Microsoft's Office 365 has come out of beta. But does it have what it takes to counter Google Apps? Office 365 has four cloud-hosted components: Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Office Web Apps, which you can use to access the other three from a browser. The addition of Dynamics CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is planned. …
Mean Titles Suck
"Google Docs is less feature rich than Microsoft Office"
--Based on my limited experience with brower based exiting of Google Docs spreadsheets verses Excel.... That would be an ummmmmmmmm..... Understatement.
"offline is a problem"
--Perhaps the more appropirate statement would be "not possible" don't you think?
I'm as happy as the next guy that someone is challenging M$ and thus forcing innovation (e.g.: Amazing how much better IE has started getting again after the period of non-competitive stagnation). Similarly, I understand the cloud is a paradygm shift and that the associated toools will improve/evolve. However, the simplistic tool that is Google Doc's spreadsheets is so limited as to be laughable for complicated spreadsheets. (Or is the "paid" Google version just that much more feature rich?) Here's a very simple example: "Paste Special - Formulas" - You have "Paste Values" and "Paste Format," but no Paste Formulas??? To me that is a glaringly obvious lack that should never have been left out in the first place.
Fortunately, it will probably improve over time.
Another major missing attribute of Google Spreadsheets is serious conditional formatting.
In that case I can't see many companies taking this on otherwise they are hit with the risk of the DPA coming down on them - they can't protect their data.
It will be a long time before companies stop having local software
We use Google Docs and as one of the administrators as well ad users of it I find it horrible. In fact of I got my way we wouldn't use it. Gmail / Postini is the only really functional part of it IMO and a lot of people then take issue with that regard to privacy.
The 500 lb gorilla in the room is........
......affordable and adequate bandwidth. This is particularly true in the US where they are complaining (with good reason) that their connections are slower and more expensive than in Europe. However, the spare capacity in Europe is not much to boast about if we are all going to go "cloudy". It does not matter when you get down to the nitty gritty whether you are talking Google, Apple or Microsoft, the infrastructure is woefully inadequate if we really are talking about a paradigm shift here. This "solution" threatens to be *very* expensive and the telcos are not exactly going to bust their nuts investing the *huge* sums in infrastructure that will be necessary and in case the cloudy cognoscenti have not noticed there is not a lot of public money available for the present time, a situation that is not likely to change any time soon. So, to sum up, it is going to cost eyewatering amounts, is possibly going to be a touch insecure (to put it tactfully) and "BigCorp" is going to own your arse as far as your data is concerned. Anyone care to explain to me why this is such a wonderful idea?
We use Google Docs and MS Office. Neither is going away, and both have advantages and problems.
Cloud connect sucks, though, and we use Syncdocs (http://www.syncdocs.com) to collaborate properly between the two Office suites.
The Google spreadsheet program is a notch above useless, Excel users will never switch.
The pricing model is complicated as usual. A simple one point pricing approach would encourage more people to switch over. But Microsoft can help themselves to cock up every opportunity with corporate bullsh*t. A great idea unfortunately executed by a dinosaur of a company.
Shurely some mistake?
What's all this, well thought-out, reasoned comments? Like most big corporates we're massive MS users, and let's face it, for most office functions, if well maintained, it just works. Google docs gets a look in around the peripheries, mostly for sharing stuff quickly on dispersed projects, etc. We're pretty platform and application agnostic, we'll use whatever is most suitable for the job.
Well thought out, reasoned comments?
Can't have that!
wah wah wah Libre Office wah wah wah M$ evil wah wah
It all depends...
Good article. The cost difference isn't really going to be a big issue for most of us. This is for professional users and we're quite happy to pay a small premium for something that does what we want. I know I am.
Honestly, given that I'm already using Office (and like it), the MS offering looks overwhelmingly preferable. I get offline-capability which I stiil consider vital, I get better integration, more powerful products (if Open Office isn't good enough to prise me away from Excel and Word, the Google offerings don't have a chance) and I don't have to start committing my data to a company whose primary business model is adverstising and which I do not trust. I don't get why some complain about the complexity of MS's pricing model. It's not *that* hard to work out and it allows you to buy what you need rather than a one-size fits all.
All in all, MS comes out way ahead for me. They need to sort that SSL connection out though. That shouldn't be optional on even the cheap end of their offerings. It should be standard.
Actually poor article
Nothing at all about how each of the tools you need to use on a daily basis compare to their google equivalents and tons of waffle about the glue holding it all together. This part should be so seamless it's irrelevant.
How about a follow up with a user centric view - not a sysadmins.
On that first screen shot of Office 365, within the first 10 words I can see "Start here" and "experience", and later on I see the dreaded Ribbon.
I don't think I want to use Office 365
Ah, a ribbon hate comment.
The ensuing thread should sort out the "well thought-out, reasoned comments" problem nicely then.
I have to admit to actually being rather taken with the ribbon interface. It really only works well on a widescreen monitor though, that I will grant.
Ribbon is a fail on a laptop where the screen real estate is more limited. For power users who actually use the rarer functions everything is at least one more click away.
I've never understood Sharepoint, IMHO all it does is give the facility to get an email when something is updated.
Sharepoint also has some oddities, like to ability to create a longer path name than the physical file address, which was really grate in the last place I worked, you couldn’t open some excel spreadsheets because the sharepoint path name was too long. The only way to access the files was to open the explorer view and access the spreadsheet that way.
As for the poxy ribbon, I hate it, not because it is easy to use but because its nearly impossible to find anything that's not on the ribbon.
Sounds like the usual MS stuff...
...We use Google Apps (with Chrome) and Open Office (for those who need more) here (both free) and we are managing quite well thanks. Expensive licensing no thanks.
and if that works for your organization, more power to you!
Its great to have a choice. I like Zoho, too! But I prefer Office 2010.
I wonder which office suite the Dos Equis man uses?!??
No comparison between Google Apps and Office Web Apps? And Zoho?
Creating complex documents in a cloud-based office is an arduous task, but I've seen it done. The setup tends to be more complicated, but the result can be successful for small documents. I usually gravitate to the cloud in my initial document creation; if need to access it from anywhere, it stays there. if things get complicated, back in Office 2010 I will return. Like my massive SQL-server querying spreadsheet with 30,000 rows, and associated pivot tables and charts. I'm sure the cloud evangelists will claim I am using the wrong tool for the job, though.
Each approach has pros and cons.
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