back to article Office 365's free terabyte leaves Amazon's Glacier melting

Microsoft last week flicked the switch on its offer of 1 terabyte of storage for all Office 365 users. The new deal has been read as a strike at Google's online offerings. But if you can find an envelope and a pencil stub, it looks like Redmond is taking a swipe at Amazon Web Services' Glacier cold storage facility, too. Here's …

I would pay more just to stay away from MS (any product) , MS has proven with their software how unreliable they have been why pay them to gobble your data?

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Yes, we know you are a loyal PS2 gamer. But that should not be a reason to trash the competitor.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, we know you are a loyal PS2 gamer. But that should not be a reason to trash the competitor.

Actually, he has a point. That MS software needs a lot of extra resources to offer the kind of reliability you need in business has never exactly been a secret (historically, that is exactly what allowed Linux through the backdoor, the SMB servers that kept on working weren't using MS software at all).

Add to that the fact that MS is actually new at this online gig which means it's (a) still learning about the technology and (b) another new business to get into (and we know how successful a MS v1 of anything is) and I would very well have my doubts about putting anything I need or want to keep confidential with Microsoft.

There's also the problem that they may pull a Zune when they discover it isn't working for them, but that (and the confidentiality risk) is one they share with other services. Google isn't shy of dumping a service that doesn't generate either money of data either, that's just sound business.

As for 1TB: who backs it up, how can I access the backup and who else can?

I like my data close, not in a cloud with nebulous borders of access and ownership. It's a good thing we work with highly sensitive data - we can just say no to golf course sales :).

BTW: I also like to keep on working when either the service or the network goes balls up. Remember Adobe?

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Anonymous Coward

WTF?

You're right in that MS historically have needed more resources for the same outcome, though Windows Phone alone (far less demanding on hardware than the Linux-derived Android) shows that they can do better when they don't have to worry about legacy code.

MS are far from new to the online gig.

Pulling a Zune when it's not working for them? They are already the second largest cloud supplier after AWS (yes, ahead of Google, IBM etc) and doing pretty well from it.

You're right about the 1TB backup - but think laterally. Two accounts joined by something like CloudHQ. I use it personally to keep MS, Google and Dropbox cloud storage permanently in sync. Besides, if you go cloud then whoever you choose will have the same issue.

Your final two points - fair enough. It's a matter of whether the savings when it is working outweigh the costs when it isn't. For me, they do. YMMV.

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Anonymous Coward

"MS has proven with their software how unreliable "

We have had nothing but improved uptime and productivity since migrating from mainframe and midrange to Windows desktops and Servers. Ditto Email, Office, Lync, etc, etc. Maybe you need some competent IT staff?

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe you need some competent IT staff?

I said *more* resources. Given a large enough cluster you can even keep Worries for Workgroups up long enough to make it look usable, but that has a terrible TCO. I don't think I would want to fault my IT team - we have a mixed environment (deliberately so as a heterogenous platform avoids single points of failure) but we keep Windows away from anything that is critical or needs to be secure. it's just too much like hard work in comparison. That is, of course, an impression built over a mere +15 years working with MS products and there may be some confirmation bias involved, but for our use, Microsoft simply is no longer the obvious choice. It's now more the last resort.

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Facepalm

"Yes, we know you are a loyal PS2 gamer"

No, not Play Station 2 - Personal System 2 from IBM. The clue is the second half of the username - os2

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Productivity Suite?

IMHO, since the introduction of the cursed Ribbon it has been anything but Productive.

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Re: Productivity Suite?

The ribbon takes a week or so to get used to, but I find it very effective. I certainly find it frustrating when I go back to Office 2003 or OpenOffice / LibreOffice.

Is the ribbon perfect? No.

Is the ribbon better than menus? Depends on how married to the old style menus you are.

I certainly found that after an initial productivity fall off to learn the new system, that it climbed back to be better than before. Certainly mouse based applications, like PowerPoint benefit more than Word, but I find I can get to things quicker now with the ribbon than searching through menus and dialogs of old for rarely used features. I still use the keyboard shortcuts for most things.

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Windows

@big_D Re: Productivity Suite? I agree with you.

Part of this perennial problem is of course the refusal of some people to except variety and change. However, I personally speaking really dislike the ribbon. Does this mean that I feel an overwhelming urge to call everyone who likes it an idiot? No, of course not. Where MS fell down with Office 2007 was their attempt to shove the notorious ribbon down the throats of their customers when they could equally well have permitted said customers a way out. They in the end did that with Office 2010 but they did a fair amount of damage to their relationship with their customers in the meantime.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Productivity Suite?

Unproductivity suite? :)

I tried to get used to the ribbon, I really did, I tried 2 months. But anyone declaring a UI that undoes high productivity built up over years of using word processors from Wordstar and Wordperfect upwards as an "enhancement" without an option to avoid the infernal thing should not be celebrated, they should be relegated to cleaning the toilets for a few months.

To me, the ribbon is the sort of improvement that Vista was to Windows XP. You take something that works and utterly b*llocks it over so anyone who actually has managed to get productive over the years is now spending 90% of their time searching for functions that used to be one keyboard shortcut away, and have their screen real estate absorbed by utter rubbish.

I honestly don't know what kind of substance abuse is popular at MS, but it must be pretty strong stuff for them to decide to roll out this abomination to all other products such as Visio too - without a legacy option which could keep a business productive.

So we switched. We have exactly *one* copy of MS Office left in the office, used to convert any 3rd party file..

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Re: Productivity Suite?

Two months and you still couldn't remember a few buttons? And as for keyboard shortcuts, they only changed six, and that was just slight tweaks to behaviour, every other keyboard shortcut is the same between 2003 and 2010.

When we moved from 2003 to 2007 at my old job even the most intransigent staff were perfectly happy after two weeks, and on a couple of occasions when someone was forced to use the old version, they complained that they wanted the new one back.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Productivity Suite?

When we moved from 2003 to 2007 at my old job even the most intransigent staff were perfectly happy after two weeks, and on a couple of occasions when someone was forced to use the old version, they complained that they wanted the new one back.

It is now more than 5 years ago we threw out MS Office, so my recollection may be a bit vague but it wasn't about a few things - it was a LOT we needed to change instead of switching to OOo/LOo and just get on with the job. We used quite a lot of Word's functionality, including stuff that was hiding two keystrokes away in menus. The ribbon interface made all the "dumb" functions available (but we knew those keyboard shortcuts already), but everything else either changed position in the menu tree or disappeared altogether. Recovering from that wasn't easy due to the (IMHO totally insane) decision to "enhance" Word's help file with online facilities, which meant that any search didn't have a few answers, but more like 100+, each less relevant than the next.

In conclusion, the move from Office 2003 to 2007 was the equivalent for our productivity of throwing out a boat anchor at 70 mph as we had to look for practically everything anew. It was sheer desperation (and the whooshing sound of deadlines) that made us try OpenOffice and LibreOffice, and (apart from not knowing quite which one to standardise on) it has served us so well that we see no reason at all to ever spend money on Microsoft again apart from that one copy for "compatibility".¨

If others found happiness in that new UI, hurray for them. For us, it was what caused us to start experimenting with alternatives and we're quite happy with the switch we made.

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...for how long?

Year 1: cheaptastic. This is great.

Year 2: it's how much? Well... OK... We've moved a lot of users over now, it'd be a pain to go back...

Year 5: this is ridiculous, and the service keeps going down for extended periods. What can we do to get off this?

Year 7: mummy?

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Missed an important point

There is a limit of 20,000 items, so depending on your filesizes it would be easy to "fill" your onedrive folder way before the 1TB mark.

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Re: Missed an important point

You missed that was "Sync limits" i.e.. you can sync up to 20000 items at a go - not the same as "you can only have 20000 items in your OD4B" And not forgetting the OD4B is for each of your users not openly shared docs - it's not a replacement for file shares as such, that should be done in SharePoint and that's where they will sting you for storage costs.

My organisation has 30000 users globally so we get 29.6PB (yes PetaBytes) of storage - that's a lot of photos of the kids/cute cats/etc.

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Amazon is in country (AU), MS is not (yet).

Less compliance issues (privacy, data offshore).

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Anonymous Coward

don't matter one jot

The hosting is being done by a US company. That means almost immediate access to all your lovely data should any of the US Agencies that has a Three letter Acronym decide that you are a person of interest.

It won't be long before the simple act of trying to travel to the US will require you to hand over access to all your data before you get permission to travel to the once 'Land of the Free'.

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Re: don't matter one jot

Tip - Encrypt it before you upload it!

I'm not a fan of most Cloud, but I do use Glacier for backup, but all content is encrypted client side before it is uploaded.

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Anonymous Coward

You can't fairly compare costs of Onedrive vs Glacier (with it's multi-hour retrieval) - compare it with S3.

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Anonymous Coward

Nice Idea, but slow in practice

I really like the idea of 1TB of cloud storage AND Office thrown in for such a reasonable price, but my problem is the upload speed to OneDrive is beyond slow, DropBox is blazing fast to upload to or download from and since I'd be trying to upload 200-300GB it is just not feasible to use OneDrive right now.

That and the fact you can't upload files >2GB is a show stopper.

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Anonymous Coward

How about locally creating backup files, encrypted and password protected, and THEN Syncing to One Drive. You get secure offsite mirrors for your backups.

With a bit of jiggery pokery you can have a Windows 8.x based NAS (using Storage Spaces) which shares it's one drive folders, which it then syncs upwards, so you have local NAS performance with cloud sync.

I'm setting up my Microserver to just this, although the client backups is next on my todo list now that the 1TB has become available.

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Bronze badge

One problem with this article, the two products are not the same thing and are not intended for the same purpose. Amazon glacier is designed as long term backup, once drive is just a remote drive in the cloud, not intended for long term backups, more an extension of your hard drive in the cloud. The API access is also woeful by comparison.

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Anonymous Coward

How about not buying an office 365 subscription and just buy a 1tb hard drive for less money and use google docs..?

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LDS
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If you prefer to share your documents with Google instead of MS why not? Both will share them with the NSA, though.

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Anonymous Coward

Who pays for...?

A "secure" storage from a US company?

Office isn't even needed anymore, certainly not one that's online (read, government spying glass).

If they pay me to use it, I still wouldn't use it.

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Anonymous Coward

Excuse me but...

£3.90 a month sounds like £3.90 a month more than something that's free.

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