Best Office route from SBS 2003/XP to Server 2012 Essentials/Win7

I need to upgrade a small network of SBS 2003 server and six XP PCs to Server 2012 Essentials and six Windows 7 Pro 64-bit PCs.

I would like to keep files on the server, but don't mind using a cloud based mail server.

What Office suite should I choose, currently using Office 2000 Pro, but only use Word, Excel and Outlook?

Am I crazy assuming the cloud is slow. No point in getting all singing and dancing Dell i7s with 8GB RAM and SSD drives, if we are waiting all day for a file to download or save.
bill2013Asked:
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mebaby333Connect With a Mentor It AdminCommented:
Check out their options...  have you looked for benchmarks to compare? What type of SSD's do they have?
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mebaby333It AdminCommented:
If you choose a cloud option you probably want to make sure you have a decent connection to the internet and have a disaster plan in place if the connection is lost. Usually good service will not leave you hanging too long but you definitely want to do your homework on how the data would be backed up and accessibility.

 I have worked with Office 365 and had no issues with retrieving my documents.
I also have worked with local copies and this is a loaded question because there are many factors depending upon the desires of the company and their perceived growth, type of customers they handle, laws for the data they handle, budget....
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mebaby333It AdminCommented:
and what they simply want... do they want the latest and greatest? Do they want to save dollars or are dollars not a question?
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bill2013Author Commented:
Cost isn't a major problem, so a low rental overhead is less important than speed.

I've avoided 365 up to now, and I really don't know how easy it is to save to a local 2012 server.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Your situation is not unique at all and Microsoft has already thought of your concerns and I believe they have addressed them quite well.

First, Server 2012 Essentials is designed perfectly for your situation and Office 365 is fully integrated into the Server's Management Console so it's easy to manage.

You should get the Office 365 Small Business Premium plan because that includes the latest version of Microsoft Office Pro Plus for each user (and each user can install it on up to FIVE devices).  The difference between an Office 365 plan that includes the desktop software and one that doesn't is about $89.00/year.  So in three years its about the same as buying the software, but you always have the latest version and even if you only use the few apps, the others are there if you want.  Plus you get the rights to install on FIVE devices -- something you don't get with retail versions.

Secondly, if you store your files in SharePoint on Office 365, you can also cache them locally if you have any concerns about bandwidth.  This is done automatically via OneDrive Pro.

I suggest you give it a spin -- and see if you like it:

http://fasttrack.office.com

Jeff
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bill2013Author Commented:
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