review Archives - Geek Guru
 

Get A Quote

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Tag Archives: review

Office Logo

Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers

Posted on October 04th, 2013 by Emily

 

Office Mobile has been out since June for iOS and since July for Android users, but what’s it all about, and what can it do?

Divider

One thing we didn’t cover in our long series of posts about Office 2013 and Office 365 was Office Mobile. Microsoft don’t really make a big deal out of their mobile app, opting to instead direct customers to use the Office 365 Web Apps on their smartphones – this may be partly due to the fact that the current versions of Office Mobile for iOS and Android were launched in June and July of this year, respectively – and so were not available at launch.

So, what is Office Mobile? Well, as you may have guessed, it’s exactly what it seems – a mobile productivity suite comprised of special versions of the most popular Office apps, tailored for use on smartphones. It incorporates versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but also includes some of the advanced or additional features you would probably not expect to be available on a mobile platform, such as animations in PowerPoint presentations, charts and Smart Art graphics. This means documents created on the full desktop version will be viewable correctly on smartphones and tablets, and also means that the advanced formatting is not lost if the document is edited on one of these devices.

As with the rest of Office 365, it is very well integrated with other Microsoft services, such as SkyDrive, or, if your company has one, custom SharePoint servers and SharePoint Online.

You can not only view and edit documents on Office Mobile but also create new ones, and share them as you would using a desktop PC, via SkyDrive, SharePoint or good old email. You can also read or add comments to files as you would using the full desktop suite, and if you load a large document from SkyDrive or SharePoint that you’ve previously been reading on another device, it will remember your position and ask if you would like to resume reading where you left off.

Installing and using Office Mobile does not count towards the user or install limit placed on some packages (such as Home Premium’s 5 install limit), so you can use it on as many devices as you like, provided you sign in to an account with an active Office 365 subscription on the device.

The catch is that you must have an active Office 365 subscription to use this suite – but in our opinion it’s just another addition that makes Office 365 more valuable for businesses. It’s available on most subscription plans, including Home Premium, Small Business Premium, Midsize Business, and Enterprise E3 and E4 as well as various educational and governmental versions.

Find out more, or download and install the Office Mobile software by typing Office 365 into the App Store on iOS devices or the Play Store on Android devices.

Divider

If you need any further advice or information on choosing an Office 2013 or Office 365 package that’s right for you, of if you need advice or a chat about anything IT-related, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll do everything we can to help!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

facebookicon twittericon

Divider

Posted in: It 4 business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Office Logo

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2013 - 365 vs 2013

Posted on September 27th, 2013 by Emily

 

In the last of our posts discussing Office 2013 and Office 365, we continue to take a look at more of the features, benefits and drawbacks of each of the schemes.

Divider

Web apps are a great addition to the line up from Microsoft. An active Office 365 subscription allows the use of the web app versions of Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint, meaning you can open and work on some of your documents without installing any software on the machine you are using, if it is necessary. Useful for those with other devices that are not compatible with Office 365 installations, such as machines running on Vista or XP, older versions of Mac OS, or even Linux. Along with SkyDrive, they also allow you to collaborate with many people on the same document, in real time. Real time collaboration on any device could turn out to be a very important aspect of the 365 service for many businesses, particularly those who do team-based project work. Through the use of SharePoint Online it can also reduce the need for sending files to colleagues via email – all you need to do is send a link to the other person and they can view, edit and save the file as permissions allow.

Hosted Exchange servers as part of some Office 365 packages are another key feature – you no longer need to buy or rent a business mail server. The fact is that for a lot of small or medium businesses, this is going to be a nice money-saving feature.

The offering of a hosted website is another feature, and although the tools provided offer little in the way of professional design options, their do-it-yourself WYSIWYG web design toolkit will suffice until your business has the money to pay for a professional design and hosting. Unfortunately it’s not possible at the moment to simply “move” a current website to the provided hosting space, you must use their basic site designer to create one.

The advanced tools available with some of the packages, like Active Directory integration and extra security and data management options make for a very attractive package for 365 all in all.

For some, owning and managing their own servers is a must, and that’s a decision that can be made on a business to business basis. Some organisations prefer the flexibility that comes with owning or renting and maintaining their own SharePoint or Exchange servers; for these we’d recommend a package like Office 365 ProPlus, which provides the software on a subscription basis without any of the added IT services at a reduced cost.

A lot of businesses will, however, get a lot of value for money from the added services such as the Hosted Exchange and adjustable licenses that Office 365 offers.

After trying the Office 365 service at Geek Guru HQ for a while, it seems to offer good value for money for the features provided. Our opinion is that this is a nice step towards moving some systems into the cloud.

Divider

If you need any further advice or information on choosing an Office 2013 or Office 365 package that’s right for you, of if you need advice or a chat about anything IT-related, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll do everything we can to help!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

facebookicon twittericon

Divider

Posted in: It 4 business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Office Logo

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2013 - 365 vs 2013

Posted on September 25th, 2013 by Emily

In this series of posts, we’re providing some insight into the most recent Office suites from Microsoft, Office 2013 and Office 365, their pricing structures, similarities, differences, content and what various parts of each package could do for your business.

Divider

Office 365 subscription packages come with a multitude of features that can be incredibly useful, but there are also drawbacks, just as with Office 2013 per-pc installations.

One main feature is that your software will always current. If Microsoft were to release Office 2014 or 2015 in future and you had an active subscription to Office 365, you would be entitled to use the most up to date version of Office available. This kind of deal is especially useful if a product is coming to the end of its lifecycle; you won’t have to pay again to upgrade the software when a new version comes out – although you may need to transition to a new subscription model or system.

Another feature is that all packages of Office 365 allow for full access to the main suite of apps (with the exclusion of InfoPath and Lync) and so do not impose any limitations on the use of Publisher, Access or Outlook.

With Office 365, however, unlike its per-PC counterpart Office 2013, you will need to connect to the internet with your Microsoft account every 30 days in order for the software to stay active – so for machines that do not have a regular internet connection, Office 2013 is most likely still the best option.

Subscriptions to Office 365 also need to remain active to ensure that the software is useable. If the subscription to Office 365 lapses or the account gains restrictions for whatever reason, the use of your Office suite will be limited. Restricted copies of Office downloaded using a 365 subscription enter into a read-only mode which means that you can open, print and view documents, but not save them or create new ones. You are, however, given the option to enter a licence key to reactivate your product, so should you choose to purchase a copy instead of having a subscription, your installation of Office will reactivate according to the restrictions on the copy of Office 2013 that was purchased.

The ability to dynamically add or remove users and reassign licenses in the admin control panel with Office 365 means you can swap licenses around as people leave or join your organisation, or add more if your organisation grows – although if it shrinks, you will need to contact Microsoft Customer Care to get the license removed, as there’s no easy way to do this online. Doing this with a normal per-PC activation is easy – you just let the new employee use the activated copy of Office 2013, as license keys are not tied to users. With the traditional licensing method, there is no way to partially or wholly refund a purchased copy of Office 2013 if you find you no longer need it, so you’ll be stuck with a license you’re not using.

The subscription model also allows your business to spread the cost from month to month if necessary, reducing the initial outlay that sometimes comes along with updating volume licensed software for many users.

Next time, in the final post in this series, we’ll be looking at some more of the benefits and drawbacks of using Office 365 or Office 2013, to help you choose the version that’s right for you or your business.

Divider

If you need any further advice or information on choosing an Office 2013 or Office 365 package that’s right for you, of if you need advice or a chat about anything IT-related, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll do everything we can to help!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

facebookicon twittericon

Divider

Posted in: It 4 business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Office Logo

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2013 - Office 365 Plans

Posted on September 23rd, 2013 by Emily

 

In this series of posts, we’re providing some insight into the most recent Office suites from Microsoft, Office 2013 and Office 365, their pricing structures, similarities, differences, content and what various parts of each package could do for your business.

Divider

Subscription based models for digital services, especially access to applications, are becoming more and more popular as high speed broadband internet becomes more prevalent; streaming services and cloud computing becomes more viable. Microsoft’s offering of the Office 365 service means that two of the most popular suites used in business are available on subscription plans instead of outright purchase – the other being Adobe’s Creative Suite.

Here’s a little more information on some of the packages available from Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription scheme. All Office 365 packages mentioned here include the full suite of apps – Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and Access.

  • Office 365 Home Premium – While most of the Office 365 service was initially directed towards businesses, there was also demand from individuals for a consumer focused package, so Microsoft responded by introducing Office 365 Home Premium. It offers simultaneous installations on up to 5 PCs or Macs, and 5 mobile devices, integration with SkyDrive and an additional 20GB of storage space and 60 Skype World minutes per month, and is for home use only.
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium – This is the package designed, as the name would suggest, for small businesses. The full suite of apps is included, along with Lync, which is a communication app. It also includes a multitude of online services such as hosted Exchange servers – meaning your business’ email server is hosted by Microsoft with 25GB storage space per user, and hosted SharePoint, which you can use to share files with your colleagues. Up to 25 users.
  • Office 365 Midsize Business – Microsoft’s offering for medium sized businesses, includes all of the Small Business Premium features, with the addition of Active Directory integration, which allows single sign-on and Active Directory synchronization. Up to 300 users.
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3 – The main, full featured enterprise-level package. Comprises all the features offered by Office 365 Midsize Business, plus additional data management, storage and security capabilities required by larger organisations. Unlimited users.
  • Office 365 ProPlus – The subscription-based equivalent of Office Professional Plus 2013, this is simply the full suite of applications made available to download on any PC, with up to 5 installs per user on their devices. Unlike Office Professional Plus 2013, there is an online interface that allows you to deactivate copies of office for certain users, for example if they no longer work for the company or the device is lost, stolen or broken. There are no online services such as hosted Exchange or SharePoint with this package, it is software only.

As you can see, there are many options to choose from, there’s bound to be one that is designed for your business size and requirements!

Next, we’ll be taking a look at some of the features, benefits and drawbacks of each type of Office – Office 2013 per-PC licensing versus Office 365 subscription model.

Divider

If you need any further advice or information on choosing an Office 2013 or Office 365 package that’s right for you, of if you need advice or a chat about anything IT-related, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll do everything we can to help!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

facebookicon twittericon

Divider

Posted in: It 4 business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Office Logo

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2013 - Office 2013 Packages

Posted on September 20th, 2013 by Emily

 

In this series of posts, we’re providing some insight into the most recent Office suites from Microsoft, Office 2013 and Office 365, their pricing structures, similarities, differences, content and what various parts of each package could do for your business.

Divider

Office is now available in two different ways, one-off purchase and also a new subscription based model.

If you’d rather purchase Office with a one-off payment up front for permanent access to the software, you’re in luck. Microsoft are offering a variety of packages for a straightforward purchase of Office 2013.

While the purchase of these packages is available in stores or online, what you are given for your purchase is simply a product activation code inside a case – there are no DVDs or CDs of Office 2013 available. This means if the machine you want to install it on isn’t connected to the internet, you’ll need to download the installer software beforehand onto another machine, and use removable media such as a USB flash drive or a writable DVD to save the installer file onto, in order to install Office 2013 on the destination computer.

All Office 2013 software will only run on Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 for example). You cannot install the Office 2013 applications on Vista or XP, trying to do so will give an error message.

  • Office Home & Student 2013 – The most basic package, for home use only. This includes the core apps – Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and Excel – and is suitable for anyone who only needs Office for its basic functions, for personal use. For use on one PC only.
  • Office Home & Business 2013 – A similar package, except it’s for both home and business use. It’s for those who only really need to use the core functions of Office, and contains the same apps as the Home and Student edition, but it also includes Outlook, which can be an invaluable business tool for organising calendars and mail. This version is largely designed to be a robust, cost effective solution for sole traders or small businesses who don’t need the advanced features and functionality of the Professional edition. For use on one PC only.
  • Office Professional 2013 – The full Office suite, which includes the core apps, plus Outlook, Publisher and Access. Designed for sole traders and small businesses or professional users. For use on one PC only.
  • Office Standard 2013 – The basic volume licensing edition for any size of business. It includes the core apps, plus Outlook, Publisher and access to the Office Web Apps. It provides access to several enterprise features such as group policy, terminal services and volume activation. Other enterprise features are available in limited capacity. Available for volume licensing, 5 PCs or more.
  • Office Professional Plus 2013 – The full professional Office suite for this release. It is really the “Ultimate” edition for all business sizes, and includes all the core apps, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Lync and InfoPath. It also includes unlimited access to all of the enterprise features of Office, including enhanced security and data management. Available for volume licensing, 5 PCs or more.

Each package is priced individually, and prices can vary depending on vendor. The important thing to note here is that, unlike the subscription packages, once you purchase the software, you own it permanently.

Next post, we’ll be looking in greater detail at the subscription-based packages on offer from Microsoft for Office 365.
Divider

If you need any further advice or information on choosing an Office 2013 or Office 365 package that’s right for you, of if you need advice or a chat about anything IT-related, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll do everything we can to help!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

facebookicon twittericon

Divider

Posted in: It 4 business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Office Logo

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2013 - Packages and Plans

Posted on September 18th, 2013 by Emily

 

In this series of posts, we’re providing some insight into the most recent Office suites from Microsoft, Office 2013 and Office 365, their pricing structures, similarities, differences, content and what various parts of each package could do for your business.

Divider

One thing about Office is that it is available in so many packages, it can be extremely confusing to buy. You should know what kind of software you or your business use and require, so we’ve compiled a list of the available versions and what their contents are, to try and help you make an informed decision.

Standalone Office 2013 Suite Packages:

  • Office Home and Student 2013 – Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. Home use only. 1 PC only.
  • Office Home and Business 2013 – Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Outlook. Home or Business use. 1PC only.
  • Office Professional 2013 – Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access and Publisher. Home or Business use. 1 PC only.
  • Office Standard 2013 – Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Outlook and Publisher. Office Web Apps. For Business Use. Available for Volume Licensing (5 keys or more).
  • Office Professional Plus 2013 – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, InfoPath and Lync. Office Web Apps. For Business Use. Available for Volume Licensing (5 keys or more).

 

Office 365 Subscription Packages:

  • Office 365 Home Premium – All standard Office applications (not including Lync and Infopath), Skype World minutes plus access to Office Web Apps and 20GB SkyDrive space. Install on up to 5 devices at once. £79.99 / year or £7.99 / month.
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium – All standard Office applications plus Lync. Hosted Exchange mail server and web hosting. Hosted SharePoint. Office for Mobile, Office Web Apps, other online business services. £100.80 per user / year or £10.10 per user / month. Limit 25 Users.
  • Office 365 Midsize Business – All standard Office applications plus Lync. Hosted Exchange mail server and web hosting. Hosted SharePoint. Office Web Apps, Active Directory integration, other online business services. Enhanced customer support. £9.80 per user / month on an annual contract. Limit 300 Users.
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3 – All standard Office applications plus Lync. Hosted Exchange mail server and web hosting. Hosted SharePoint. Office for Mobile, Office Web Apps, Active Directory integration, other online business services. Enhanced customer support. Advanced data management, voice and email tools. £15.00 per user / month on an annual contract. Unlimited Users.

There are other packages available that do not include the Office suite itself, consisting of the online IT services only (such as hosted exchange etc), however, we recommend the complete packages as we feel they provide good value for money.

Next post we’ll be covering Office 2013 (the non-subscription version of Office) in more depth, and looking at what various packages offer you.

Divider

If you need any further advice or information on choosing an Office 2013 or Office 365 package that’s right for you, of if you need advice or a chat about anything IT-related, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll do everything we can to help!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

facebookicon twittericon

Divider

Posted in: It 4 business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Office Logo

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2013 - Intro to Office

Posted on September 16th, 2013 by Emily

 

Over the next few posts, we’re providing some insight into the most recent Office suites from Microsoft, Office 2013 and Office 365, their pricing structures, similarities, differences, content and what various parts of each package could do for your business.

Divider

Since Windows 95, Office has been the standard application suite for many businesses, and has increased in size and popularity over the years. Back in the era of Windows 95, it had competition in the forms of suites like Lotus SmartSuite and individual apps like Corel WordPerfect. While many of its original competitors still exist now, they have declined very much in popularity.

Office’s main competition now comes from freeware, open-source suites like Apache OpenOffice and Libre Office, Polaris Office for mobile platforms, and iWork for the Mac.

Since many people have been tempted away from purchasing the Office suite by open-source freeware apps likes Apache OpenOffice, Microsoft have spent a lot of time improving and streamlining their Office suite to make sure it provides and experience that’s unequalled by any free software package. Outlook remains one of the most popular mail clients available for business because of its features. Word, Excel and PowerPoint have been given more options, better presentation and more streamlined features.

Despite the competition and its cost, Office is still the choice we see most businesses making. We’re in agreement here, for development, stability and features, Microsoft Office is still the best office productivity suite with the most to offer for businesses.

This time around, Microsoft have not just gone for a standard release of their Office suite, but have included the option to purchase a rolling subscription service instead of the actual office suite itself. This means that subscribers are no longer paying a large sum upfront for one single version of office, but are paying for a subscription to an online service which enables them to store their documents securely online, and ensure they always have access to the latest version of office available. This means that, should Microsoft release a new version of office for download and purchase, such as in 2014 or 2015, subscribers will automatically be entitled to download and use the latest version.

In our next post, we’ll be discussing the types of Office 2013 and Office 365 packages available and what they all have to offer individuals and businesses alike.

Divider

If you need any further advice or information on choosing an Office 2013 or Office 365 package that’s right for you, of if you need advice or a chat about anything IT-related, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll do everything we can to help!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

facebookicon twittericon

Divider

Posted in: It 4 business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Windows 8 Logo

Windows 8 - First Look

Posted on October 19th, 2012 by Emily

Windows 8 LogoOn 26th October, Microsoft unleashes its latest incarnation of the Windows Operating System to the public. Over the next few weeks’ posts, we’ll be covering some of the major differences between Windows 7 and 8, and how they will impact your home and business use.

While not yet available to the general public, we’ve managed to get our hands on a few preview copies, so we’ve had a look around and come up with a few interesting points that we think every possible user should consider.

One of the major changes in this version of windows is its general design and feel. Microsoft has obviously had to step up its game with regards to design philosophy and usability, to keep up with competitors Apple, and Google (especially in the mobile market) while still retaining the functionality of its previous operating systems. Until recently, Microsoft had named this new user interface style “Metro Style”, but after a legal altercation with German retailer Metro AG, they have yet to come up with a new name for this style and have instead named it “Windows Design Style” for the time being. Across the net, though, the name ‘Metro’ seems to have stuck, and many reviewers and bloggers are still referring to this new design as “Metro Style” – so it looks like they’re going to have to come up with a pretty catchy name to replace it.

Its colourful, blocky style is something that most users will find visually appealing, and it lends itself quite well to all sorts of devices, which was another one of Microsoft’s goals – To provide better support for the various types of tablet and touchscreen PCs that are popping up, while retaining the ease of use Windows has had in the past for Desktop users. Its start menu is now a full start screen presented in this new ‘Metro’ style.

In the next post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the features that lie beneath Microsoft’s new design.

Posted in: It 4 business, Latest News Tagged , ,