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back to article Australia cuts Microsoft bill by AU$100m

Australia has reduced the amount of money it pays for Microsoft products by AU$100m (£66m, $103m), according to the nation's Chief Technology Officer John Sheridan. Speaking yesterday at the Kickstart conference, Sheridan explained that consolidating contracts from 42 to one and working through a single reseller has enabled the …

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Trollface

Excellent

Thats all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent

I too have nothing to say on this story but would like a gold badge. Go gamification!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent

Comments just to get a badge? Have a down vote from me

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Facepalm

Re: Badge

You do know posts ( and their upvotes) as anonymous Noels don't count towards bronze and silver right :)

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Pint

Re: Excellent

5 people with sense of humour failures .... it must be Monday.

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Gold badge

What savings can they expect to see...

...by publicly announcing "we will not consider any alternative vendors." Hmm...

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Holmes

Re: What savings can they expect to see...

Quite. I wonder if anything besides publicly defaming (F)OSS actually contributed at all to these savings. Hmm...

Unashamedly spewing MS marketing crap like "...replacement for Office may also hamper innovation and productivity..." endorsed with a gov. rubber stamp won't have happened by accident.

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Re: What savings can they expect to see...

Remove the "alternative" and it might have worked...

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Re: What savings can they expect to see...

Vendors != Products.

Office is mainly sold by resellers if you have a big enough order you can get the reseller to cut you a deal, if they don't you go to another reseller who will. If I decide to buy a certain model of car I can still shop around for a better deal, changing vendor but not product.

They could even cut a deal directly with MS to cut out the middleman, MS makes the money either way and the Aus Government gets to to as if it were a reseller itself.

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Linux

Re: What savings can they expect to see...

Me thinks John Sheridan must be getting a kick back of some sorts. This is just the kind of crap that MS wants spread around.

I'm not so disillusion that I don't think switching to (F)OSS would not be a PITA just because of the stranglehold MS has on the business environment. It's going to take a company that has a CIO with big brass balls to make the change and lead the way. Unfortunately, I have yet to find such a CIO as they are mostly whimpering simpletons that really have no business operating a light switch, let alone a computer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What savings can they expect to see...

I have the distinct impression that the resellers don't get much of a markup - certainly I never see more than minimal discounts offered on retail sales. One of the things I've always been baffled by is that a government organization can put out a tender for a specific software product made by the likes of Microsoft or Adobe, and this is considered to be a fully competitive process. But if you try and buy something that is only available from a single vendor, you have to move heaven and earth and, for good measure, get God to pitch in with both hands. It is really perverse how procurement rules supposedly designed to promote competition have the effect of locking one into a single product.

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Devil

Re: What savings can they expect to see...

The USA's own backdoor babe, Microsoft Orifice?

NOT land the contract in the 53rd state of the USA, with our grubby shit mongering public servants and politicians.

Surely this is not possible.

They should all upgrade back to Win 3.11 and Office 2003, for the next 20 years.

And LibreOffice - and it's lack of FONT EMBEDDING - technically while I really DO like the software, all it is, is really a knock off joke without FONT EMBEDDING.

Some 200,000 english fonts in the real world, they have about 50 of them....

Create a great work, presentation, book, poster, graphics, engineering drawings with artwork, using all your own FREE fonts or commercially licensed fonts - and then transfer your own work off your own machine, to another without those font sets, and the LibreOffice and Open Office software does a shit fit called font substitution and there goes ALL of your work.

The layouts, the fonts, the margins, the letter, line and word spacing.... all defaults from Cosmos 3 TTF etc., to Arial 12 point.

What a fuck up - and they are all in there kissing the Free Software Foundations arse, because these idiots wrote the standard, and did not include FONT EMBEDDING, so none of the numbskulls making the LibreOffice or Open Office software, include FONT EMBEDDING either.....

Which makes the software fucking useless.

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Gold badge

Re: Reseller Markup

I think eGeek is (technically) a reseller for MS software. (I'm pretty sure I did the paperwork at some point...)

The markup isn't enough for me to give fucks about it. It doesn't drop the cost for my clients of retail by much, so I only bust it out if buying in enough quantity to be worth digging up the e-mail that reminds me what horrid ring of fuckosity is required to be followed to get hold of the damned licences in the first place.

Same with Office 365. Oh, I *can* sell Office 365 - I think I have a customer still on it - and get some bent pittance back my way in terms of kickback off the subscription price...but is that razor thin amount of money worth screwing over my customer? I'd rather make sure I get the best product for thier needs - which in the case of email is explicitly never Office 365 - than try to cling to an additional point or two of margin on Microsoft's coattails. My long term customer relationships are (quite frankly) worth more to me than the short-term relationship with Microsoft.

Besides, if I ever came up with a decent business model focused around Microsoft's software, Microsoft would take it away from me. Then they'd sue me for something to make doubly sure I couldn't compete. I've learned better than to see being a Microsoft Partner as anything other than a very narrow means to a very specific end.

It is not an ecosystem sane people become to deeply embedded within. At least not sane people in it for more than the next quarter...

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Holmes

Free Is Good

Apparently Australian bureaucraps are not familiar with Open Office

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Paris Hilton

Re: Free Is Good

Because OpenOffice is a complete and perfect replacement for Microsoft Office, right? It never gets formatting wrong, understands all the existing 15 year old templates (across Word, Excel, PPT), includes a mail program people actually like (Outlook replacement) which talks Exchange, does offline caching and integrates with the email archive? And Excel formulas are all present with the same names, parameters and results?

And there's no chance LibreOffice or OpenOffice would be unable to create and edit documents using Rights Management Services? And it also works with the appropriate DMS (which is usually a fragile set of poorly written and undocumented macros which often needs updates even for Office service packs, let alone completely different products)?

Sorry, but while OO and LO are great for some people, they're not there yet for everybody.

Even Paris knows the above...

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Silver badge

Re: Free Is Good @The Dim View

Here's why: "as big bang upgrades are costly and complex".

Add to which LO isn't as good as MS office, regrettably. Not yet anyway.

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FAIL

Re: Free Is Good

I think you might miss a point.

{LO|AOO} !== MSO.

IT is odd in the modern world in that there is a ridiculous near monopoly maintained world wide.

Imagine if your car had to be a Ford and painted black, unless you were one of those identical rugged individualists who run their white coloured Fords on very expensive hot air or your were a beardie who distils their own fuel for their ...

Well you get the idea. It is insane that we as members of a global society allow such restrictions to flourish and even encourage them through ignorance, laziness or whatever excuse we don't even bother to conceive of because that is the status quo.

With your answer you indicate - to me at least - that you are the kind of person who can't be arsed to think for yourself and are happy to live in this sad state of affairs.

Nice use of sarcasm though.

Cheers

Jon

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Silver badge

Re: Free Is Good @The Dim View

LO\OO are alright, but not really fully fledged alternatives yet (although they can be ok depending on your needs and I hope they continue to get better) but seriously these folks need to get on fleabay and buy a shed load of office 2007 or 2003 and just use them forever. MS haven't really added much by way of features that you seriously need since then.

I also don't like on principal the new idea of forcing people onto subscriptions by making normal licences as restrictive as possible. If you are finding that a cashcow isn't as attractive anymore (like office) then forcing people onto subscriptions is an admission you don't have new ideas that people want. Maybe it would bring in more money overall if they simply dropped the price to the point where it was less of an issue for people and make it back in overall volume.

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Meh

Re: Free Is Good

Some are. Many are not, mostly PHBs who work with the (surprise, surprise) USA based oursourcers who especially cant think of alternatives, because of contract conditions. Having suffered thru the change to Orifice 2010, Open Office and brethren are much easier to migrate to IMHO. Finally, this is a country \with a leadership convinced they need to be a colony. Does not matter who, old Poms, Older USA centric and still many true believers in the old USSR. So nothing that might annoy the home country can be considered. {S}

The true cynic has noted that word 2.x and Excel 3 do 80% of whats required in clerkland still.

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Re: Free Is Good@DavidRa

David, your second para makes the best point for the opposition perfectly. Any product that requires macro rrewites after a service pack is ripe for decommissioning. And do M$ products have 15 year compatibility ?

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Re: Free Is Good @Denarius

I didn't intend to say macro rewrites - if that's what you read then I apologise. The reality is though that templates written in Office 95 and Office 97 continue to work for the most part in Office 2010 and Office 2013. So that's a pretty good compat record. (And yes, there ARE things that break and those things are documented). Plus you get a minimum of 5 years support for Office (Office 2007 only just left support). How long is that version of LO/OO/SO (collectively $NEWOFFICE) going to be supported until you're told "Oh that's in $NEWVERSION, you'll have to upgrade". And how much is that pro support going to cost compared to the free MS cases that Enterprises get?

The problem is when you move to $NEWOFFICE it's not a tweak, it's a complete rewrite - assuming that the new product even has the right hooks and triggers for macros.

As for throwing away ... er ... replacing the DMS - let's look at that option.

1. Find a new multi-million $ DMS that works with $NEWOFFICE.

2. Write or port all functionality from $OLDDMS to $NEWDMS

3. Migrate all content, version info etc from $OLDDMS to $NEWDMS

4. Run both side by side for 10 years because no-one has the cojones to decomm the old one.

5. ???

6. Rewrite macros and integration for each new version of $NEWOFFICE.

It's really not that much better is it - even assuming you can find this near-mythical $NEWDMS?

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Silver badge

Re: Free Is Good

Theres always

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=lotus+smartsuite&_sacat=0&_from=R40

$10 a shot is decent!

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FAIL

Re: Free Is Good

And you think MS is any better?

I think you have misplaced 20 or years of MS exposure.

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Re: Free Is Good @Denarius

I will observe that whilst the things that break in M$ Office between releases may well be documented, you need a brain the size of a planet to determine which (if any) of these changes might impact your systems. In which case, the "upgrade" is in reality as much effort as a new product.

And please, can someone explain to me why the Office UI at Office 2007 and beyond completely ignores the UI standards of Windows ?? Why it's interface is utterly different from, say, Internet Explorer, let alone Office 2003 ?? If the Ribbon was the way forward, it should have become the Windows UI standard and ALL apps should have been updated. Otherwise, don't make the change. Human factors 101.

And my immediate PITA - why does Office 2010 OEM not have downgrade rights ??...

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Re: Free Is Good

And free of formatting would be even better. It seems that the formatting takes considerable precedence over content. Once upon a time government documents were judged on their content, now it seems that is less the case, and I for one would like to see text files mandated for all government use. Yes, I'm serious. It's time to get rid of all those amateur typesetter wannabes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Free Is Good @gerdesj

"With your answer you indicate - to me at least - that you are the kind of person who can't be arsed to think for yourself and are happy to live in this sad state of affairs."

As opposed to your JBINM argument, hmm? And I thought the FOSS fans had grown out of the if-you-don't-agree-with-me-you're-stupid argument. Thank God for free thinkers such as yourself. Your well-reasoned points always put us normals back on track.

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Silver badge

Re: Free Is Good

To use the car analogy - why does everyone have to pay for a track day car when the 30 year old ford escort does as good a job of sitting in queues?

The wonderful thing about software is it doesn’t wear out - you have to physically destroy it.

In almost every company I've worked for only a couple of people have 'needed' any of the improvements to office - the others could have got away with Office Reader for the new versions output and Office95 for their work.

95% of office communication is in something not much more demanding than twitter - it doesn’t need gigabytes of disk space to run.

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Rol
Bronze badge

Re: Free Is Good @The Dim View

Using "old" software forever works just fine until you encounter the ever burgeoning growth in "new" formats.

Once the software house has dropped all pretence of support for your product the obsolescence clock starts ticking down to its eventual demise.

Sure, in-house work goes on unabated, but when your clients start passing you work saved using the latest shiny thing, you're stuck.

I use Office 2000 and am acutely aware of its limitations, that's why I also use a gamut of free-ware alternatives to massage the latest evolutionary abominations back to usable formats, with, I might add, no loss of detail, so showing the new format is just another scam to get you on the upgrade path.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Free Is Good

LO might not be quite there yet but my Missus works for an "org" that has shed loads of MS Publisher docs and she needed to work on them on a Mac, after faffing about with VMs and Wine installs, enter LibreOffice 4! Loaded the manky old Pub docs in perfectly formatted. LO might not be a perfect substitute just yet, I know it has some niggles but it's certainly helping people with old doc formats that MS couldn't give a rat's arse about any more!

Hate to break to you FOSS haters but there are some out here who simply want to get work done and are not looking to replace the latest MSO with the latest OO/LO, due to lack of money or bad decisions made by precessors in certains jobs, FOSS is helping to keep the world ticking over and keep people working.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Free Is Good

@Tom 7 - Software does wear out, for instance you can't run Windows 3.1 on modern hardware.

Anyway, thanks for demonstrating that car analogies to IT rarely work. I still don't know why they're so popular though.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Free Is Good

Apparently they ARE familiar with Open Office: "using open source software is not his preferred tactic, as big bang upgrades are costly and complex. A mandated replacement for Office may also hamper innovation and productivity"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Free Is Good @The Dim View - LO IS as good as MS office, better in some ways

@Eadon - Name some things that LO can do, which can't be done by MS Office?

You may not like the ribbon UI, but most end users do and I don't believe for a minute that you've actually used Office 2013.

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Re: Free Is Good

AC 13:09 You might not be able to run 3.1 on modern hardware but then I guess you are MS trained.

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Re: Free Is Good @The Dim View - LO IS as good as MS office, better in some ways

Read Eadons post: Opening older MS office documents.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Free Is Good

Just buy MS Office 2000 for $20 and download the free MS Office Compatibility Pack.

Now you've got a cheap office suite with no compatibility issues.

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FAIL

Re: Free Is Good

You seem to miss the point I made up there (yet to receive any downvotes....), which was that upgrading MS Office is, in practice, no different from a complete change of package - i.e., a "big bang" upgrade. So that argument is moot, unless you plan on never upgrading MS Office.

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FAIL

Re: Free Is Good @The Dim View - LO IS as good as MS office, better in some ways

You must have a very different set of end users from mine. They all hate they ribbon (some even more than I do). They range from professional PAs and copy typists through the standard PHBs to professional engineers, legal types, and ex-RN people.

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Linux

Re: Free Is Good

"It never gets formatting wrong"

in your irony you missed to include 'when opening old documents made in MS Office'

Because you probably know that when using LibreOffice with its own native formats never messes up the formatting.

And if you migrate to another office suite why wouldn't the helpdesk/IT keep a copy of office to aid in the conversion process?

You know, like fixing the formatting (Usually because the person who did the original did not format it correctly) and saving it as native.

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Linux

Re: Free Is Good @The Dim View - LO IS as good as MS office, better in some ways

"You may not like the ribbon UI, but most end users do and I don't believe for a minute that you've actually used Office 2013."

Correction, most end users can work with the ribbon, like they could work with menus, that doesn't make the ribbon any better.

In my opinion they should had kept the ribbon and the menu. The old toolbars were rubbish though.

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Bronze badge

Re: Free Is Good

>you can't run Windows 3.1 on modern hardware.

Yes you can, but installing it in a VM is less hassle ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Free Is Good

@Tom 7 - You can't natively run DOS/Win311 on current hardware. You can do it through a hypervisor (sometimes) but not on the bare metal.

I happen to be most things trained, UNIXes, Linux, Windows, Mac OS, etc. I don't limit myself to one OS and then hope that people will think I'm knowledgeable by slagging everything else off as much as I can.

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Re: Free Is Good

LO is at least as good as MS office... if not better.

It doesn't screw up earlier documents... and MS office does.

MS office screws up its own files for that matter, and it also screws up older MS office files from earlier versions.

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Re: Free Is Good

Are you quite sure?

I thought you could, at the very least, virtualise it.

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Re: Free Is Good @DavidRa

Thanks for explaining why LO doesn't meet your needs. I use LO myself and have always struggled to see where it comes up short. But now I understand the problems some people of have.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Free Is Good

And Microsoft Office never gets the formatting wrong lol LO and OO have their issues but please do not white wash MS issues

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Devil

Re: Free Is Good

Yeah and LibreOffice and Open Office DO not have FONT EMBEDDING either...

Despite the relative merits of the software, if you use any one of the 200,000 other fonts in the english world, in your work, besides the 50 or so in the "Libre Office" suite, your work immediately becomes NON transferrable to any other machine without those font's, your work is NOT of an archival grade etc., etc., etc.

The committees - the Free Software Foundation, and Libre Office and the almost expired Open Office, are full of shit.

Without FONT EMBEDDING - the product, commercially, educationally and more or less beyond just personally, it is utterly WORTHLESS.

And the numbskulls on these committees just don't get it.

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Re: Free Is Good @The Dim View

That might have been an accurate view five years ago, but LibreOffice these days is solid (I wrote a book using it, the publisher didn't even notice that I wasn't using MS Office).

What LibreOffice needs to do now is to get ahead of Office. Office has always had half-arsed templates; its flowing of inserted drawings is just bizarre; its graphs are PR-oriented toys; presentations are overly constrained to MS's layout; it treats meta-data as a incidental; and it doesn't play well with others.

The LO user interface needs work -- the colour selection is a user interface disaster. But in general it is solid.

The SVG import in LO has improved a lot, and this makes it very easy to pull vector images into documents and presentations. LO is still the simplest way to produce a PDF.

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FAIL

...(Apps) selected and sourced by staff

...that can be deleted at a moments notice, and for no reason, by the iTunes police. VERY intelligent planning.

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