Microsoft has just launched their Office suite as a cloud based internet application and have named it Office 365.
Cloud based services have been around for awhile now, but have been gaining interest and expansion the last few years. Office 365 includes many features such as exchange integration and a complete web based Office suite.
Now you might think it sounds familiar and that’s because it is. Office 365 offers similar web based applications as Google’s Docs. One major difference is that Microsoft wants to charge you for their services. The Office 365 service starts at $6 per user per month!! And goes as high as $27 per user per month!! A bit crazy and greedy in my opinion. So let’s do some calculations. Currently the cheapest retail priced Office application would be the Office 2010 Home and Student Edition at $119. Office 365 at the lowest price would cost $72 per user per year. We can assume the lifetime of an Office application is 3 years since the last Office was Office 2007. So 3 years of Office 365 will cost $216. And the last time I checked, $216 is way more than $119. At the highest cost, it will come out to $972 per user for the 3 years! And I think that’s a bit too expensive just to type up documents. Another downside of this is that the charges are per user based. What if your household has 3 kids? That means you have to pay 3 times the amount just for them to do their homework verses one Office suite installation on one computer the can be used by an unlimited amount of users. Personally I think business and corporations would still prefer a local software based application rather then all cloud based. It just seems more practical and cost effective in the long run. If they want cloud based storage then just go for a service like Dropbox or just stick with Google’s Docs.