Why Office 365 and Office 2013 May Not be Right for You

The new-look Office suite comes correct with handy tools and wonderful extras. But it also has a handful of potentially disastrous gotchas.

By Brad Chacos
Wed, February 13, 2013

PC World

Microsoft Office 2013
The next generation of Office is here, and while it's not necessarily an essential upgrade for Office 2010 users, it's easily the best Office suite to date. Editing complicated financial spreadsheets has never been so semi-seamless!

Microsoft Office 365

That said, with this particular $100-plus investment,A you'll want to look before you leap. Whether you're opting for a straightforward Office 2013 installation or the multi-PC, cloud-connected ubiquity of an Office 365 subscription, there are four potentially crippling gotchas to consider before you plunk down your hard-earned cash. I've also identified a supposed gotcha that you can actually ignore entirely.

Slideshow: 10 Best Office 2013 Features, According to Microsoft

Slideshow: 13 Cool Features of Office 365

1. Your computer may not run Office 2013.

Unlike Office 2010, Office 2013 does not work with Windows XP or Windows Vista. Yet the latest data from NetApplications shows that roughly 45 percent of all Internet users still rock those two aging operating systems. If you're part of thatA sizableA horde, there's absolutely no reason to buy Office 2013--it won't work on your system. And because an Office 365 Home Premium subscription simply lets you install the latest version of Office--Office 2013, again--on up to five PCs, you'll want to pass on that as well.

2. Other computers may not run Office on Demand.

One of the big draws of an Office 365 subscription is Office on Demand, a full-fledged, Internet-streamed version of the productivity suite that Microsoft calls "Your Office away from home." And it really, truly is--if the host computer meets the suite's fairly stringent requirements. As with local installations of Office 2013, Office on Demand plays nice only with PCs running Windows 7 or 8. It also requires the PC to have a fairly modern browser: Internet Explorer 9 or later, Mozilla Firefox 12 or later, Apple Safari 5 or later, or Google Chrome 18 or later.

You won't be using Office on Demand at the library, in other words. (Is there a law that says all library computers have to run Windows XP?) Nor will you be using it on a Mac. While Office 365 supports installations of Office 2011 on OS X, it does not support Office on Demand for OS X.

3. Got Google? Then you got problems.

Back-and-forth sniping from Microsoft and Google isn't anything new--Scroogled, anyone?--but the spat turned especially nasty for Office 2013 adoptees a couple of months back when Google announced that it was dropping Sync support for personal users. Sync is Google's implementation of Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Without it, you can't natively sync your Google Calendar or Contacts to the Outlook 2013 mail client, as Outlook 2013 doesn't support the CalDAV and CardDAV protocols that free Google users must now rely upon.

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