The lines between home and work are blurring. With busy lives and packed schedules, Canadian families need a way to manage “one life”. They want to be able to work where, how and when they want – on their terms. According to an Ipsos Reid study released today, 70 per cent of Canadian parents depend on technology to keep their families connected, while 78 per cent believe that technology allows their families to stay better organized. This survey, commissioned by Microsoft Canada , found that Canadians believe their lives have grown more complex over the past three years, and as a result, are utilizing new technology such as smartphones and cloud services to connect with family members on-the-go and stay on top of their hectic schedules.
“As life becomes more demanding, and families more complex we are increasingly using technology to keep in touch with family and friends and keep up with what can often seem like a steady barrage of appointments, activities and commitments ” says Nora Spinks, CEO of The Vanier Institute. “All generations seem to be embracing smartphones, wireless Internet and tech solutions in order to stay connected, stay organized, cope with emergencies and manage the unpredictable.”
Canadians are also using technology to limit stress and simplify their lives as 55 per cent of survey respondents agreed that families have more complex needs when it comes to communicating with loved ones, sharing memories, or organizing busy schedules than they did just three years ago.
As a parent of two children, I understand how difficult it can be to juggle work and family,” says Max Long, President, Microsoft Canada. “I also have close relatives in the UK and Norway, so keeping connected is important to me. With the new Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium ‘cloud’ service, we’ve completely reinvented Office to work from virtually anywhere on Windows-based tablets, Windows Phones, PCs as well as Macs. From managing schedules on Outlook and checking off a grocery list in OneNote, to organizing photos on SkyDrive and making Skype calls with far-away family members, parents are going to love the simplicity Office 365 brings to their lives.”
Released to market today, Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium  will make the everyday more manageable for the modern Canadian family. While in the past Office was installed on a family computer or laptop, the new Office 365 service is powered by the cloud, so the entire family can now bring documents, personal settings – and even the Office applications themselves – with them wherever they go.
Available on a one-year subscription, Office 365 Home Premium includes the most complete set of Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access), 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage (in additional to the 7GB already available), and one hour of free Skype world calling minutes per month.
With Canadian families becoming increasingly comfortable with all types of technology, Microsoft’s new cloud service may be arriving at the perfect time. According to the same Ipsos Reid study, three quarters of families now download music, movies and/or games from the Internet, while 91 per cent of parents share pictures, photos and video via e-mail.
In addition, 84 per cent of parents said they sit down with family members to view family memories on a computer, tablet, or phone in order to create digital photo albums or scrapbooks, and four out of every five parents believe that technology allows their family to stay better connected.
To help meet the evolving needs of Canadians, the Microsoft store in Canada will be offering courses where families can learn to fully utilize the new Office 365 Home Premium, which is now available for $99.00 ERP for a one-year subscription. University and College students can also purchase Office 365 University for only $79.00 ERP for a four-year subscription.
Visit the new Office.com for more information, to manage your subscription, to find beautifully designed document templates, and to get support for the new Office. Purchase Office 365 Home Premium today online at Office.com, the Microsoft store or at top Canadian retailers.