back to article Microsoft: Still using Office installed on a PC? Gosh, you squares

Microsoft has dangled fresh licences for Office 365 - its subscription-based software suite - and beefed up its data-analysis tools to woo more business customers. Opening its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Houston, Texas, Microsoft announced something it's called “upgrade SKUs” that will let IT bosses running on- …

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  1. Code Monkey
    Windows

    The old rule

    "Wait for at least one Service Pack" still applies, I reckon.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And when

    MS decides to retire the products what price your data then?

    Unless there is a guarantee that the service will be available for at least 5 years then who in their right mind would move their 'stuff' into the cloud?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: And when

      If its making enough money it will be available, but once your <choice of tender parts> are in the vice, they can screw you for ever more money because you can't migrate away with any ease.

      More likely the issue will be them dicking around with the user interface and what features are available, all without any consideration to what you want.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: And when

        Ya mean like how they are operating right now?

        And, they say that Ballmer is such a great CEO!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And when

      That's not exactly a Microsoft specific problem though is it? as Google reader fans will tell you.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        @AC 16:11

        You are perfectly correct - same with Google and Yahoo, etc.

        In fact, it is a key "design" feature of any hosted application - they can (and do) bugger around with it and you have little or no choice but to bend over and take it.

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: And when

      Five Years ain't sh-- mate...

  3. Homer 1 Silver badge
    Meh

    PCs?

    How quaint.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: PCs?

      Microsoft?

      How quaint.

      1. toxicdragon

        Re: PCs?

        Hatred?

        How quaint.

  4. Miek

    "Microsoft: Still using Office installed on a PC? Gosh, you squares, you should use the cloud where it is easier for us to read your documents and emails"

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: where it is easier for us to read your documents and emails

      and monetise it like Facebook...

      Naturally the spooks will also be pleased.

  5. Piro

    You're not fit to blow me, Microsoft

    So I won't even say that.

    I'm sure we'll be sticking with Office 2010..

    1. dssf

      Re: You're not fit to blow me, Microsoft Not FIT or,

      Not SAFE?

      They may be tidying up their reputation (vis avis?/WRT/along the lines of Open Source and Linux, etc.), but even a fully articulated Real Doll with pirhanna teeth would be a risky prop position, hehehe.

      What ALL data-generating and data-crunching companies need to learn is that they need an emergency slide chute, whether it's is MS, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, etc., and need to learn (some by a virtual hammer across the back of the head) to structure their data so it is exportable at the drop of a hat.

      As mentioned above, dicking around with the UI/GUI will be the hard part to contend with. So, these companies afraid to fly in the clouds need to make their own sharable/distributable GUIs and keep them and their rolling update clones fresh.

      Keep the terrestrial, wirey analogs on hot standby.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: "(some by a virtual hammer across the back of the head)"

        Why "virtual", pray tell ?

        You DO want the lesson to STICK, don't you ?

  6. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Client-side encryption?

    Sorry, but having all of my sensitive documents accessible on someone else's' machine, under different legal jurisdiction, and subject to secret data requests by another gov - NO THANKS!

    If it is on my machine(s) then at least I have a decent idea if access is requested.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      @Paul

      "If it is on my machine(s) then at least I have a decent idea if access is requested."

      Well, that's the irony of it all because although Microsoft is now spouting off idiocy about "saving money" guess what one of the "advanced" features of Office 365 is?

      The ability to download the desktop applications which can then run on your own computer, I kid you not.

      Of course the big difference now is that while you still ended up with the desktop applications you're now also paying Microsoft a monthly fee for it.

      Katching!

      1. Vince

        Re: @Paul

        Office 365 is very little cloud to be honest. I hate it, I don 't sell it and we regularly help people move away from it once they realize.

        It is in a nutshell hosted exchange (plenty of choice already for that), a copy of office on loan as part of the sub (that yes you do install - although you can have a few installs - very generous of them), and access to Skydrive with "more storage than the free version").

        There are other bells and whistles but frankly they aren't worth it or matter to most people.

        It isn't what I define as "Cloud" in any great sense of the word.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Client-side encryption?

      Different legal jurisdiction is a real problem. Some of the anti-fraud laws in the US are completely different to those in, say, the UK or most of Europe. Nothing wrong with different laws of course, but it does mean that a technical decision "Lets use the Cloud" should be double checked with an expensive lawyer with US experience and deep knowledge of your own operation and staff habits.

      Wire Fraud is of particular concern. Write an email along the lines of "lets rip of the customer like this, ha ha!" followed immediately by another "no seriously, lets not do that" would likely be dismissed as nothing other than office banter in Europe. However, under the US Wire Fraud Act the first email would technically be enough to put you in jail. Using any kind of electronic medium that passes through or is hosted in the US means being subject to the Wire Fraud act regardless of whether you've ever been there or not.

      Of course, there's nothing wrong with that in itself. They're used to that law in the US, they know the limits of what can be communicated, and so it's not a problem unless you really are plotting to defraud someone. However, we in Europe are not used to it at all.

      But if you're in a European/UK company that decides to Gmail you Email, 365 your Office, Cloud your files then they are potentially exposing you personally to US legal jurisdiction, especially if your company does business with the US.

      Is everyone entirely happy with that? And is that the sort of decision that should be in the hands of the company bean counters / IT admin?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Client-side encryption?

        "But if you're in a European/UK company that decides to Gmail you Email, 365 your Office, Cloud your files then they are potentially exposing you personally to US legal jurisdiction, especially if your company does business with the US.

        Is everyone entirely happy with that?"

        I'm entirely happy with that. The US attempt to export its laws to the rest of the world (not to mention spy on everyone) has to have a down side for the US. The down side is that people keep their business dealings out of the US and that means loss of $$$$ for them.

        Happy that's a fair deal? Yep, I am.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Client-side encryption?

          I'm entirely happy with that. The US attempt to export its laws to the rest of the world (not to mention spy on everyone) has to have a down side for the US. The down side is that people keep their business dealings out of the US and that means loss of $$$$ for them.

          It's worse that that. Globally, people with US passports have been more or less declared persona non grata with banks and companies because of all the obligations that imposes on organisations - it's cheaper just to terminate contracts and throw the US citizens out. The reason the US is pursuing all the foreign banks is because that's the last bit of income they'll ever seen from them - most banks have already closed shop and moved to less totalitarian regimes such as China...

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Client-side encryption?

            AC 21:37, it's not just US citizens, it's also US "persons" which is defined by anything that whatever US sub-czar says it is. If you came to work in the US a couple of decades ago and applied for resident status, a "green card", you can be considered a US person for tax purposes even if you have long since moved to a different country. How obnoxious is that?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Client-side encryption?

        Actually, you can let jurisdiction work FOR you as well - that's what we do all the time. Not everyone seems to realise that stopping warrant free intercept is NOT identical to permitting fraud and crime (IMHO that would be a VERY stupid idea), all you do is force due process. This means a proper, documented and warrant-approved investigation is still possible because that runs via normal cross-judicial support agreements, but it stops dead and creative "let's have a go" fishing expeditions which have zero to do with fighting crime (or they wouldn't be so shy of supervision).

        As for any EU company using Gmail or other Google services to process your personal details, THEY ARE ACTUALLY BREAKING THE LAW unless they have told you they're shipping your personal information to the US: If there is one benefit of all this NSA noise, it's that it has exposed the Safe Harbor for the marketing exercise it is. Whatever it is, "safe" isn't a word that applies. Oh, BTW, any EU company using Gmail for client email is *always* breaking EU law because a received email is also scanned - for which the user has not given permission. Feel free to ask your local Information Commissioner yourself - I checked with them in a variety of countries and the opinion is unanimous. The reason the company gets blamed rather than Gmail is because the responsibility is with the Data Registrar..

        In short, do check. If you find any of the companies you deal with either uses Google or another US resource without telling you about it you have grounds to file a formal complaint, and the ICO is finally growing teeth (the sheer volume has evidently told politicians that it represents a lot of votes)..

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Man, up to now this comment list looks like a checklist of things to verify before buying into Office365.

  7. Dave Hilling

    Until your on a plane or in a place with no internet service the cloud is great!!

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      If you're on a plane, you might be in the cloud!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You're always in the cloud.

    2. Securitymoose
      Mushroom

      A place with no internet?

      What, like the UK, where we are still struggling with the idea of fast broadband in most areas? Can you imagine a small company relying on the Cloud and Office 999, when the chances of losing the connection completely are not that low...

  8. Down not across Silver badge
    FAIL

    Even before the recent headlines, it was hard sell. I can't see (m)any businesses taking up storing all their documents, many of which undoubtedly company sensitive, with third party and no real control over its security and access. AC's point about longevity of the service and what to do when (not if) it is canned.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Well indeed,

      How many companies have policies *forbidding* storage of documents or other material on anything other than that owned by the company?

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      I can't see (m)any businesses taking up storing all their documents, many of which undoubtedly company sensitive, with third party and no real control over its security and access

      Ah, that'll be the same businessmen who will use a hotel, conference or cybercafe PC to check their business email and proceed to open attachments, which leaves a pristine copy on the machine in use.

      [Windows-R] "cmd" "explorer %temp%" - on a not locked down 3rd party machine that will give you plenty interesting stuff to read. On a locked down machine that pleasure is reserved for the people with admin rights which may limit the uncontrolled 3rd party audience, but doesn't eliminate it.

      1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Don't forget...

        In every version of Windows I've used since Win95, all the way up to 7, the standard File Open dialog box contained a full file manager, including the ability to right-click on a folder and select Explore to get a free-floating Explorer window. Then type %temp% in the address bar, and away you go. No Win+R privilege needed.

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: Don't forget...

          Then type %temp% in the address bar, and away you go. No Win+R privilege needed.

          Thanks for that - I've been living on the command line for too long :).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The more MS pushes this.

    The more attractive Libreoffice becomes.

    1. Miek
      Trollface

      Re: The more MS pushes this.

      A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

        Emacs or Vi?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

          No, not emacs and definitely not under any circumstances vi.

          Anyway, vi is for the pathetic softies who can't use edlin.

          1. Getriebe

            Re: A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

            "Re: A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

            No, not emacs and definitely not under any circumstances vi.

            Anyway, vi is for the pathetic softies who can't use edlin.

            "

            Isn't the other way around - softies used edlin , *ix use vi

            Or hav times changed?

            1. Pirate Dave
              Pirate

              Re: A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

              "Isn't the other way around - softies used edlin , *ix use vi"

              Softies use an editor with a user interface. Real men use sed, awk, and grep to view and edit their documents from the command line...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

                Pfffff, need programs plural?

                cat > ./document

                Just don't make any mistakes

                1. John G Imrie Silver badge
                  Happy

                  Re: A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

                  Real coders use butterflies

          2. TimeMaster T
            Pint

            Re: A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

            As one of my teachers once said

            "vi, love it or hate it. It is part of every *nix distro and you WILL learn it"

            unlike edlin and emacs.

        2. Chairo
          Happy

          Re: A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

          Definitely Joe.

          Nothing beats the old Wordstar commands!

      2. Joseph Haig

        Re: The more MS pushes this.

        "A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office"

        Not Notepad. Having your eyes gouged out with a rusty spoon is more attractive than Notepad. Perhaps this is why it is the only text edtor that comes by default on Windows - so it doesn't compete with Office.

        However, a *proper* text editor with LaTeX. Yes, that is certainly more attractive than MS Office. :-)

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Belardi
          Happy

          Re: The more MS pushes this.

          Notepad++ is an excellent text editor... been using it for a few years. Finally something that was better than CygnusED for the Amiga. Operates a bit like a browser, with tabs that it remembers when you re-start it.

          Very powerful and easy to to use.

        3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: The more MS pushes this.

          "Perhaps this is why it is the only text edtor that comes by default on Windows - so it doesn't compete with Office."

          Nit-pick: It isn't. Wordpad comes with Windows and, unlike Notepad, can be used to read text files with Unixoid line-endings. Still sucks, though.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The more MS pushes this.

        A text editor would be more attractive than Microsoft Office

        Hah! Real men use "copy con document.txt" and real programmers use "copy con program.exe" :)

  10. Tezfair
    Holmes

    subtle marketing here?

    I'm sure the Reg gets a fee for all these subliminal MS adverts. There's always a theme, whether its hyper-v week, or virtualise your desktop week or get on the cloud (week 1 - server 2012 , week 2 - 365, week 3 - W8).

    I forecast clear skies around here, not a cloud in sight

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