Microsoft Office , I can’t recall since when I’ve been using this productivity suite , I think it was in 1993 , during my time in school when I started using Word 6 , since then there is no other productivity suite which can come close to it and I have used plenty , from Apple’s iWork suite ( Pages , Numbers and Keynote available for Free ) to Open Office , with plenty of alternates like QuickOffice etc on my Android and iOS devices.
Till now I was using Office 2010 for Windows at home and Office for Mac on my Macbook Pro. A while ago , I got my kids a new laptop which came with a trial version of Office 365 aka Office 15 and I had a chance to use the new software .
As our trial ended , I came to realize the usefulness of Office 365 and decided to dump our Office 2010 and move to Office 365.
The first step to acquire Office 365 is subscription. Fortunately , Pakistan is one of the countries where Microsoft has a robust presence and I was able to buy the Office365 Home subscription for a steal at just Rs 7200/ – per year or Rs 719.99 per month ( making it Rs 8640 per year)
The subscription allows the subscriber to share his subscription with 4 other users , making it a total 5 users so the average falls down to just Rs 1440/- Per User Per Year. The best part about this sharing is that each user is considered an individual with no shared storage or data . The only thing the main subscriber can do is add or remove users , which you can do as many times as you want .
The subscription installation includes Microsoft Word , Excel , PowerPoint , Publisher, Outlook , Access and One Note and is usable on both Windows and Apple computers ( Apple computers does not get Access Database Management ) . Upon starting , the application will itself connect to the internet and will download updates if any ( in Apple , a separate application runs ) giving you the latest the suite has to offer.
If that can’t persuade you , each user is licensed to use their subscription of Office365 on 5 different computers and tablets making it a total of 25 devices ,brining the cost down to just Rs 288/- Per Device Per Year , so you can use your subscription on you home computer , office computer ( although it’s not allowed ) , iPad , iPhone , Android Device etc. If you happen to have a Windows Phone device like Lumia , you are in luck as they does not count towards the 5 device limit making it 6 or more depending on how many you have and it has native Office Mobile application installed which makes use of OneDrive and it’s One Terabyte of storage.
If you are on an iPad , you can also make use of the recently released Microsoft Word , PowerPoint and Excel for iPad without any subscription charges using your existing Office365 subscription.
Still not convinced , how about each user gets a 1 Terabyte , that 1024 GB or 1,000,000,000,000 bytes free storage on One Drive in addition to the 15GB + 3GB (Camera Roll incentive ) already available for free.
I use my 1TB of One Drive storage to backup my photos from all my devices including iPhone and ofcourse Lumia 1520 on auto , keep backup of my computers , office documents and the likes which I can access from anywhere I like on any device I’m using on any platform.
The usefulness of Office 365 is not limited to work use only , my kids , prepare all their assignments on their own logins , save it on their own accounts , share it with their team members for realtime editing and collaboration or occasionally when they forget their work at home , are able to access it from their school .
If still you don’t want to commit ( pay up ) for Office365 , their always the FREE option at Office.com , the web based interface allows you to use Office online without installing anything so those on non supporting OS like Chrome can use it too.
Now what’s your excuse for not shifting to Office365 ( Free or Paid) ?