Microsoft Office 365 on a Mac: Is it worth it?

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Apple include it's office package consisting of Pages, Keynote and Numbers with all new Macs. It's a very competent set of apps that are excellent in their own right. However, Microsoft Office remains the industry standard and Office 2016 for Mac allows Mac users to be on the same playing field as PC Microsoft Office users.
Using Microsoft Office on a Mac ensures compatibility across platforms and negates the need for tedious, time consuming conversions.

Even though Pages, Keynote and Numbers are free with every Mac, free iCloud storage is still only 5GB and moving up to a 1TB of iCloud storage will cost $9.99 a month. The advantage is that all your documents, notes, photos etc will be available across all your iCloud compatible devices. The disadvantage is that Android devices is not one of these compatible devices.

Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service also costs $9.99 for 1TB of storage including Office 365. This means that not only do you get Office 2016 for 5 users (PC's or Macs), but you get 1TB of storage per user as well as 60 Skype minutes per month per user. Each user can also install Microsoft Office on either an iOS or Android device as well.

INSTALLATION AND USAGE

We installed Office 2016 via Office 365 on a MacBook, a PC running Windows 10, an iPad and an Android phone. We also installed OneDrive on all four devices as well. We were impressed by the simple management of installations via the online Office 365 account page. It was very easy to deactivate existing installations of Office and then simply install and activate Office on another computer.

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OneDrive was also just a matter of downloading the app, installing it and choosing which files and folders that we wanted to keep in sync. OneDrive integrates itself into Windows and OS X quite nicely and working with the OneDrive folder was simply a matter of dragging files to it or from it. Synching was quick and we could access all our files across all of the test devices.

We've been using Office 365 on all our devices and love the ease of use, cross-platform compatibility and the convenience of having all of our documents, photos and other files available via OneDrive. Also, we liked having the piece of mind from knowing that all of our important files are backed up in cloud storage, safe and sound.

ALTERNATIVES

However, paying for an office package and 1TB of online storage may not necessarily suit everyone's wallet. We suggest Google Photos as a free alternative for unlimited photo storage and either Microsoft's Office Online or Apple's iCloud versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers for the creation and editing of office documents.

Google also provides 15GB's of free Google Drive storage that can take care of the backing up of thousands of documents.

CONCLUSION

We enjoy the convenience of Microsoft's Office 365 but also realize that free alternatives are available to provide similar benefits.

What office package and cloud storage solution do you prefer?

AUTHOR

Vinodh Moodley

Author and tech addict. Vinodh loves new software, hardware and technology but he enjoys writing about it even more. Vinodh is an avid sim racer and captain's an indoor cricket team.

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