Update:I noticed today (10 August 2011) that the Kindle version is currently no longer available. So I possibly may have read not the final version

Update 2:Microsoft has relased the book for free on this page

altA few days ago, I saw that "Microsoft® Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime" by Katherine Murray was available on the amazon.com Kindle store. Interestingly, the printed version of the book is currently listed to be published on September 6, 2011.

As the price of $9.99 is quite cheap, I bought it immediately, and read it during 2 lunch breaks, some tram rides, and some spare time at home. And when I say ‘read’, I actually mean ‘browsed through it to see if there’s anything that I don’t know yet’. I didn’t read much, I was actually mostly clicking the "forward button" on my Kindle, so the time it took to read this 300+ pages book was much shorter than expected.

The book is divided into 3 parts with several chapters each:

  1. "Finding Your Place in the Cloud" gives a brief overview of Office 365 and shows you how to set up your own account
  2. "Teamwork in the Cloud" is all about using SharePoint Online
  3. "Connecting in Real Time " covers Exchange (email), Lync (Instant Messaging, Audio/Video calls), and the public website

Each chapter in the 3 parts provides information on how to do certain things in Office 365, usually providing some screenshots as well. However, it doesn’t go deeper than the online documentation, and the content is rather shallow. For someone who wants to get started with Office 365 and is looking for information on how to do things, this book may be a good place to begin with, as it provides information in a structure way. But as soon as someone wants to find out a bit more about certain functionalities, the online community or the documentation are much better choices. It is also worth mentioning that the book does only barely cover the "what" and "why": what does Office 365 offer for organisations and why should they use it. While some examples are given, I think it would have been worth talking a bit more about these aspects, and provide more examples at the beginning of the book.

I am not sure if the version I have is the final version, as the book comes to a rather sudden end, and some of the sections at the end seem to be quite short and lack the rather verbose writing of the other chapters. I also noticed a few things in the book that were incorrect, such as outdated information (the 4 Enterprise plans E1-E4 weren’t mentioned in detail, rather only 2 "plans" that seem to be E1 and E4) or missing elements (there was one image missing on a page). Furthermore, the link given at the beginning of the book that should point to the errata website is not working at the moment. If this is indeed the case that there is currently a “non-final version” available on the Kindle store, I hope that the final edition of this book will cover at least some of the shortcomings.

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