Office 365 vs Zimbra


Office 365

Office 365


Microsoft Office 365 is commercial software plus services offering a set of products from Microsoft. Office 365 includes the Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications and hosted versions of Microsoft's Server products (including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync Server), delivered and accessed over the Internet, in effect, the next version of Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).
Zimbra Collaboration Server is an email and calendar server plus much more; think about it like a next-generation Microsoft Exchange server. In addition to email and calendar, it provides file sharing, tasks, contacts, social media, document management and simplified administrative controls all in an award winning webmail user interface built with the latest AJAX web technology. ZCS also provides mobility and syncs to desktop client applications; the server is deployed on commodity Linux and Mac server hardware.

Latest news about Office 365 and Zimbra:

09.09.14. How artificial intelligence in Office 365 works?. Back in spring this year, Microsoft started to implement artificial intelligence in Office 365. The project codenamed Oslo was designed to automatically organize information for an employee basing of his relations with colleagues and documents. Today, Microsoft presented the main components of this artificial intelligence and makes them available for Enterprise version subscribers. So the main components are: Office Graph (virtual network built on the links between people and documents) and Office Delve (intelligent search engine, that finds and displays the appropriate information in context). For example, when you view an event in the calendar, it will show you people involved in this event, documents, emails and social posts, related to this event.

14.07.14. Microsoft lowers Office 365 pricing for small business. On October 1, 2014, Microsoft will release three new Office 365 plans tailored to meet the needs of small and midsized businesses: Office 365 Business Essentials ($5/user/month), Office 365 Business ($8.25/user/month) and Office 365 Business Premium ($12.5/user/month). This new lineup will replace our current plans for SMBs over time – Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business. The cheapest option includes only cloud office products,  but not desktop versions of the Office. The middle version provides full Office apps on all your devices including your PC, Mac, iPad and smartphone and includes 1TB of cloud storage. And the Premium version will provide improved features and additional services like Yammer and Active Directory support. Microsoft is also raising the max number of employees from 25 to 300.

17.04.14. Microsoft adds Office to Google's store, launches 7$/month version. It seems that the new Microsoft boss Satya Nadella doesnэt feel natural  hate towards Google like his predecessor. At least Microsoft's Office Online is now available in the Chrome Web Store. While not so long ago Microsoft urged users to avoid Google Chrome, because it's stealing their data for advertising purposes (watch the video above). By the way, according to rumors, this anti-google advertising campaign "Don't get Scroggled" is already frozen. The second news - Microsoft has launched Office 365 personal subscription plan that costs $7/month or $70/year. It allows you to install the full-fledged MS office on one computer, install the complete mobile Office on one tablet and unlimited use of Office on smartphones and in browser. Prior to that, the cheapest option of Office 365 was $100/year (for 5 users / computers).

28.03.14. Microsoft launches Office for iPad. Makes Office for iPhone and Android free. Looks like thing are changing in Microsoft after the coming of Satya Nadella. Before him Microsoft management believed that people using Android and iOS - is a temporary misunderstanding. They hoped that in the future all people will return to Windows and will be happy. But the new boss said today that "our customers are already using a number of compute platforms, giving Microsoft zero option". After that he presented the long-awaited Office для iPad. The bad news is that if you want to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint on iPad - you need to subscribe to Office 365 (which costs from $6.99/month). The same thing was with iPhone/Android before. But today, another miracle happened and Office for iPhone/Android has became free. I.e. now you can for free edit documents from cloud storage OneDrive on your smartphone. So maybe the iPad version also will become free soon. By the way, it already provides a free option to view documents and show PowerPoint presentations.

04.03.14. Office 365 gets some social-intelligence features. Microsoft today unveiled major update to its online office suite Office 365, adding some new social tools with a smell of artificial intelligence. First, the office is now watching you: with whom you communicate via email, chat and voice communications (via Lync), to whom you share documents. And basing on this data it creates for you "groups" (like in the picture above . Then these groups appear in Outlook and Yammer social network and you'll be able to intelligently filter mail and discussions by group/topic. Another intelligent page is now showing the documents that Artificial Intelligence Office considers most relevant to you #rightnow. So if you come to work sleepy and it's difficult for you to understand what you are doing here - open this page and everything will become clear. Here is this page:

2013. Web Office Apps add normal real-time co-authoring. Microsoft's online document editors Office Web Apps (available in SkyDrive and Office 365) already provided collaborative editing for some time. But it worked in the old-fashioned way: you had to press the Save button - and only then your colleagues saw the changes you made. Now this feature will become modern: you'll be able to see who is currently working on a document and see what collaborators are doing. And the Save button is gone, now the changes are saved automatically. So now it works just like in Google Docs. But this does not mean that Microsoft's online editors are lagging behind Google's. Regarding the document formatting, Office Web Apps does the better job, especially after today's update. In particular, the Word Web App added page headers and footers, ability to find and replace words and phrases, table styles and formatting and the Excel Web App added status bar and the ability to drag and drop cells and reorder sheets.

2013. Microsoft launched Office for Android. And you can download and install it FREE on your phone with one condition. What condition ...? Right! You must have the paid Office 365 subscription (which starts at $100/year). The same story was with the Office for iPhone and Outlook for iPhone. Don't want to pay for Office 365? Then buy Windows Phone, where Office is really available for free. That is the new policy of Microsoft. And everything is even worse in case with tablets. The new mobile Office doesn't work either on iPad or on Android-tablets. Because Microsoft still can't sell the own Surface tablets. As for the Office for Android itself, it's quite good app for editing Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, that runs on Android 4.0 and higher. SkyDrive is used as the default place to save documents.

2013. Office 365 adds Business Intelligence tools. While Apple makes its first steps with online office suites and learns how to draw simple diagrams, Microsoft has built business intelligence tools - Power BI - into its Office 365. This is quite useful thing, and not only for big companies but also for small business. It allows you to sort, group and organize large datasets, visualize them and create beautiful reports that will be updated when the data source is updated (data source is an Excel table). For example, you have a large table of orders loaded from your accounting system. With Power BI you can turn this large and unclear table into small and useful tables, for example: customers by industry, customers by city, sales by month, top customers by profit, etc. These little pieces of information will help you to understand who is your target audience and where your business is heading.

2013. VMware sold out Zimbra and SlideRocket. Probably, Aaron Levy was right. With the development of SaaS API technologies it's no longer profitable to buy all enterprise software from one vendor (and for vendors it's not profitable to build full enterprise stacks). For the last couple of years VMWare was trying to build (or rather buy) the own stack of enterprise software, and now it sells it out to focus on what they really do well - virtualization systems. In March VMWare sold online presentation service SlideRocket to ClearSlide (which specializes in sales apps) and today it sold Zimbra Collaboration Suite to the developer of enterprise community-building solutions - Telligent. Recall, WMWare bought Zimbra from Yahoo! in 2010. The video above shows how VMWare was inspired by Zimbra few months ago.

2013. Microsoft released free Office for iPhone. Think Microsoft has finally stopped playing political games and released Office for the competing platform? Of course not. Political games go on. Just Microsoft has invented the better idea. Yes, they are really launching full-featured Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPhone. And these apps - are really free. But they can be used only by Office 365 subscribers (who pay from $99.99 a year). And, of course, these apps can open and edit only those documents that are stored in SkyDrive cloud or on enterprise SharePoint server. But even with these limitations, Microsoft hasn't yet dared to release Office for iPad, otherwise its latest ads iPad vs Surface wouldn't be so funny any more.

2013. Video: How to build company website in Microsoft Office 365. Perhaps for many people it will be a surprise, but Microsoft Office 365 allows to create a public website for your company (thanks to SharePoint Online component). The practice of building websites on SharePoint existed for a long time. But it was quite expensive (due to the cost of SharePoint licenses and Windows hosting). Second, SharePoint was originally designed for intranet portals, and for public sites it's not very appropriate. Therefore, only large companies (for whatever reasons) used SharePoint as a website engine. But with the appearance of Office 365 things changed to better. Having Office 365 subscription, small business owner can create a company website for free. And the only technical skills he needs  - is Word editing. Watch the video:

2013. provides mobile access to Office 365 from iOS and Android. As we have already told, Microsoft is not in a hurry to create mobile (iOS and Android) apps for SharePoint and even for Office 365 because it wants to give advantage to own Windows-based smartphones and tablets. And perhaps the biggest winner in this situation is A year ago they released mobile app that provides offline access to SharePoint from iOS and Blackberry tablets and smartphones (Android app is coming soon), and now they have added support for Office 365. As shown in the video, the app allows to access and manage Office 365 files offline, upload files to server directly from the email-messages, edit file metadata, share files, add comments. It also allows to open documents in Office Web Apps (for this you need to upload the document to the server and to be online). The free version of the app only allows you to view documents and other data from Office 365. The paid version (without limitations) - costs 3.5 euros / month per user.

2013. Real-time co-authoring in PowerPoint Online. Office Web Apps on Android tablets. Last week Microsoft representative said this: "When we launched the Office Web Apps in 2010, they were companions to the Office desktop experience that enabled lightweight, on-the-go content creation and review. Since then, we've made a number of investments in Office Web Apps to make it easier for people to work together, author documents and access Office content from virtually any device. Our goal is to deliver Office Web Apps that people can rely on to create polished Office documents from start to finish, all from the Web. Moreover in 10 years we plan to discontinue the sales of the desktop office and move all users to the online office." This announcement was complemented by two new features: real-time collaborative editing in PowerPoint Online (watch the video above) and support for Chrome browser on Android tablets. In addition, Microsoft didn't miss the opportunity to once again troll Google Docs. Watch the new video featuring Rob Schneider about gambling with Google Docs:

2013. Office 365 for Business: new pricing quest from Microsoft. A month after the release of Office 365 home version, Microsoft is launching the updated version of Office 365 for Business. Just like in its previous incarnation, the business version besides the office editors (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, InfoPath) contains the email server Exchange, SharePoint portal and communications system Lync. Plus all sorts of IT-friendly things like Active Directory integration and the Admin Console. And as usual, Microsoft comes up with confusing variety of subscription plans. For example, some editions don't include desktop Office apps and some - include. Some editions can be installed on 5 computers, some - just on one. Some prices are per month, some - per year. And of course, every edition has different limit in the number of users. The price of Office 365 Small Business Premium, which provides the same functionality as Google Apps, is $150/year per user (Google Apps costs $50).

2013. New Office 2013: Bring Your Own Office?. One of our Enterprise 2.0 2013 predictions was the further development of BYO (Bring Your Own) trend. We said that with the own devices, employees will bring to work their own apps. Today, after the official release of Microsoft Office 2013, it looks like our prediction is coming true. Just look at the video: some guy is showing how he works everywhere with his own office. It's definitely his OWN office (Home Premium), because the enterprise version of Office 2013 will appear only in a month. But what is the reason of this phenomenon?

2012. Microsoft Project will join Office 365. Together with SharePoint 2013 (probably in early 2013) Microsoft will release its project management system Microsoft Project 2013. These two systems have become inseparable, because SharePoint is used as a collaboration layer under the administrative component of MS Project. With the new version, this integration will become even tighter. You'll be able to start a new project by creating a simple page with a task list and calendar in SharePoint, and only when you need more close control over the project you'll be able to turn on this project management in the MS Project. But of course, the main news about Project 2013 is appearance of the online version Project Online, that will be available in the Office 365 cloud. And, (like in case with new SharePoint Online), developers will be able to create their own add-ons and even sell them via Office marketplace.

2012. 200,000 Toyota Employees Will Use Office 365. Though Microsoft is positioning its Office 365 as a solution for small business, it has nothing to do but to offer it to large companies also. Because they also want SaaS. After Google won the deal with General Motors (to implement Google Apps), Microsoft needed the similar victory. And they did it - Toyota will provide its 200,000 employees based in Japan and other overseas affiliates with Office 365. They'll be able to use not only online document editors, but also the online version of Outook / Exchange, Lync, SharePoint. How much will Toyota pay for each license - is unknown. A few days ago Microsoft introduced the pricing for the new Office version, and there is no option for large enterprises. Office 365 Small Business Premium will cost $150/year per user (and this license covers up to 5 user devices). In general, the new Office pricing is difficult to understand (as usual), but one thing is clear - Microsoft made using the Office 365 subscription model more cheap than buying desktop licenses. Because they are already very tired of convincing users to upgrade every time. It's better to collect the small (but stable) fees for the SaaS-version.

2012. Microsoft Office gets own (cloud) App Store. Nowadays any popular service or application should have its own App Store, because the third-party developers want to build add-ons for popular products, and users - are eager to buy them. So Microsoft Office also gets the own app store - Office Store. Of course, it will only work with Office 2013, so that users had another reason to upgrade. For example, it contains an app that displays maps with points in Excel or an app that shows the LinkedIn-profile for a contact in Outlook. Interestingly, the Office Store will include only cloud applications. There will be no Visual Basic macroses. The advantage of this approach is that you don't  need to install additional apps. Microsoft does not restrict developers in selecting the cloud platform on which the application is hosted. It can be Azure or Amazon or other platform. The revenue split is more favorable than other app models, with an 80/20 split (the devs take 80%).

2012. Microsoft Office 365 with Dell: nobody works in the office any more. It seems that soon Microsoft will have to rename its Office 365 to something like OnTheGo 365, because the old name will lose its relevance. Judging from the Dell's video (which introduces Dell, as Office 365 provider) people now work on the street, in cafes, at home, in cars, airports and airplanes and come to the office only for meetings.

2012. New Office Web Apps add mobile touch interface, real-time collaboration. Microsoft started preview testing of the new version of its browser-based document editing applications Office Web Apps. Everybody can already join the preview on the SkyDrive or Office 365. The first thing that has changed - is the interface. It's now exactly like the upcoming Office 2013. And the main feature of this interface - is its adaption to the tablets with touch-screen. In general, the main objective pursued by Microsoft in this update - is to improve the performance of Office Web Apps on mobile devices (in mobile browsers). And the new mobile web interface for smartphones, is perhaps even better than its main competitor - Google Docs:

Top 10 Online Office suites

1Google Apps
2Office 365
5IBM SmartCloud for Social Business
8Central Desktop
9Feng Office
10Webex WebOffice