Office Pro Plus via Office 365

As you may be aware it is now possible to obtain a subscription license of Office Professional Plus with Office 365. You’ll need the Enterprise E3 license or better to be eligible to download a copy and install it locally. If you are eligible here are some things that may not know about the Office 365 Professional Plus license:

 

1. Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Office 365 is licensed on a “per-user” basis. Users must assign each Microsoft Office license to a single named user before using the software.

 

2. Each user that is assigned a license may then install and use one copy of Microsoft Office per device, on up to five devices.

 

3. Office Professional Plus for Office 365 may not be deployed on a server (read terminal server) or desktop and accessed remotely from another desktop. Customers may only use Office Professional Plus for Office 365 locally. Remote Use Rights are not available under Office Professional Plus for Office 365 licenses.

 

4. Although remote access and use generally is not permitted under Office Professional Plus for Office 365 license terms, customers may still permit such access for purposes of providing support services.

 

5. Office Professional Plus for Office 365 is licensed on a per-user/subscription basis through Microsoft Volume Licensing.

 

6. Downgrade rights are not available with Office Professional Plus for Office 365 licenses.

 

7. User has right to any new upgrades that become available for Office Professional Plus under this license.

 

All this is documented at :

http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/D/4/3D42BDC2-6725-4B29-B75A-A5B04179958B/Licensing_Microsoft_Office_Professional_Plus_for_Office_365.docx

 

The most interesting one amongst these is the inability to access Office 365 Professional Plus remotely on a desktop. This seems to imply (point 3) that you can’t have it running on your business workstation and then remote into that workstation and use Office. I suppose that Microsoft will say that allowing you to install the Office software on 5 devices (point 2) over comes that need. However, what does ‘purposes of providing support services’ (point 4) mean in this context?

 

It is interesting what you find when you read the licensing documentation eh? As with most licensing documentation, it seems to raise more questions than it answers.

Opportunity


A good business person is always on the look up for opportunities and lately I’ve notice one I believe that I’ll share with you.

I’ve seen a few studies recently that say a large amount of small businesses still don’t have a web site. This article cites study that says a staggering 46% of small businesses don’t have a web site. Impossible I used to think.

However, travelling the roads I can’t help noticing how many vehicles are adorned with email addresses that are provided by Internet Service Provider (ISP) or generic email provider (i.e. joe643@isp.com.au or marys_dog_salon@gmail.com). Amazing, that in this day and age that businesses haven’t registered a domain and used that to point to their ISP or generic email account. Chances are if they haven’t even done that then they probably don’t have a web site.

You would have to think that if you offered them a package to set up their own domain, with email and simple web site, they’d be interested. If they could also use it to say display a calendar, develop, take orders, connect to a smart phone, etc they’d be even more interested.

Typically these businesses would be small and initially have no call for a server. That means that a cloud based solution like Office 365 would be very appealing, simply because it would give them access to enterprise applications for a small monthly fee. Even just providing an external facing web site via SharePoint Online would be highly appealing I would think because it is simply enough that they could make some changes themselves. Importantly, that would allow them to feel in control.

Even more importantly they could start out quite cheaply with an Office 365 Professional and Small Business plan (P Plan) that would give them what they needed for less than $10 a month (even though I think the Enterprise plans are better). That should be well within their budget.

So, I think that creating a ‘start up’ package around Office 365 that includes, domain registration, Office 365 setup and training for a fixed price would be very appealing would it not? All you would then need to do is email the people you see out on the road who don’t yet appear to have their own business domain. The easiest way to remember their email address is probably to use your smart phone to take a picture of their email address. I’d also be confidently say that you’d be well placed when this business grows to pick up additional work, not to mention the referrals on offer if you did a good job.

The moral here probably is to have a look around and challenge your beliefs, because in many cases they are probably not correct, especially when it comes to the average business and technology.

Windows InTune gets an update

According to:

 

http://www.talkincloud.com/microsoft-announces-official-upgrade-date-for-windows-intune/

is getting an update from October 17.

 

Windows InTune is Microsoft’s PC management and security solution that is run via the cloud and provided via a subscription for $11 per device per month. The new features of this update will include:

  • Software Distribution: With this release, administrators can deploy most Microsoft and third-party updates or applications to PCs nearly anywhere over the Internet.
  • Remote Tasks: IT can remotely perform the following tasks on Windows Intune managed PCs from the administration console: Full scan, Quick scan, Update Malware Definition and Restart.
  • Read-Only Access: IT pros and partners can give select administrators read-only access to the administration console so they can view PC information as needed, but not perform any configuration tasks.
  • Enhanced Reporting: Create hardware reports based on new hardware filters for common hardware characteristics. Additionally, you can now create and save report parameters to make it easy and efficient to run a report again in the future.
  • Considering that Windows InTune currently includes a Windows 7 Enterprise license the ability to now also do software distribution and remote tasks is beginning to make it a real competitor in the market.
  • The update will automatically roll out to Windows InTune users (another benefit of the cloud).

 

It is clear that Microsoft is keen to really start ramping this product up to match its current in house offerings yet make it available to everyone via a subscription.

Configuring Office 365 end user desktop

Here’s a video walk though I’ve just posted that covers setting up an end users desktop with Office 365.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq99xwvjPqo

 

Basically you need to login to the Office 365 portal as the end user, download and install the appropriate software. Once that is complete you run a configuration utility from the portal that configures everything for the end user. The only thing that is requires some manual configuration but as the video shows, this is pretty straight forward.

Using an iPad with Office 365

Here’s the first part of an article I’ve just done for BoxFreeIT.

 

One of Microsoft’s major selling points for its cloud productivity suite Office 365 is that you can work on your data anywhere you have internet access. But how well does Office 365 work on one of the biggest mobile devices – the Apple iPad?

 

The thing to remember with Microsoft Office 365 is that it will run better on Microsoft technologies, such as a PC running Internet Explorer. However, Microsoft claims the platform is compatible with technologies from other providers.

 

Office 365 is composed of three major components; Exchange for email, SharePoint for file management and collaboration, and Lync for communication. Let’s take a look at each one of these components separately and how they function with an iPad.

 

Probably the easiest component of Office 365 to configure for an iPad is Exchange Online. Provided you don’t have a cheaper “kiosk” licence you will be able to connect your Office 365 emails to your iPad in a matter of minutes. You simply need to go into the iPad’s mail settings and add an Exchange email account using your Office 365 credentials.

 

Once configured you can send and receive emails with all the standard functionality Exchange emails enjoy on an iPad. It is also possible to work with your emails via a browser and Outlook Web App. However, this is where things start to become less fully featured.

 

Because an iPad uses Safari as a browser rather than Microsoft Internet Explorer the environment isn’t as “feature rich”, as Microsoft would say. You can certainly log into your Office 365 portal and work with your emails but the experience is far more basic.

 

You can read the full article at:

 

http://boxfreeit.com.au/Productivity/using-office-365-on-the-ipad.html

Feature must be activated

Installing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) onto a Windows Server 2008 R2 all went fine but when I attempted to create a Collaboration Portal site collection I was greet by the message:

 

The Office SharePoint Server Standard Web application features feature must be activated at the web application level before this feature can be activated.

 

After trying a few things I came across this:

 

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepointadmin/thread/8b96663a-ed87-4ab4-bd59-33c7245a76d4

 

which basically confirms the issue and attributes it to the MOSS setup configuring IIS on Windows Server 2008 R2 incorrectly.

 

The solution? Re-install MOSS, only this time manually configure IIS before running the MOSS installation OR simply re-apply MOSS Service Pack 2.

 

Once I reapplied the service pack I could create the Collaboration Portal site collection.

SBS Essentials review

Not a bad little review from Paul Thurrott over at the Winsupersite on SBS 2011 Essentials. I have to agree with him that SBS Essentials is effectively incomplete until the release of the Office 365 integration module. There was talk that it would be released at the Microsoft world wide partner conference in July but nothing materialized. Paul says in his article:

 

“Sadly, it won’t ship until the end of the year”

which I certainly hope is not true but I do have some faith in the fact that Paul probably has better sources than I.

 

In that case I would have to say the waiting another 3 – 4 months for the Office 365 module for SBS Essentials is really going to throttle its take up in my opinion. The whole premise of this server was the fact that it would interface directly to the cloud and without that it is really a bit of a lame duck at this point. Sure I know that you can do the integration to Office 365 manually but without the dedicated module it kinda makes SBS essentials a car that is missing a wheel doesn’t it?

Office 365 Exchange Online Connected accounts

One of the really nice things that you can do with Office 365 Exchange Online is configure your Exchange Online mailbox to receive from your other external email accounts.

 

To do this first login into your Office 365 console via https://login.microsoftonline.com. Then select Outlook. You should then see your mail box.

 

Go to the top right of the window and select Options (which is just under the user name).

 

image_2_7E4771FF

 

From the menu that appears select See All Options. You should then see a screen like:

 

image_4_7E4771FF

 

You should be on the Account option. To the right you’ll see the Connected Accounts button, select this.

 

image_6_7E4771FF

 

Select the New button.

 

image_8_7E4771FF

 

Enter an email address and password, then press the Next button.

 

image_10_7E4771FF

 

After a few moments the account should show as being connected (if additional information is not required).

 

image_12_7E4771FF

 

When you are returned to the Connected Accounts screen you should see your account listed. You’ll also note on the right the option to change the Default Reply Option.

 

Mail from the connected account will now start appearing in your Office 365 Exchange Online email box (as well as in the original external mailbox).