The Garage Series: Tech analyst and writer Paul Thurrott’s 5 favorite things about Office 365

Video 13:16. The last in a 6-part special series filmed in New Orleans, host Jeremy Chapman is joined by Senior Technical Analyst and writer, Paul Thurrott, to discuss his favorite things about Office 365. Paul brings his rich background and insight to discuss how he uses Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 Small Business Premium across the desktop and mobile apps, as well as the back end services to tie everything together. If you are still trying to figure out whether to choose Office 365 versus Office 2013 or older versions, you’ll want to check out this show.

Jeremy: This week’s show is pretty special, not only is it the last of our filmed show specials from New Orleans, but I had the privilege of having one of my favorite guests, tech journalist and author, Paul Thurrott, back on the show. And so with the new Office 365 a year in market from the initial preview released back in July of 2012 through the commercial release earlier on this year, I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask Paul to share his personal favorite things about the new Office

Paul: Thanks for having me on the show again and sorry that I left the skydiver suit at home after Garage Series Live, then again it probably wouldn’t have been a great idea to parachute in anyway!

You pose an interesting question because there’s a lot that I like about the new Office.  I’m both a Home Premium and Small Business Premium user and for me personally Office 365 is a no-brainer. For starters, the fact that you get so many of the previously very expensive enterprise-level capabilities that were previously out of reach, now available to businesses of all sizes is amazing. In the past only enterprises with dedicated IT staff could affordably implement the necessary infrastructure – things like Exchange Active Sync Security Policies to impose policy on mobile device access – that’s a level of control I can now have for my small business organization that I didn’t have before.

Jeremy: So how do you personally use Office 365 today?

Paul: Well in my household my wife and two kids all use Office and so we benefit from the five user licenses and being able to use Office on multiple devices, it makes so much sense financially. From a business perspective, I started off with the basic small business subscription and recently upgraded to Small Business Premium.

As a professional writer I’m using everything from the familiar Office applications, the ability to roam my content via the cloud and work from both Windows and non-Windows devices and work both online and offline. This is really great especially when I work while travelling on the plane, I can sync changes back later and always have my work saved in the cloud, which I can then share with others inside and outside my organization. There’s also the fantastic Lync capabilities such as audio and video chat, simple text instant messaging, presence information to allow people to contact you while online which goes across Office 365 too and integration with phone systems that I’m using a lot. Lync’s one of those things that when people see it the light will go off for them right then

Jeremy:  Right and we recently announced Skype integration with Lync. And to your point about support for mobile and non-Windows devices, since we recorded this show we’ve released Office Mobile for Android phones and Office Mobile for iPhone, both representing a huge value exclusive to Office 365 users.

Paul: Those are great examples, as it’s a huge benefit to have an Office that’s continually up-to-date, not just with bug fixes but actual new capabilities that you just get as part of the subscription. Being always up-to-date is great especially for smaller businesses. There’s no need to worry about keeping up with the latest version of Office or put off an upgrade as the subscription service is version-less and you get new features as they are rolled out.

Jeremy: So what exactly are your top 5 favorite things about Office 365?

Paul: Well from my perspective, there’s a lot to choose from, but you’ll have to watch today’s show to find out

Jeremy: On that note, we hope that you like the show. Don’t forget to stay up to date with Paul’s commentary on

Bye for now!

Jeremy and Paul

More resources

Supersite for Windows

Garage Series Video Channel

Garage Series Season 1 Blog Archive

Follow @OfficeGarage on Twitter

About the Garage Series hosts

By day, Jeremy Chapman works at Microsoft, responsible for optimizing the future of Office client and service delivery as the senior deployment lead. Jeremy’s background in application compatibility, building deployment automation tools and infrastructure reference architectures has been fundamental to the prioritization of new Office enterprise features such as the latest Click-to-Run install. By night, he is a car modding fanatic and serial linguist. Paul Thurrott is senior technical analyst for Windows IT Pro. He writes the SuperSite for Windows (, and has written several books including Windows 7 Secrets, Windows 8 Secrets and Windows Phone Book.