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Is Office 365 worth it?

I purchased Office 365 Small Business Premium for Abiro, to get all tools and fresh installations on all PCs and phones.

Initial impressions (in my opinion):


  • Always the latest Office version (in this case 2013). I step up from my previous Office 2007.
  • Possibility to install on 5 PCs (Windows or OS X) without a shred of bad conscience.
  • Versions for most types of smartphones and tablets are included. Even for Symbian!
  • Cloud services are included in the bundle, including storage via SkyDrive. SkyDrive can be accessed from within applications, making sharing a snap.
  • Migrating to Outlook 2013 was a non-issue, as it inherited the settings and mail from Outlook 2003 without any conversion.
  • Remaining installs can be allotted to others in a floating license model fashion. Great for hired subcontractors etc.
  • Economical compared to previous licensing models. As a company expense, this is quite justifiable on a yearly basis. Especially if you make full use of 5 licenses.


  • Update: IMAP support in Outlook 2013 is simply broken, to the point of being completely useless. Considering Office 2013 has been out since last year, this is seriously bad. The only way to get around it was to step back to Outlook 2007.
  • You need to set up a new Microsoft account for application subscriptions. This was very poorly (read: not) documented. Oddly, the new account can’t be used for SkyDrive. Confusing.
  • Mobile versions require too much of the devices. I couldn’t install on an iPhone 3GS (“no front-facing camera”), nor a Nexus 7 (a serious flaw, considering how popular this tablet is, and it’s on a tablet Office is useful, not on a smartphone). Word processing obviously doesn’t require a camera, and I installed the separate Skype app without any problem (that’s much more in need of video than Word), so why not Office?
  • If you choose to use the ODF format, existing documents will be converted, so I took the Office Open XML route.
  • The Mac version is 2011 and not with the same amount of tools as the Windows version. I guess I got all that were available.
  • A feeling that Microsoft is no longer the right way to go, considering OpenOffice and all services that Google provides. Younger people / newer companies most likely won’t go for Microsoft. As I transfer documents outside of Abiro, Microsoft compatibility is still crucial.