Sunday, March 24, 2013

How can you buy Office 365?

Now that we know what Office 365 is, it is important to find out how we can buy the service from Microsoft. While we're at it, we can find out how much does Office 365 cost to subscribe to.

Simply put, here are the current Office 365 offerings, all of which can be found on the Office 365 website here:
  • Office 365 Home Premium (US$ 99.99 per user per year)
    Designed for home use, and includes:
    • Microsoft Office 2013 to be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access)
    • Office On-Demand and Office WebApps
    • +20 GB online storage with SkyDrive
    • 60 Skype world minutes per month (available in select countries)
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium (US$ 150 per user per year)
    Designed for small companies with up to 10 users, and includes:
    • Exchange Online with 25GB mailbox
    • SharePoint Online with a public website and internal team sites
    • Lync Online with web conferencing and instant messaging
    • Microsoft Office 2013 to be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Lync, and Access)
    • Office On-Demand and Office WebApps
    • Simple IT Controls
  • Office 365 Midsize (US$ 180 per user per year)
    Designed for midsize businesses with between 11 and 250 users, and includes:
    • Exchange Online with 25GB mailbox
    • SharePoint Online with a public website and internal team sites
    • Lync Online with web conferencing and instant messaging
    • Microsoft Office 2013 to be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Lync, InfoPath, and Access)
    • Office On-Demand and Office WebApps
    • Enhanced IT Controls
  • Office 365 E1 Plan (US$ 8 per user per month)
    Designed for enterprises with over 250 users, and includes:
    • Exchange Online with 25GB mailbox
    • SharePoint Online with a public website and internal team sites
    • Lync Online with web conferencing and instant messaging
    • Office On-Demand and Office WebApps
    • File storage and sharing with SkyDrive Pro
    • Advanced IT Controls
  • Office 365 E3 Plan (US$ 20 per user per month)
    Designed for enterprises with over 250 users, and includes:
    • Exchange Online with 25GB mailbox
    • SharePoint Online with a public website and internal team sites
    • Lync Online with web conferencing and instant messaging
    • Microsoft Office 2013 to be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Lync, InfoPath, and Access)
    • Office On-Demand and Office WebApps
    • File storage and sharing with SkyDrive Pro
    • Advanced IT Controls
Of course, you can buy individual products:
Alternatively, you can contact your favorite IT service provider and ask them to get you Office 365.

In conclusion, it is important to say that Office 365 is not a 'one-size-fits-all' type of product. Companies should decide based on their requirements with consideration for future expansion.

What is Office 365?

With all the hype surrounding Office 365, I've noticed that most people still don't know what it is. First impressions, probably because of the name, tend to go towards it being the next version of Office, the popular desktop suite. This is partially true, as Office is part of Office 365, but not the entire story.

Office 365 comprises of 4 main products, 3 or which are Cloud-based, as follows:
  • Exchange Online: this is Microsoft's enterprise level email, calendar and contacts platform, hosted and managed by Microsoft. Under Exchange Online, users get email (25GB mailbox per user) as well as calendar and contact management, including the most current antivirus and anti-span solutions to help protect your organization.
  • SharePoint Online: this is Microsoft's collaboration suite, hosted and managed by Microsoft. Under SharePoint Online, businesses can create sites to share documents and insights with colleagues, partners and customers.
  • Lync Online: this is Microsoft's unified communications offering, hosted and managed by Microsoft. Under Lync Online, users can meet online with PC-audio, video (including HD) conferencing and screen sharing capabilities. Lync Online can also be used for instant messaging and presence (available, busy, do not disturb, etc.) sharing.
  • Office Professional Plus: this is Microsoft's popular productivity suite which can be downloaded (only downloads no other media available) and installed on up to 5 devices, Windows and/or Macs, per user.
It is important to note that, Office Professional Plus includes other features such as on-demand download; this basically means you can download Office applications (not the entire thing) on any number of Windows & Mac devices work on your documents and then when you're done, Office will remove itself automatically. You can even work on Office documents directly from the browser.

There are other products available from Microsoft as part of the Office 365 suite, however, the main four pillars are those mentioned above. Other products include:
Here is glance at what each of the core Office 365 products entails:



Links:
 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Microsoft Cloud: Office 365, Windows Intune & Windows Azure

Getting to know Office 365 closer I have learned a few things about Microsoft's cloud offerings here and there, including Windows Intune and Windows Azure as well as Office 365. Starting today I'm gonna start writing blog entries about what I learn on a daily basis, share the knowledge sort of thing.

I'm gonna start presenting on these technologies as well, so, if you need me to come present sometime, please email, or call me and I'll be there. All I ask of you is to bring people and an internet connection.

I'll probably concentrate on Office 365 for the next few blog posts, but then I'll start mixing and matching as we go along.

To start with let me first guide you to where you can get more details on each product:
  1. Office 365 www.office365.com
  2. Windows Intune www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windowsintune
  3. Windows Azure www.windowsazure.com
If you don't know much about any of these, don't worry, we'll cover each with detail.

Yes, I still Bing as my main search engine, I use Windows 8, I have a Windows Phone 8 mobile, the lovely Nokia Lumia 920 and my sons love their Surface RT!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Windows Phone Camp - 25th May 2012


Broadcasting live on MAY 25th from Istanbul, Turkey (in English) is the Middle East & Africa Windows Phone Camp!
A Windows Phone camp is a free event where you can learn everything you need to know to develop and publish a Windows Phone application. This event will be both an in person and online event broadcasted across the region. Day 1 will include a VIP keynote and technical sessions covering Windows Phone development. Day 2 will be “hands-on” with the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and code – put your learning to work and build that app you’ve been dreaming about! Please note that only Day 1 will be broadcasted online.
Whether you’re a student just starting out or a seasoned developer for Windows Phone, Android, Symbian, Web OS or iOS, we’ll share tips and tricks and all-around Windows Phone development know-how throughout the two days. There will be sessions for start-up companies as well.
To read more about the event, go here.
To watch, go to the event site, or stay tuned on May 25th for another post with the live player.
Join the conversation with the event organizers and attendees #windowsphonecamp


 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Why my son is searching through Bing rather than Google?

My eldest, Basheer, is 9 years old. And, as with all 9 year olds he has a inquisitive mind. Along with his 2 younger siblings I get bombarded with all sorts of questions on a minute-by-minute basis. Sometimes it gets annoying especially when I really don’t know the answer to some of the questions. Last week after “how do they catch lions for the zoo?”, “what is the latest mobile brand” and “how big are whales and what do they eat?” I decided I should steer him towards the Internet and let him get his own answers.

Being a Microsoft fan (that’s an understatement!), I immediately thought of Bing as the default search engine (seeing as it is already the default engine on his iPod), but then I thought realistically at what arguments there are for Bing against Google, and that is why I decided to write this post.

To cut to the chase, the main reason I chose Bing over Google for my son is (drumroll!) parental control.

Yes, parental control. Let me explain. When searching the Internet, one (especially kids) usually searches for images on the said subject. Needless to say, the images (and a lot of the written material) returned are not always exactly ‘children material’. For example, take the simple term ‘miniskirt’, when searching using Bing, I get the results shown in the image below, which to me, a parent, are perfect. Now, try this same search using Google, and the results are a lot higher up on the PG rating, to say the least.

image

The reason Bing is blocking these images is because we live in Kuwait, a Muslim country and under Kuwaiti law, such images are prohibited. Therefore, Bing automatically switches ‘SafeSearch’ on, and you cannot switch it off, believe me, I’ve tried. While this may be frustrating and considered a hampering of freedom for some adults, it is absolutely wonderful for concerned parents.

Google on the other hand does not switch ‘SafeSearch’ on automatically, and if it does, you can easily switch it off with relative ease (yes, even Basheer can do it).

So you see, this is why I guided Basheer to Bing rather than Google when searching on the Internet.

What do you think?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Windows Marketplace and Microsoft Marketing

I was sitting with a dear friend, and we were talking about the new Windows Phone 7,  and the how it compares with the competition (iPhone, Android and Blackberry; notice no mention of Nokia here), and the Apple App Marketplace was mentioned, then my friend suddenly asks: why doesn’t Microsoft have a Windows Marketplace, that would be a great idea?

My immediate reaction was; what the … ?! Microsoft does have a Windows Marketplace and has had one for quite a while now. When I told my friend this he asked, well, why doesn’t Microsoft market this place? Why did I never hear of it before?

To tell you the truth, his was a good question, and it took me some time to realize this; Microsoft really doesn’t market a lot of its work well, doesn’t it? I mean, I grew up hearing the words “Microsoft is nothing but a great big marketing machine” and “the marketing people at Microsoft created this image” and stuff like that, to the point where I started to believe it was true.

But it really isn’t true, not to this point anyway. Microsoft does have a big advertising budget, but IMHO that is only targeted to products it can sell, products like Windows, Office, SharePoint and Windows Phone 7. A lot of other products go unnoticed, simply because nobody knew they even existed. I mean, up until I told everybody, nobody knew Microsoft had their own free antivirus product you can install i.e. Microsoft Security Essentials; operative word is free here.

Other things Microsoft does that go unnoticed are success stories, did you know that MySpace uses SQL Server? As a matter of fact, 440 SQL instances, yes, four-hundred-and-forty instances. Not only that, the total data managed by SQL Server is a whopping 1 petabyte (1 petabyte = 1024 Terrabytes = 1,048,576 Gigabytes), with 130 million users, 300,000 new users every day and 4.4 million concurrent users at peak time. Try that on for scalability and stability!!

Back to the Microsoft Marketplace, not only does Microsoft have a marketplace for Windows, it has one for Office, Mobile and Xbox. Yes, that is correct, four! And here they are:

So you see, Microsoft really is a changed company, and not all for the worse either. What do you think?

Links:

How can you buy Office 365?

Now that we know what Office 365 is , it is important to find out how we can buy the service from Microsoft. While we're at it, we can ...