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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Constant updates are too much for people

Constant updates are too much for people. I help people everyday and there are always updates to do. It overwhelms people and ultimately causes worse security.

See here is the thing. Anyone who doesn’t do IT doesn’t care about updates. We IT people have talked till we are blue in the face, but to the average computer users updates only cause problems. It either slows their computer down, causes new problems, or changes things and people hate change. So when you tell them that it will secure their computer from hackers, they say “It won’t prevent a hacker from getting into my computer.” The thing is, that is completely true.

Constant updates are too much for peopleThe truth is, that even when you update the system there are always hacks that aren’t public. For example, I have talked about Apple only updating its users of security problems when a fix is available. While that may make sense for consumers, for business it doesn’t make sense at all. Some businesses like financial markets need to know this information as soon as Apple knows it, and withholding it only hurts the weakest and most vulnerable businesses.

Now of course every business has many ways to stay safe. It can’t depend on just one system. However as a consumer relying only on Apple is a mistake. Yes it has fewer security problems in some ways than Windows, but it also is a big question mark with things that Apple doesn’t share with us.

This is the biggest problem I see in Apple and updates and security in general. When you ask people to update to keep their system safe, you make the users responsible for something that the vendor (Apple/Microsoft) should be responsible for. This is never going to help people secure their systems. In this way, asking people to update their systems is so incomplete to help them feel secure. People need multiple levels of many systems to be safe.

Simple solutions are often wrong.

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