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back to article Microsoft ends Office lovers' employee discount program

Microsoft is ending a discount licensing program that has proven to be hugely popular among companies' employees wanting cheap copies of Office. The company said its software Employee Purchase Program (EPP) will wrap up in November after seven years. EPP has been available to customers buying Microsoft's products under its …

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FAIL

What a joke!

"Instead, Microsoft is pushing people towards its Home Use Program" the same program that's just been killed for NHS employees http://www.microsoft.com/uk/nhs/pages/licensing/post_ea_hup.aspx now I admit its at least partially the NHS' fault (probably a cost cutting measure) but making people uninstall the software they've paid for? I'd rather pay the full amount and get software I'm allowed to keep!

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Linux

@Cantab

You don't get to "keep" anything. You license it. That license can be revoked for just about anything. Hell man, the Apple fanboys are encouraging us to sleepwalk into a society where we don’t even own the HARDWARE we buy. (Oh sure, you own the plastic etc, but IT IS ILLEGAL to wipe to provided O/S and load your own, even if it’s a legal O/S such as Linux.)

If you read these comments pages, you’ll know I’m not pro one side or another on just about any debate. I take the piss out of everyone and everything, and I call everything like I see it. In this regard though, if you want to “keep” or “own” what you buy…

…you’d damned well better go open source.

Even then, pay attention to the particular license you use.

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FAIL

What a missed point!

You understand what the HUP was, right? And what the <£10 you were paying for was? In effect, you were allowed to extend your work licence into your home. The £10 was for shipping/CD in the old days, and subsequently admin/data charges, not to mention I imagine there were Sarbox requirements for a nominal fee.

If the NHS don't have an appropriate licence, neither do their workers. If you leave your company that you have HUP arrangements through, you're in the same boat. I've used HUP twice in the past and I knew exactly what the licence conditions were, because I can read and was under no illusions from my company.

Whether MS can force you to remove it or disable your serial number (hint, they can't) is a different question, and one that individuals would need to discuss with their Priest/Rabbi/Imam as appropriate.

AC as I'm no longer under said licence terms, but still using it. Atheism is the best.

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WTF?

B****r off back under your bridge troll!

So I can't load another O/S on my Mac?

So tell me why Apple supply the WIndows XP/Vista drivers for the hardware ( on the actual OSX install DVD FFS!!! ) ? Why do Apple then give you bootcamp for loading O/S? Then actually state, when you run Bootcamp, that the new partition is for Windows?

All just a scam so Apple can waste developers time writing drivers and apps to load Windows on a Mac, just so Steve can have bloody good laugh when the baliffs come round to take your Mac away for not running the sacred OSX!

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FAIL

He was talking about...

the iPhone/Pod/Pad, and no more coffee today, eh. Trevor, I'm not aware of any other OS's available that run on those particular platforms yet, and if such an OS does materialise, Apple like every other manufacturer will be under no obligation to uphold warranties if you do choose to replace the installed OS. They certainly are under no obligation to make it easy to install alternatives. As to name calling; don't do it. You actually have interesting things to say.

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FAIL

Huh?

How many operating systems are you aware of that you can run on the HTC Desire or any other Android phone? How many operating systems are you aware of that you can run on a Nokia phone? Your post confuses me.

In addition, some geeks have found a way to successfully dual-boot an iPhone to run Android and iOS.

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@AC

You certainly can load another O/S on your Mac.

But not on your iPhone. (At least not legally...)

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@AnotherNetNarcissist

Oh, You can load Android on an iPhone. I haven't gotten the radio to work yet...but I can watch movies...

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@Seb123

I know that you /can/ run android on an iPhone. I have done so. That said, there are several countries in which doing so isn't legal, because it violates the T&Cs not just for OSX, but apparently for the hardware itself. Which is my point. The mere fact that we can have T&Cs on hardware in some countries is something I find appalling.

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Thumb Down

You can watch movies on an I phone...

and on Youtube too.

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Or alternatively

As a cheaper alternative (as in FREE), why not just get Open Office (or Neo Office) for Mac, Linux or Windows.

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Pint

Very Sadly

Most of the computer using population in the UK at least don't even know an alternative exists, can't believe it's free, don't have the nous to download it and install it, or all of the above. By most, I mean over 50%.

There are some really thick people out there, and also some who care diddly squat about technology and just want to poke their face or whatever. For these people, they can only buy what is in the shop, all of which is branded either MS or iXXX. If anyone has a practical and proven working solution to change this, please feel free to use my wall to bang your head against.

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Anonymous Coward

the bigger issue...

is that people do not trust 'free'. It's the 'too good to be true' problem. Also attitudes like yours don't help, it puts people off. They hear you ranting about 'M$' this or 'crApple' that (I acknowledge that you *personally* didn't in this post), hear the patronising tone and switch off, thinking to themselves "Fucking nerd..." Educate politely, enthusiastically and without patronising, and watch attitudes towards you and computing change. You'll still have your luddites, you always will. Sorry for the common-sense suggestion.

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Not for everyone

I am sure that some people will be happy with OpenOffice, but I have found it to not be adequate for my needs.

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FAIL

The mustard won't be cut

Whist a good idea - as a throw away comment, but most people/companies I know have modified their office so that the thing is full of VBA. If I open Word here, for example, I get a dialog box asking me template I want loading. And then when I choose, for example, the letter template it gives me another dialog box which I fill in and then the stuff is put onto the letter in the right places.

I can't imagine writing another letter without VBA, or the equivilent, nor can i imagine writing another invoice. And if I didn't have VBA then all of my spreadsheets which I use day in, day out wouldn't do what they do.

And, sadly, the last time that I looked Open Office doesn't even provide anytthing like this. In fact, the Open Office spreadsheet barely even copes with loading XML.

Yes, use Open Office; but only if one doesn't wish to get any work done.

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Gates Horns

Is this the same as...

...the NHS programme for staff where they could buy discount licences for MS Office, but now find they have to remove it or spend 70 odd quid to continue using Office?

Rob

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Re: Or alternatively

Maybe because they don't want software that crashes repeatedly & runs like treacle ?

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Grenade

bah

Go trim your beard and get back to the command line. Much as I dislike Microsoft (and particularly SteveB), Office2010 is actually rather good. It doesn't crash or run like treacle so stop spreading FUD. Unlike Office 2007, the ribbon actually works, the software isn't a memory hog and it doesn't crash. There's lots to knock about Microsoft, but please do your research better before bringing out the same lame old "crashes repeatedly" crud.

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Linux

Re: Or alternatively

It only runs like treacle on Window$. Runs fine on Linux

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Unhappy

RE:bah

Re-reading a little more carefully will reveal he is referring to OOo crashing and running like treacle, not MS Office. Go polish your head, and get...oh...I lost the will to live...

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Gold badge

Office 2010 can eat 10,000...

...well, let's not finish that sentence.

Office 2003 for me, thank you. When I take the time to convert to something else, it's going to be something open. (I say this as someone forced to use both Office 2007 and Office 2010 for years. Long enough to be happy I kept my home systems on Office 2003 and open office.)

For the record, I don't have a beard. I do have a moustache though….and I trimmed it this morning, thankyouverymuch.

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Silver badge

Office 2010 ? Pah !

My Office 2000 works fine, thank you. I'm not paying for anything more.

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Stop

Woah Neddy....

He was replying to an earlier post referring to Open Office, so please do your reading better.

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Linux

You mean-

Vista or Win7?

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Anonymous Coward

Office 2010.

Trevor, were you really "forced" to use 2010 for "years"? Alpha testing started in late 2008. Beta's hit the web in late 2009. You weren't using beta's in a production environment, were you Trevor? Admittedly RTM versions have been available since April 22, 2010. Office 2007 wasn't that bad either. Their was a change that only really affected a small, but clearly vocal, minority of users. In UX design term, Microsoft should be congratulated as the ribbon really very innovative. Have a watch of http://videos.visitmix.com/MIX08/UX09 to see how much work Jensen Harris and his team actually put into it and *why* they did what they did, ignoring the terrible powerpoint presentation.

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Gold badge

*sigh*

AnotherNetNarcissist: between Office 2007 and Office 2010 I have indeed been forced to use the bloody things for years. Personally, I hate them. You might have your reasons for liking them, and bully for you. I also use an Android phone not an iPhone, in case you wanted had other personal preferences of mine you wanted to take objection to.

I don't like the interface. At all. End of.

I have used it for long enough to know how it works, and I don't CARE why they thought it was a good idea. I don't like it, and the beautiful part about life, the universe and everything...

...I don't have to.

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FAIL

*sigh*

Well wasn't that a grown up response! I don't 'object to your personal preferences'. I object to your FUD riddled prejudices. At no point do I question your choice (unlike you FOSS advocates). At no point do is suggest that you or your preferences are a wrong. At no point to I suggest, intimate or claim that you are 'a fanboy' or otherwise ("I also use an Android phone not an iPhone, in case you wanted had other personal preferences of mine you wanted to take objection to"; what was that about ASSumptions?). I welcome the fact that you simply 'don't like the interface', with the caveat that I find it a bit of a childish 'I'm right, you're wrong and thats the end of it, no returns!' response. I question your loose use of 'facts'. Office 2010 is actually quite different from 2007 and a huge improvement, had you been shackled to it as some sort of penitence like you suggest, you'd know this. I'm happy for you that run an Android phone, although I'm at a loss as to what it has to do with you not liking the Office UI, and a gold star is in the post. JFTR, I use an Android phone too, but I can admit that it's not perfect. Oh and lose the persecution complex, you sound all whiney. I bet working with you is a barrel of laughs...

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ASSumptions

At what point have I ever, EVER, in my very long history of commenting on El Reg been an "open source advocate?" I am a cynic: everything has flaws.

I am sorry you feel "my attitude is childish," but the reality is that i simply don't like the damned ribbon bar. I don't see where there is FUD in that. I stated a personal preference, and you got your hackles up. I have been forced to use Office 2007 since the earliest beta we could get hold of, and then office 2010 since the earliest beta we could get hold of for it. As a sysadmin it's part of my job to learn how to use the newest technology. It doesn't mean i have to (or do) like the crap I have to use. I simply learn to use and (and do use it for hours every day as part of my job) because it is my job.

As to what a stupid debate like Android versus iPhone has to do with the ridiculously pointless thread: it’s an example of how people who get so entrenched in their defensive little camp are completely incapable of see anything as not an attack on their way of living/believing/doing things/etc.

Whip out an Android phone in front of an iPhone user and (in my experience) the iPhone user becomes instantly defensive. Some of them are for some reason so threatened by its very existence the immediately go on the offensive: attacking and insulting the phone, the person and everything related to it. Rather a shock when you are just checking your mail. (I have never had anyone go after my Blackberry like they do my Android phone, which is odd since I have had blackberries for about 6 years, and my Android phone for about four days…)

In this case, I made the statement that I don’t like Office 2007 or 2010. In fact, I deeply abhor both products. Part of this is the UI, but a large part of it the arrogance associated with the UI. In my opinion, radical changes to the UI in a product such as Office (or Windows) should have the option of either reverting to the old UI, or having an overly (such as UBit menu) to ease the transition. In the case of Office 2007, the Ribbon bar was thrown at us with a great big “fuck you” and a format change to try to force everyone into uptake.

When you combine that with the fact that I have found nothing about the ribbon bar to love then yes, I deeply, DEEPLY dislike the product. I will stick with Office 2003, and when the time comes to migrate away from it for whatever reason it won’t be to further versions of Office when and where it can be avoided. I will put my time and effort into converting to Open Office, a product I can make look like whatever I should want.

It isn’t about the money. I personally intent to donate the cost of a Microsoft Office license to the Open Office project for every single copy of Open Office I deploy. It’s about choice, and it’s about not having someone else’s idea of a good UI or their personal preferences rammed down my throat without having any say in the matter.

If you don’t like to hear about my personal preferences you are perfectly capable of not reading comments by me. I on the other hand don’t have the luxury of (at least at work) not using Office, and what I consider to be its terrible, TERRIBLE UI. When and where I can exercise my own rights to enforce my personal preferences, (such as my home computers, or recommendations to friends and colleagues,) I will push remaining on Office 2003 or supporting Open Office with every bit of effort I can muster.

If you wish, you can take my opinion and feelings as whatever verb you want, but it simply doesn’t change that I think the ribbon bar is an unholy piece of ever-loving shit and I will do everything in my power to avoid the bloody thing for as long as I live.

Including giving the money I would have spent on Microsoft to their competitors.

With a big huge smile on my face.

Please understand that I say this as a systems administrator whose job largely relies on Microsoft. I believe Microsoft have some of the best server offerings out there. I could talk all day about the good products Microsoft have, just as I can about the bad. In this case, I honestly believe that those responsible for the direction of Microsoft Office have failed. It is my personal opinion, and of course you are free to disagree, but what I see as a failure to be responsive to the requests and requirements of their customers has led me to abandon Microsoft’s Office offerings.

To such a point that I am in the process of migrating 7 out of 12 networks I am responsible almost entirely away from Microsoft’s interconnected Office offerings to alternatives. Open Office as a productivity package, Jabber instead of Office Communications Server, Evolution + MAPI to talk to Exchange, (Exchange is still the best IMHO,) and more. Call me names if you want, but you will not change what I believe.

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Stop

freedom

One of the pleasures of having my own computer is that I get to choose software I want to use.

And, indeed, software where I can report bugs without having to pay for the privilege.

If my employer wants me to use windows or office at home they can damn well give me the software FOC. or, indeed, they can actually sod off. I work in working hours.

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Alert

What Good Does It Do...

reporting bugs that never get fixed? There are Firefox bugs that go back to Mozilla Suite. They've been in Bugzilla since then. I watch them get reassigned, closed, reopened, but never fixed.

In OOo there are 7 year old issues dating back to 1.0 that are serious deal-breakers for a lot of people but have never been addressed.

Now someone will tell me to fix it myself. What would you have me do when there is no will in the mainstream to fix deeply ingrained bugs? Create my own fork and stagnate on the current version? Constantly spend energy to reapply my fix to an ever changing base, just treading water? The problem with most OSS projects is they are driven by geeks on home Linux machines with a WFM attitude - if you don't fit in their box you are screwed. I can't MAKE the software on every damn workstation like they do. Both Mozilla and OOo seriously fail for mass deployment, requiring a new deployment paradigm and customized tools with each version. Just the changes they make to user profile management from version to version are a nightmare.

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Silver badge

Point

I agree that there is much wrong with the FOSS systems you mention. The lack of SVG support in OOo is becoming almost comically perverse, for example. But at least the process is transparent. Both major projects do own up to these things, and it is all out in the open.

And then projects like Samba, Filezilla, Clam av, Octave, do respond quite well to bug reports.

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FAIL

I could never keep up

For a while it was ok to install work software at home, then it wasn't, then it was, the above is totally new to me. I would guess one reason for not much demand is that you never know quite where you are with MS licensing. What happens if you leave the company etc etc. Much easier to buy a box with the disc and a key if you want it. From IT side of things, simpler to keep our keys and volume license disc/download safe at work only.

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The Obvious Reason

They didn't feel the need to offer a discount to this group of people because this group is the least likely to pirate MS products... outside of those running alternate OS of course. Money in the bag so to speak.

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Grenade

re: "Home Use Program"

Yeah, one tiny flaw in their logic... When the document is written on my home computer, I copy the document to a memory stick or CD and take said document to work. I know that the only two machines that have had access to that document are my home pc and my work pc. NOT some "cloud server" that's accessible from 99.9% of the internet. Plus, who really knows just how secure data transmission, between a home pc and Microsoft's "web service", whether or not that shit gets crawled by Bing, google or who knows what, or if there are any unsecured copies of it that are in the browser cache.

Unfortunately, the policies of my employer don't allow me to use "collaboration software" like their "home office service" crap that by ending EPP means my company will have to shell out more money OR I just switch to open office.

FU Microsoft.

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WTF?

get over it?

I really don't understand the moaning going on over this...

While I don't generally like MS products in the first place, when I looked at the option of getting a copy of MS Office through EPP or HUP in the past years, the HUP option always seemed the cheaper route in the first place. $10 for a license key and a download, or $20 for a key with media.

If I understand that correctly, that comes out to something like 7£ for you Brits. A couple of drinks at the pub, maybe only one, if you have expensive tastes.

Personally, I use Open Office, but I keep a license of MS Office on hand for the few idiotic companies that can't seem to get over demanding MS formatted files.

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Unhappy

Slightly more

Sadly due to the "Europe Gadget Tax", I think I paid £9 or a copy of Mac Office 2008. Still cheap, even student license is £80 and then only if you have a proof your attending college classes.

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Anonymous Coward

Open Office has been good to me....

OpenOffice has been to me, I use it now for writing technical papers and templated documents. Before work forced an upgrade from MSOffice 2003 to v2007 I was using Word and Excel. The Ribbon was not something I wanted to wrestle with in the middle of a long project. OO was suggested and to my delight the learning curve from MSO2003 to OO v2.3 was a LOT shallower than that of MSO2003 to MSO2007.To my delight the OO_BASIC is a pretty easy to use scripting language and the plugin's available to extend th functionality are great. The one shortcoming may be some of the graphing and functional fits where Calc isn't up to excel's standards, but here Gnumeric (part of the GOffice, opensource as well) helps out.

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Thumb Up

EPP not HUP

For those who havent noticed it is not the Home Use Program but the Employee Purchase Program that they are bringing to an end which is an entirely different affair.

Employee Purchase Program allowed discounted purchasing (media and license) of the current versions Windows and Office at a heavily discounted price. The cost to the Enterprise for the VL package including this was very high compared to others.

The Home Use Program is available on the same VL packages and cheaper ones, this only covers Office, and is primarily a download based offering via Digital River.

I'm covered on HUP not EPP so happy days.

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Silver badge

Seems to me like every poster here noticed the difference in the names, but

few understand/care about the difference in the programs. EPP was the better value program in the sense that once purchased you owned the license. For HUP, 1) your employer must have a current valid license for the software in question, and 2) you must remain employed by that specific employer. If you switch employers, even if the new employer has a HUP program, your license is no longer valid. The downside for EPP was that you paid a bit more for what you got.

I've purchased under both programs. I think the problem was that MS said you could be under one or the other but could not use both. Most companies seem to have gone with HUP, but I wouldn't equate that to pure consumer demand.

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Go

$HUP

I got Office 2003 Enterprise, Office 2007 Enterprise, and Office for Mac (2004?) all for $19.95 each. Of course I had to pay S&H so that pushed each to a mite over $22.00 each. Not bad, not bad at all.

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Jobs Horns

Still using a copy of Office 97

I got it from a previous employer. Works fine, though I probably can't embed multimedia files or create .docx files.

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Gates Horns

Word, it's time has passed

Word was nimble and good - although Wordstar was better.

Word has too many features that go unused to warrant the hard drive real estate it occupies.

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Gates Horns

And?

whilst every word you say is true, what is your recommendation for the successor?

Abiword?

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