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Home Server Hardware Unbooted, Office 365 Booted

I've been writing a lot about Office 365 because it's a work in progress. I want to see how the software is coming along as Microsoft smoothes out some of the kinks. And as many are contemplating the cloud, I want to share as many user experience as possible to help guide your decision.

I've already written a cover story based on the views of over a dozen Redmond Report readers (this is a good-un). Greg Shields wrote on why Office 365 may miss the small biz mark. And Don Jones chronicled his transition to Office 365.

Now Redmond columnist Brien Posey is using Office 365 not just to replace a big batch of on-premise applications running on a big rack, but also a little, old Windows Home Server.

The motivation for the move all came out due to a little crisis: While travelling, Posey's couldn't get to his home network. Thanks, clumsy construction crew.

Hmm, Posey thought, which goes down more: electric power and Internet service in his Ohio neighborhood, or the Internet itself?  May be time to give that cloud a try.

Posey, a seven-time Microsoft MVP, found the migration "process to be extremely tedious."

Despite the grind of getting going, Posey is pretty happy – well, mostly happy. After the transition, he got a lot more spam as he trained Forefront to spot the bad stuff that GFI's MailEssentials knew by heart.

The best thing about Office 365, which is what I also learned from Redmond Report readers, is that all the management tools and techniques you learned for on-premise pretty much work in the cloud. Sweet.

Is this mixed (though generally positive) review spot on? You tell me at

Posted by Doug Barney on 05/02/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Wed, May 2, 2012 Tom D. Kansas

I had a need for something more than just a POP3 or gmail type of account at home. Plus I needed to research Office 365 to see if it had anything to offer my firm. I signed up for the personal plan for home. At first everything went fine until I changed from the to That's when the pain started. I found out that Office 365 only allows you to have named email accounts. You can't designate a catchall email account. This caused a big problem for me. I don't want to setup additional accounts just to have email addresses such as which I want delivered to my inbox anyway. Getting this switched back was a real pain. Afterwards most functionality was back but now it was impossible for anyone to access the SharePoint site. So I started looking for help. This was a huge joke. The forums & Knowledge base help had nothing even close to my problem. And there was zero information that I could find on contacting tech support. I tried contacting someone outside of tech support and somehow it got forwarded to tech support and they called me. It took several days before the systems people made the change that fixed the problem. But I am now finally able to access the SharePoint site. Now if they would only fix SharePoint so you can open a PDF file without having to save it to your desktop and manually open it. I see things I really like about Office 365 and others that make me think they are not ready yet.

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