What is the experience of using Office 365 programs like Outlook & Word?

What is the experience of using Office 365 programs like Outlook & Word? For the most part it works, but when it doesn’t it is very frustrating.

I’ve been using Office 365 for years and it has some advantages and disadvantages. For the average person they will like that it updates itself, and it tends to be more reliable than past versions of Office like Outlook & Word. The downside is that now it is so tightly integrated into Microsoft, when Microsoft or the Internet has a problem you do as well.

For example, while helping a company OneDrive stopped working. It wasn’t anything the company did wrong, it was a problem that Microsoft had. So there was nothing to do until it was fixed. Meanwhile people who needed access to those files couldn’t access them, and that is really frustrating to someone who is used to having access to information. For many companies not having access can be very costly, so a backup system is often created.

For the average customer however, they just trust that OneDrive and their files are always accessible. When they are not, then they realize the disadvantage of having things on the Internet. Still even with these problems, it is easy to see the convenience and why people would prefer cloud based solutions like Office 365 rather than on site things.

As an IT person I could choose to be threatened by technologies that move the work from the local area to the cloud. I am not threatened by it. If IT work suddenly takes care of itself I will do something else. More importantly as a society we have to let go of the old ways we used to do things. There are always better ways of doing things.

Part of using Office 365 is that it offers a new look and a new way of doing things. In some ways Microsoft has improved. In other ways their ideas of how they believe their customers are using this are deeply flawed. Take for example OneDrive for business and OneDrive that is personal. It should be easy for any business customer to copy files from their personal account to their business account but there isn’t a built-in way to do this.

You have to set up a program on a computer and manually copy it over. Why? This is cloud. There shouldn’t be silly limitations that require a PC. So you see even Microsoft thinks the computer is the center of the world. It isn’t. The computer is a tool, and if we can do it in the cloud, why require anything be installed on a computer? It is old school lazy thinking.

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Apple losing their ‘Appleness’

Have you noticed that Apple seems to be losing their ‘Appleness’? It is the strangest thing.

Lots of decisions and actions that make me believe this.

  1. Loss of magsafe adapter. This was on laptops for over a decade. It was an example of the thoughtful apple touch that makes things easier. Now on the new laptops this is gone. Why?
  2. Loss of standard audio jack on iPhone. Who is more likely to use the audio jack? The user on an iPhone, or someone using a laptop? I would say a laptop user is less likely to use an audio jack and more likely to use the speakers. So if anyone needs an audio jack it would be an iPhone 7 user. Nope, sorry, you don’t get that. This is the reason I am not going to buy another iPhone until they put the audio jack back in.
  3. Loss of the mac startup sound. The new laptops have no startup sound. Why? AT least make this an option.
  4. Heavy handed purchasing of other music streaming services. In this way Apple has become like Microsoft. They are trying to buy up the competition rather than innovate. I moved from several streaming services they bought and they haven’t made them better. Prices haven’t decreased. There has been no advantage for the average customer in these moves? Why make them?
  5. Lack of regular updates of hardware. Mac hardware is behind the times in almost all of their products. Yes people like the software experience, but charging premium prices for older hardware just doesn’t work in a shrinking market. Apple is losing ground faster than PC manufactures in hardware sales. No surprise when they offer such old hardware for sale. Professionals have little choice if they want the fastest hardware. They are forced to go to PC.
  6. Advertisements in the OS? Apple said that to give independent software companies a chance in the App store they are allowing advertisements. While this may be a noble goal, advertising in the OS is part of the reason people buy Mac. We don’t need to move to a MS model where they shove advertising down our throats. If Apple chooses to advertise more, they will quickly find their customers looking at other options.
  7. Continued weakness in the cloud products. After more than a decade Apple still has issues with basic things like file sharing. I put a few files on Apple Cloud Drive and they had problems. I can’t have any trust in a system that doesn’t work reliability. For that matter, iCloud should be everything Google Documents is and more. Why isn’t it?

I could go on but I think you get the idea. The qualities that made Apple successful just aren’t there anymore. Apple is looking less like an innovator and more like Microsoft.

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