Categories
exchange exchange online Microsoft 365 Office Office 365 Raspberry Pi

Microsoft 365 From A Raspberry Pi 400 Personal Computer

So my new computer arrived today, its a keyboard and a few cables, and as my first computer was a ZX Spectrum when I was 14, this brings back a few memories.

New boxed Raspberry Pi 400 PC kit

But, is it usable today with services such as Microsoft 365? Lets see…

First, the actual computer is in the keyboard, but its smaller than a standard PC sized keyboard. Indeed the manual the comes with it! is almost as big and heavier than the computer.

The manual, the Pi Keyboard (white) and a standard PC keyboard (black)

Plugging it in was easy, and once connected to the monitor and powered on it runs through a first use series of steps. With all that out of the way and the latest updates downloaded and installed the device rebooted and I logged in.

Cables everywhere. It supports WiFi as well so I could have avoided the purple Ethernet cable

Starting the web browser is easy – there is an icon top left and Chromium opens. Logging into Office 365 via https://office.com is as you would expect, though some of the fonts used are not present and so the login screen looks slightly wrong.

From Office homepage I clicked Teams icon and it presented me with the below – an offer to install the Teams Linux client and two choices, Linux DEB or Linux RPM.

Teams on Pi and an offer of two installers though neither of these work on an ARM processor

Neither of these work with ARM based Raspberry Pi computers though, so need to use the web application. Also from the Teams perspective, there is no built in camera or microphone, but it did only cost £95 for the entire kit. A Bluetooth microphone might connect, but I don’t have one to hand to test with. Any USB microphone would work and a USB camera, with a microphone, can be enabled with a few commands run at the prompt.

Enabling video with the fswebcam installer

Chromium comes with the uBlock Origin extension enabled, which blocks some functionality in Teams such as notifications. I just turned off the EasyPrivacy list for the rest of my introductory testing and not a lot was blocked after that.

Outlook Web App, Word etc all worked efficiently though slightly slow for my preference, but again – its a sub £100 computer.

When using Office in Chromium it offers to add a link to the desktop – this adds the Office icon and then Office appears like an app, though its only Chromium. This is a nice feature akin to Chromebooks.

Office icon on the desktop and Office open and not looking like its really a browser

This functionality is not limited to Office, for example in Outlook Web App I can choose to “Install Outlook” from the three dots icon top right of the browser. This opens Outlook as a separate web app and adds an icon to the desktop like Office got when I opted to “pin” Office when prompted to do so in that web page.

Install Outlook menu item in Chromium when OWA is the open tab
Install App confirmation
Outlook – on the Raspberry Pi

So that will do for now – everything else I can do in the Raspberry Pi for Microsoft 365 is generally as I can do it in any of the web apps on any platform.

One reply on “Microsoft 365 From A Raspberry Pi 400 Personal Computer”

I found Outlook on the Pi 400 was way too slow. Moving message to message using same page on my laptop was 1s or less, on the 400 it was 5s for the same action, which made scrolling very sluggish. I improved performance by about 25% by changing to Firefox browser.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.