In the past, Microsoft required computer users to purchase their Office suite of products on licensing arrangements. This allowed users to have CDs or discs that held the program in full so that it could be restored locally and even installed on other computers. That process changed with the creation of Office 365. You still get access to the programs you want, but now the install happens online and services are based on a subscription model. What are the pros and cons of Office 365? Here are some of the key points that are worth considering before subscribing to this service.
What Are the Pros of Office 365?
1. You gain instant access to all of the apps you need.
When you subscribe to Office 365, you’re able to have full access to every program or app that you need. There’s no longer a need to purchase a complete suite of software or the individual programs, allowing you to focus on your administrative tasks.
2. There is no longer a large one-time expense that must be paid.
Office 365 is a monthly subscription service, so users pay as little as $8.25 each month plus any applicable sales tax that may be required for a professional subscription. Personal subscriptions start at just $6.99 per month.
3. You can go as big or as little as you want.
If you just want business essentials with Office 365, then for as little as $5 per month you can gain access to email with a 50 GB mailbox, 1 TB file storage and sharing, and HD video conferencing. The main business package gives you a fully installed set of Office 365 apps on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones. You can also go premium and add Skype to the mix.
4. It works on PC or Mac.
If you own an Apple computer, you can still take advantage of the benefits of Office 365.
5. You can still install it on multiple computers or devices.
When you subscribe to Office 365, you’re able to have the fully installed experience on up to 5 PCs or Macs per user. Office 365 on tablets and phones occurs on up to 5 tables and 5 phones per user.
6. Your software package is always up-to-date.
Whenever Microsoft updates one of their programs or apps in Office 365, you’re automatically given full access to it with your subscription. There’s never a need to pay for an additional upgrade cost.
What Are the Cons of Office 365?
1. You don’t always have access to Office 365.
When you’re working with the online versions of Office 365, you’re given a 99.9% uptime guarantee. That means there are going to be times when you may not be able to access the programming that you need.
2. You’re stuck paying an ongoing cost, whether you want it or not.
Because this is a subscription service, you’re going to be paying this fee each month no matter what. Instead of buying Word 2003 once and then using it for a decade, you lose access to Office 365 if you stop paying the subscription price. Over the course of a couple years, this means you pay more than you would have in the past.
3. You have to reset all of your defaults.
If you’ve been using other administrative programs before Office 365, then there’s a good chance that you’ll need to restore all of the file defaults on your system. You may also need to setup the formatting defaults for your Office 365 programs or apps as well. This takes extra time to do.
4. You’re paying for some things that Microsoft may offer for free.
If you have an old Hotmail address, for example, then you’re already on Outlook. You have access to many of the items that you’ll receive with some of the Office 365 packages for free. You can even access online versions of Office 365 through your account with some limited editing features. Is it worth paying a monthly fee to remove advertising from this resource?
5. You have less overall flexibility.
This is because much of the infrastructure is run through the Cloud. This means you have fewer on-premises configuration options.
6. There are legitimate privacy concerns.
Your data is no longer just your own with Office 365. It’s going to be sitting somewhere on a Microsoft server. Its privacy is reliant on their security measures.
In many ways, Office 365 offers a superior service experience compared to how these programs were offered in the past. Keep each key point in mind as you evaluate the pros and cons of Office 365 for your personal or business use and you’ll be able to make the right decision.
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