back to article Office 365: Can Microsoft replace Microsoft?

When it comes to selling new versions of Office, Microsoft's toughest competitor isn't IBM or Google. It's Microsoft. Typically, when Microsoft releases brand new version of its desktop productivity suite, large numbers of customers cling to the versions they already have. The old versions do exactly what they want, and the new …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

"It's called Pro Plus, and it's not something you own. You pay a subscription fee."

You don't 'own' Office 2010 either, even though you may pay for the licence in one 'hit'...

2
1
Silver badge

Yeah, but

The point is, you only pay once. That is very much the preferred regime for any private individual, and for many small companies as well.

Paying every month for the privilege of having someone in India respond to your support calls in gibberish is becoming more and more unacceptable. But hey, the guys that got the outsourcing idea in the first place are rich today, no doubt about that.

3
1
Devil

WOW WEEEEE!

Thanks god I just have Office 97.

That bloatware office products really stink to high heaven.

I really would have thought MS would be smart and do to office what they did to XP and let

users SKIN Office to look and act like older versions even though the core engines is the latest and greatest. BUT NOOOOOOO gotta put up with this ribbon crap.

11
6
Meh

Actually the riboon is good...

Actually the ribbon is incredibly intuitive once you get to used it, and saves a heap of time. And also the latest versions (2007 onwards) have solved so many of the problems associated with working on large docs! At one point i was going to give up and go away and learn Latex but since Office 2007 came out i'm quite happy with how it works.

I know this post will be downvoted massively (he's praising microsft, oh noes!) I dont have a single complaint about the new versions of Word, Excel or Powerpoint... If your still stuck on 97 you're really making your life a hell of a lot more difficult then it needs to be!

10
13
Thumb Up

every other version, it seems, is good

97 was ok. 2003 was not great. 2007 is actually quite good. And this from someone who liked WordPerfect 5.1.

For techies, having Format Painter in Outlook alone is worth the price of admission. Now I can mix instructions and commentary in an email and format them as the good Lord intended. And the Data connector in Excel is really good.

2
1
Facepalm

@lglethal -- Why is the ribbon so useful?

Too lazy to remember the shortcuts, eh?

5
0

Learn LaTeX if you need it

LaTeX is not for the same work you'd perform in Word. It's a type-setting program, not a text editor. It gives you much more control of how the text will look like. I still use word every day at work, for documents that do not need as much a polished finishing.

I used LaTeX for my graduation work, and I thank god I got through the initial steep learning curve and not used word. It saved me weeks in formatting in the end.

Like one of my teachers said, use LaTeX for serious academic work, and leave Word for its intended target users, which are secretaries.

1
1
Angel

LyX is a GUI for LaTeX

@diego: LaTeX is not for the same work you'd perform in Word. It's a type-setting program, not a text editor ..

"LyX combines the power and flexibility of TeX/LaTeX with the ease of use of a graphical interface"

http://www.lyx.org/

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Mine's 2000

And it has been available to me 365 days a year for the last eleven years or so.

No idea what it originally cost, but it will probably turn out to have been quite a good deal in the end.

I really can't understand why people keep throwing their money away on new "versions" every year or two.

And life is sunnier ...without clouds.

4
0
Bronze badge

text in email

You mean they have managed to get a real text editor that works at last.

If you mean the html crap then that goes directly into my garbage folder without me reading it.

1
0
FAIL

Ribbon blows

I didn't downvote you because you were praising Microsoft, I downvoted you because you said the ribbon is good and highly intuitive, which I disagree with on both counts. I am a casual Office user, in that I do not use it day to day. When I do use it, I should not have to spend 5 minutes (sometimes more) just to find in the ribbon the function I need. It is not always in the place you would expect to find it. In Office 2003, it was 2 or 3 clicks or 30 seconds at most and boom, you have it. I've owned Office 2007 for a couple of years now, and I STILL have to use Google to figure out how to do something in it that was very easy to figure out in Office 2003.

4
0

"hell "

"If your still stuck on 97 you're really making your life a hell of a lot more difficult then it needs to be!"

And why exactly is that? I all he's using it for is simple wp tasks, like the odd letter and small documents and it does axactly what he wants? Surely upgrading will make " your life a hell of a lot more difficult then it needs to be" ..

2
0
FAIL

Ribbon also sucks

I too did not downvote the post because you praised Microsoft, I did so as the ribbon is as counter intuitive as a thing can be.

You have to have screen maximised to make sure you can see everything that's there

Some icons have text below the icon, some to the side

Why does the Links box disappear before the Illustrations box?

In the clipboard box, why does paste button stay big while cut, copy and format painter stay small.

Compare with the Document Views where when the screen is maxmized the buttons are all big then shrink as the screen shrinks.

Why is there no consistency in the contraction of boxes or the shrinkage of buttons?

Why can't you customise the toolbars? Yes you can add them to the toolbar at the top but why am I looking at the paste button? Why is a button I never use taking up a square inch of prime screen realestate?

In previous office versions I could get rid of the buttons I never used and use more of my screen for the actual document and less to show the program itself.

How can "saves a heap of time" be true when it's showing me lots of stuff I never, ever use?

"If your still stuck on 97 you're really making your life a hell of a lot more difficult then it needs to be!" Yeah it's a hell of a lot more difficult to be able to do what I want, when I want to do it and all in a consistent manner

3
0
Thumb Down

WordDEFECT!!!

Good grief - you LIKED WordDefect (as we who were trying to implement it called it)?

There cannot be many of you around.

0
1
Silver badge

It is OK but Not Great

The title of this article really isn't fair. Office 365 was never really meant to completely replace desktop Office, especially for more advanced users.

We've been using Office 365 with 80+ users for about four months now and overall I'd give it a solid 4 star rating (out of 5) for performing admirably the functions it was designed to perform. It certainly does not have the same features as the desktop version and occasionally there are hangups (like not being able to access the service) - but overall a solid addition for SMB's.

0
0
Stop

Plus ca change

Funny how history repeats itself. Once upon a time enterprises had to rent compute time from IBM, who ran a nice little cloud operation on their mainframes. You wanted office apps? Sure, say hello to PROFS. Then some startups came along and said, this is nuts, let people run what they want without the high priests and priestesses getting involved. And we had an explosion in creativity. There are whole ecosystems built around what you can do with Excel and VBA.

Now Microsoft is turning back to the cloud. I seriously doubt that people are going to junk their investment in Office-on-PC and return to the old days.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Rather more briefly...

... what goes around, comes around.

2
0
WTF?

I still use Office 2000 and I've no need to upgrade. Why you ask?

O2K's wonky in a few places but with sp3 it's reasonably reliable and stable.

Why would I bother changing as nothing much has changed in 12 years that I would use? Moreover, there's been no change to the grammar checker, little to the speller and negligible changes to page formatting, headers and footers etc., which is where I'd like to see improvements.

I will continue to use O2K with the Sun's ODF plugin v 3.2 for MS Office until LibreOffice comes of age (which I also have on my machine but only occasionally use as the 12-year old O2K is still significantly better than L.O. in many regards).

When Microsoft finally gives me what I really need instead of what it thinks I might need, then I might consider upgrading.

---------------------

An afterthought:

Seems to me that M$ would do much better if it provided a truly useful and functional feature such as a proper virtual 3D filing system that's fully integrated within MSO itself.

M$ failed to deliver the database filing system, WinFS, with both Vista and Windows 7 (and there's still no hint of it in Win 8 either). Integrating it, or part of it, into Office on a limited scale would make sense as it'd mean that years worth of files could be properly named, dated, indexed and cross-referenced by subject etc.

Moreover, a cleverly designed system would also mean that this additional metadata, which would be normally be lost when exported to a flat folder/directory-based file system such as XP/Win7 or Linux, could be integrated into both the file as additional metadata as well as into a section of the file name by some smart shorthand naming protocol.

For me, this would be the killer new feature.

2
3
Silver badge

I used to use MS Office 2000

But when I switched to Win7, it became a hassle to install properly. Every time I wanted to open a .doc, it would complain about something not being installed. The first twenty times I slotted in the CD, as per request, and got a complement of installation - at least that is what was said.

After that, I just cancelled the installation popup and worked as usual. When I got fed up with the bloomin' popup, I installed LibreOffice and it does everything I need it to do - intuitively.

And the rest of my family has no issues with LibreOffice either.

So MS Office is now permanently retired from my home PCs. And I don't see any reason to go back to it.

3
1
FAIL

Why you comment?

"When Microsoft finally gives me what I really need instead of what it thinks I might need, then I might consider upgrading."

Aside from giving you out of 100 million people what you personally want, if Office 97/2000/whatever still works for you, why even bother to comment. If a new camera/car/TV is released and the old one works fine, do you leap in and say why you're not changing?

Your complaints about the file system are with Windows not Office. And having worked in this space myself, what you ask for is a) harder than you'd think, and b) everyone will complain anyway because it's different to what they had before.

If you have brilliant designs for this stuff yourself, I'm sure everyone would love to hear them.

1
1
IT Angle

Problem solved?

What exactly are they trying to solve here?

I work for many large corporations in IT, some with 10,000+ employees. None of those companies would consider using an online office suite. Hell, they generally blocks docs.google and any other site that could potentially be used to get data on or off site.

It sounds more like a solution for personal/SOHO users, but they're currently disallowed. Plus, I'm increasingly hearing of such people switching to Open/Libre Office because it does the basics well enough without costing anything.

IMHO, MS Office peaked with 97/2003.

5
0
Silver badge

peaked

>IMHO, MS Office peaked with 97/2003.

Somewhere between the two, yes.

0
0

ProPlus??

Legal action from the caffine pimps?

0
0
FAIL

ProPlus

you can buy pro plus as a one of payment?

You buy it as a open license, no media just a one of payment and you own the key?

microsoft SKU 79P-03549

what your thinking of is the new office professional rental package (SKU 79P-02695)

but in all honesty the ribbon was pants, 2010 is remarkably hard to integrate into existing systems and exchange 2010 was a mistake.

0
0
Silver badge

(open all hours quote goes here)

Have you seen the prices?

Ye glods and little swimming things.

0
0
FAIL

Exchange

2010 was a mistake? And 2007 which isn't vaguely IMAP compliant? Ahh, you must be a fan of 2003. No? Exchange was/is a mistake.

0
0

Ribbon

"incredibly intuitive once you get to used it"

Not that intuitive, then. And still vile, IMO.

BTW, isn't Pro Plus a stimulant for the middle-aged? How apposite...

4
1

Eh..?

"occasionally there are hangups (like not being able to access the service)"

Nothing serious, then.. :-)

1
0
Unhappy

Meh

No macros in the web version, no use to our 7000 users then

1
0
Anonymous Coward

The ribbon

Why is it that the people who like the ribbon are unable to understand that the mistake was not the addition of the ribbon, it was the total removal of the traditional menus with no way to make them appear and with them went all the shortcuts that many people had used for years.

7
0
Big Brother

Microsoft's successor of Windows and Office as we know it

Microsoft has a patented pay-as-you-go system which is currently used not only for Office 365, but also for the Windows Azure platform - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/

There are many sound companies such as NASA, Xerox, T-mobile, Volvo, using Windows Azure and paying for used resources instead of purchasing their own servers. This scheme may indeed prove beneficial for businesses in cases you need the service available 365 days a year, but you will use it infrequently per demand. The idea behind Windows Azure may lead to a new version of Windows, the successor of 7/8, which is just a thin client connecting to the cloud. Users will no longer have their copy of the whole system. This is going to eliminate unauthorized copying because users will never download the software, but rather just control it. The used technology is Citrix. Microsoft and Citrix already have an alliance http://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/partners/citrix.aspx and work together on it.

Once it's all the cloud, you can't even access your own data without paying for it, and frankly who likes having his own CPU capped unless subscribing to some expensive enterprise plan? How easy is it to be the man in the middle in case of a cloud?

0
1
Silver badge
Go

Thin client

"Thin client successor to Windows, impossible to copy."

Oh, lordy, I do hope they go ahead and do that, I really do.

Maybe we will finally see the "Year of the Linux desktop" at last.

0
0
Linux

What value of 'not supported'?

For firefox 3 or later on linux do they mean it'll probably work but they won't help you, or that it's deliberately broken?

0
0
Thumb Down

Ahh. So it's in the cloud but you still need your own reservoir?

Sort of like the old .dsp pages for the web. I predict the same demise.

0
0
Meh

successor of MScrap office? or.....

another streamlined method to fleece your sorry pockets? go figure....

0
0
Facepalm

successor of MScrap office? or.....

OR another pimped, full of s...t product if it can be branded as such....

0
0
FAIL

MS - they don't get it

In the technology frenzy of today, your leading product will be eaten up before long. Your only decision is whether you will do it with a superior product (possibly disruptive, and lower financial returns) or some competitor will do it (probably disruptive, probably lower financial returns).

This is Microsoft's dilemma. So far it appears that they're hedging their bets on the old scheme. Bad news guys - that won't work. I've lived through a couple of these and in every case they failed. Of course, the PHBs responsible had gone with their bonuses by the time of the implosion (not all that long, actually).

0
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Happy

Another Alternative

We use OpenOffice (aka LibreOffice) quite happily. Another alternative not mentioned above is Symphony from IBM. It's writen in Java and runs well on all the versions of Window we have. Haven't tried it on Linux.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums