Saturday, July 02, 2011

Microsoft Office 365 - Game Changer or a Flop?

Microsoft Office 365 was finally officially released last week. This was supposed to be a BIG DEAL!! After all Microsoft was talking it up for years.. So how good is it you ask? I went through it over the last couple of days and my conclusion is that it's mostly a lipstick on a pig.

 Here's what I expected:

  • An improvement to Web version of the Outlook that would make handling attachments much better by using the online version of Office
  • Automatic syncing of the documents to the cloud ala Box.net or Dropbox
  • Full-featured (Google Docs or better) in-place editing with build-in versioning
  • Lotus Notes style database integration
  • Good CRM integration
Instead here's what we got
  • A sub-par Office document editor suite (it lags Google Docs big time).  Simple things like typing in a document are subject to some buffering artifacts.. 
  • No attachment editing integration
  • No document synchronization to get the documents in 
  • No CRM integration
  • No DB as part of the Office Suite
Yes, you can do basic email, pretend like you're editing documents, create shared pages, and chat with others inside the app, but the bar is higher these days.. Much higher!  And usability-wise, the apps have got to feel more dynamic, like I should be able to create an appointment by clicking on the calendar itself instead of the "+" button on top.

C'mon Microsoft!  Aren't you supposed to get things on the 3rd try?? This is at least try #3 for you with online office...  So you're either not serious about it and this is a stalling tactic, or you don't have the right people in charge!  Office productivity category is yours to loose and you're doing a marvelous job of it allowing others to sneak in..