Office 365 is a cloud collaboration service that affords a special and safe location to save, share and edit files and documents. It also helps to relate dispersed teams using shared calendars, messaging and conferencing tools. It enhances your label experience using branded emails and online websites. The business class email afforded by Office 365 provides for 50 GB of storage per user and the ability to transmit message of up to 25 MB. This allows you to send images in an email and to employ custom formatting.
You can modify your inbox controls and notifications, and edit your calendar and to-do list, to further prioritize your tasks. Talk with collaborators more efficiently with online availability statuses to prompt online chat, instant messaging tools and one.to-one, or one.to-many Voice and video calling. Office 365 affords collaboration and data sharing tools for both interior and outer purposes.
Office 365 is a step taken by Microsoft combining all their basic and enterprise products into a single cloud-based solution. Microsoft has not only integrated its usual office suite but also added applications like Exchange Server for email, Sharepoint for social networking and collaboration, Lync for communication, VoIP, and video conferencing and also Yammer an Enterprise social network.
There are a few variations of the service depending on the end use namely Personal, Enterprise, Small Business and Education all with different prices and features tailor-made for the segment.
Microsoft has learned from its mistakes and recognized that most users aren’t willing to give up things with which they are already comfortable. Office 365 has done just that, keeping all your favorites things the same your applications are now clouded and they now seamlessly connect and communicate with each other.
Here’s the new rich look of Office 365, with an elegant and crisp design. It shows you all the information you would expect to have right on your start screen, just log into your office 365 account and it gets auto customized just as the way you left it at your last device.
Once you log in, it shows your recent used files, your favorite templates, and it even remembers the graphic you chose. Therefore, it doesn’t matter where and when you sign in; whether in your office or at home, you get the feeling as if you were using your personal device, and you can use the customization you love.
Another feature that we have been waiting for is the default save on OneDrive rather than on a local disk, so it makes collaboration easier.
What’s new for email users in Office 365? Apart from the new refreshing design, a few other helpful features have been added.
With Word online you can access your documents from anywhere and anytime, be it your mobile app, laptop or Tablet. Besides, you can open and edit any Office document directly through your mail, One Drive or your local disk. Hence, once you open a document using Word Online, it gives you option that whether you want to edit it online or in your desktop application. When using Word in online mode multiple persons can work simultaneously on the same document at the same time and you can see what he/she is updating on a real-time basis, making it a very useful collaborating tool.
Another new feature is the “tell me what you want to do” feature. In fact, when you type anything that you plan to do, it provides you with recommendations. For example, I want to insert a table, so when you type table in that text box, it starts popping out suggestions related to the word you just typed. It makes life a lot easier for word dummies and completely eradicates the act of using Google and searching across multiple links to find the right answer.
Moreover, since the editing and all the functionalities are online, you don’t have to worry about losing your data. In fact, it is updated every single moment you make changes to your document.
Furthermore, since it is based on SaaS (Software as a Service) model, whenever any feature is updated, you get your hands on it immediately. Therefore, it is the fastest possible way to be updated with the technology. Online reduces some burden from you PC as all the processing is done at the end of Microsoft Servers.
Additionally, there is a mobile based application available for the Office 365, which is again robust and well designed. It has all the basic functionalities and is designed to make scrolling through the document easier and fluent. One feature I especially like about the app is that you can quickly resize the image and the text around it automatically adjusts to it.
The modern workplace is centered on sharing information and collaboration between ad hoc groups and different teams. The tools used to collaborate are different in each application – In Outlook we have distribution groups, Lync has buddy lists and Team Sites in Sharepoint. The new Groups feature in Office 365 binds all these applications together. Now you can link together your Yammer group with your SharePoint Team site while communicating with a group in Outlook, thus revolutionizing the way we think about collaboration.
Email handling is the need of the hour. If your work involves constant communication via email, it’s most likely you have multiple folders in your inbox and so many rules. Consequently, keeping track of all of them is a big hassle. Office 365 presents a tool named clutter that redefines the way we think of our inboxes. It automatically learns how to de-clutter by moving lower priority messages into a cluttered folder. It detects each time you act on a message and gets smarter each time. It assesses the content of your messages and even how you are addressed in the message. Thus, as you use the application, it gets smarter about your preferences and applies them to your experience. These preferences are not shared with anyone else.
Skype Integration is another highlight of Office 365. You can Skype chat with your co-workers in the same window as you are editing your document. Combined with real-time multiple user editing it’s a real treat for the virtual workspace. You can also get Skype calls to any Mobile or landline for 60 Minutes/Month.
One note Integration automatically sync all your to-do lists and reminders with the calendar application.
Office 365 also offers integration with some new applications like Sway, a new presentation tool designed by Microsoft. Bing is now integrated with Sway, and it automatically search for images on the web based on your typed words.
Office 365 also includes the new Power BI suite, which is full of business intelligence and self-serve data mining tools. Primarily incorporated into Excel, it can perform tasks like geovisualization and Bing Maps data. You can also publish and access reports and do natural language query tasks on data.
The latest new Excel tool Power Maps is also available in Office 365. Power Maps allows you to transform data into images and map them on a floor plan or any other image format. Powerful BI tools combined with collaborative tools make Office 365 remarkably useful in the workplace.
In addition to having features for the user, Office 365 offers some very intuitive administrator functions making it easy for IT admins to perform regular tasks. 365 has a comprehensive administrator panel, which arranges all the functions in a simplistic manner.
An administrator can also set a customized active sync device policy, it also allows the administrator to restrict or allow sync to mobile devices in case of confidential information, which cannot be allowed outside the organization.
Sharing a document has never been easier than Office 365. As soon as you save a document, you have multiple sharing options wherein you can share via Sharepoint, email or pdf by a single click.
Two words that describe Office 365 are integration and compatibility. Microsoft has done a good job considering the complexity and no of functions they have tried to incorporate seamlessly into a single bundle. The support for Office 365 has deteriorated over time although it is adequate at the moment and not bad.
Optimum use of tools such as SharePoint and OneNote and marred by the lack of users using these applications. Almost everyone I know is entirely comfortable with Google Drive and Evernote and are reluctant to move to SharePoint and OneNote. Thus, having no collaborators reduces the utility of these collaborative tools.
However, there are a few compatibility issues with One drive, which requires you to use two separate accounts to sign into Windows 8 and Office 365, almost as if Windows and Onedrive come from one company and Office 365 from another.
Cloudswave Score for Office 365
Rating based on 7 Critic Reviews
Edward Mendelson , on Pc Mag
Office 365 gets you the best productivity software available today, including full installations of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more, for up to five Windows and Mac desktops. You also get a slew of mobile apps, 1TB of online storage, and real-time collaboration.
Mary Branscombe, Max Slater-Robins , on TechRadar
Office 365 is a simple and cost-effective way to get access to new features in desktop Office 2013, but Microsoft still has to prove it can offer meaningful improvements on a regular basis. Smaller companies will appreciate its reliability and interface, but there are powerful options for larger ones too.
Bob Charlie, Adam Shepherd, on IT Pro
Still the best productivity suite on the market - the ability to access your documents on any PC directly through the cloud is going to be a necessity for most users.
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