I signed up for a trial of Microsoft Office 365, the cloud-based version of Microsoft Office to see whether it could be a work-around to get the Windows version of PowerPoint to run on my Mac. (There are a few bits missing in the Mac-version of PowerPoint).

Not every Office user is the same. For the corporate user that needs access to files on any device, plus the ability to make some small edits to Office documents that are created on desktop applications, the Office 365 offering makes perfect sense.

But Office 365 is not ready yet to become a core design platform. I tested only PowerPoint, and ran the web app in Google Chrome on Mac OSX, please correct me if some of the limitations were due to hardware/software issues:
  • The availability shapes and functions in PowerPoint are extremely limited when compared to the desktop version. Now, I am all in favor of cutting PowerPoint features but here basic elements were left out (creating data charts  or cropping pictures for example)
  • Fonts are a big issue, if purchased custom fonts that are installed on my computer, but they are not present on Microsoft's Office 365 server, so your presentations become garbled
  • The preview of slides are low-res and slightly blurry (I am using a 2500 pixel monitor), only when you click to edit an object does the full resolution kick in.
In a few years from now, Microsoft Office applications will run smoothly across devices and platforms, we need a little bit more patience.

If you liked this post, why not subscribe to daily updates about presentation design via email? Just blog posts, no spam, or you can follow Jan on Twitter to never miss a thing.