01 Jun Microsoft 365 – The current winners and the future stars
The world has evolved to rely more and more heavily on technology over recent years. This is partially due to advancements in technology and – more recently – the COVID-19 pandemic that forced organisations to adopt a remote working team at a moment’s notice in order to just continue trading. This rapid transition further proved the capabilities of technology to everyone – even those that may have not had the chance or confidence before the onset of COVID took that leap of faith.
Irrespective of the advancements in technology over the last 30 years, the onset of COVID-19, and everything else that has changed the landscape of technology, there has always been one constant.
Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) has been a staple part of most of our lives for decades. Since its release on the 19th November 1990, it has been pushing the boundaries of what technology is capable of, both when working and at home – in fact, some of its latest connectivity-based features that allow seamless communication from anywhere in the world with an internet connection have been the saving grace for businesses globally during the pandemic, and its original applications (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) continue to perform at the very peak of their powers in just the same manner as they have been doing for over 30 years.
Microsoft aren’t willing to rest on their laurels though. They continue to release new and exciting features to their family of tools that has revolutionised the world as we know it. Throughout the blog series we will explore some of the best features in Microsoft’s existing arsenal and also some of the newer up and coming features that will undoubtedly be just as revolutionary as their predecessors.
Microsoft 365 – The existing winners
Microsoft 365 has so many features that are ‘winners’ in the industry, and you would be hard pressed to find a business that hasn’t got at least one feature developed by Microsoft as part of their IT systems. I have broken down that long list and left four ultra-successful features that have revolutionised the world with their capabilities.
Released in 1981 and inspired from the then popular ‘Bravo’ programme, Word was not very popular upon its release, but its popularity gradually grew when the public learnt it was the first graphical writing programme that had the ‘WYSIWYG’ (What You See Is What You Get) feature. This allowed users to change the style of their writing through the use of ‘bold’ and ‘italics’ by clicking buttons as opposed to the then normal way doing things – by imputing special codes. It also allowed for documents to be printed exactly as they were seen on screen.
What Microsoft Word lacked in popularity in the days following its creation has been more than made up for. In 1985 version 2.0 was released with added features, including spellcheck and word count, and almost every two years since then a new update has been released to enhance the application further. This constant growth and expansion has led Word to become the most widely-used word processor tool on the planet – it is estimated that it is operating on over a staggering billion devices worldwide.
Microsoft Outlook is predominantly known as an Email client but, in truth, it is so much more than that. Outlook also includes functions such as calendaring, task managing, contact managing, note-taking, and journal logging – all these features combined have led to Microsoft gaining more than a 9% share of the Email client market worldwide.
Microsoft SharePoint – perhaps not as well-known as the previous two – is a web-based collaborative platform that was launched in 2001. It is predominantly sold as a document management and storage system. What makes SharePoint great is how configurable it is, allowing the way it is used by organisations to vary widely. SharePoint has a staggering 190 million users spread across around 200,000 organisations worldwide.
The newest and arguably most influential of the four on our list is Microsoft Teams. Released in 2016, Teams had humble beginnings before a meteoric rise during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the shift to remote working. Teams has amassed a daily following of an astonishing 145 million people – up almost 100% from statistics taken this time last year. If this isn’t impressive enough, between the months of March and June 2020, Teams recorded an incredible 894% growth.
It isn’t hard to see why Teams has amassed such an incredible following. Its features are designed entirely around collaboration, communication, and productivity – and this can be achieved anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
In our next blog we will explore what new – potentially revolutionary – features Microsoft 365 have recently released or are due to release soon.
Your Managed IT & Microsoft 365 Specialists
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