Office 365, My Experience

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ScottNWDW, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    I decided to give Office 365 a try so I signed up for the free 30 day trial. I already had Office:mac 2011 on my Mac Book Pro and I had Office 2010 Premium on my Windows 7 based laptop.

    Office 365 loaded onto the Windows laptop perfectly and the upgrades to the core products and Outlook is really nice. Now I understood that for the Mac it would still be Office 2011. So as recommended I uninstalled my original copy of Office 2011 on the Mac and re-installed it from Office 365. Everything installed nicely and there was no problems installing it. The issue came in where on my Office 365 account page it never showed that I had a Mac installation. It only showed I had installed Office on just the one computer, the Windows laptop. I contacted Microsoft and they said as long as the Mac version works it's good to go and there was no issues.

    I opened one of my spreadsheets on the Mac and attempted to save the spreadsheet to the SkyDrive - which is supposed to be the backbone of Office 365's sharing abilities. Saved the document to Skydrive and opened it on the Windows PC. I made changes to the document on the Windows version and saved a copy to the SkyDrive. On the Mac I reopened the document after searching the SkyDrive for it because every time you save a document it created a new copy. Every time though when I saved my document, the Windows version would not open the latest version of the document. The Windows version of Office 365 runs beautifully and it communicates great with other Windows computers. It just doesn't want to communicate well with the Mac version. It could be because the Mac is still on Office 2011, which is older and perhaps that will change when/if Microsoft upgrades the Mac version.

    In the end I cancelled the Office 365 subscription because of the issues I had with communicating between the Mac and Windows environments. It was no where near as easy as their documentation suggested. In fact for the Mac, there was little or no support or documentation available. Even using the Microsoft chat feature with their support line helped because they kept referring to the Windows version when I clearly told them the issue was with the Mac. Their response was basically that the features were not available in Office:mac 2011. So then why continue with the subscription if advertised feature and benefits of Office 365 are not available on the platform I use 75% of the time.

    I believe that the Office 365 product is really good, as long as you work in an all Windows environment. If and when Microsoft decides to upgrade the Mac Version and bring it on par with the Windows version I will probably resubscribe to the service. Of course I would also like to see Office come to iOS, which for the life of me I can't understand why Microsoft hasn't committed to yet.

    Until then though, if you already have Office:mac 2011 on your Mac, don't bother with Office 365. You won't be gaining anything except frustration. The "seamless integration" that Microsoft touts between the versions just isn't there.
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    First off, SkyDrive was available on the Mac long before the launch of Office 365. I am at a loss as to why you felt the need to "update" to what was essentially your installed version of Office:mac. To your credit, you have changed your mind.

    That said, your diagnosis of your problem is completely off-base. The reason that Office:win opened a different version of your document than the one that you saved from Office:mac had nothing to do with failures to communicate. The problem is that you did not properly save documents from Office:mac.

    Even though I have SkyDrive, I have found absolutely no reason to use it, mainly because it is so poorly conceived. Dropbox is immeasurably better. I digress.... Because I don't use it, I have not dealt with its gotchas. OS X may have versioning issues with non-HFS+ file systems. This is something that the Mac user must be mindful of when dealing with files saved on remote servers.
  3. printz macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2012
    Does using DropBox instead of SkyDrive help? I've always found Google Drive, SkyDrive and iCloud as lame substitutes for DropBox. Too buggy, and too limited platform support. Their developers can't do ****.
  4. ScottNWDW thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    It was my impression that by using Office 365 you would be able to save items directly to the Skydrive. On the Windows side you could, but on the Mac you have to go through the handle of opening the Skydrive app first and then saving to the Skydrive. Even after a file was saved to the Skydrive each time you want to save changes to the file on the Skydrive you have to open the Mac Skydrive app first.

    In addition to that if a file was opened on more than one computer any changes that were made would be reflected via a notification. So if I had say an Excel file opened on the Windows computer, a Windows laptop and a Mac if a change was made on one computer a notice would pop up saying a change was made by (user of other computer) would you like to update? I often open Excel files in either the Mac or Windows. If I changed an Excel file at work, came home opened the same file on the Windows laptop at home the changes would be there. On the Mac though, the changes would not be there, UNLESS I remembered to FIRST open the Skydrive app THEN open Excel and finally open the file. If I just opened Excel and opened the file, even though it is in the Skydrive folder the it would not open the updated file, it would be the file BEFORE any changes were made. It was my impression that these extra steps would not be needed using Office 365, even after speaking with Microsoft support they even acknowledged this to be correct and should (not would) be corrected if and when the Mac version gets updated.

    Now I'm not saying Office 365 is a bad product, if you are in an all Windows environment then it is a great product, the best version of Office yet on Windows. It just does not work as seamless as advertised when using a Mac. Also they say that you can open files on virtually any device. Yes you can open Excel files on an iPad, viaSafari and going to the Office 365 or Skydrive account and using the web versions of Excel, unfortunately though that's all you can do via the iPad is open and read the files. You can't edit them or create a new file. So it's kind of useless.

    So if and when Microsoft wakes up and creates apps for iOS devices, and/or updates Office:mac 2011 to Office:mac 2013 or 2014 and truly makes it compatible with Office 365 it just won't work for me and I don't see any reason to upgrade even my Windows laptop to Office 365.


    I've never had an issue with iCloud. Every app I have using iCloud, files are updated automagically in the background. Numbers and Pages work great, which is what I was expecting to see with Skydrive and Office 365.

    Skydrive does work with Microsoft files and if you open the Skydrive app FIRST on the Mac before opening any of the OFFICE:MAC apps.
  5. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    The core of your problem lies with Microsoft's differences in Mac and Windows support. This has been ongoing since 1984. I didn't expect Office 365 to clear up these differences.

    It doesn't matter what syncing service you use as problems can arise when sharing documents between the two platforms.

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