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  1. #1
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    MS adds more options to Office 365 Home Premium




    TOP STORY

    MS adds more options to Office 365 Home Premium


    By Woody Leonhard

    No matter how you measure it, Office 365 Home Premium has defied the odds and become a surprising success.

    This quick overview of Microsoft's for-rent Office suite for home users tells why and reveals new features available to you any day now.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/ms-adds-more-options-to-office-365-home-premium/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    I have found that Open Office is far more than adequate for home users. Free, updated, and powerful. How much collaboration goes on in a non-commercial setting?

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    The subscription version of Office may not be suitable for all people. Before MS made this switch to a subscription model I was recommending MS Office Home & Student.Office 2010 Home and Student for $150 allowed one to install it on 3 computers. These days unless people have a real good reason for using MS Office I am strongly suggesting one of the free alternatives like Libre Office or Open Office instead. That is because MS Office 2013 for $139 allows one to install it on one computer. Sure the subscription version of Office 2013 allows one to install the product on up to 5 devices but it all depends on how much use you get out of the product whether its worthwhile spending the $99 a yr for it.

    For businesses MS Office 2013 business version is $249 for the perpetual license. Office 365 Small Business the subscription is $150 per year per user. That can quickly add up if you have multiple users at your small business. If you have say 2 or 3 users it may be more cost effective simply to buy the perpetual version of the product. I rarely get people phoning me wanting to upgrade to the newest version of MS Office. I still know some people who are still using MS Office 2000! That is because they are simply using MS Word and possibly Excel.

    The people I deal with the allure of MS Skydrive is not something that even enters into their decision. Being in Canada the MS Skype minutes are unusable if talking to relatives in other parts of Canada as one can not call to landlines here in Canada with Skype.

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    I agree with pcguy. I've been using OpenOffice and now LibreOffice for some years now. Including for complex projects. The subscription model may be advantageous for a larger family but for a couple of people, not so much. Just think Annual x 4 years = $400. Cheaper to buy 2 Home versions. Or skip it altogether with Libre. And Skydrive? Lots of alternatives. I use Box free and they threw in tons of extra space.

    The trend also leaves people parking their documents in the cloud. That's not a backup if it's the only place they're stored. It also leads to all kinds of new possible loss issues.

    Businesses may have tax reasons to make renting software advantageous vs depreciation. But for many small businesses, the math is simpler.

    Interesting detail on Skype. I have a $30 annual subscription that gives me unlimited NAmerica wide calling from Skype to any phones. This is pre-MS. Curious they would randomly limit the licences that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcguy View Post
    The subscription version of Office may not be suitable for all people. Before MS made this switch to a subscription model I was recommending MS Office Home & Student.Office 2010 Home and Student for $150 allowed one to install it on 3 computers. These days unless people have a real good reason for using MS Office I am strongly suggesting one of the free alternatives like Libre Office or Open Office instead. That is because MS Office 2013 for $139 allows one to install it on one computer. Sure the subscription version of Office 2013 allows one to install the product on up to 5 devices but it all depends on how much use you get out of the product whether its worthwhile spending the $99 a yr for it.

    For businesses MS Office 2013 business version is $249 for the perpetual license. Office 365 Small Business the subscription is $150 per year per user. That can quickly add up if you have multiple users at your small business. If you have say 2 or 3 users it may be more cost effective simply to buy the perpetual version of the product. I rarely get people phoning me wanting to upgrade to the newest version of MS Office. I still know some people who are still using MS Office 2000! That is because they are simply using MS Word and possibly Excel.

    The people I deal with the allure of MS Skydrive is not something that even enters into their decision. Being in Canada the MS Skype minutes are unusable if talking to relatives in other parts of Canada as one can not call to landlines here in Canada with Skype.
    You are understating what you get with an Office 365 Small Business Premium account. You get Office 365 Pro Plus which has OneNote, Access, Publisher, & Lync in addition to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, & Outlook which is in Office Home & Business 2013. You also get enterprise class Exchange based email. SharePoint online with a public web site & intranet sites. Each user can install Office on up to 5 PCs/Macs. Online conferencing using Lync. If you take advantage of SkyDrive Pro you can get rid of some of the file shares on a current network.

    Many people don't inquire about upgrading Office because they have no idea what is in the newer versions & what business problems can be helped using a newer version. Most businesses we know just don't have the people or time to keep up with software developments.

    Joe

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    One problem I see with Office 365 for businesses is that it is likely that your software will continually be updated. This doesn't sound like a problem, and for the most part it isn't. But there is a problem with it: if different people have different versions of the software, the file formats may not be compatible. When you have a large organization, and/or when you exchange files with lots of outside people, file format incompatibility becomes a headache.

    Also, your older files may become incompatible (unopenable/uneditable) for you sooner than what you'd like, if you are continually being updated.

    On the other hand, if everyone is continually being updated to the latest version, theoretically they should always be compatible with each other.

    I did desktop support for a while in a large oil company, and file format incompatibility was a headache that we sometimes had to deal with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    One problem I see with Office 365 for businesses is that it is likely that your software will continually be updated. This doesn't sound like a problem, and for the most part it isn't. But there is a problem with it: if different people have different versions of the software, the file formats may not be compatible. When you have a large organization, and/or when you exchange files with lots of outside people, file format incompatibility becomes a headache.

    Also, your older files may become incompatible (unopenable/uneditable) for you sooner than what you'd like, if you are continually being updated.

    On the other hand, if everyone is continually being updated to the latest version, theoretically they should always be compatible with each other.

    I did desktop support for a while in a large oil company, and file format incompatibility was a headache that we sometimes had to deal with.
    It would seem to me that, if anything, Office365 would help with that, as it updates automatically and would allow everyone to be using the same version of Office.
    Rui
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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    It would seem to me that, if anything, Office365 would help with that, as it updates automatically and would allow everyone to be using the same version of Office.
    This is true if everyone is on automatic updates. However, if some departments are and others aren't, you will have some incompatibilities.

    In a large organization, it's easier when the IT department keeps total control over that process. And unless they have a managed (centrally-controlled) environment, in an Office 365 situation you will have some doing updates and others not.

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    Surely Office 2013 will always be able to open old versions of e.g. Word? I would have thought it would open even Word 2 (was there a Word 1?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    Surely Office 2013 will always be able to open old versions of e.g. Word? I would have thought it would open even Word 2 (was there a Word 1?).
    There was a Word 1.0. I bought it. It came in a few 1.44 MB disks and it came with a real manual, which was really good.

    I think the problem Jim talked about was more of older versions not being able to open new formats, but the formats do not change with every new Office version.
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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    What I have observed is that certain users who were employed with my company didn't have the most recent version of Word. They had no trouble sending Word documents to those outside the company; but when they received Word documents from certain people outside the company, they couldn't read them, because our version of Word was older than what the other people had.

    Also, more recently, we had an assistant in our department who was tasked with loading backup tapes into our system every Friday. We would prepare the tape list, and she would travel to where the tapes and backup system were located so as to load the tapes into the machine. She had Office 2003, the rest of us had Office 2007. We had to make sure that we saved all tape lists in "compatibility" mode, so that she could open and read the lists! Management finally approved her getting Office 2007, and our troubles ended at that point.

    Both of these instances would seem to make the case that Office 365 on all machines in the two companies would have prevented the problem. And it would have. But my point is that not everyone has the latest version of MS Office.

    If Office 365 will save and open documents without error in the older formats, then it would be good to move in that direction.

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    Office 365 allows you to install Office 2013, which supports all office formats, it seems. As upgrades are included during a year, for those who upgrade (and all can), no issues of that nature should occur.
    Rui
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    Updates to Office 365 Pro Plus can be controlled by group policy. That is most likely what would happen in larger organizations.

    Joe

  14. #14
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    What I have observed is that certain users who were employed with my company didn't have the most recent version of Word. They had no trouble sending Word documents to those outside the company; but when they received Word documents from certain people outside the company, they couldn't read them, because our version of Word was older than what the other people had.

    Also, more recently, we had an assistant in our department who was tasked with loading backup tapes into our system every Friday. We would prepare the tape list, and she would travel to where the tapes and backup system were located so as to load the tapes into the machine. She had Office 2003, the rest of us had Office 2007. We had to make sure that we saved all tape lists in "compatibility" mode, so that she could open and read the lists! Management finally approved her getting Office 2007, and our troubles ended at that point.

    Both of these instances would seem to make the case that Office 365 on all machines in the two companies would have prevented the problem. And it would have. But my point is that not everyone has the latest version of MS Office.

    If Office 365 will save and open documents without error in the older formats, then it would be good to move in that direction.
    You do realize that there is an office 2003 compatibility pack that allows it to edit and read the newer document format files.

    Jerry

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    A quick check and you can get a legal copy of Office 2000 on ebay for $20. I don't know about you guys but I have not enjoyed the work they've done on it since then. I'm using it now on my Windows 8 machine just fine.

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