All Articles
All Articles
TECH

Microsoft Office 365

The old dog learns new, cloud-centric tricks for the modern user

by CH Editors
on 29 January 2013

By Evan Orensten and James Thorne

Microsoft-office-360-1.jpg

We've been trying out Windows 8 for a while now—not to mention testing the new generation of tablets and notebooks that has sprung up around the OS. Our overall impression is that it addresses the market's demand for content on-the-go, cross-platform syncing and the versatility of touch screens matched with the power of a mouse and keyboard.

With the official release Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 University Microsoft is making a big statement about how users use software and share data in the cloud, and taking advantage of the new Windows 8 platform in the process. Essentially, Office 365 is a go anywhere, do anything version of the business staple. Subscribing to the service, you can download a full version of Office on up to five devices, sharing content between them via Skydrive, where Office 365 users receive an additional 20GB of storage on top of the standard 7GB. What's more, you can access programs, documents and personal settings on any computer in the world by logging into Office online and streaming the programs. This is important to note—it's not accessing a browser-based platform (familiar to many of us on the likes using Google Docs or the currently available Office web apps)—it allows you to connect to Office 365 from any computer and download a usable version for the duration of your work. This does not count as one of your five installs, and it's not permanently installed on the device. It's just there while you need it. In our tests over the last week we found this to be pretty compelling and easy to use.

Microsoft-office-360-2.jpg

"SkyDrive is really the backbone to the entire service," explains Jevon Fark, Senior Marketing Manager at Microsoft, who gave us a hands-on tour of Office 365. "That's where SkyDrive speaks to all your devices." The cloud-based system is aimed at users who need constant access to content—a demographic that is increasingly all of us. Office 365 is taking a cue from productivity resources like Evernote and Google Docs, offering the convenience of an app or web service with the power and capability of a fully-fledged program suite with 22 years of history to back it up.

Fark cites services like HBO Go, Amazon, Netflix and Spotify as the model for the new face of Office, even referring to the streaming service as "Office On Demand." The distinguishing factor here is the power you get, which is significantly above any paid-for app. "This is an entirely new kind of Office... it's the most ambitious version that we've released and it's really a reinvention of Office as a service, in the cloud, without compromise," says Fark. "I'm not talking about Office in the browser that exists already with the Office web apps. This is a full, rich Office with services underpinnings."

Microsoft-office-360-3.jpg

And it's not just the cloud that is becoming more efficient and intuitive—Office products have been revamped as well. The "touchification" of the suite is more or less complete, and Microsoft's software is now collapsing the divide between desktop and mobile computing. With Office 365, Microsoft is also moving from the windfall updates, giving users new features and UI improvements as they become available.

All signs point to a more progressive workflow, and Fark hints to the future, saying, "It's a major goal of ours to continue to make Office smarter and to be a step ahead of the user."

Microsoft-office-360-4.jpg

Office 365 is being offered for $100 annually (with installs on 5 devices), and university students pay only $80 for four years of service (on a single device), which works out to roughly the cost of a cup of coffee each month. Users can access the service on demand from any computer on both Mac and Windows 8 platforms as often as they like. Subscriptions also come with 60 minutes of Skype world minutes each month that includes free international calls to mobile and landline phones.

Find out more about Microsoft Office 365 at Office.com.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft
Loading More...