Trial and Test of Office365 – Part I

Finally I made up my mind and have started using the free trial of Office365. The setup is a breeze. I choose the P1 plan. Basically I am interested in Sharepoint Online part of the Office365. But it also come up with Exchange online and Lync Online. Additionally we get Office Webapps and Calendar apps.

The admin page is clean and intuitive. Calendar and Exchange reminds me of the Hotmail UI except everything has tint of orange instead of blue. Office Webapp reminds me of the Skydrive product. In future I hope Microsoft integrates all these into one. I dont have  office Mac so couldnt try the offline document management part.

Coming to the Sharepoint Online side, after setup it creates a Teamsite (Intranet) and an external facing Website. The external facing website home page looks lame and I might need to create my own home page. The Site features and Site Collection Features available are very less compared to an on-premise Sharepoint installation. I was expecting to have Publishing feature available but its not. But I think I can live with that.

I was able to connect to the external site using Sharepoint Designer 2010 which was seamless(surprisingly). Haven’t tried modifying existing pages or Master pages yet. But creation of new Webpart page and Blog subsite worked!!. As expected creation of Publishing subsite failed.

So far I am impressed. Will keep testing the various Sharepoint and other office features of office365.

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