As an Office Insider for Mac: Insider Fast, I get the latest updates quite early, but with the chance that it might roast my system =/

One of the recent benefits, though, has been the early arrival of the new Office icons. Personally, I love them – very smart design in my opinion. But there’s been controversy over the new overall design and its dramatic change from the norm that we’ve known for the last decade as the icons of Office. But just as we often see in the tech world, people are resistant to change.

I’ve actually had these for a little while, so I’m late to post about the icons in part because everyone else in the world was reacting. But I’d like to speak to change and not necessarily to graphic design.

Better yet, let’s allow a few iconic figures to speak:

 

“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”  Confucius

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

“One of my greatest fears is not being able to change, to be caught in a never-ending cycle of sameness. Growth is so important.” – Matt Dillon

“When I’m painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It’s only after a get acquainted period that I see what I’ve been about. I’ve no fears about making changes for the painting has a life of its own.” – Jackson Pollock

“Currently, according to Microsoft, more than half of all commercial (business) Office users are using Office 365 rather than standalone/perpetual Office. But during some point in the company’s fiscal 2019 (which kicks off on July 1, 2018), Microsoft is expecting two-thirds of its business Office customers will be using Office 365.“ – Mary Jo Foley  (10/10/2017)

Okay, so let’s just say that we remain just past the halfway point. Somewhere else I picked up another tidbit from Redmond VP, Brad Anderson, who told of Microsoft billing for more than 120 million Office 365 licenses (users) per month. Doing the math, when it hits the 2/3 mark, then there will be an additional 40 million people using Office 365 during this fiscal year topping out at 160 million licensed users per month.

Dollar amounts and corporate earnings aside, this is a massive demographic, especially in consideration of all the servers that will be retired, all the documents that will be uploaded, and all 40 million email accounts along with each account’s respective messages, contacts, calendars and tasks that will migrated from on-premise machines to data centers.

But with the new cloud platform brings new ways of getting things done. You’ll no longer save to the S:\ (shared) drive; instead you’ll save to a SharePoint library, that is, if you’re saving to a common repository of shared documents. Your own documents – those that you’re still getting ready to publish for the rest to view and modify – will be saved to your respective OneDrive, which is actually a hidden SharePoint document library itself.

And now that your original files sit in the cloud, they can be shared with a link, not by attachment to an email. When they’re shared in this manner, then multiple users can co-author the document simultaneously. No more passing around various versions of the same file. The real file gets modified right in front of you as you share it with colleagues.

Not much will change with email, except that you’ll likely spend less time in Outlook. Instead, you’ll be chatting away in Microsoft Teams, either by text in private or within a group chat scenario, perhaps while several are co-authoring a document and tossing ideas back and forth. And if the conversation dictates a meeting, then that can happen in an ad hoc private manner with up to 20 attendees or later on as a scheduled meeting. And the scheduled meeting can be audio only, or it can be a video meeting with up to 250 attendees.

“There is also an option for recordings to have automatic transcription, so that users can play back meeting recordings with closed captions and search for important discussion items in the transcript.” – Microsoft

And more than ever, we will work from anywhere. Teams meetings, for example, can be attended using your mobile device.

40 million more Office 365 users – that’s equivalent to the entire population of California.