I know that you’re already aware that Surface 2/RT comes with Office RT included but did you know that you can also use all of your favorite Office applications online?
You may be wondering why you should care about that. The reasons are two-fold: (1) Your Surface Pro/2 does not come with the Office applications – so you could save quite a bit of money by going with Office Online – and (2) Office Online allows several people to simultaneously access Office Online documents. This means that you can work on your documents with other people at the same time and see each other’s edits instantly (exactly like Google Docs).
So, here is what Office Online includes:
- Word Online
- Excel Online
- PowerPoint Online
- OneNote Online
- Calendar Online
- Contacts Online (People)
OK, so by now you may be totally confused and asking yourself what the heck is the difference between Office Online and Office 365 (which I’m sure you’ve heard of at this point). To clarify things, here is a nice little table from Microsoft outlining the differences.
And yes, it is true that the Office Online is a scaled-down version of the Office 2013 but I would say it is at least as good as, if not better than, Google Docs. I personally like it much better because after working with Microsoft Office applications for over twenty years, the interface is familiar and more user friendly.
Other features of Office Online:
- Sign-in with your Microsoft account – the same one you signed into your Surface with.
- Once signed in, your documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and notebooks will be stored in OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive).
- Ability to open online documents with Office programs installed on your local computer or Surface tablet. This feature still stores the files in OneDrive – nice!
- Hundreds of free templates included with Office.com.
If you’re still wondering what is the point, then check out the below video from Microsoft.
I personally really like using Office Online. If you haven’t tired it yet, give it a go and see what you think.
Joanna is a former IT Director for a major public university, who gave up a high paying career to blog full time. She is proud to be a professional geek. Joanna loves all things technology and Surface tablets are her passion. She and Tim created LoveMySurface.net to help others be more productive using these awesome tablets.