EDGE 2015 is starting in

Find out more EDGE 2015
Why Office 365 and Office 2013 may not be right for you

Why Office 365 and Office 2013 may not be right for you

The new-look Office suite comes correct with handy tools and wonderful extras. But it also has a handful of potentially disastrous gotchas.

The next generation of Office is here, and while it's not necessarily an essential upgrade for Office 2010 users, it's easily the best Office suite to date. Editing complicated financial spreadsheets has never been so semi-seamless!

That said, with this particular $100-plus investment, you'll want to look before you leap. Whether you're opting for a straightforward Office 2013 installation or the multi-PC, cloud-connected ubiquity of an Office 365 subscription, there are four potentially crippling gotchas to consider before you plunk down your hard-earned cash. I've also identified a supposed gotcha that you can actually ignore entirely.

1. Your computer may not run Office 2013.

Unlike Office 2010, Office 2013 does not work with Windows XP or Windows Vista. Yet the latest data from NetApplications shows that roughly 45 percent of all Internet users still rock those two aging operating systems. If you're part of that sizable horde, there's absolutely no reason to buy Office 2013--it won't work on your system. And because an Office 365 Home Premium subscription simply lets you install the latest version of Office--Office 2013, again--on up to five PCs, you'll want to pass on that as well.

2. Other computers may not run Office on Demand.

One of the big draws of an Office 365 subscription is Office on Demand, a full-fledged, Internet-streamed version of the productivity suite that Microsoft calls "Your Office away from home." And it really, truly is--if the host computer meets the suite's fairly stringent requirements. As with local installations of Office 2013, Office on Demand plays nice only with PCs running Windows 7 or 8. It also requires the PC to have a fairly modern browser: Internet Explorer 9 or later, Mozilla Firefox 12 or later, Apple Safari 5 or later, or Google Chrome 18 or later.

You won't be using Office on Demand at the library, in other words. (Is there a law that says all library computers have to run Windows XP?) Nor will you be using it on a Mac. While Office 365 supports installations of Office 2011 on OS X, it does not support Office on Demand for OS X.

3. Got Google? Then you got problems.

Back-and-forth sniping from Microsoft and Google isn't anything new--Scroogled, anyone?--but the spat turned especially nasty for Office 2013 adoptees a couple of months back when Google announced that it was dropping Sync support for personal users. Sync is Google's implementation of Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Without it, you can't natively sync your Google Calendar or Contacts to the Outlook 2013 mail client, as Outlook 2013 doesn't support the CalDAV and CardDAV protocols that free Google users must now rely upon.

Look on the bright side: You can still sync Gmail to Outlook 2013 using IMAP. Google does offer EAS/Sync support for premium, paid-for Google Apps users, but even that doesn't work with Outlook 2013, and, in any case, it bumps up against the next gotcha ...

4. Office 365 Home Premium: Small businesses need not apply.

Office 365 Home Premium sounds like a killer deal for SMBs. It offers the latest Office software--including Outlook, Publisher, and Access--on up to five computers, along with 20GB of SkyDrive cloud storage and 60 monthly Skype minutes, all for less than $10 per month. Where do I sign?

You don't. The licenses for Office 365 Home Premium and Office 2013 Home & Student prohibit using the software for commercial purposes. Currently, a small-business owner's only option is to buy pricey per-PC licenses for either Office Home & Business 2013 ($220; includes the core programs plus Outlook) or Office Professional 2013 ($400; adds Access and Publisher). Neither of those includes Office on Demand, or the Skype and SkyDrive benefits. Don't despair, though: Microsoft plans to launch Office 365 Small Business Premium on February 27, at a cost of $150 per user per year.

One alleged gotcha to ignore completely

Microsoft's marketing department needs to step up its game. After casting users into chaos with the confusing mix of capabilities in Windows RT and Windows 8, fear, uncertainty, and doubt are once again in full swing with Office 365 thanks to some mixed messages from Redmond.

Yes, between Skype, Office on Demand, and SkyDrive storage enabled by default, Office 365 definitely has its head in the cloud--but its feet are firmly planted on the desktop. To wit: The Office apps you install as part of an Office 365 subscription do not need an active Internet connection to work. I've seen a lot of people making statements to the contrary, but it's simply not true. While the streaming Office on Demand service requires a Web connection, the five Office 2013 installations you're allowed with your 365 subscription are each fully functioning local installations and they work just fine online or offline--as long as your account as in good standing, that is.

EDGE 2015:: For all the latest on EDGE 2015 including the keynote speakers visit the EDGE mini-site now

2015 ARN ICT Industry Awards: Nominations for the 2015 ARN ICT Industry Awards close on June 26. NOMINATE NOW!!!

Follow Us

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Office 365applicationsProductivity softwareMicrosoftOffice 2013softwareOffice suites



In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

Cooking, learning language and doing the laundry are a few of the human skills demonstrated by.real humanoid bots featured in the National Geographic movie Robots.

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance
IN PICTURES: OKI Data Australia partner event (+10 photos)
Business Products

IN PICTURES: OKI Data Australia partner event (+10 photos)

OKI recently hosted its ChannelOne dealer forum for its executive series channel partners to get together and learn about the company's new high-performance ES8400 A3 multifunction series printers. After a welcome and business overview from OKI Data Australia managing director, Dennie Kawahara, delegates were given a comprehensive overview of the new product, as well as an update on the latest marketing initiatives and software solutions, before being treated to live demos and a product showcase. Partners were also given a preview of OKI’s upcoming A3 digital LED white toner printer. With more than 60 delegates attending from all over the country, the day concluded with dinner at Casa Ristorante Italiano in Sydney and several delegates also participated in a friendly game of golf the following morning.

IN PICTURES: OKI Data Australia partner event (+10 photos)

iasset.com is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

Show Comments