My workplace is currently in the process of implementing Office365, which means a large transition of moving on-premises email into the cloud. For the most part the project has been going smoothly, but I’m not here to ramble about work. What I wanted to talk about was the experience the Microsoft is giving in their online experience.
I’ve been a Google Apps user for many years and most of my crucial documents are done using Google Docs or Sheets. I’ve found Google’s no-nonsense approach to application design a refreshing change from Microsoft’s overly complicated UI and Apple’s beautiful yet spartan approach. However, I’ve been checking out more of Microsoft’s offering for my work-life and I have to say that recent changes are leaving me somewhat impressed.
Microsoft has finally caught up to Google in terms of allowing multiple users to work on documents simultaneously, and it seems to work as advertised. Microsoft has also seemed to learn a bit about how to hide more complex functions, so that they don’t take up so much real-estate on the screen. This means that the user experience with Office365 is much leaner and targeted towards what people need, instead of presenting every possible option.
I’ve also found a lot of usefulness in being able to access my work productivity software outside of a VPN context. This means that eventually, the device that I’m using to do my work on will be irrelevant. All that will matter is that I can connect to the internet and I should be able to complete a large portion of my work.
Despite being a Microsoft doubter for many years, I’m impressed with what I’m seeing as my organization rolls out Office365. I’m not ready to move my personal life over to it, and probably never will, but it’s nice to get some of the benefits I’ve been experiencing personally in my work context as well finally.