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Posts Tagged ‘ Office 365 ’

New hardware: the hidden cost of cloud computing

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Coin stacksOne reason why PCs sales continue to slide year-on-year is that software no longer blackmails us into upgrading our hardware. The system requirements for Windows haven’t been upgraded since the launch of Vista; my five-year-old home laptop is just about capable of running anything I ask of it. Why bother upgrading when there are plenty of other ways to squander what’s left of my disposable income?

That’s not always been the case, of course. When I first rocked up at PC Pro in 1998, barely a week passed without some piece of software pushing the boundaries of what was possible on then-current hardware. Whether it was a new version of Windows, the latest Office suite, or – as was most often the case – the latest games, there was always some justification for an expensive upgrade. Intel and Microsoft even used to publish an annual recommended spec for the next year’s PCs, to give upgraders a target to aim for. (more…)

Is Office 365 the best thing that’s ever happened to Linux?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Office365

Currently, my office PC is running the betas of both Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.04 — a situation that is doubtless pushing Dennis Publishing’s IT manager a little closer to his well deserved nervous breakdown.

Yesterday, I spent the day working solely in Ubuntu 12.04 to see how the OS is progressing. I’m a big fan of the tweaks made to the Unity interface; the drop-down killing Head Up Display is tinged with brilliance if currently a little sluggish; and the Ubuntu Software Store is maturing nicely. However, there’s one thing I’ve always missed when working in Ubuntu: Outlook. Despite the protestations of the Linux faithful, neither Evolution nor Thunderbird — the two default mail clients in recent versions of Ubuntu — are a patch on Outlook when it comes to dealing with an Exchange Server.

The only other option was to worm in via Outlook Web Access, but because there’s no Linux version of Internet Explorer, you were forced to use the horribly rudimentary stripped-down version, which was spitefully designed to punish people who had the barefaced cheek to run Chrome or Firefox. The old version of Outlook Web Access made Lotus Notes look cutting edge: even basic tasks such as creating a meeting were akin to a colonoscopy, and you could literally make a cup of tea in the time it took to perform a basic keyword search of your inbox.

(more…)

Switching to Office 365’s Outlook Web App

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Outlook Web App

As part of an IT roll-out in the office the entire PC Pro team was moved over to Office 365 last week. For the most part it meant no change at all. After a quick call to IT the morning after the transition to get some some account details adjusted (I’d had no email since 9pm the previous day), I was able to carry on working, using my standard desktop installation of Office 2010, including Outlook, just as normal.

That’s no surprise. After all, Office 365 principally represents a change in the way businesses purchase and manage licenses for Microsoft Office software. From a user perspective, the desktop software – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook – stays the same.

However, we have received one major upgrade – from our old, clunky webmail service to the swanky new Outlook Web App – and it could be about to change the way I work.

(more…)

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