Thursday, 8 March 2012

Office Live ...

I've been rude about Office Live in the past - certainly, when I last tried to use it from home it seemed slow and cumbersome, and finicky about browsers, something which convinced that the more lightweight google apps environment was the way to go.

Recently something bizarre happened to my office macbook pro. It screwed up some clusters, messed up some files and permissions and since then Office has never been quite the same, occasionally refusing to open files and sometimes refusing to save files to anywhere but the desktop. (Actually, to be fair it's not just Office, Libre Office and Open Office seem similarly screwed).

What I should of course do is wipe the disk, reinstall the OS and reload everything else from time machine. That will take at least a day, and just now is not the time.

So I've been using Office 365. And you know, It's not bad. Being on a fast campus network surely helps but it copes with reasonably complicated spreadsheets and documents, and seems to work fine with Chrome.

In fact I'll go further and say the experience is not that different from using Office on a slow network - it really is a viable alternative to a local install. The only problems would come if I was to somewhere with a  slower performing network (like home), but then I can download my documents from Skydrive, work on them locally and save them back, and still work on the same ones using Office 365.

In light of my earlier post about Android laptops it would be interesting to know how well Office 365 would play on such a machine - if it played well it could be close to being a serious competitor to the MacBook Air ....

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