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13 User Reviews

Microsoft Office is a company that has been trying to catch up in recent years to Google, Apple, and other companies that tend to foray into the web conferencing area. When we sat down to review Microsoft’s conferencing platform, we wondered exactly what it was. Essentially, Microsoft Office is fully online, and Skype is now driving the conferencing component of Microsoft Office. Frankly, we wondered why one might pay for a subscription to Skype as part of Microsoft Office. However, there were some things that we did like.

Microsoft 365 rolled out in 2013. It allowed businesses to get Skype credit every month, get access to storage and Office applications in the cloud, and let the business use Microsoft product on up to 5 computers with the business.

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The Good

  • Functionality
  • Reputation
  • Integration
  • Price
  • Benefits
  • Scheduling meetings
The core functionality of Skype is pretty good. We like Skype because it has been around the longest, and is now the cornerstone of Microsoft's conferencing plan for small businesses. What we really liked about Skype was that it lets you network outside of the Microsoft network to Skype users around the world. Your conference guest might not have Office, but they might have a Skype account. This makes it very easy for them to find you in Skype's directory. Another thing that we liked about Skype was its reputation. Why the customer service is not always perfect, Skype has a reliable track record. Skype also has a pretty good user interface. It's easy to get the video to open up in a chat, you can add up to 10 people to a conference call. We wondered how many people you could add to a Skype video call on a mobile device. We think that integrating Skype was one of the smartest things that Microsoft did to expand its foothold in the web conferencing industry. With the clunkiness and limits of Lync, Skype makes it easy for users to interact with one another on short notices. Microsoft, hands down, gave us one of the best prices in the industry. You get access to Microsoft 365, which includes Office. If you do the screen share thing, you're going to have to use the tools in your open document to do annotations. However, Skype does have an annotation tool called Yugma, if you really feel a need to take notes during the lecture. Office 365 and Skype have helped give users the benefit of combining the top Office software with one of the most renowned chat and conferencing tools around. We also liked that the Skype and Microsoft Office integrations give you everything found in other web conferencing platforms:
  • Annotations and whiteboards.
  • Recording and saving of video for archival later.
  • Storage space on your cloud's hard drive.
  • A virtual "waiting room" for meeting attendants.
  • The ability to screen your entrants and control who talks.
The ability to schedule meetings in Outlook was critical for us. We liked that we could control our entire schedule from one browser and one calendar. Additionally, the meeting scheduler is a really important tool for businesses that have to schedule on the fly. The other benefit of the business plan with Outlook is that the web conferencing and telephone experiences are really good. Microsoft uses HD.

The Bad

  • Customer service
  • Experience
  • Compatibility
Skype, overall, is a pretty good platform that Microsoft picked up, but there are some caveats. If you've ever dealt with Skype's customer service, they are pretty much nonexistent. If you lose your password, for example, it can take a long time to resolve the issue. One of the things about the Office 365/Skype combined experience is that it just seems a little bit weird. At least with Google's platform, you get the same experience all across Google's Hangouts, Drive, and other products when you use Google for Internet telephony. That experience is lost in the Office 365 experience. You don't get the seamless Office from email to conferencing experience. If you stick with Microsoft 365 as a provider of your conferencing and office solutions, you'd better get a Windows Phone. It's not going to be very easy to use an iPhone to use Word or Excel. Your best bet is to get Office 365 if you are sticking with a Windows phone.

The Bottom Line

We would recommend Office 365 for businesses that want to put their chat, conferencing, and documents all in the cloud. The Skype integration is not always useful and intuitive, but it represents the thought that Microsoft is trying to move into a cloud-based realm that makes it more favorable and feasible. If you have a bunch of Surface tablets on your team, Microsoft Office 365 could be a great subscription for you and your team. You can also get the Skype business version with Microsoft 365 and not worry about cranking out the big dough for Microsoft.
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13 Reviews

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Steve Ashby Portland, OR

We are using Teams exclusively at our work (It's a Fortune100 company) and I really like the incremental improvements. It keeps getting better and better. The quality is great and it integrates will in the overall Teams and 365 environment. I've been using some videos on YouTube that walk through the features and that has been helpful in learning new features.

3 months ago

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Desiree Pleasant Grove, UT

I am a student enrolled to a college, and I love Office 365. I use it for my school or other work that I need to finish. I'm so grateful for that college students are able to access all the apps with this feature and share the subscription with 6 other people.

5 months ago

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Ryan Harpenau Fayetteville, AR

What I like best about Office 365 is the many different applications that are included in it. With Microsoft Teams, I am able to meet with my research lab group virtually since the pandemic has prevented in-person meeting at my university. I do all of my assignments on Microsoft Word due to the many different tools I can use compared to Google Docs which has much less.

6 months ago

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Heather Milke Olney, MD

We use Office 365 at my work, and I love that everything is built into one platform. Also I know it is protected.

1 month ago

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Sam Winster Belleville, NJ

I've used Office 365 for my last few jobs and I love the fact that you can log in from anywhere and pretty much have all your work there. If you need documents, you can have them no matter where you are. Plus, for the price, it's not very expensive. It also connects with Skype which makes it much easier to find people and connect with them as well.

4 years ago

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Zharia Allums Tallahassee, FL

It’s a pretty easy service to use and it has been beneficial in both grade school and college.

2 months ago

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KKin Preston, ID

Great platform for working remotely. My team and I are able to communicate regularly and call quickly when necessary.

3 months ago

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Rylaan Marlowe Roy, UT

Great products, just find it crazy I have to pay for a subscription to the services. Just let me buy once and update.

2 months ago

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Kenneth Okerlund Orem, UT

Very great product and very customer focused software. It is nice to be able to get all of your work/data from anywhere that you can log in. The only thing that I do not like is the customer support which is absolutely terrible.

3 years ago

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Dre35 West Valley City, UT

Love this set up! Allows me to work on files from any computer, especially when docs are saved in the cloud.

8 months ago

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AndyGrimes Short Hills, NJ

So far so good, since my company gave me a free license everything works pretty well and smoothly.

10 months ago

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Mallory Evans Park City, UT

I have used Office 365 throughout my years at college. It is easy to work with and made me more organized.

6 months ago

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Natalia Correa MDTribe Tallahassee, FL

Office 365 is super convenient and easy to use. I highly recommend it for anyone because it is very reliable.

1 year ago

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