up paying more?
If buying the product for more than one user, most customers will find that opting for one of Office 365’s subscription packages will translate into more attractive start up and operational costs. . Businesses pay per user, and there are three subscription levels depending on your company’s size and requirements. Please call us here at Datanet on 01252 810010 and we can discuss which of the subscription levels are the most suitable for your needs.
What OS do I need to take advantage of Office 365? Is it compatible with older versions of Office?
You need Windows 8 (not Vista or XP). If you’re using a Mac, it’s OS X 10.6 or later – you will not get OneNote in the package, though – you’ll need to download this from the Mac App store. It’s recommended that users have the current or most recent version of their usual browser installed, whether that’s Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 10, Safari 5 or Chrome 17. Office 365 will work seamlessly with Office 2013 and Office 2010. For Mac users, it’ll function with the 2011 version of Office.
If Office 365 is web-based, can I still work offline?
Yes, but you will need periodic Internet access. If you go for the full Enterprise version of office 365 you will initially, download the software when you first login– there’s no disk any more. You must be online to routinely renew your subscription. It’s also beneficial to be online from time to time to take advantage of the promised incremental upgrades. However, you can still use all applications – Word, Excel and so on – while not connected to the internet. You can also opt for the Web only version which you will always access though a browser and will need to be online to access the applications.
What about my existing files, can I access and amend them while offline?
One of the main advantages is being able to store documents in the cloud and access them anywhere. Provided you sync your documents with OneDrive before you go offline, your files will be available for editing on your hard drive. When you next go online, amended documents will automatically upload to OneDrive.
What about security – if I store my files in the cloud or want to share them with my colleagues, will they be safe?
If anything, Microsoft’s privacy, security and compliance capabilities are likely to be significantly more effective than what’s already in place in most small businesses. Microsoft’s detailed policies are available here.
What ‘extras’ will I get with Office 365?
You will be eligible for regular updates and new features which won’t all be available to Office 2013 users. But immediately, there is 1TB of cloud storage on OneDrive for each user.
I’m still not sure…
It’s a fairly big change and an ongoing commitment but do’t worry as Datanet can hold your hand through the process and implement the transition to Office 365 for you. Our trained technical team are here when you need us.
What’s the bottom line?
Office365 can give you many more benefits than Office 2013 if you routinely work from more than one location; if you want to access your office files from different devices; and/ or you collaborate with others on documents. It’s also a more cost-effective way of keeping up-to-date with MS Office as it develops.
If you’re still unsure as to which version is the best for your circumstances, why not get in touch with us here at Datanet? We’d be happy to advise you. Please call 01252 810010