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back to article Biz Linux needs Office license to run MS web apps

If businesses want to run Microsoft Office's new web-based apps on Linux machines, they'll need a buy a full Office license for each user - even though the suite's desktop apps don't run on Linux. Reg regular Tim Anderson nailed this niggling detail here, after a conversation with the vice president of Microsoft's Office …

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Turn my pc into a typewriter?

Use office software on a computer?

How 19thC - I'd rather feed hay to my Lear Jet. MS has made a fortune selling coals to nuclear power stations. I just wish I had the lack of moral courage to hold back progress for 30 years for a quick mega-buck.

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Grenade

Lack of moral courage?

I applaud your anti-Microsoft sentiment, but you should come down off your cross, mate. I'm sure your strong moral fortitude is really the only thing standing between you and a multi-billion euro fortune.

/sarcasm

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FAIL

Yeah right.

It will be a cold day in Hell before I give any more of my hard earned drinking vouchers to Microsoft. Do they really believe Linux users will pay for the privilege of running their Web based Apps, when the chocolate factory can do more for less.

Or just use OO for about the same price.

Now, where's my Clue bat?

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Linux

I wonder if that will be the effect?

I mean, if companies are realizing that they're having to shovel out money when they don't have to, what will they choose? I'm thinking that they'll ditch the Office cloud thingy instead of telling their DBA and engineering staff to ditch their Linux boxen...

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This post has been deleted by its author

Er no

OpenOffice is FOSS, Google docs and Microsoft stuff is not.

Why do people always get that wrong? Alchemy isn't science.

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Wine?

Microsoft's attitude doesn't surprise me in the least. Have the Wine lot tried the latest Office version yet? That's normally one of their "target" apps.

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Pirate

Wine

While MS Office mostly works under wine (outlook doesn't play nice) you need to consider that it is not a feasible option for business users as the Windows Office EULA expressly forbids you from installing Office on non Windows OS.

In that case you may as well just not bother buying it at all and use a copy you got off Pirate Bay

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Kind of makes sense

If you're running a terminal server with Office installed and you have 100 Linux desktops using RDP or Citrix to connect to the server daily to use Office apps, you need 100 licenses of Office rather than one.

Licensing for in-house Office web apps just seems to be following the same basic concept - you're licensing the end device that the user sits at, not the back-end server actually running the app. If it wasn't licensed that way world+dog would be running Office and Adobe Premier on terminal servers just to avoid the cost of licensing it.

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Translation

Basically what they are saying is: Don't use our product, use Googles instead. Not only is it better but it is also free.

Microsoft are beyond a joke, yet their apologists will think this is fair.

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Dead Vulture

Shock, Horror....

...Linux users have to pay for something.

Hold the front page.....

If you won a competion for free petrol for a yar, somehow I don't think they'd let all you mates fill up for free as well. So why, if you buy one copy of an app, you allow man+dog to connect & use for free

non story...

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FAIL

I lost you at-

"...buy one copy of an app..."

An app to do what everyone else provides for nothing?

How quaint.

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WTF?

...other office products are available

It's not about someone's potential ability to buy one licence and allow world+dog to use it for free.

It's more about the fact that Linux users cannot natively run Windows code and now Microsoft have finally learnt how to make their Office product available in a web browser, which will work in Linux, they are still making the Linux users pay for a licence to use the full version of the software which will not run on their OS anyway.

Does it need to be spelt out to them? Surely they have the decency to sell Linux users (reduced price?) licences so that they can use office in their web browser? A licence that only allows the Office web version and the users would only be able to use the web-browsery-version, even on a Windows OS, unless they upgraded?

The ideal world solution:

Allow MS to go ahead and do whatever they want to do.

Use Linux.

Use Google Docs.

Use Open Office.

It won't be long before they inject cloud-goodness into Open Office. Maybe Google should speak with the OO guys and they could work on integrating the two. That would be a killer move and surely would bring MS alittle more of the doom that they deserve.

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Not quite right

So if I buy one kettle, does that mean I can't make a brew for anybody else?

If I buy one car, does that mean I can't give anybody else a lift?

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ok then...

Name them...

FYI Open Office slightly messes the format of word docs making it useless for creating files to be sent out to clients.

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Microsoft's fail not OOo's

> Open Office slightly messes the format of word docs

Only because MS Word doesn't conform to the standards -- standards, I could remind you, that MS was a big part of drafting.

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RTFM (or in this case, RTFL)

"It's more about the fact that Linux users cannot natively run Windows code and now Microsoft have finally learnt how to make their Office product available in a web browser, which will work in Linux, they are still making the Linux users pay for a licence to use the full version of the software which will not run on their OS anyway."

Office Web Apps aren't licensed separately, which is why a regular Office license is required. It's obvious that you and the other freetards on here don't want to run M$ products, so why the fuck do you even care? If OO is good enough for you, then be happy about it and stop pissing on Microsoft for trying to make money at the one bloody thing they're actually good at.

For those still unaware, Microsoft doesn't give two shits about Linux or its users. They aren't trying to cater to you at all. If you haven't figured this out by now, there's no hope for you.

Why aren't more Linux users happy about this note? The bain of your existence (Window$) isn't required to run Microsoft Office now and all you can do is bitch about the cost? Fuck you, you conceited, self-centered, petulant children.

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tbh

I'd never assume that a client had MS Office installed anyway - nor which version. You can't send anyone anything in docx/xlsx as it is so I just use OOo and export to PDF - both the Adobe and Foxit PDF readers are free. Yes, I could just use MS Office and export to .doc/.xls but really, there is no compelling reason for me to fork out for the MS Office license.

Of course, that's naff all use if you need the client to actually edit the documents but it's fine for reports and invoices which are pretty much the only things I send.

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Go

Don't Worry; Be Happy

Exactly. The freetards have just been given the rules concerning buying something they say they have no intention of buying. You'd think they'd be happy at MS showing itself to be the business oriented, for-profit corp we all know them to be. After all, the "I-demand-everything-free" gaggle now have an even more convincing argument to push the "free" stuff onto oh-so-ignorant users of "over priced" MS stuff.

I'm never going to buy a Bugatti Veyron so what do I care if they charge more for a certain option? I wasn't paying before and I'll not be paying now. Big Frakkin' Deal.

Methinks the freetards have exposed their private face here. The one that secretly likes MS products.

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Linux

Nuts

Proof positive, if it were needed, that using Microsoft products on a regular basis makes you so very very angry...

The penguin says take a chill pill.

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@ Not quite right

very, very bad analogies.

1) Of course you can. So long as you (or someone) pays for the water, tea/coffee/whatever, milk, sugar and electricity.

2) As long as someone pays for the extra fuel and wear-and-tear costs.

I would have no issue with MS saying "Web-only users must pay X", but they are saying "Web users must pay Z". Where Z = X + Y and Y is a huge figure for a program that some web users can't even run!

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We should be happy...

...after all it's just yet another reason not to use yet another MS product for the simple reason that cheaper, better functioning alternatives are available.

I am not personally unhappy with this article, why would I be? Linux + Open Office = no problems for me. Simples.

The point I am making is that in MS has, is and will be in a whole ecosystem of it's own. They are in a globally dominant position where they have the power to select who can and cant use their software by restricting licences and adjusting their prices. We live in 2010, the whole of this planet should have access to computers and internet but thanks to the likes of Microsoft (and other companies, of course) if you look at the planet's population, computers are still very much 'for the rich.'

That's what I don't like about MS. They are in a postsion of extreme responsibility and they greatly abuse it.

Time will tell. I guess if you are willing to pay full MS licence for access to what is basically a website, with the condition that you must also get a piece of software that you have no use for, then I hope you will be in a very small minority, I hope that MS realise that they either have to introduce a system for licencing web-only users or lose out big time to the other organisations offering a better, cheaper product.

It should be simple economics but unfortunately MS are in the position where they can set prices on the basis that people have no alternatives and frankly that should not be the case.

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@save-a-ho:

re:"It's obvious that you and the other freetards on here don't want to run M$ products, so why the fuck do you even care?"

Perhaps you're not familiar with enterprise environments. It's like this: If I have a mix of Windows and *nix users, and I'm the IT director, why do I have to pay for seats that I know won't be used?

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Anonymous Coward

No... but...

If you buy one fish it means that you can not feed the multitude, unless, of course, you're Jesus Christ.

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Anonymous Coward

Messes Office Docs...

Documents I send out to clients are in PDF format. Documents I send out to be edited are in ODF, can't use ODF? Go buy the plugin... it costs you less to do that than for me to buy MS Office.

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Anonymous Coward

@markfiend...Err no it's not MS fail it's OOs

Official or not Microsoft Office is the most commonly used office software and therefor it's way of formatting is effectivly the standard.

Wether that's written in the "official software rule book 2010" is irrelevant when you are creating a document detailing a £35mil contract to a customer who WILL be using word and WILL laugh your company out of his board room if you, according to the customer, can't even format a document correctly. Winning business is all about percieved value and if you are willing to risk losing a HUGE contract for the sake of some cheap software (sub £100 per license for the office suite) then you are a fool.

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Freetards like FREEDOM

Ya know, I pay for software, I use Linux.. gee what a concept huh? See it's not about 'free' as in price... it's about 'free' as in 'freedom'. Someone who controls your data controls YOU, and when your data is in M$ proprietary binary objects inside the 'open' ooxml file then you are NOT in control. Use M$ Office? You're locked into M$.. nice pretty cage, silver bars, gilded handcuffs; but still a cage, still handcuffs.

If M$ was smart they would sell access to their cloud service for less than the retail price of the Business edition (which is $600.00 here at Staples Business Office) for the stand-alone product.

Business-wise the price simply can not be justified, so I will not to buy and use their stuff. Most small businesses I know buy and use the Student/Home edition... that too is wrong but I bet you won't see M$ complaining (much) because it gives them market-share.

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You are verrrrrrry close to the truth....just one tiny little ste.....?

...p. If we stop replying to these over-educated, and obviously under-utilised wee nyaffs, then they will just go away.

I'm with you on the Microsoft-hating little wazzocks - give it a rest you lot, and try to find some good in life...mmm??. Believe me, this life isn't a beta...it's the real deal...grow up...find a girl...(that translates as sheep in Wales)...and raise a pint to that day when your children ask what you did with your life....what are you going to tell them?

Now, about this Playboy 3-D centrefold then....

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FAIL

Erm,

Except you would give them a PDF not a Word document wouldn't you?

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Umm...err...

You lost me at, "...at the one bloody thing they're actually good at."

Stop it! I'm trying to eat here!

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Anonymous Coward

The migration to OOo and ODF.

Well, my attorney is about as wedded to MS products as he can be, yet he is seriously evaluating OOo as a replacement for MS Office in his legal office. This is HUGE. He has gotten tired of paying the MS tax so often and also there is the fact that public records are more and more frequently required to be submitted in an open standards format such as ODF. OOXML really isn't considered by many parties as a "standard" because only MS can build software that properly or fully implements it. People are starting to wake up to these issues, and the backlash against MS is starting to take place.

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@Captain Save-a-ho

Are you retarded or just have reading skills even worse than your writing ones?

(it's "bane", not "bain" -- doesn't your browser show you the misspellings as you type, or are you just too thick to understand what the wiggly red underline means?) Gee, between you and Micky 1 here I don't know who the MS employee of the month will be, seriously...

Can't you read what people said? Can't you understand text? People are complaining about the practice of charging for software that CAN NOT be used in order to use another, not the fact that MS is changing for something at all. Obviously anyone is free to not buy it if they don't like the license. But that's the *anti-competitive point* of the whole thing. You know, lots of people run Oracle on Linux, and last time I checked it wasn't for free, or even cheap.

See, I will write, slowly for you, a little boring bedtime story to scare MS chills at night: some business bods are thinking of running Linux (or whatever) on their new computers, but are forced to run MS Office (because the world sucks like that). So they can't. All of a sudden, MS releases a web-based version of MS Office, and that will run on any system, yay! (I'm hypothesizing here, maybe it does not run). Now business bods are happy that they can install any OS they want, and can stop using their Windows 2000 Frankenthing that's been deteriorating over the years and demands a re-install every year. MS can't have that, can they? What next, people will start selling computers with other OSes installed, since now Office runs in any of them and there's little reason to run Windows? (assuming they don't also need other non-Linux friendly software, of course) Can't stand even the hypothetical possibility, can we?

So lo-and-behold, MS says that you have to pay the full price of the standalone desktop MS Office to run something that does not depend on it at all. So, think our hypothetical business bods, what's the point of buying the license for the web thingy? Might just as well keep using the old system and being able to run both the stand-alone and the web versions.

I know you did not get a word of what I wrote (by nature or by choice), but I did it anyway just in case someone else who is not an MS chill reads it and wants to understand other people's points.

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When was the last time you drafted a £35mil contract eh?...

I think you'll find all the serious consultants create their important outward facing documents in serious DTP packages like InDesign (which afford them some half decent formatting options) and send them as PDFs these days.

All this according to my consultant g/f who's just got back from an InDesign course as her company's tenders and reports (produced for considerably less than £35mil and until recently done in Word) had been deemed to have become an embarrassment when compared to all of their competitors documents.

Many high end PA jobs have Illustrator or InDesign experience as a prerequisite now, Word simply doesn't cut it at the high end of the corporate world these days.

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Gates Horns

Erm...

...you just told somebody to "grow up" and used the word "wazzocks" in the same paragraph. Really who says that? What are you, 8 years old and still living in 1982?

Oh and haha on the casual racism and fnarr fnarr Playboy references, that stuff really marks you out as a grown up who's opinion I should respect doesn't it?

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Picking nits wiith j3

I'm sure his spell checker didn't catch "bain", because it's an actual word—at least my dictionary and spell checkers say it is. I am sure, though, that he meant "bane", a scourge, curse, nemesis, poison, etc., rather than bath. ;)

For the rest, a big thumbs up for the clarity and for the major put-down.

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I am not an MS chill

Or, for that matter, a shill which is presumably what you meant if you weren't so busy taking someone to task for a spelling mistake. A further point is that not all browsers are puffed up with a zillion add-ons like spelling checkers. I've never seen a wiggly red underline typing into an El Reg message box (just as well as most web spelling checkers are American, so don't know how to spell anyway).

So, who's retarded now?

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Boffin

@AC re "I am not an MS chill"

""A further point is that not all browsers are puffed up with a zillion add-ons like spelling checkers.""

Actually, by now I believe IE is the only major browser to not include a spell checker in it's vanilla distribution. All the modern browsers (Fx, Chrome, Opera, Safari) include them, but no version of IE does. - In fact, the only way I know to get a spell checker in IE is via an addon... and they are all sub-par compared to the native spell-checkers in the modern browsers. -- I made a genuine effort to use IE exclusively when I was testing the Win7 RC, but I couldn't last for more than a couple of days because of the lack of the spell-checker. (My spelling sucks xD)

And how is the ability to add a "zillion" addons a downside? (They aren't installed by default, you know, and you can install them individually.)

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Happy

@Gary Turner

Hm, so yours accepted "bain", mine doesn't... Maybe my FF spellchecker is as foreign as I am...

Anyway, I knew the word "bain" as bath in... French. :-)

Always a problem when we misspell a word as another real word, like my "chill" instead of "shill", natch. Happens to me more and more as my English improves, sadly enough (specially the homophone-related misspellings, which I could never do before but happen now sometimes).

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Anonymous Coward

Profit Making Company In Charges For Software Shocker...

Is anyone out there NOT surprised that they are charging people at least once to use their software rather than giving it away for free?

As for Office not working on Linux...Well that's not a surprise, Linux isn't exactly known for it's tip top compatability with paid for software and ease of use.

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@Micky1

"Linux isn't exactly known for it's tip top compatability with paid for software and ease of use."

? Linux has excellent compatibility with proprietary software - as long as it has come from companies that implement the de jure standards cleanly or at least document things required for reasonable levels of interoperability in a fashion that permits clean-room reimplementation, whoever seeks to attempt it.

I don't think it contradicts their business model to expect it, yet I have not thus far seen any obvious sign from Microsoft that it is willing to be one of those companies.

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Anonymous Coward

There's always that cavet isn't there

Standards....In Soviet Russia everyone is equals.

If you call having to install various different programs in order to shoe horn in a piece of software that a 5year old...no, infact a 75year old could install on windows as excellent compatibility with proprietary software then I think you should apply to that Hotel Software company that's looking for a new marketing guy.

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Boffin

Since you brought it up...

"If you call having to install various different programs in order to shoe horn in a piece of software that a 5year old...no, infact a 75year old could install on windows as excellent compatibility with proprietary software then I think you should apply to that Hotel Software company that's looking for a new marketing guy."

At least it's vaguely possible to achieve as much with an out-of-box install (not that it's got anything to do with what I actually said, or is an issue limited to Linux in particular) - and the fact the converse is more readily feasible goes some way to bolstering my argument to boot.

I don't see Microsoft making any effort to expand their enterprise user base by extending equivalent support, or any OEM's for that matter - not least because virtualisation-solution suppliers would cry foul, I imagine ...which is a shame, as our IT people would give an arm and a leg to have an externally-supported means of running two platforms' binaries on the same (Windows) machine while retaining near-native execution speeds*.

(* yes, our evaluation did feature a VM with a dedicated physical HDD amongst other things. Alternatives even included a cute-but-nasty config file hack which worked but got several very loud "you're doing what?"s back)

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Anonymous Coward

"If businesses want to run Microsoft Office's new web-based apps on Linux machines"

And why the hell would they want to do that?

No one smart enough to be a Linux user is also dumb enough to drink not just the web2.STFU kool-aid but also Microshaft kool-aid at the same time. Christ, throw in a volume licence agreement from McAfee or Norton Antichrist and you've got the holy trinity of shit software.

"Now you can use the 'ribbon' interface online!" well here's a newsflash for you brainiac, NOBODY CARES.

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Anonymous Coward

Suicide note

They're banking on the fact that "everyone" "must" use their office stuff. And that's increasingly less often the case. Heard years ago of a HR girl who snuck a "must be proficient using micros~1 office" requirement into an engineer-written advertisement for a unix engineering job. In a very unix-y shop. The engineers were Not Amused, except to note that she wrote that on a linux machine using open office, and she hadn't even noticed. She didn't last in her job there.

The lesson here is that most of the resistance to not using office is between warm bodies' ears. And contrary to popular belief, that *is* fixable, as increasingly many people are finding out, sometimes the hard way.

Me, I'm not complaining. Let micros~1 drive their customers away. Please.

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Anonymous Coward

"Me, I'm not complaining. Let micros~1 drive their customers away. Please"

What???? They arn't even customers in the first place so how can they be driven away? If they were customers then they would get to use it without issue.

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Funny...

My heavily unix orientated job requires that I am familiar with and competent at Microsoft office. I have to write design documents (word), carry out calculations and data analysis (excel), the comany email client is Outlook and we also use MS project and Visio. If I weren't familiar at MS Office, I would be qualified to design or work on any of the systems at my company.

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Alert

Sounds pretty obvious to me

There's no way I would buy into it, but as has been pointed out, MS charge per seat, not per installation. It therefore comes as no surprise at all that they would continue this policy to their web apps.

I'm rather surprised that you think this is even worthy of pointing out.

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Linux

If business are sensible enough to migrate to Linux on the desktop then

they're running OpenOffice.

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Outlook2010

Seems pretty OK. Upgraded no issue from 2007... Ribbon doesn't seem useless. Not sure where all the settings are yet!

...the convosations view is SO slow though. So very slow. And it doesn't seem to track convosations very well really...

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