Feeds

back to article Office 2013 to offer one-off apps on demand

As part of its ongoing bid to convince Office customers to switch to a subscription-based pricing model, Microsoft has announced that Office 2013 subscribers will be able to access temporary copies of the desktop Office applications on any computer, delivered via internet streaming technology. Office 365 subscribers already have …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
Unhappy

What could pssibly go wrong?

So people get used to the idea of not having the software permanently on their system, but have loads of documents, then need to make a presentation or something, only to find there is no network availability of any kind at the location.

3
3

Re: What could pssibly go wrong?

Presumably there will be offline players available. Powerpoint has had one for a decade or so hasn't it?

2
0
Happy

Re: What could pssibly go wrong?

Well you can never completely remove user stupidity from the equation - at least that is the general rule I follow when designing security into products - once in the wild, people will try to use software / hardware in ways that would never occur to a development team :-)

It has been available on my outlook.com account for a short time and it is really a very nice feature. In combination with SkyDrive / Office web apps / Windows To Go on a USB stick, it's a very neat way of being able to access data in a number of different situations.

Sorry Will Godfrey, but I think the example of someone using an internet based service, then trying to access it without an internet connection, is what I personally call 'cross-platform stupidity'. It isn't a reflection on the service, or the OS, or the concept - it's the person who is the point of failure.

If they are travelling to do a presentation, if they are not prepared for lack of even the basics such as power (take a fully charged laptop with spare battery), a projector (I take my own, just in case), let alone an internet connection (store your apps and data locally - you have practices the presentation, right...?), they probably don't have anything interesting to present.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: What could pssibly go wrong?

"So people get used to the idea of not having the software permanently on their system, but have loads of documents, then need to make a presentation or something, only to find there is no network availability of any kind at the location."

If it's your own PC, then I'd expect you to have Office installed if you plan to use it. The point with this is if you find yourself suddenly needing it, at a meeting you don't have your PC, the battery dies or whatever, you can just grab the nearest computer regardless of whose it is, and without having to worry about installs or licence keys, just log in and use a streamed version of office under your own licence.

1
1
Gold badge

No office fan...

But I do have to admit that sounds pretty cool. Extra kudos if it's not some sort of IE-only hack (i.e. perhaps a remote desktop viewer, and the 15 seconds to 1 minute is to cache graphical elements to make it all faster?)

3
0
Silver badge

Why would anyone who isn't Microsoft want this?

6
4
Silver badge

Putting the subscription and portability questions aside, it's like offering web apps but with full desktop app functionality. You go to the web site, log in and then you're using Microsoft Word. So, before applying caveats, it's desirable because it means that you're saved the chore of installation and your access to the apps goes everywhere you do. For a large number of people the web is the main interface to computers.

That being said, it's not a service for me. I don't want to pay a subscription when there are alternatives that I can own outright for less money and my desire to tie myself to Windows is even less than when the desktop was all there was.

2
1

Adobe does it.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

It's kinda sad that if Open Office could do this, then it would be being heaped with praise here. But nooo... it's Microsoft - so it must be bad.

The state of the forums here has become really bad over the last couple of years. Why not just be a little open minded for once, instead of fanatically open source?

3
7
Silver badge

I was serious. 15s-->1*minute* to load a document and all your data 1) Readable by and 2) Subject to the capricious whims of an unfriendly entity.

Now I'll admit to being an outlier on the 'paranoid users' curve; but I can't envision any circumstances at all in which this would be preferable to Libre Office. Or a local copy of Office for that matter. Or Notepad (++)...I'd honestly use that first before a remote office program.

Security and horrific load times aside; the 'sales feature' of "Always using the latest and greatest version" isn't something that's too appealing either, with Microsoft's designers in the mood they have been for that last 18 months or so...I don't want everything to be 'improved' between uses...I want stuff to be where I left it last time and where I can find whatever feature/function I'm looking for quickly.

Creating documents with an Office-style app isn't an end in itself for me...I work for myself and if I'm firing up an office app I'm doing so purely for the result (ie. the document). I want the app to fire up instantaneously, do it's stuff and then sod off when dismissed. Whether I'm in wifi range or not. I also don't want to be forced to adapt to a filesystem that someone else thinks is the best arrangement for me; nor do I want to wait for a bloody page refresh between operations.

I'm sure it's a solution that will work for some people...patient road-warriors with no disk space and little regard for security, possibly, but I'm not sure that MS have totally thought this through for their entire userbase.

2
1
Silver badge

"I was serious. 15s-->1*minute* to load a document and all your data 1) Readable by and 2) Subject to the capricious whims of an unfriendly entity."

You seem to be confused between online Office web apps and this streaming functionality. What we're talking about here runs locally and does not require you to upload your documents off your local machine at any point.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Fun with Imagination!

"It's kinda sad that if Open Office could do this, then it would be being heaped with praise here. But nooo... it's Microsoft - so it must be bad.

The state of the forums here has become really bad over the last couple of years. Why not just be a little open minded for once, instead of fanatically open source?"

It's kinda sad that if someone who wasn't there made an imaginary post to a non existent article in your head, you would reply to it disapprovingly in a comment on a real article.

The state of the forums here has become really bad over the last couple of years. Why not just be a little sane for once, instead of not taking your pills?

0
2
Meh

Might work fine - the devil is in the details.

What I think is cute is that everything now has to be called an "app", no matter how big and complicated it is, because that term is what sells. . So is Photoshop now an "app"?

3
0
Pint

Pimms o'clock

The recent Pimms ad amusingly refers to their "app...<pause>...lication" and links to fb.com/pimms (or something like that).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Paul Barr's Pronouncement

"What if you could use all the powerful features of the Office applications without doing an install at all?" writes Microsoft lead program manager Paul Barr on the Office team blog. "Wouldn't that be the ultimate 'installation experience'?"

Paul. Having used the pile of snot that is Office 2007, I reckon the ultimate Installation Experience is not to install the bloody horror at all.

If MUST install it, I'll do so onto a PC in another building, which is being used by someone else.

Who I don't like

8
3
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Paul Barr's Pronouncement

"If MUST install it, I'll do so onto a PC in another building, which is being used by someone else."

But that's the point. Now you don't have to install it.

Glad I could help!

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Paul Barr's Pronouncement

You mean ..............like virtualised crap?

1
2
Bronze badge

I like the idea - I need to use Office at home on my personal equipment once every few months, usually to do something that g Apps or Open Office can't. However, Id be keen to understand if the same APIs are exposed to Windows as its locally installed bretherin, or if it sits in a sandbox akin to the Citrix style of delivery.

2
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Just what we need

...although they do leave cached files on the local hard drive "for performance reasons," the applications cannot be launched except through the browser.

All the cost (in terms of disk space) of having a local install, with none of the advantages. Bravo!

4
2
Silver badge

Re: Just what we need

...or if you remember to delete the cache and have no data cap... no need to run at all but all the bandwidth costs for Microsoft, over and over again.

0
0
Happy

Re: Just what we need

Well I just did a test, and it seems to have taken about 50 seconds to stream Word 2013 onto a laptop with Windows 8 that doesn't have Office 2013 installed, and no cached copy of streamed Word 2013 has been used on that machine. I admit I have a fast internet connection, but not so fast it just downloaded 500 MB, for example...

Start up time for streamed Word 2013 the next document I opened from SkyDrive was around 2 seconds. Different document, not cached.

I haven't noticed any huge difference in disk space - but seriously, if a few of hundred MB is too much for your hardware, you really have other issues.

1
0

Err

The applications will launch and be ready for use in at least a minute and as little as 15 seconds

Isn't that sentence semantically wrong. At least means no less than, so how can it launch in at least a minute, yet take as little as 15 seconds? Surely he means at most a minute?

Yeah, nitpicking I know!

4
1
FAIL

Macro's?

A lot of company's, their paying customers, use macro's for a lot of things. From simple letterheads to complex reports with graphs. We have at least 20 that I know of, so how would this fit in our (ISO) certified workfow?

0
5
Happy

Re: Macro's?

Why 'fail' an additional feature to help in some situations, when the people you mention should most likely be using Office locally anyway...?

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Macro's?

"A lot of company's, their paying customers, use macro's for a lot of things. From simple letterheads to complex reports with graphs. We have at least 20 that I know of, so how would this fit in our (ISO) certified workfow?"

If I could just confirm your logic here, you're basically saying we had funcitonality X, we now have functionalty X+Y, and it's a "FAIL" because the functionality is not X, + Y + Z. You would not condemn the product is the functionality were only X, but you will if it is X+Y?

And incidentally, isn't 'Z' in your argument something that you'd expect to have the local Office install anyway? I mean, if you've installed all these macros for Office, presumably you already have Office as well?

1
2

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge

Not Again

This sort of online application model just doesn't work. M$ tried to do the same sort of thing with WinXP and it failed horribly. They had to eliminate it or users, especially corporate users, were just going to keep using Win2K and Win98. How many people will get their tails burned when it fails to work before they switch over to OpenOffice, NeoOffice, GoogleDocs or some other office application suite that isn't M$? If Microsoft wants to make money on Office, they should drop the price to US$40. At that point it isn't worth obtaining an "evaluation" version.

I always seem to find myself in places that don't have internet access; Planes, trains, conference centers, hotels and back rooms. I notice all of these as they are the places I am in when I am trying to update a document. Funny enough, these are usually the same places were I get the worst cell phone reception.

0
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not Again

You lost me at M$.

2
3
Holmes

Subscription model..

Soz if I'm being stupid, but have they actually released prices for all this stuff, or is it like the Surface, a big frigging secret? (I did a quick google for it, but nothing immediately popped up).

0
0
Silver badge

Thesis

People who trust their data to a subscription-based software are stupid.

Discuss.

0
2
Silver badge

Re: Thesis

People who don't understand the difference between streaming the application and whether you choose to store the working files locally or elsewhere should learn more about how things work. Discuss.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Thesis

LOL

You need a proprietary software to handle data in a proprietary format. If your subscription expires - so does your data. OK, there may be some pirated or open source product that may or may be compatible, but then again, there may be not.

0
2
Silver badge

Re: Thesis

"LOL"

Okay.

"You need a proprietary software to handle data in a proprietary format. If your subscription expires - so does your data. OK, there may be some pirated or open source product that may or may be compatible, but then again, there may be not."

So buy an actual copy of the software that wont expire then. You don't have to use this subscription model. Or alternately, and here is the big one, save it in a non-proprietary format. Or open your Word document or whatever in Libre Office. Suggesting that the streaming version of Office makes any difference, is alarmist and demonstrably wrong.

3
0
Silver badge

Comprehension fail?

I did not say that streamed MS Office will or will not make a difference. My point was that those who buy into that model (basically, a form of phone-home DRM) are... well... not overly bright.

0
0
FAIL

Internet Streaming

...excellent if you have a decent connection. I'm in the sticks - er, Rotherhithe, SE16, actually - with a massive 400kbps connection. Downloading Office components every time I want to work on a document doesn't exactly make me moist...

0
1

Re: Internet Streaming

As mentioned many times in both the article and the thread, it caches most of the guts on your local machine. That way, as the actress explained to the bishop, the only time you have to wait a while is the first time; once that's out of the way, things go a lot faster.

As for the rest, may I recommend a good antiperspirant?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Has anyone actually used it?

This thread is actually quite scary.

One person complains about having to download it every time (you don't), one person complains about the cached application using up disk space (which is why you *don't* have to download it every time) , one person complains about 15 seconds to 1 minute to open a document (when then is the quoted time for downloading the application), and another person complains about what happens without an internet connection.

None of them have actually used it.

No wonder people started offshoring to India.

3
0

Re: Has anyone actually used it?

Don't forget the people complaining about Microsoft's nefarious plot to lock customers into their subscription service by means of a proprietary file format which only a half-dozen or more open-source software packages can also open and manipulate, not to mention the fact that zipped XML isn't exactly an opaque binary format in the first place.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Has anyone actually used it?

@Aaron...

You forgot that those M$ bastardos have also embedded a choice screen on the first start of Office (Word), that cunningly asks people what XML format they would like to use. You can even change your mind, or even save documents in different formats later - at ANY time.

Someone must stop these absolute bastardos.

Of course, El Reg readers know that if M$ says 'you can choose', they really mean that if you select the other option, your tin foil hat will explode.

And 2013 will be the breakthrough year for Linux.

0
2
This topic is closed for new posts.