Office 365 web access still broken

August 18, 2012

By Jeff Gould

I’ve blogged several times about my frustrations using Microsoft’s Outlook Web Access (OWA) as an interface to Office 365 (see my friend and co-blogger Doug Miller’s defense of Office 365 here). I subject myself to the discipline of using OWA instead of the vastly superior Outlook thick client – which I used for years as a front-end to Gmail – because I want to experience at first hand the reality of an all-cloud approach to email.

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Why Gmail beats OWA, part 2

May 23, 2012

By Jeff Gould

A while back my esteemed co-blogger Doug Miller posted a counterpoint to my post Why Gmail beats Office 365. Doug gives a long list of reasons why, on the contrary, Office 365 beats Gmail. Although he hasn’t changed my mind about preferring Gmail, I have to admit that I agree with almost everything he says. In fact, his post has helped me to clarify my thinking about this topic. At bottom Doug’s argument boils down to the idea that Office 365 is a more powerful online tool that has more of the features that sophisticated enterprise users need, while Gmail is basically a repurposed consumer product.

I have to say I entirely agree with Doug’s argument. But it doesn’t change my mind about using Gmail, and here’s why. The reality is that Doug is a more sophisticated user than I am. He actually knows how to use all the fancy bells and whistles in Office 365 (see his post for examples) and therefore he gets the full benefit from them. I on the other hand use Gmail as a simple email tool with some very limited calendaring functionality on the side. For my purposes, the greater simplicity and speed of the Gmail user interface trump the bigger feature set of Office 365.

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What Utah CIO’s firing means for public sector cloud computing

May 16, 2012

By Jeff Gould

Utah’s Governor has just fired the state’s CIO over a data breach that let foreign hackers steal the social security numbers of 280,000 state residents. Why did this unfortunate episode happen, and what can we learn from it?

Here are the basic facts. Sometime back in March, Romanian data pirates hacked into a state database. Utah, like many states, maintains a database of Medicaid recipients that health insurance providers query to verify a patient’s entitlement status before paying for care. Unfortunately, the way the process works is badly designed: everyone who receives health care in Utah has their name queried, whether they are on Medicaid or not. The CIO can’t be held responsible for this poor workflow design choice. Most likely the politicians are to blame, or perhaps the state department that regulates health insurance in Utah.

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Why Office 365 beats Gmail

April 18, 2012

By Doug Miller
Office 365 vs. Google Apps
Jeff Gould – the co-founder of this site – just posted his piece on why he likes Google Gmail and related apps over Microsoft’s Office 365. Like Jeff, I also use both Google Apps with Gmail and Office 365. I have paid subscriptions for both with a number of users on each system and use them as both an administrator for each domain and an end user.

While Jeff likes Gmail over Office 365, I am more of a fan of Office 365. We each use email and calendaring differently and we each have different tastes for user interfaces and essential features so it is not unusual to have different preferences. For me Office 365 is a better email, contact and calendaring system.
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Why Gmail beats Office 365

April 17, 2012

By Jeff Gould

Regular readers of this blog will know that, following a self-imposed policy of eating the cloud dogfood I write about, I use both Gmail and Office 365. Now I’ve frequently argued here and elsewhere that enterprise software and advertising are two different things that don’t mix well. That’s why I think that – in the current state of play (which might change) – Office 365, based as it is on Microsoft’s rock-solid server-side Exchange and SharePoint, is a safer and more secure cloud platform than ad-driven Google Apps. Of course, Google could certainly strip out the advertising functionality from Google Apps and make it into an outstanding piece of true enterprise software. They could even make it into something that works in hybrid scenarios that combine cloud and on premises delivery. That would be a big step forward both for their larger customers (such as Federal agencies and Fortune 500 corporations) and for their long-term prospects as an enterprise provider. Maybe one day they will do this. But so far they haven’t.

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