Office 365 / SharePoint

A Month with No Office Desktop Apps

What would it be like to use just the Office 365 Web Apps for a whole month?

After having Outlook crash yet again, and using Outlook on the Web (formerly OWA) for a day, I had the thought of why not try this for a while?

Like most of you out there, I use the Office Pro Plus 2016 suite for my daily work. I’m in Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc all day long, but I’ve always wondered if I could go without the desktop apps. So I am taking the challenge of using just the Office 365 Web Apps for the next four weeks. We all are getting indications that the web apps are getting more attention by Microsoft than the desktop apps, so why not see how it goes?

Details of my Challenge

To level set, I am fully licensed with an Office 365 E5 license and an EMS E3 license. For those unfamiliar, that means that I am using the business, not the consumer, version of these tools. I primarily use a Windows 10 machine (fully patched, not preview program), and will use Chrome on that. On my MacBook (MacOS Sierra), I will be using Safari. I’ll be trying other browsers as needed.

During this challenge I will continue to use my Office/Microsoft mobile apps on iOS (seen right).

I will also continue to use the Skype for Business desktop client as I use Cloud PBX, meaning my primary work phone is the desktop client.

How it Will Work

Every day I’ll login to Office 365, open Outlook on the Web, and branch from there as my workday proceeds. In every situation I will try to use a web app first, such as Word/Excel/PowerPoint Online, SharePoint and OneDrive, etc. If I can’t get something done in a web app, I’ll fall back to the desktop app, but will share with you what happened.

Expect weekly updates from me on this blog, with more frequent updates on Twitter using #monthofwebapps. As we go and at the end, I’ll document what works well and what doesn’t, what frustrations I have, and what add-ins are worth it. I expect to use all the web apps throughout the month, including some editing in Visio Online (Preview), and presenting at a conference using PowerPoint Online.

We tell our users to do this, and it’s the way of the future, so let’s see how it goes.

What are your thoughts/experiences with the Web Apps? Feel free to share in the comments below and with me on Twitter.


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