Microsoft Giving 1 TB of OneDrive Storage to Entice Office 365 Subscriptions

One Drive

Microsoft announced a massive increase to OneDrive storage today for both paid and free accounts. Under the new plan, 15 GB of storage is available for free to all users of OneDrive (this is up from the 7 GB previously offered), and if you are a subscriber to Office 365, that number goes up to 1 TB. If you are not an Office 365 subscriber, you also have the option of purchasing 100 GB of storage for $1.99 per month, or 200 GB for $3.99 per month.

This news comes less than a month after Apple announced their upcoming iCloud Drive service that offered substantially lower rates than those currently being offered by competitors. For comparison sake, Apple announced that iCloud Drive would offer 5 GB of free storage, with 20GB to be $0.99 per month, 200 GB to be $3.99 per month, and 1 TB to be determined.

The biggest loser in these price decreases is Dropbox. Currently Dropbox offers 2 GB of storage for free, with 100 GB for $9.99 per month, and 200 GB for $19.99 per month. It will be interesting to see how long before Dropbox has to drop their prices to be competitive. Google Drive also offers 15GB of free storage and 100 GB for $1.99 per month and 1 TB for $9.99 per month.

If you were looking for a good reason to purchase Office 365, and the releases of Microsoft Office for the iPad were not enough for you, OneDrive storage definitely makes the subscription the most economical way I have found to obtain cloud storage, with the added bonus of Microsoft Office on your iPad and Desktop. It is also important to remember that you can still purchase a one year subscription to Office 365 from Amazon at $72.00.

Office 365 Personal Now Available for $6.99 Per Month

Office_Devices-300x207_top-of-postAs previously announced, Microsoft made a less expensive subscription of Office 365 available on April 15, 2014. Office 365 Personal can be purchased for $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.

The major difference between the Personal subscription and the Home subscription is the number of tablets and PCs that the Office products can be used on. Office 365 Home can be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs and up to 5 tablets. Office 365 Personal can only be installed on 1 PC or Mac and 1 tablet.

I would still recommend that most users consider the Office 365 Home version over the Personal version. Having the ability to install on multiple computers is extremely useful, and you can share this benefit with anyone in your household. This means that up to four additional users can have access to your account, and each user can have their own 20GB of OneDrive storage.

As an added bonus, if you choose to purchase an Office 365 Home Subscription from Amazon, it is currently being sold at a discounted rate of $67.13 for an entire year (cheaper than purchasing the annual subscription from Microsoft for Office 365 Personal).

Once you purchase an Office 365 subscription, you are able to fully utilize all of the Microsoft Office apps for the iPad.

 

WordPerfect X7 for iPad Currently Available

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I previously had posted on a rumor that I had heard that Corel would be releasing a version of WordPerfect for the iPad. My sources had indicated that WordPerfect for the iPad would be released at the end of March 2014 (the same day that Microsoft released Office for the iPad). Although WordPerfect was not released when I expected, it was finally released on April 8, 2014, along with the release of WordPerfect Office X7.

Unfortunately WordPerfect for the iPad cannot be described as a stand-alone application. In reality it is simply a virtualized version of WordPerfect X7. During inactivity, I discovered that Corel is offering their product using a virtual desktop on Microsoft Server 2012. If you have used OnLive Desktop or CloudOn to access Microsoft Office on the iPad, this “app” uses the same type of technology.

This means that you are using an actual full desktop version of WordPerfect on your iPad, and not an app that was created specifically for a touch-interface of the iPad. Although the positive side is that you get to use every feature of WordPerfect, and have 100% format compatibility, the app suffers greatly from usability issues. For example selecting menus sometimes took 3-4 tries with my average size hands, and clicking on the toolbar drop-down menus was nearly impossible without accidentally applying the wrong formatting.

To get to the numbered list options, you have to actually touch that tiny down arrow on the toolbar!

To get to the numbered list options, you have to actually touch that tiny down arrow on the toolbar!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, the app will not work without an internet connection. According to the Apple App Store description:

“This virtualized desktop companion requires you to be connected to the Internet. During the trial period we recommend you connect to the internet through Wi-Fi for enhanced performance.”

The reason that Wi-Fi is recommended, is that performance can be an issue over a cellular connection, and you will be using your data allowance if you connect using cellular. This also means that if you do not have internet access, this app is useless, or even worse if you lose a connection while editing a document, you cannot continue to work and can possibly lose your work.

I wish I could say that the disappointment ended there. Since this is a virtualized desktop running WordPerfect, you cannot use the iPad’s “Open In” options to launch WordPerfect from an email or other app. This means that when I have a WordPerfect document as an attachment in email or saved on a cloud service, I was not able to launch that document using WordPerfect for the iPad.

Who am I giving access to my DropBox folders?

Who am I giving access to my DropBox folders?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only method that I could find to get documents into WordPerfect was to associate your DropBox account within the virtualized desktop environment. Since this would establish an instance of my DropBox running within a virtualized desktop on a server that I have no control over, I did not personally feel confident associating my DropBox account with this app. (Documents cannot even be side-loaded into the WordPerfect app using iTunes).

You are warned that this is a cloud-based app, and it will not even always be available.

You are warned that this is a cloud-based app, and it will not even always be available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WordPerfect X7 for the iPad is listed in the press release as being a free offering alongside the purchase of the new WordPerfect X7 Office suite, however, in the app store description, it is indicated that “Availability is limited”. This means that if you require use of the app, it is important that you download it immediately and register an account to use it. I am assuming that the reason that availability is limited is because a license must be purchased from Microsoft for every user (since it is running on Microsoft Server 2012). Although it is indicated that you must have WordPerfect X7 on your desktop to use this product, when you register to use the iPad app, you are not required to proof that you have a registered copy of WordPerfect Office X7 (this means that as of right now anyone can actually register an account and use this app).

I wish I could say that I recommend this app, but I simply cannot. It was actually painful to use it. None of the iPad keyboard shortcuts work on this app (like double-tapping the space bar for a period), and misspelled words are not auto-corrected. Selecting text was incredibly difficult and I was unable to finish a one page document without several disconnections and a timeout. Since I failed to save before one of the disconnections, I even experienced loss of my work. I also repeatedly noticed keyboard lag even on a high-speed WiFi connection.

I personally find this “app” an embarrassment to Corel. Considering that Microsoft took so long to develop and release Word for the iPad, Corel was given an ideal opportunity to actually become relevant again. Had Corel focused on making a true competitor for Pages and Word on the iPad, it is possible that they could have even converted desktop users by showing how good of a product they had. Instead, I think they have shown those remaining WordPerfect users, the time has finally come to abandon this app.

For now, I recommend that most users consider Microsoft Word for the iPad, even if it does mean purchasing an Office 365 subscription. If you simply cannot justify a subscription to Office 365, Pages is a quality full-featured word processor, just be aware that there will be some compatibility issues if you use Microsoft Word on your desktop.

Download WordPerfect X7 Companion App for iPad.

Microsoft Promises Office for iPad Quick Iterations, Implies Printing Will be Available Soon

Microsoft provided a statement to PC World implying that feedback regarding missing iPad printing option will result in missing features being added in future versions. The statement by Microsoft notes the number of iterations that have been made since Office 365 was released (almost weekly), and promises “We’ll watch really closely and see how people are using these apps and you should expect us to iterate very fast.” See the PC World story for more details.

See my Word for iPad review for my initial thoughts about Microsoft Word for iPad.

Microsoft for iPad Review

Microsoft released Microsoft Office for the iPad earlier today. I have had an opportunity to download and use the apps, and have published an article on Mobile4Law.com with my initial thoughts.

To sum up my review, if you are a current Microsoft Word user, there is no reason not to download this app (after all it is free). If you are not an Office 365 subscriber the app will just allow you to view documents, but it is now officially the best Word Viewer I have found. As an added bonus, if you are an Office 365 subscriber you can also edit and create Word documents. (And if you need to create and edit documents on an iPad it may convince you to subscribe.)

Please see my review for more information:

http://mobile4law.com/microsoft-word-for-the-ipad-arrives-first-look-review/

It is Confirmed, Microsoft Office for iPad Available Today

Microsoft announced today the immediate availability of Microsoft Office for the iPad. GigaOm has a good overview of the new offering. (Office for iPad available today http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OmMalik/~3/Wgc0cYZ-j4M/)

In addition to Microsoft Word, there are also Excel and PowerPoint apps. These are free to download and to use for viewing documents, but to edit you need a Microsoft 365 subscription.

I plan to download and review these apps as soon as they are live in the App Store. From the press briefing, these look like great contenders for content creation on the iPad. My only disappointment is the need for a subscription to use them. I wish Microsoft had done the unexpected and made these available as paid apps to truly compete with Apple’s equivalents.

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