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Returning to Microsoft

I was always a fan of Microsoft Office, especially on the Mac, the original Mac Office team seemed to be more Apple than Microsoft and the product they produced worked really well on early intel machines

Unfortunately, I’ve never been a great fan of Windows, I find it bloated, slow, full of constant updates and generally a right pain in the butt to use. As I use OSX as my primary OS, with a smattering of Linux servers for work, I became more and more Unix and anything Windows dropped off my radar. So when Apple started offering their Office suite for free I just fell into using it, and those 12 months have been the most frustrating with any office product.

Apple often touts itself as a single echo system, with all Apple products and it all just works, but life is just not that way. Personally, I use OSX and Linux laptops and colleagues use similar along with Windows; add to that iPhone and Android phones and that’s 5 distinct operating systems to use and share data across. Apple does not play nice, permanently storing its files in its own format unless you export ( which while only 2 or 3 clicks extra, its 2 or 3 that just annoys the hell out of me ).

Around the same time, Dropbox issued the statement of discontinuing one of the best mails apps called Mailbox. Yes, it was buggy as hell on OSX, but it worked and I could live with it, knowing I was contributing bug report after bug report in the hope it would eventually mature into a product worthy of daily use. I’m guessing that was everyone else’s view and those bug reports went in their 10’s or 100’s but I’m guessing 1000s.  A friend of mine then started telling me of Outlook’s success on his iPhone, so I thought I’d give it a go…

About 3 days later I had a subscription for Office 365 and it was installed on OSX, iPhone, iPad and Android. I can share docs and have the same experience across all platforms. What a change. No, it doesn’t work on Linux, but Open Office reads and writes Microsoft file format natively and as I don’t use Linux machines for anything more than running apps, it’s not an issue.

Welcome back Microsoft, I doubt you’ll ever get your Windows thing on my day-to-day machine, but it looks like the Mac Office team has moved back to Cupertino and is once again living the Apple dream.

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