In January 2013 Microsoft announced plans to release its new revolutionised Office product known as Office 365. Unlike before, this Office product was different not only in its capabilities, but in its affordability and utility.
Pre Office 365, most people would have used the standard Microsoft Office Suite in which they would pay a set sum of £100+ and in return would receive all of the Office apps; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and more. However, with the introduction of Office 365 the game has changed.
You pay for Office 365 on a monthly subscription from prices as low as £3.30 per user for a basic small business package (£39.60 annually) to up to £15 a user per month for the enterprise package (£116.60 annually). This boosts the products affordability as not everybody has the purchasing power to pay in bulk.
Yet, you may be wondering: what does this new Office 365 program have to offer? From the ground up, you begin with access to every Microsoft Office app. Although depending on your chosen package you may only have access to Office Online; a web browser version of Microsoft Office applications. With the more expensive subscriptions you earn the right to good old desktop versions.
Once you get past the basics, things get a little bit more interesting. For a start, with every package comes Microsoft Office mobile apps for your devices so when you are out and about and need to be able to work but your laptop is out of battery or you just don’t have one, you can just as easily work on your phone or tablet.
When you combine these mobile apps with the file storage and sharing offered by Microsoft with Office 365 – OneDrive for Business – which gives each user 1TB worth of cloud storage, all of a sudden life becomes a whole lot easier (if you sync your devices). For example, you complete some important statistical data at home on your laptop in preparation for a business conference, however you forget your laptop and it’s imperative you have that information. Not a problem! All you have to do is turn on your phone and open up the OneDrive and there you have it, access to all important work and further information you may have stored. Therefore, Office 365 helps to store all your important data and makes it accessible whenever you need it. Neat huh?
Advancing further, all users will be offered business-class email with 50GB of storage space and the ability to use your own domain name. This helps to create a more professional look for your business whilst at the same time boasting better coordination and orderliness.
Finally, also included is site mailboxes and intranet sites for your teams. The site mailboxes obviously assist in storing and sharing emails and documents in project-specific folders, thus allowing for easier team collaboration and a smoother work front. As for the intranet sites, SharePoint sites provide workspaces with customizable security settings for individual teams throughout your organisation meaning people will only be able to access the information they need to work boosting your businesses security through the protection of sensitive information.
All in all, Office 365 promotes a package unlike any predecessor. For a small, affordable subscription price every month (can be paid annually if you prefer) you can get a whole host of brand new, evolutionary functions that can help create a foundation for a business to work from with few technical issues thanks to regular updates and patches by Microsoft. Not only does Office 365 make life easier but it helps save time and is also something you can fall back on in times of need. And, at the end of the day if you don’t like the product you can just cancel your subscription which in the short term saves you a lot of money compared to if you have paid for the whole package in full originally.
Whether you are looking for Microsoft Office for business use or even just personal use, there are several tailored subscription packages and I’m sure there will be one suitable for you.