The latest version of Microsoft Office 365 for businesses that has been launched in India is promising a lot on the mobile productivity front. With the worldwide growth of 150 percent in the number of small and medium organizations adopting the software over the past year (according to the company’s claims), it’s no surprise that this region is also being looked at as a good market for the updated version too.
Office 365 works with Android, iPhone, iPad, Nokia Symbian OS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry gadgets. It should also get along nicely with Windows 8 devices including the now popular tablet-laptop hybrids. Of course, the liberties that users can take with the software suite on mobile platforms may be limited to a certain extent.
The entire ‘productivity package’ comprises PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, InfoPath, Access and Publisher apart from Visio and Project. SharePoint can currently be integrated with Yammer and Lync and there’s Exchange Online too. One licensed copy is designed for use on up to a maximum of 5 devices covering PCs, Macs and mobile gadgets.
Getting started with the service on handsets or slabs should be as simple as visiting the Settings tab and choosing the device option (after moving from Settings to settings for the utility suite, picking Get started and opting for the right selection from Phone & tablet). The tool’s mobile offerings involve the option to avail of Lync for instant messaging, set up email or open a SharePoint site.
Those using Windows Phone 7.5/8 will already have Excel, PowerPoint, Word and OneNote pre-loaded onto their smartphone or tablet. Other platforms will need to rely on Web Apps in order to leverage the advantages of Redmond’s updated business package. Also, there’s no mention of Lync for BlackBerry owners here. Setting up mail for Apple iOS devices seems to cover iPhone, iPad and iPod.
But Web Apps only appear to have iOS users’ backs if they’re on an iPhone, whereas SharePoint may be cool with an iPad or iPhone. While there’s little doubt that the updated Microsoft Office 365 suite will flourish in the market, meeting users’ expectations on the varied mobile platforms front may just spell out how much of a success it can be.