I recently was offered the opportunity to try out Microsoft's Office 365 beta. It appears that this is Microsoft's answer to Google's online services. It offers online versions of Outlook and Exchange; team versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; and Lync (Microsoft's stab at instant message as well as both audio and video calling.) It also wants to be the company's web presence. I'll try this out and let you know a bit about my experiences. So far, I'm not impressed.
The first thing that this service does is scold me about my choice of Web browser and tells me that:
Improve your web browser experience You are viewing Microsoft Office 365 with a web browser that may cause some pages to display incorrectly and some features to function in an unexpected way. You will have a better experience with our website if you use one of these supported browsers:
- Windows Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 8, or Internet Explorer 7 running on Windows 7
- Windows Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 7 running on Windows Vista
- Mozilla Firefox running on Windows 7 or Windows Vista
- Apple Safari running on Mac OS X version 10.6 or 10.5
So, the answer is "no soup for you" if you're using Firefox on Mac or anything on Linux.
I'm not sure who would be interested in using Microsoft online as their web presence. Nor am I too sure why people would abandon the instant messaging or internet calling tools they're using today.
I'll play with this and comment again.
Here are a few ZDnet posts on Microsoft Office 365
- Microsoft's Office 365: A guide to the coming plans and prices
- First look at Microsoft's Office 365 (screenshots)
- Microsoft christens its cloud business suite as 'Office 365'; launches beta