Ty Anderson

Office 365 Newswire: Is Office 365 succeeding or failing, news for developers – 12.7.2011

I don’t think I have slept this past week. No, it isn’t what you might think. Despite perceptions imposed upon me as editor of the Newswire… it isn’t because I have been spending all my time tracking news related to Office 365.

Since we last spoke, my nights and days have not respected their proper boundaries. Okay, the previous statement might not be entirely accurate because night and day do what they do regardless of anything I do. What I am saying is that the activities that normally occur during the day have become co-mingled with evening and night-time activities (and vice-versa). It all started with my son breaking his clavicle! Don’t worry, he’s doing fine and has learned to button his shirt using only one-hand. Despite this one-handed trickery of his, I am still his personal assistant valet.

As a result of my new duties, I might be a little sleep-deprived. Sometimes when sleep-deprivation takes ahold of me, I become a little philosophical. You have been warned.

“There are two types of people in this world…”

Life is dichotomous. The expression above is the starting point of many great conversations. It helps to simplify a concept into two, stark, contrasts. For example:

  • Night/Day
  • Sleeping/Awake
  • Yin/Yang
  • Good/Evil
  • Broken/Healed
  • Big/Small
  • Kermit/Miss Piggy
  • Success/Failure

This last pairing is the focus of this week’s Office 365 Newswire. Because, in last week’s Office 365 Newswire, I shared a story that reports hard numbers regarding Office 365’s success. These numbers are fairly incredible and point to some seriously great mojo (Microsoft calls it momentum but they really mean mojo). However, this mojo is only seriously great if the numbers are reliable.

A couple of stats really caught my attention:

  1. Over 5,000,000 new accounts since the June 2011 launch
  2. 90% of these accounts are Small Businesses

An item not reported… but something that I am curious about is, how many of the medium and big businesses plan to move to Office 365 in the next 12-24 months? Larger companies make decisions by committee… so it takes a bit longer so we will have to wait. Even if they didn’t have committees, larger companies tend to have more complex infrastructures, so these decisions take time.

Office 365 is a success!

Because MSFT released the news and it was all good stuff, the media initially reported articles that expounded upon the meaning of MSFT’s news.

  • More than 90% of Office 365 users are small businesses :: I am a fan of Mary Jo Foley. She starts this article by pointing out that Microsoft reported the number of users… not the number of Office 365 subscriptions sold. Meaning, we don’t how many Office 365 accounts have been sold. Ms. Foley has updated the article a couple of times since initial publication.
  • Moving mom’s real estate business to Office 365 :: This article was published on the Office 365 community site and tells the story of how one Microsoft employee helped his mom adopt Office 365. His mom is a top real estate broker in the Peugeot Sound area of Washington. She has two full-time employees as well as part-time help. She is part of the 90% mentioned in the first bullet point. The article reads like a memoir and includes some video. It also contains links to relevant content for each step of the transition.
  • Office 365 discussion on MSDN :: This is a 6 minute discussion between Richard Campbell and Tim Huckaby. Richard does most of the talking because he is the interviewee… plus he is involved in a large project helping a company with 90 offices in 75 countries move to the cloud… including adopting Office 365. They cover some government compliance topics which is a common obstacle. Microsoft did a good job editing this video and keeping it on-point. I think they used HD cameras too. That could be good or bad.
  • Who is using the Cloud :: Giving in to my love for infographics yet again, here is one that summarizes Microsoft’s success in the cloud. The color scheme of this infographic makes me crave McDonalds french fries. Branding works, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Office 365 is doomed to failure

When a company paints a beautiful picture of their success and lets the public see it, the cynics soon follow and stamp “failure” or “impending doom” on it. The public is left wondering who to believe.

  • Office 365 ‘momentum’ announcement met with some skepticism :: The title says it all. They even put momentum in quotes! The author of course quotes “some industry experts” (see, I can play the put-it-in-quotes game too). Eventually, they name them which is a nice departure from the norm. Whatever… “haters are gonna hate” so read this article and learn what the contrarians have to say.
  • Microsoft leaves unanswered questions about Office 365 sales :: The writer expounds upon his belief that Microsoft might be masking Office 365’s slow adoption. The author is the famous (at least in the Microsoft Office world) Woody Leonhard and his opinions are worth your thoughtful consideration.

Is Office 365 succeeding or failing?

Despite all the news, it is really hard to make a definitive statement. Microsoft is not being completely transparent about their numbers, leaving plenty of journalists (ahem, “experts”) asking questions… which they are paid to do and would do even if the current questions were answered. Sorry, I digressed.

Despite these unanswered questions, the numbers Microsoft released are impressive. I mean, if I had a software product with the Office 365 customer base I’d be quite pleased with myself. But given the potential for Microsoft statistical-trickery, the market (us) should continue to track these numbers and look to how much Microsoft invests in developing Office 365 and their other cloud offerings.

My take is that given Microsoft’s commitment to their cloud offerings, Office 365 will ultimately be an overwhelming success.

Office 365 news items for developers

These items didn’t fit into the Success/Failure dichotomy so they receive a heading of their own. Also, I know that a lot of us are more interested in how to build solutions for Office 365 (assuming it will be successful and there will be a market for our applications)

That’s all for today folks.

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