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Microsoft Launches Office 365 Cloud Suite

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  • Dealbreaker (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @06:25PM (#36605096)

    It can't open my old Final Cut Pro projects.

  • We use it here (Score:5, Informative)

    by liquidweaver (1988660) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @06:28PM (#36605118)
    and have been for the last two months. I use linux on my desktop, it's nice to be able to have access to the web apps, since I can't very well install the software. Also, the big thing you need to consider when deploying this - If you use the migration tool and link your AD accounts with Office365, you cannot ever get rid of your local AD because you won't be able to manage your users. We chose to export each user to a PST, and import their PST's into their new Office365 account now that we are one step closer to dumping our expensive and bloated local MS infrastructure.
    • Also, it IS possible to remove synced users. You run a tool buried in the folder structure of the sync utility, set a flag in the registry for the tool to do a full sync, and have it sync with an empty OU. Works like a champ.
    • What is it adding over Google apps in your case? It seems to me that if you want to reliably migrate away from MS infrastructure that would be more of a step in the right direction, wouldn't it? Won't your marketing people miss man of the top end features of powerpoint in any case?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by liquidweaver (1988660)

        What is it adding over Google apps in your case? It seems to me that if you want to reliably migrate away from MS infrastructure that would be more of a step in the right direction, wouldn't it? Won't your marketing people miss man of the top end features of powerpoint in any case?

        Well, we did try out google apps. I like it, but I got overruled :) The main complaints with google apps - No Lync No web app versions of Word, Excel, etc ( I'll admit, I like having this option, since I cannot install them and sometimes OO/LO doesn't cut it) My main complaints against 365 - Google apps is cheaper, and accomplishes most everything we did before with a local Exchange deployment It's Microsoft People might start putting data into the lockbox that is Sharepoint. It's a nightmare migrating dat

        • No web app versions of Word, Excel, etc ( I'll admit, I like having this option, since I cannot install them and sometimes OO/LO doesn't cut it)

          By this I guess you mean that the web versions of Excel have much better conversion accuracy from standard office versions than the Google Docs applications?

      • Re:We use it here (Score:4, Informative)

        by lymond01 (314120) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @07:19PM (#36605518)

        Not the original poster, but one advantage of Office365 is that you can tie it in with the Cloud AD. The MS infrastructure hardware is run somewhere else to manage your systems, and you use the same authentication for Office 365 access. And as the user mentioned there's Lync which is chat/video like Google, but also allows VOIP, voicemail transcription, etc.

    • Depending on the size of your company and it's organizational complexity, it's nice to have a local file server that you can manage with AD security groups. It also makes deployment of AV software and managing workstations much more manageable once they're joined to an AD domain as well. Don't discount a local MS infrastructure entirely. It still has its uses.

      • by lymond01 (314120)

        File serving and AV isn't really MS infrastructure. The MS stuff are the domain controllers, system center manager, DHCP server. Those can be cloud-based. File serving can be a Linux box running SMB to tie into your AD authentication.

        • by minus9 (106327)
          I'm not sure I'd want my DHCP servers in "the cloud".
        • While not required, having your workstations joined to a domain does make administration and deployment of 3rd party software much easer now that a trust relationship has been established. Installing an AV server-side package on an MS server is one such example. Administrating a network file share is another provided your drives are formatted NTFS.

          It's been awhile, but last time I tried rolling my own Linux based file server (using ext3 FS) and joining it to a domain ended in failure. If you know of a way t

    • We are working with hosting providers in implementing this. So far the only thing that raises questions is that MS keeps a canceled subscription for 90 days and all this time charges for it.
    • If you as an organization adopt Office 365, what is your plan for getting your data out if you must? In is easy, but out is hard.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @06:45PM (#36605228)

    Who do you want reading your docs? Google or Microsoft?

    Neither, thanks.

    • Who do you want reading your docs? Google or Microsoft?

      Neither, thanks.

      Can I interest you in this high-quality, ultra-protective tin-foil hat? Only $199.99.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        This isn't really paranoia, it's common sense! Putting your mission critical apps on someone else's servers is just silly. What happens when your net is down (and it will be)? What if their servers go down and you have to go tell your shareholders why everyone is idle?

        Cloud is just another word for damp vapor.

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          Companies already rely on third parties, and have done for a long time....

          Who provides your Internet?
          Who provides your power?
          Who provides your telephone lines?

          Many companies already outsource all or some of their IT.
          Most companies run single-source software.

          Cloud is just a buzzword, the idea of having parts of your infrastructure hosted by a third party is nothing new whatsoever, and thousands of companies already do that.

          • Bad analogy. Your existing local installation can perform many useful tasks with local speed, and easier security/privacy. A power line is useful, but relying on it when you have reasonably easy to operate solar panels already on your roof is a bit silly.

      • by Xtravar (725372)

        Only if I can pay with cash.

    • by Nexus7 (2919)

      When you go to Google Apps (paid), there's a contract, and it covers your data. Just like the contract with your ISP assures the privacy of your traffic (short of the feds wanting it, of course).

    • by nagnamer (1046654)

      You forgot FBI.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @06:48PM (#36605256)

    We adopted MSFT's big-brand business suite, SharePoint 2010, several months before it launched last May. It took a full 6 months to set up the environment, plus additional time to make it even remotely useful for the enterprise. The level of in-house expertise and infrastructure needed to make a business run on MSFT products (Outlook, SharePoint, etc) is obscene.

    And it's quickly becoming outdated, sorry MSFT.

    At another business (I switched, thankfully!), we use Google Enterprise. The level of support we need to provide for e-mail and document collaboration is radically lower and feels fundamentally different. Instead of FIGHTING with our systems to keep them online, we can innovate and develop new and cool things because our time doesn't disappear into the black hole of "Correlation ID errors" and arcane Outlook glitches.

    MSFT, I hope you learn what it means to provide cloud services, and do provide a worthy competitor to Google and other providers! Then, we'd have some exciting innovation! In the meantime, pah... sorry guys. I know you work VERY hard. But PLEASE tell Ballmer to step aside so you can do something that isn't designed by the Corporate Committee!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by liquidweaver (1988660)

      We adopted MSFT's big-brand business suite, SharePoint 2010, several months before it launched last May. It took a full 6 months to set up the environment, plus additional time to make it even remotely useful for the enterprise. The level of in-house expertise and infrastructure needed to make a business run on MSFT products (Outlook, SharePoint, etc) is obscene.

      And it's quickly becoming outdated, sorry MSFT.

      At another business (I switched, thankfully!), we use Google Enterprise. The level of support we need to provide for e-mail and document collaboration is radically lower and feels fundamentally different. Instead of FIGHTING with our systems to keep them online, we can innovate and develop new and cool things because our time doesn't disappear into the black hole of "Correlation ID errors" and arcane Outlook glitches.

      MSFT, I hope you learn what it means to provide cloud services, and do provide a worthy competitor to Google and other providers! Then, we'd have some exciting innovation! In the meantime, pah... sorry guys. I know you work VERY hard. But PLEASE tell Ballmer to step aside so you can do something that isn't designed by the Corporate Committee!

      We had the same experience with Sharepoint. We embraced it wholly, too, amidst the shitstorm of try to get to work right. When we finally got fed up with weekly expensive calls back to Redmond, we got sucker punched when we discovered the back end database structure is an opaque nightmare and Sharepoint was essentially holding our data hostage. We won't touch sharepoint again, and I have heard similar experiences from other companies in my area.

      • by kervin (64171) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @09:56PM (#36606728) Homepage

        If you're comparing Sharepoint with Google Docs, I'm not sure you fully understand what Sharepoint brings to the table.

        I'm actually wrapping up a Sharepoint 2010 installation this month. It's on time and budget. The company now has their entire Workflow process, including custom C# workflow/document rules that were developed specifically for their needs.

        Google Docs and Sharepoints are not even similar products. If you can go with either for your needs, then by all means go with Google Docs. Because that means you're really not using Sharepoint properly.

        • by Goody (23843)
          Anyone who calls SharePoint a "business suite" or complains that it takes six months to make it useful clearly doesn't understand what SharePoint is about.
          • by jbplou (732414)

            SharePoint is a decent platform for several tasks the problem I've seen is that overzealous sales consultants come in and tell management all applications should be hosted in SharePoint and that usually doesn't workout very well.

        • by jimicus (737525)

          It's my understanding - correct me if I'm wrong - that out of the box, Sharepoint brings very little to the table. Well, very little that you wouldn't already get with, say, Google Apps for Business.

          What it does give you is an extremely capable platform on which you can develop your own business systems relatively easily.

          (If I'm right, this would explain virtually every failed Sharepoint installation in history - it was put in by someone who thought they were buying a house when in actual fact they were buy

    • SharePoint is the problem. Outlook and Exchange are actually pretty easy to get up and running, assuming you don't do something stupid like get Small Business Server.

      Where I work, we're very Microsoft, but for our collaboration needs, we use a combination of e-mail, Lync, and MediaWiki. SharePoint is rightly avoided like the plague it is.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by PNutts (199112)

        Outlook and Exchange are actually pretty easy to get up and running...

        I'm going to grab some milk and re-read this so I can can shoot it out my nose laughing.

      • by atamido (1020905)

        Have you played with SharePoint 2010? 2007 was a nightmare, but I'm curious if they've fixed any of the management issues from it.

        • by jbplou (732414)

          SharePoint 2010 is easier to manage they have simplified several features and PowerShell is supported for scripting. However Some parts of the product such as the BCS service are very time consuming to configure and use even for simple tasks.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      We adopted MSFT's big-brand business suite, SharePoint 2010, several months before it launched last May. It took a full 6 months to set up the environment, plus additional time to make it even remotely useful for the enterprise. The level of in-house expertise and infrastructure needed to make a business run on MSFT products (Outlook, SharePoint, etc) is obscene.

      I'm not surprised to hear this, or the other comments agreeing with you. I looked at Office 365 when it launched in beta, and my impression was that it had some things to offer businesses, particularly smaller business who don't want the hassles of managing their own Exchange Servers. But when it came to SharePoint, I was kind of taken aback that Microsoft had just ... given you a SharePoint Server. "Here ya go!" Not only did the SharePoint UI not resemble the UI of the rest of the Office 365 suite at all -

    • " It took a full 6 months to set up the environment" Maybe you should have had someone who knew what they were doing to set it up. I don't particularly like Sharepoint for a number of reasons but I have had to work with it on occasion in a couple of large corporations. Installing and configuring Sharepoint on multiple servers never took over 2 - 3 days at most. Building Sharepoint Apps is also pretty straight forward and we rolled out the first apps in about 3 - 4 weeks which wasn't bad considering a lot of
  • by DeathSquid (937219) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @06:56PM (#36605330)

    After suffering through the hell that is the web interface to Outlook, why would I waste my time with another steaming pile of Microsoft web UI? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

    • by dingfelder (819778) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @07:58PM (#36605870) Homepage Journal

      Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

      I think you meant: fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." -- george bush

    • by c (8461)

      After suffering through the hell that is the web interface to Outlook, why would I waste my time with another steaming pile of Microsoft web UI?

      Because a Microsoft sales drone took your CIO out golfing, then to a ritzy strip club? Or was that a trick question?

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Microsoft strip club? I'll never get that image out of my mind...

      • by jimicus (737525)

        Because a Microsoft sales drone took your CIO out golfing, then to a ritzy strip club? Or was that a trick question?

        I would dearly love to know the origin of this idea that Microsoft have a battalion of salesmen who take CIOs out to strip clubs. As far as I can tell, they're total fiction.

        They may have been true twenty years ago, but today Microsoft don't really need to. Quite enough CIOs take the "nobody got fired for buying Microsoft" approach that it'd be a pointless extravagance.

        Myself, I lump the "Salesman with an expense account at Spearmint Rhino" in the same file as the "CEO whose kneejerk reaction whenever anyth

        • by c (8461)

          I would dearly love to know the origin of this idea that Microsoft have a battalion of salesmen who take CIOs out to strip clubs.

          I know, I know. I was just using a little satire to point out how the decision to waste a lifetime working with some chunk of Microsoft technology is rarely going to be made by anyone who actually does hands on work with said technology, and the things considered in the decision will likely have nothing to do with the technology or the people who'll use and/or maintain it.

    • Exchange2010's web UI is actually quite good-- regardless of what browser you use (it is finally uniform).

  • Ribbon? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RazorSharp (1418697) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @07:03PM (#36605388)

    Does it have the horrible ribbon thing that the newer versions of Office have? If so, I think it will have a hard time catching on (I tried that "See How it Works" link on their site but they wanted me to install Silverlight). No one I know took OOo or Symphony seriously until MS came out with the ribbon interface. It was at that point they felt the need to see what type of competition was out there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by liquidweaver (1988660)

      Does it have the horrible ribbon thing that the newer versions of Office have? If so, I think it will have a hard time catching on (I tried that "See How it Works" link on their site but they wanted me to install Silverlight). No one I know took OOo or Symphony seriously until MS came out with the ribbon interface. It was at that point they felt the need to see what type of competition was out there.

      The web app versions of Word and Excel look very similar to their desktop counterparts, including the damn ribbon. The rich version of Outlook does not for whatever reason.

      • I don't understand why they don't just make the ribbon an option. I can never find anything on it. Fortunately, I rarely have to. I just use Excel when I need to view a spreadsheet that won't play nice with Symphony. I feel sorry for the guy who has to author them.

    • Re:Ribbon? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rueger (210566) * on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @07:20PM (#36605524) Homepage
      I'm baffled by the intense dislike of the Ribbon. I expected to hate it, but very quickly found it a great thing - probably one of the nicer changes that Office has seen in a long time.

      What, exactly, is so annoying about it? Barry
      • by BeanThere (28381)

        I've been "forced" to use it for literally years on one of my main machines now, and I can't even being to remotely get used to the damn thing.

        • by Kyrall (1840136)

          So you've been using a major UI for years and can't "remotely get used to the damn thing"? Does this speak more about the ribbon or you?
          Seriously, it's not that bad. It even pretty much makes sense when you try to get used to it.
          As with the differences between a GUI and Command line, it's probably not the best way for performing repeated, complex tasks, but for the majority of users it is user-friendly and intuitive.

      • by atamido (1020905)

        I'm baffled by the intense dislike of the Ribbon. I expected to hate it, but very quickly found it a great thing - probably one of the nicer changes that Office has seen in a long time.

        Agreed. It was a little annoying in Office 2007 because some applications used it, and other didn't. Outlook 2007 didn't use it, but it was used when creating messages, which was just ridiculously inconsistent. Now that Office 2010 uses it consistently across the board, I find it better in many ways (although worse in a few). For most simple tasks, it exposes the available options better.

        In my experience, most people that use it for a month or so have no complaints.

      • Here are some of my top grips with the Ribbon:

        1. They could have grouped things more logically without disregarding 30 years of UI conventions (pull-down menus). Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

        2. A great many of the things they've done in the ribbon that make sense I've actually had in my Word 97/2000/XP/2003 toolbar for something like a decade now. Yes, the stock Office toolbar had a crap layout. The solution was to fix that, not introduce a whole new everything. See #1.

        3. I actual

        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          3. I actually find it takes more mouse clicks when I'm working in the Ribbon than it does with my aforementioned custom toolbars.

          I find the opposite, it takes me at most 4 clicks to get anywhere as opposed to some menu items in office 2003 that took me nine due to sub dialogs and such.

          4. #3 wouldn't be so bad if you could customize the Ribbon, but you can't.

          But you can. You can create your own tab with the custom stuff you want on the ribbon (quick access toolbar). The entire reason why you can't customize

      • I'm baffled by the intense dislike of the Ribbon.

        Let me explain.

        The "drop down menu" system was a result of many years of academic research by places like Xerox Palo Alto center (where they also came up with ideas such as GUI, mouse, object-oriented programming etc) and places like IBM research labs. The end result was a compromise that catered equally to people who are capable of remembering complex, multi-level structures and those who were impaired in this capacity but instead could remember things by

        • by sunspot42 (455706)

          There are two enormous problems with the ribbon - especially in Excel.

          For starters, dingbats whose memory is positional/visual (in other words, folks who have no idea what the word logic means and just wander around till they see a picture they vaguely remember) generally aren't going to be heavy users of programs like Excel, because they're too loopy to be building many spreadsheets. So you've just optimized your menu structure for people who can't use your tool effectively anyhow, because they're incoher

  • Really, it's not just competing with Google's offering. It's competing with Apple and anyone in the future that follows Apple's iCloud for Documents lead by using native apps as a front end for seamless cloud syncing behind the scenes. People have dinged Google Apps over the years because they're allegedly not as good as native apps (I'm not taking a stance on that either way in this comment), but there's a middle ground between an app that's either only on your machine or only on the web, and it looks like

  • Can somebody please explain what the point of this is? I don't get it. A file server isn't complicated or expensive. I do own a small business, and I read all of the marketing stuff, but I can't find a single reason why I'd switch from plain ol' Office + fileserver + hosted Exchange. If anything, I'd have to spend MORE money on bandwidth.
    • In a distributed environment (such as multiple ppl working from home), this makes good sense. In addition, you do not have to deal with admining much, etc. There is a decent use for this. However, Office 365 will NOT be a good choice. It will no doubt be designed to lock you into MS and only MS (though it may support apple with an inferior approach just to keep the FTC goons off their back).
    • by BeanThere (28381)

      A file server isn't complicated or expensive - IF you happen to have someone with half a clue in your organization. Believe me, not everyone has that luxury - the world is pretty "stupid" out there. I think a lot of small (non-tech, e.g. a small florist or whatever) businesses would find this simplifies things for them.

    • Collaboration: You can have multiple people easily editing the same document
      Portability: Your documents are both at the office and on your sales person's laptop in China.
      Ease of Setup: You just start spending the monthly fee and everything is setup and running. You don't have to shop for a server, configure your sharepoint server, setup a VPN etc.
      ?Security?: In the case of our business we have no good way to remotely access data. That's because we don't want to risk our network being compromised. So we

  • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @07:31PM (#36605608)
    I stopped reading TFA at "For instance, the Office Web Apps version of PowerPoint doesn’t have the high-performance video editing tools found in the desktop version..." They actually used High-Performance and PowerPoint in the same sentence. You've got to be kidding me.
  • I agree with all the Sharepoint stuff. And cloud hosted documents is not a one-size-fits-all ... although I can see the benifit. But ignore all that. Just look at Exchange Hosting. A company I'm with is paying about $14/month per user for Exchange hosting with ActiveSync (for iphone syncing) and a "vast" limit of 150MB/user mailbox. And thats with a year's commitment. For 7 users this is quite cheep compared to managing our own exchange server (complete with MS Server licensing and a M$PhD to adminis
    • by jimicus (737525)

      I agree with all the Sharepoint stuff. And cloud hosted documents is not a one-size-fits-all ... although I can see the benifit.
      But ignore all that. Just look at Exchange Hosting. A company I'm with is paying about $14/month per user for Exchange hosting with ActiveSync (for iphone syncing) and a "vast" limit of 150MB/user mailbox.

      IIRC the licensing for companies wanting to run hosted exchange is quite dear - you got a bargain at $14/month, my guess is that the reason you had such a tight quota is because the only way the hosting company could make it work is by offering a cheap headline price then charging through the nose for an increased quota.

      What this means, of course, is that anyone who went out and bought the necessary software licenses to offer hosted Exchange to their customers has been screwed because all of a sudden the pr

  • ...Until I realized that Office 2010 is a much bigger version number. Beat that version number, Libre/OpenOffice!
  • Office 365 [newstechnica.com], Microsoft’s pay-as-you-go answer to Google Docs, delivers the same delight you’re used to from Office on your PC, only slower and clunkier and only working on Internet Explorer. Remember Internet Explorer? Of course you do!

    Microsoft Online Services have marketed Office 365 directly to your bosses, who have little people like you to do all the bits that involve actually touching a computer. It promises a fully integrated solution to your daily working needs, with the reliability of Ho

  • Fact of the matter is that VERY few people are fired for choosing a Microsoft product that does not live up to the sales pitch. Many contractors or government bureaucrats will choose and sell to their superiors Office 365 as a "cloud" offering even though really isn't (Of course try to pin down what "cloud" means....that is a problem unto itself).

    On the other hand if said contractor chose Google Apps and the user base revolts or it fails they could very well get canned.

    Bottom line, for most professionals wh

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