back to article Microsoft: Here's some cash, channel. PLEASE sell Office 365

Microsoft is hurling cash at enterprise channel partners to persuade them to convince customers to sign up to Office 365. Under an Enterprise Agreement licence promo, large account resellers get $40 per seat for the first 3,000 seats they sign up and $5 for each additional one. The offer, which applies to a minimum order of …

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Facepalm

Fine if you don't care about privacy

All of your data, unencrypted, in the hands of a US company. What could go wrong?

Add to that the rental cost versus just buying MS Office (or indeed using those copies you already have) and using it for 5-10 years as a lot of us have done, nope - not attractive.

Now if someone is going to offer a service with verifiable client-side encryption so travelling workers can get the on-line sharing without exposing their data to Uncle Sam (or any other company or government), that would be worth while.

Even though MS offer EU-hosting, it is still not good enough. Do you trust MS? All of its employees around the world? Any foreign gov where a data centre is hosted?

And yes I know the courts can ask for access to your data even if encrypted, but (A) that requires some form of due legal process, and (B) at least you know if is happening.

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Stop

EU hosting makes no difference

People still don't get it. MS are a US company. MS have to abide by US law. US law (PATRIOT act) means that Uncle Sam can ask MS to cough up data from *anywhere* it controls it - and to hell with any other arrangements they may have promised. Uncle Sam can also require MS to shut down any server they control - again irrespective of location. MS admitted last year that wherever they hold data, it's available to the US government if requested.

Also, (or so our Information Security guys tell me) if this were to happen, any person whose data was snatched would have a case for suing the company that lost it.

Two reasons for being *very* careful where your cloudy data goes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fine if you don't care about privacy

"All of your data, unencrypted, in the hands of a US company. What could go wrong?"

Well firstly it's not unencrypted - all traffic and data are encrypted. Secondly you can supply a second level of protection to sensitive information via Active Directory DRM that Microsoft (or the US government) would not have access to.

"Add to that the rental cost versus just buying MS Office (or indeed using those copies you already have) and using it for 5-10 years as a lot of us have done, nope - not attractive."

Erm, no The cost of physical installs of Office is included in the rental cost. the major advantage of Office 365 (apart from no infrastructure and limited management costs) is that it scales up and don on a monthly basis as you require. Don't need it next month? No problem - just stop paying for it.

"Even though MS offer EU-hosting, it is still not good enough. Do you trust MS? All of its employees around the world? Any foreign gov where a data centre is hosted?"

I trust Microsoft a lot more than I do Google who are the other major alternative, and who's core business is selling your data to dvertisers. If that's not good enough then there are plenty of EU based companies like Colt that will sell you a similar platform on EU only datacentres...

"And yes I know the courts can ask for access to your data even if encrypted, but (A) that requires some form of due legal process, and (B) at least you know if is happening."

No you don't necessary know if it is happening. There is a requirement of confidentiality on those requested to provide access to your data.

Everything else you said was right. Oh wait....

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FAIL

Re: Fine if you don't care about privacy

""All of your data, unencrypted, in the hands of a US company. What could go wrong?"

Well firstly it's not unencrypted - all traffic and data are encrypted. Secondly you can supply a second level of protection to sensitive information via Active Directory DRM that Microsoft (or the US government) would not have access to."

Sorry, but both the US Gov and the British Gov have laws in place that ensure that ANY agency can force decryption of data they wish to look at, so your encrypted data is still viewable by government agencies. Encryption would only stop some hacker from viewing it. Also check M$'s T's & C's for Office 365 - there is a "We can look at your data/documents/contents anytime we want to" clause. If you are storing confidential data, this leaves your company open to all sorts of legal headaches - especially if your are operating cross border (UK company, data centre in US/mainland EU for example). The data encryption would only protect your data for point to point communication (i.e. at transmission) - not actually at the static point of storage.

""Add to that the rental cost versus just buying MS Office (or indeed using those copies you already have) and using it for 5-10 years as a lot of us have done, nope - not attractive."

Erm, no The cost of physical installs of Office is included in the rental cost. the major advantage of Office 365 (apart from no infrastructure and limited management costs) is that it scales up and don on a monthly basis as you require. Don't need it next month? No problem - just stop paying for it."

For an SMB, 365 would cost £145 per year (www.office365advantage.co.uk) verses £170 for 2013 Home and Business (www.ebuyer.com). So, it would take less than 15 months for 365 to cost more than a retail box copy of Office 2013!

""Even though MS offer EU-hosting, it is still not good enough. Do you trust MS? All of its employees around the world? Any foreign gov where a data centre is hosted?"

I trust Microsoft a lot more than I do Google who are the other major alternative, and who's core business is selling your data to dvertisers. If that's not good enough then there are plenty of EU based companies like Colt that will sell you a similar platform on EU only datacentres..."

If you are storing ANY data that could be considered confidential (by any court of law), neither M$ or Google (or any others for that matter) would be a sensible place for storing data. The legal risks are just too great.

""And yes I know the courts can ask for access to your data even if encrypted, but (A) that requires some form of due legal process, and (B) at least you know if is happening."

No you don't necessary know if it is happening. There is a requirement of confidentiality on those requested to provide access to your data."

True, but if someone DOES find out, then you are legally liable for your confidential data being exposed to a 3rd party (even if it is a Government agency), NOT the cloud company! (Read the small print!)

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Re: AC 12:55

"Well firstly it's not unencrypted - all traffic and data are encrypted. Secondly you can supply a second level of protection to sensitive information via Active Directory DRM that Microsoft (or the US government) would not have access to."

Point 1: Traffic encryption means not much (even less considering the multiple points of failure in the SSL certificate generation process if someone really is out to get you), and is incidental if you encrypt before transfer.

Point 2: This "Active Directory DRM" that you speak of, has its source code been verified by 3rd parties as having no recognisable back doors? Given Office 365 is supposed to be web based, will it work using MacOS and Linux?

If the answer is no to any of those, you have failed me.

"I trust Microsoft a lot more than I do Google who are the other major alternative, and who's core business is selling your data to dvertisers. If that's not good enough then there are plenty of EU based companies like Colt that will sell you a similar platform on EU only datacentres..."

Point 3: I did not say I trusted any of the other major players else instead (Google & Dropbox have the same or worse failings). That was my point about "verifiable client-side encryption" so I don't need to trust them.

"No you don't necessary know if it is happening. There is a requirement of confidentiality on those requested to provide access to your data."

Point 4: Err, so just how do they access my encrypted data if I was using verifiable client-side encryption with a non-trivial password?

Almost impossible without demanding the key, and if they do then _I_ know they have asked.

You read, but did not understand.

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Re: AC 12:55

"Erm, no The cost of physical installs of Office is included in the rental cost. the major advantage of Office 365 (apart from no infrastructure and limited management costs) is that it scales up and don on a monthly basis as you require. Don't need it next month? No problem - just stop paying for it."

Really? I get a copy of Office for my local PC and can keep it if I stop paying the Office 365 subscription?

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Re: Fine if you don't care about privacy

"Sorry, but both the US Gov and the British Gov have laws in place that ensure that ANY agency can force decryption of data they wish to look at, so your encrypted data is still viewable by government agencies. Encryption would only stop some hacker from viewing it. Also check M$'s T's & C's for Office 365 - there is a "We can look at your data/documents/contents anytime we want to" clause. If you are storing confidential data, this leaves your company open to all sorts of legal headaches - especially if your are operating cross border (UK company, data centre in US/mainland EU for example). The data encryption would only protect your data for point to point communication (i.e. at transmission) - not actually at the static point of storage."

I suggest you look up on Google how Microsoft DRM encryption works. The US can have all the laws they want to requiring access to data, but if I am a UK company, and keep my DRM infrastructure in the UK, then the USA can demand all they like, but they are not going to get access to my data, unless they fancy spending a few trillion compute hours trying every key combination...Microsoft woudl never have access in this circumstances.

"For an SMB, 365 would cost £145 per year (www.office365advantage.co.uk) verses £170 for 2013 Home and Business (www.ebuyer.com). So, it would take less than 15 months for 365 to cost more than a retail box copy of Office 2013!"

You havn't allowed for the cost of the Exchange Server license, the storage, backups, infrastructure, the management of it....

"If you are storing ANY data that could be considered confidential (by any court of law), neither M$ or Google (or any others for that matter) would be a sensible place for storing data. The legal risks are just too great."

You just don't have a clue what you are talking about. It makes near zero difference where I store it if I control the encryption keys. If I was a UK company then the USA can't touch me. The only way anyone is getting that Data is via a UK RIPA order - which applies the same if the data is onsite or in a cloud in Timbukto...

"True, but if someone DOES find out, then you are legally liable for your confidential data being exposed to a 3rd party (even if it is a Government agency), NOT the cloud company! (Read the small print!)

Again - you just don't have a clue. You are not liable for anything for data access that was required by a law that you are subject to.

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Re: AC 12:55

"Really? I get a copy of Office for my local PC and can keep it if I stop paying the Office 365 subscription?"

You get a copy of Office for your local PC, and you are no longer licenced for it if you stop paying your subscription...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fine if you don't care about privacy

""For an SMB, 365 would cost £145 per year (www.office365advantage.co.uk) verses £170 for 2013 Home and Business (www.ebuyer.com). So, it would take less than 15 months for 365 to cost more than a retail box copy of Office 2013!"

You havn't allowed for the cost of the Exchange Server license, the storage, backups, infrastructure, the management of it...."

Actually Office 365 starts at £31 per user per year! (£2.60 per month)

£145 includes a local copy of Office, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server and Lync Server too!

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Re: AC 12:55

"Point 1: Traffic encryption means not much (even less considering the multiple points of failure in the SSL certificate generation process if someone really is out to get you), and is incidental if you encrypt before transfer."

Traffic encryption means the traffic is encrypted which you claimed it wasn't.

It is simple to check the settings of the certificates used by Microsoft, and their impressive processes and infrastructure around certificates are a matter of public record: http://secadmins.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Public-Key-Infrastructure-at-Microsoft-1750_PKI_TWP.docx

"Point 2: This "Active Directory DRM" that you speak of, has its source code been verified by 3rd parties as having no recognisable back doors? Given Office 365 is supposed to be web based, will it work using Mac OS and Linux?"

Yes it has. Many organisation like banks and governments institutions have access to the source code. This is again a matter of public record.

I don't care if it works on Mac OS or Linux. Those are not supported desktop OSs in 99%+ of companies.

"Point 3: I did not say I trusted any of the other major players else instead (Google & Dropbox have the same or worse failings). That was my point about "verifiable client-side encryption" so I don't need to trust them."

That's what Active Directory DRM gives you.

"Point 4: Err, so just how do they access my encrypted data if I was using verifiable client-side encryption with a non-trivial password?

Almost impossible without demanding the key, and if they do then _I_ know they have asked."

They don't which is the point - you are slowly getting it.

As opposed to the keys being with the vendor in the cloud and you not knowing if you data has been accessed.

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Re: TheVogon

"Yes it has. Many organisation like banks and governments institutions have access to the source code. This is again a matter of public record."

Can I get access to this code and pass it on to a suitable organisation of my choice to check it openly? Thought not.

"I don't care if it works on Mac OS or Linux. Those are not supported desktop OSs in 99%+ of companies."

Well I do because Windows is only about 20% of my organisation's desktop use. What use is a web-based system that is OS-specific?

"As opposed to the keys being with the vendor in the cloud and you not knowing if you data has been accessed."

You really want me to trust MS on this point? Try googling "_NSAKEY" and come back with a better offer.

Sadly MS have failed here, as have Google, and most other "Cloud" vendors. The key points have to be:

1) It is OS-agnostic. Unless it covers Windows/Mac/iOS/Linux/Android then it is no use to me and going to be .

2) The encryption layer, at the very least, has to be open source and client-side, otherwise how can I verify it?

3) There has to be an easy way to migrate from provider to provider if I don't like the cost or T&C of the initial provider. Given most fail on (1) and (2) then (3) is a inevitably dead loss.

You see there is nothing inherently wrong with "cloud" storage and so on, but until there is no vendor lock-in and proper privacy then I am giving it a wide berth. I sincerely hope others do as well.

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Re: Fine if you don't care about privacy

"I suggest you look up on Google how Microsoft DRM encryption works. The US can have all the laws they want to requiring access to data, but if I am a UK company, and keep my DRM infrastructure in the UK, then the USA can demand all they like, but they are not going to get access to my data, unless they fancy spending a few trillion compute hours trying every key combination...Microsoft woudl never have access in this circumstances."

Have you read 365's T & C's? Judging by your comment, you haven't. Neither did you read what I wrote, but I will repeat myself for clarity - "check M$'s T's & C's for Office 365 - there is a "We can look at your data/documents/contents anytime we want to" clause". I have had personal experience with this issue, through a customer questioning it (via their solicitors) with M$. Do you really have that much blind faith in M$ to trust them implicitly with your customers data?

"You havn't allowed for the cost of the Exchange Server license, the storage, backups, infrastructure, the management of it...."

A lot of my customers already have Exchange, either via the full product or SBS - but admittedly I didn't make that point. To answer your point though, most customers will have a lot of infrastructure in place already - if it's working why fix it? It's just costing the customer more money to change. And, again, you are losing control of your data.....

"You just don't have a clue what you are talking about. It makes near zero difference where I store it if I control the encryption keys. If I was a UK company then the USA can't touch me. The only way anyone is getting that Data is via a UK RIPA order - which applies the same if the data is onsite or in a cloud in Timbukto..."

Obviously I don't! I obviously haven't read the Patriot Act, which enables US Government agencies to walk into any datacentre and remove physical servers (so if your data is cohabiting on a server which has a "Person/Company of interest" to that agency, they will just take the whole server - including your data). So, using your analogy of you being a company in the UK and the USA can't touch you, they CAN touch your data! In fact, they can walk away with it at any time they want to! And IF the datacentre is in Timbuktu, the data [you have] stored on it will have to comply with the laws of both the UK and (in this case) Mali. An example of this is that you are not allowed to store images that are considered pornographic on a server in most Muslim countries. So, that topless picture of your other half could get your data seized. Encryption? Just ask Blackberry/Skype etc. about the trouble they have had in Saudi Arabia!

"Again - you just don't have a clue. You are not liable for anything for data access that was required by a law that you are subject to."

I suggest that you seek the advice of legal counsel. If the data is of a confidential nature - you (as the person creating that data) are liable for it - (at the risk of repeating myself) have a look at the Cloud provider's T's & C's. They are not liable and the contract you sign with them ensures that. In the example of 365, M$ SPECIFICALLY state they can examine your data at any time! And if the datacentre is in a different country, you are subject to the laws of BOTH places. Not all countries have identical laws, so your argument doesn't really stand up, does it? And before you start saying "use a datacentre in your country", just try getting a cloud provider to tell you exactly where your data IS being stored. Good luck with that one, by the way........ Remember, ignorance of the law is not a valid legal defence.

But it is interesting that you obviously place so much blind faith in cloud providers. Excuse me, but I don't trust anyone with my customer's sensitive data. The cloud (for sensitive data storage) means keeping the customers data in a place you can't control that also happens to be a legal minefield. If you want to run the risk - that's your choice.

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Anonymous Coward

It is simple. No body with half a brain wants the latest office, or wants to rent it.

Even if they have put the price of the medialess copy up again.

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Anonymous Coward

"No body with half a brain wants the latest office, or wants to rent it."

Seeing as Microsoft's Office revenue climbed significantly last year, and Office is 365 is Microsoft fastest growing revenue product ever, there must be a lot of It managers with a whole brain that do want the latest Office....

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Pay me

$40 a pop and I might consider trying it.

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Re: Pay me

I still wouldn't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pay me

Its FREE to try: http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/try/

Worth a look just for the amazing speed of Microsoft's streaming install technology. You can get from starting a download to a running Office application in less than a minute!

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IT Angle

Re: Pay me

"You can pay forever, own nothing, and be completely dependent on the internet and your connectivity to it. Act now and we'll throw in the fact that we are going to change your interface around anytime we want and you will just have to deal with it (and retrain your employees on them). We may also raise the price year after year, and charge more for some things and discontinue things you and your company use on a day to day basis (oh, you want Access, that's on a different pricing tier, the Pro Gold Tier). For no extra charge we will allow various government agencies access to your data, but don't worry, you'll never hear about it when it happens."

I think they are also planning on some sweet "AOL dialup fee" type money from Office 365, you know the kind where an old person signs up in 1992 and is still being charged in 2013 because they don't know what it is or how to stop the payments.

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Holmes

Why, why ??

Why would even a Windows user or MS shop would want to buy or rent a new copy of Office, other than to set up an new and additional user? For the vast majority of users, the only parts they might need are the word processor, and the e-mail if they do not use a separate app. The only real change to office suites since Lotus Notes for DOS is the graphical interface, unless you count the dictionaries that have been added for Papuan sub-dialects etc. At home, I am still using a 15 year-old GUI version of Wordperfect for the occasional formal letter, and will do so as long as it still runs.

Where I work, only finance and a few of the managers, those who make a career out of e-mailing progress charts (which no-one looks at because they change every day) use MS Office much or at all. We have a separate e-mail app.

15 years ago at work, when someone wanted to communicate in writing they carefully prepared a letter with Word or WordPerfect, fussing about the format, printed it out on headed paper, and put it in the out tray. These days they just send an e-mail composed with the most basic editor, no fancy formatting or even spell checking. I think most of the guys I work with have even forgotten how to use an office suite unless it is just for the e-mail facility

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Re: Why, why ??

It sounds like your usage pattern can be adequately supported with a 15-year old copy of Wordperfect. Not all businesses have such limited requirements. Many businesses require more sophistication in their tools because they are trying to complete more complex activities. When this is combined with an increasingly mobile workforce an Office suite that is also mobile becomes a potentially attractive solution to them.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Re: Why, why ??

Ooooohh hark at it. Put your handbag away, please.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why, why ??

"Why would even a Windows user or MS shop would want to buy or rent a new copy of Office, other than to set up an new and additional user?"

Lower upfront costs, and lower TCO. Don't forget that this can include facilities provided by backend servers like SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, etc. too....

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Some very negative comments about Office365, but as someone who works for a company selling Office365 I can tell you there are lots of people who want it. I have done migrations from 2 users to 12,000 users over the last 12months.

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Silver badge

As someone who supports staff in an outfit using MS Live (and moving to 365), I can tell you our user support load has gone up about 900% over previous solutions.

This is what happens when buying decisions are made by management without bothering to consult with the people who actually have to use the stuff.

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That's just odd that your support load went up that much. Was it a temporary spike or had it been sustained? If it is still that high you might want to figure out what you're doing wrong. We moved all four of our U.S. offices over with barely a peep from users.

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It's been sustained and the #1 cause is MS servers not being able to keep up.

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Mushroom

This..I became general network and IT overseer in our SME, When we switched to 365, since they started rolling out 2013, mashed it with dynamics and futzed hotmail into outlook, and sharepoint into skydrive

My workload has gone into orbit. Literally I'm thinking about quitting and doing something else. It's painful. sharepoint and WebDAV are so flakey it's stupid, I don't get group emails when the boss sends them, outlook problems are blamed on dynamics and vice versa, I've had support requests closed without permission THREE TIMES. Office 2013 hasn't deployed yet and I genuinely hope it never does...and they've just opened up the support hotline to Wipro in India... having pro anywhere in their name is quite frankly offensive and if they were located in Britain they could quite easily be done under the trades descriptions act.

I do see its appeal to the bean counters don't get me wrong...but it's all so bloody infuriating, this is where ms have to go but they are cheaping out on the cost to do it properly and it's just maddening

Sorry to sound like Eadon.

365 FAIL

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Anonymous Coward

None of those issues here in a very similar environment using Office 365 across 2,000+ users.

Maybe we just have more competent staff than an SME?

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Almost certainly... Ill be the first to admit im no life long sysadmin But isn't the whole point of 365 to remove the need for people that have been using powers hell since they were in the womb?

But well done for taking the superior smug attitude

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"Microsoft is not getting as big a take up as they thought,"

Is anyone particularly surprised?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Microsoft is not getting as big a take up as they thought,"

Yes. There is massive demand for it. 1 in 5 Enterprises already on board says it all.

I think the need for Active Directory Federation Services to be in place first is quite a gateway for many organisations, and it takes time to get all of the involved departments on board and get it done...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC 13:13

I know why there is big demand in some case, as it promises "everywhere access" and reduced support costs in terms of local staff.

But I also wonder if those (usually upper management) who decide these things really think them through. The earlier point about data confidentiality is a major one, and one that has been largely glossed over in my own organisation where some users have been migrated to it.

Same with the support effort, maybe it is less in some cases but we have had all sorts of problems with it. However, the other section that uses Google's email has not been free of trouble either.

I personally am sceptical of it offering any real benefit for big organisations once all is accounted for (in particular those with trade/gov secrets or who work with medical data needing higher levels of confidentiality), but it might suit SME that have little on no technical staff for support. I pity them...

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Lets assume that people want this, the channel get a nice big lump of referral cash, but then in the future nothing.

I would prefer to continually receive an income over the years rather than a big slice that will be taxed to death

I have a client that has 1 man offices around the UK which 365 would likely be ideal, however once I lose that desktop support to the cloud im losing business.

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Meh

I'm afraid it is evolve or die, change your business model to suit the changes in technology. Even if it isn't a MS cloud, SME's, branch offices etc will be cloud hosted, it just makes sense - maybe the technology needs to evolve a bit first but it *will* as there is customer demand for it. Think blockbusters etc. who refused to change their business model because they wanted customers to come to their shop to browse and buy extras such as branded cola products... customers voted to do it online and blockbusters went into administration.

Sorry

(cue luddite response...)

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Anonymous Coward

The economics of the Cloud are too irresistible to corporate bean counters.

@omnicent.

Agree.

The economics of the Cloud are too irresistible to corporate bean counters.

But the consequences of moving to the cloud have yet to be fully understood.

There's going to be a few nasty surprises in-store for companies whose Cloudy migration is sloppy!

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Re: The economics of the Cloud are too irresistible to corporate bean counters.

"But the consequences of moving to the cloud have yet to be fully understood."

Like the costs. We're already £3 million overbudget and the extra support costs haven't even been added to that figure.

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Re: The economics of the Cloud are too irresistible to corporate bean counters.

Its not just the beancounters, think of non-tech businesses, small accountancy firms, cafe's etc. with no interest of competency in IT. They will lap up the opportunity to pay 10p per user per month to make all of that headache go away. I am not defending Office365, but talking cloud in general, hence my comment about the offerings needing more evolution.

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Re: The economics of the Cloud are too irresistible to corporate bean counters.

Agreed!

Maybe the cloud salesmen could become more honest (sic)? They obviously don't tell the client the legal ramifications of storing data on the cloud. Nor do they tell them the horror stories of data loss that have already happened (twice to Amazon's cloud system, for example). They'll just sell it and run away, leaving others to clean up the mess when it goes wrong!

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I don't think so

I am one small business customer who refuses to pay an annual subscription to any Microsoft software, least of all, Office 365. I do not require it and will not be using it. EVER. Enjoy it if you have it and like it. I shall pass on it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't think so

So you can choose to pay more, take the hit to your cash flow, and buy it outright. And if you don't pay software maintenance then you can buy the next versions too...

If you mean that you don't actually require Microsoft Office at all then you clearly have extremely limited IT requirements that are not typical for a business, and your statement is pointless noise.

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Re: I don't think so

"If you mean that you don't actually require Microsoft Office at all then you clearly have extremely limited IT requirements that are not typical for a business, and your statement is pointless noise."

Really? The only limited IT requirements are for those that think that Microsoft is their only solution.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't think so - Use LibreOffice instead.

"That an organisation needs MS Office is a myth, perpetuated by marketers and the fanbois."

I guess you must run the IT for a sweet shop with a Linux cash register?

Meanwhile in the real world, LibreOffice just doesn't cut it. It might do for limited home use, but its not even close to an enterprise ready product.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't think so

"If you mean that you don't actually require Microsoft Office at all then you clearly have extremely limited IT requirements that are not typical for a business"

What utter bollocks. I can't think of a single feature of MS Office that wasn't around -- in some form or another -- 20 years ago. It might have taken a few more steps and a bit more thinking to do some things then, but I can't say that the quality of "typical" business output has changed much for the better. We just have more automatic formatting that is badly applied in Word, more irritating-as-hell graphics blinking on PowerPoint slides, more meaningless graphs from Excel, and more dodgy macros written in Visual Basic.

If you actually require Microsoft Office at all, then you clearly have extremely limited ability to set up an economically viable IT infrastructure.

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WTF?

Anonymous Trolls

Hmm, most of the pro Office 365 posts are clearly trolling or trying to support a terrible product. It's not a reliable product!

Those Windows support people who do not have a vested interest in flogging a rubbish product tend to suggest Hosted Exchange rather the this awful product.

And regarding this statement ".....If you mean that you don't actually require Microsoft Office at all then you clearly have extremely limited IT requirements that are not typical for a business, and your statement is pointless noise..." You obviously have extremely limited views of what a business really needs, without knowing the business in question how do you even know they need an Office Package?! or that it must be MS Office the mind boggles!!

Then finally if Office 365 becomes really successful what's to stop Microsoft just cutting out the middle man and dealing with the customer direct?

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Paris Hilton

Your first hit is free...

..but you will be paying for it forever.

What happens if a company is doing badly and doesn't have the cash to pay Microsoft for the month, the ability to keep working just stops, there is no coming back from a complete lack of software AND no money. If you can't make your Microsoft payment once, then your business is done. Everyone in your organization is doing nothing at that point. No Email, no Word documents, no Powerpoint slides, nothing, and I'm guessing that doing those things in some way was going to make the money you now need.

Owning things and having staff gives you a buffer, go ahead and trade that all away to save that extra nickle. See what happens.

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