Authentic Reasons Why I Love Microsoft’s Office 365
Something pretty special happened at Microsoft when Satya Nadella took over the helm as their CEO. All of a sudden, Microsoft started doing things that were unthinkable a few years earlier. They partnered with competitors like Google and Apple to deploy their offerings across mobile and desktop operating systems, as well as devices. They launched mobile versions of Microsoft Office on Android and iOS. Suddenly, Microsoft was everywhere on every technology platform across consumer and business markets. You got a sense that Microsoft was resetting itself to remain relevant in a mobile-first and cloud-driven era. In many ways, I would say they have succeeded.
One thing I have always appreciated about Microsoft’s Office proposition is that it is without a doubt the gold standard for working professionals. Whether its Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more recently Skype, these are the applications that most of us use to get things done. Indeed, over the years, I have used Open Office and Google Apps but the depth and breadth of Microsoft Office means that many of us are simply not going to leave anytime soon. Microsoft’s Office 365 is far too important as one of our daily drivers that helps us get things done!
What is interesting is that when I signed up for Office 365 is that I actually did so via an iPhone so I get billed for it via iTunes. I did so at the time since I regularly needed to access Microsoft-based documents on the go and everything else that was out there was clunky and just wasn’t as complete or wholesome as I would have liked. That being said, over time, I have found that I really cannot do without Office 365 since its intrinsically a part of my daily lifestyle, whether at work or play.
I use the home edition of Office 365. It costs me US$ 7.99 per month for 5 users. Read that again. 5 users! So, basically, for the price of one modest lunch at a decent Nairobi restaurant you get 5 members of your family or friends to use what is arguably the best productivity platform in the world. But it does not end there. Each of the 5 users can install instances of Microsoft office applications on their mobile, tablet and desktop devices, not to mention they can also Office 365 in the cloud. This is impressive! So, what this means is that its really cost effective and yet you get the full power of Microsoft office in all its myriad forms – mobile, desktop, tablet and in the cloud. Unbelievable!
Another aspect about Office 365 thats truly impressive is that you get 1TB of cloud storage per user. For free! Honestly, when this particular feature was launched I was stunned since at the time DropBox pretty much owned cloud storage for most of us. However, DropBox has NEVER given users this amount of storage space in their cloud. However, Microsoft went a step further and also integrated Office 365 with DropBox so that you can seamlessly create and access your work in their cloud which makes a whole lot of sense given that many people use DropBox as part of their working model.
I have been a long-term user of Skype since it came out years ago. I use Skype as my default for having voice calls with friends, family, clients, colleagues and business associates on a regular basis. I think that Microsoft made the right call buying Skype and then tightly integrating it as part of Office 365. On this basis, one of the key benefits of using Skype as part of Office 365 is that you get, for free, up to 60 minutes of Skype to telephone calls per month per user. This means that you can call whoever you need to call on their mobile phones globally. Again, let me say that this is all included in the monthly subscription.
The last thing I would like to mention is that I have been a devoted Apple Macbook user for around 7 years? This means that I have used Microsoft Office on the various Macbooks that I have owned in that time. One of the most important reasons why I signed up for Office 365 is that I got the full Office 2016 for Mac as part of the subscription. Think about that. Back in the day, getting Microsoft Office would have set you back hundreds of dollars but now for a few dollars a month you are sorted with the latest Office 2016. You also get regular security patches and updates for free with the same. Quite simply, Office 365 is stellar value for money!
If you would like to find out more about Microsoft Office 365 and sign up, you can do so here.