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
    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

        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 Silver badge
              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

    1. moiety

      Re: subtle marketing here?

      I'm not sure that it counts as an advert given the Reg demographics. Amongst the commentards, at least, a "store your private company data on a foreign (and in particular US-owned) cloud" drive is about as popular as a temperance movement calling for the banning of beer

      I deal in private data of clients; which in turn would give access to the data of their clients. Doing any of that on the machinery of a hostile[1] agency would be irresponsible, if not outright illegal.

      [1] Xbox, start button etc. Microsoft have proved to my satisfaction that they don't have my best interests at heart.

    2. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

      Re: subtle marketing here?

      Clear skies are gov policy at the moment. First stop the chemtrails then ground the planes.

      1. Steven Roper

        @ Wayland Sothcott 1

        I downvoted you because you're either 1) a tinfoil hatter concerned about chemtrails, or 2) making the comment about chemtrails as a way of sarcastically dismissing the concerns of those of us opposed to the cloud trend.

        Either way, I disagree with your comment.

  11. g.marconi

    Just why bother to use MS Office?

    It seems incredible that there are still people who don't realise that there are excellent FREE alternatives -

    ones which do not change file-formats every few years and can be read by virtually any computer running any O/S. One of the major UK museums, V&A perhaps, had to pay millions to have their archives translated into the current format because they had been created in Office some years ago. I wonder how often the taxpayer will have to pick up the cost of nonsense such as this.

    1. Alan Bourke

      Re: Just why bother to use MS Office?

      Because functionally it's far superior especially when any sort of automation or business intelligence is involved. Y'know, the things that real people do with it in real businesses.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Just why bother to use MS Office?

        > Because functionally it's far superior especially when any sort of automation or business intelligence is involved.

        ...which is pretty much NEVER for most people.

        People have just bought into the idea that they need to use Word Perfect at home. It was a bogus idea in the 80s and it still is. Stupid Lemming fueled vendor-lock is the only real reason for this nonsense. This is true even in a business context.

        Even most business users don't use the automation and BI features you're blithering about.

        The only concern is "will my simple document look right".

      2. Someone Else Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Just why bother to use MS Office?

        [...] especially when any sort of automation or business intelligence is involved.

        Business Intelligence is the oxymoron of the decade.

      3. Nuke
        FAIL

        @Alan Bourke - Re: Just why bother to use MS Office?

        Alan Bourke wrote :- "Because functionally [MS Office is] far superior especially when any sort of automation or business intelligence is involved. Y'know, the things that real people do with it in real businesses."

        I've worked in some real businesses and most real people (ie the ones who DO things rather than just liaise with each other) use office apps for no more than simple word processing for reports and external letters, for sending emails and for keeping a calendar.

        I have no doubt the project management people elsewhere in my building use the fancier stuff in MS Office, but they are an incestuous circle jerk ignored by everyone else. Sure, once or twice a week those jerks spew a wad of A2 sized fantasy timeline charts onto us, but my copies go straight into the bin.

        Whether free apps such as Libre Office can do this automated stuff I would not know, as being busy keeping some real power stations going I do not have the time, need or inclination to find out.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just why bother to use MS Office?

      Unless you need the power of VBA or to be able to open an access file (yes, people still use them).

      Office is the default option on most Windows machines, you can always depend on it being there in most offices. The lowest common denominator, like VI on Unix (Vi is nearly always available).

      Require anything else and it's a bit hit and miss, people who know Excel well and can use the macro facilities love Excel. The alternatives aren't as powerful.

  12. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    Microsoft FAIL

    The obvious win would be an office suite that runs through a web browser, but is hosted on YOUR OWN servers. If Microsoft doesn't offer this soon, someone else will.

    1. Vince

      Re: Microsoft FAIL

      Already possible within the various MS products and licenses today.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Microsoft FAIL

        And who apart from the most dedicated MS Fanboi understands the various SHU's and Licensing needed?

        Almost did an Eadon there.... Phew.

        1. Spasticus
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Microsoft FAIL

          Eadon would have loved to have commented on this - I miss Eadon.

          I wonder if Eadon was ejected as part of the Microsoft advertising deal?

  13. Scarborough Dave

    No thanks!

    2010 is good enough as it is, next move might be LibreOffice or OpenOffice over here anyway, still not totally happy with the ribbon. .

    Cloud storage for our documents - scary, too many privacy issues to consider.

  14. ecofeco Silver badge

    Microsoft? Cloud?

    Oh HELL NO!

  15. Rick Stanley

    Can you say LibreOffice?

    Yes! A: It's FREE! B: It's on my own PC! MY DATA on MY COMPUTER, under MY CONTROL, and access! Plus it uses a truly OPEN and clearly documented file format!

    http://www.libreoffice.org/

    Keep your friends close,

    your enemies closer,

    and your data in YOUR pocket!

    1. Belardi
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Can you say LibreOffice?

      I say, stick with Open Office.

      But... its too bad we have an Office fork because of stupid Oracle!

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Can you say LibreOffice?

        Openoffice / Libreoffice? It's less of a fork than Office 2003 to Office 2007 was / is.

        Anyway, now Oracle have got out of the way, there's a chance that the fork will be re-joined over the next year or two.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Click To Run

    Not very appealing statement:

    Upgrade from an MSI-based version of Office that works with everything, to a click to run version which breaks your software which send emails and lots of outlook plugins

  17. darklordsid

    A producer that taunts its flagship product to say another of its product is more cost effective...

    if true, it is throwing its earnings out of the window(s)

    if false, it is Microsoft...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Oh Microsoft, how transparent you've become...

    "And just how users will carry over their Office licences in the "upgrade" was not explained."

    That's because Microsoft never really heard of the upgrade process. If you paid for Office 2003 and are looking into upgrading to Office 2007 you can forget about Microsoft acknowledging you as an appreciated customer by providing a discount (no matter how small). No way; you'll just have to pay the full price again.

    Now, keep in mind that I'm not judging that behaviour perse. Companies need to make money, so they decide to try and get the maximum revenue, their call.

    But please spare me the marketing nonsense about how people can "upgrade" to something else. People can't: people can buy into something else instead.

    And as the header says: I think they're becoming awfully transparent as of late:

    "“upgrade SKUs” that will let IT bosses running on-premises Office move to cloud-hosted Office 365."

    The transparency?

    Should be obvious: make something so seemingly easy that an "IT boss" (read: manager who more than often knows more about management than ICT these days) can handle it and chances become very high that the brain cogs start to come up with the bizarre idea that they can actually save money by going 365 because they don't need "those IT guys" to set it up for them.

    Of course cost reduction isn't everything. There are also important details to be dealt with as security, continuity and the "total cost of ownership" but not at the moment but while also weighing in scenario's such as: "I accidentally removed $important_document, took me 3 days to build and if I don't have it back in the hour it's going to cost us $huge_amounts_of_money".

    365 couldn't care less about scenario's like that, while those "overpriced local ICT guys" might very likely be able to help you within the hour. Of course that kind of service comes at a price, but unfortunately most managers tend to forget that these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh Microsoft, how transparent you've become...

      That's where torrents come in, because someone somewhere is kind enough to provide a way around the "upgrade pay again for the same thing plus very little changes" mentality

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh Microsoft, how transparent you've become...

        That's where torrents come in

        Despite whatever the BSA may state, most business try to run a clean ship, also legally. Having said that, some licensing regimes almost seem designed to make you do something illegal, however unwittingly.

        Torrenting isn't a solution. Finding non-MS alternatives is, and is a good long term approach to the problem.

  19. MrMcginty

    God save me from the cloud

    Since my company decided to save a few shekels by moving from Exchange to 365, my colleagues and I have gone from getting inter-company mails within seconds to having to wait several minutes or more, sometimes with catastrophic results, as those 'Stop that traaain!' emails never arrive in time these days. Luckily I have a virtual Windows install on the company Mac which still gets mail via Exchange, but it's hardly ideal. These missives now travel thousands of miles to arrive twenty feet.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: God save me from the cloud

      If someone is only 20 feet away they could just stand up and shout "STOP THAT TRAIN!" Or run down the corridor on their personal transportation system (legs) and stop it themselves.

      I swear, is personal interaction really such a thing of the past?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: "is personal interaction really such a thing of the past?"

        Yes it is. That is probably the reason why, at one of my client sites not long ago, they had - I kid you not - a Work Without Email day, specifically touting the advantages of talking (gasp) to people (GASP) IN PERSON (<faint>).

        Besides, do YOU want the full-on sweat effect of an unwashed user speeding towards you at full waddle ? With his coffee-stained maw wide open yelling for you to stop so you can see the lettuce on the rear molars ?

        I prefer the email, thanks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "is personal interaction really such a thing of the past?"

          Besides, do YOU want the full-on sweat effect of an unwashed user speeding towards you at full waddle ? With his coffee-stained maw wide open yelling for you to stop so you can see the lettuce on the rear molars ?

          Ah, so much target practice to look forward to. And all the betting - will I manage to land that eraser where it hurts? Or in his mouth?

          Must introduce an email free day at my place. Clearly I'm missing out here.

  20. N2 Silver badge
    Trollface

    I translate this to

    How would you like to jump into our nice new strait jacket?

    Er no thanks.

  21. Flywheel Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I guess..

    .. that having all your documents (of whatever type) in a vendor's cloud will make it that much easier for the alleged Security Services to monitor your data. No need for all those backdoors, dodgy plugins and the knowledge that not everyone installs patches when they're supposed to.

  22. Gordon861

    Office 2000

    Still running Office 2000 here, have yet to see a reason to upgrade to a newer version.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Office 2000

      I think 2003 has slightly fewer bugs. There's not enough difference to make it worth paying for 2003 if you already have 2000, but if you ever find yourself in a position where you can choose at no cost, you might choose 2003.

    2. N2 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Office 2000

      If it does the job, then fine. Of course Microsoft would have you change it as often as socks, but theres no need.

      I couldnt see much difference between 2000 & 2003 then after that it all goes into the mire that Redmonds latest mush has become.

    3. Nigel 11

      Re: Office 2000

      Your best upgrade is LibreOffice, before anyone retrains themselves to use ribbons and tiles and all the other crap that Microsoft has stuffed into the releases after 2003.

  23. RISC OS

    Office 365 SKUs

    Editor, there's a typo... it's spelt SUKs

  24. Herby

    Editors past and present...

    You can always use 'SimpleText' (or its predecessor 'TeachText') to do the editing.

    But folks, lets get real. everybody's friend Scott Mc Nealy did a talk once about the bloat that editable files have. He mentioned a simple phrase "Atack!" as a command, and that is 6 ASCII characters (7 or 8 if you include line endings). Now write that same phrase in several other ways, and it becomes bloated beyond belief. As an example, put it on a PowerPoint slide, and well, you know the feeling.

    So, friends, a plain ASCII file is probably the best way for portable file to be passed around, and it has other attributes as well, being small, and easily communicated on a low bandwidth channel (editing at 300 bps can humble you quickly, and 110 bps even quicker!).

    Oh, yes, you will still be able to read it in 20 years (or more!).

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Editors past and present...

      I wouldn't bank on that. I've already run across couple of allegedly UTF-8 aware applications that don't handle ASCII extended characters properly.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Numbnuts

    Clearly Microsoft is still asking it's customers what they want, and then doing something completely different.

    You'd think that with recent events they would have learned.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      You, sir, still don't understand what a "customer" is for Microsoft.

      Hint : it's not you, it's the Fortune 1000 CTO with the large support budget.

      1. Miek
        Linux

        Microsoft's customers are the OEMs.

  26. Michael Habel Silver badge

    As if privacy concerns weren't bad enough not even Six Months ago. How do they [sic] MicroSoft expect us to trust the with our Data in the post Prism World? More to a point why would or should I have to keep paying for something that I already own. i.e. Office2k3? Yeah I know that its getting the Boot along with XP this April. (2014). I just see to many disadvantages with Orifice365 and none of these supposed benefits... To me that is. Except to drive me deeper into the Arms of OpenOffice (or its brethren ilk), that is.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Exactly, any salesman with at least two communicating neurons would realise that *right now* is time to shut up and keep your head down... Then there's that Microsfot company.

  27. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

    It Takes Money to Make Money

    ...customers could “cost effectively” take existing on-premises investments in Office and convert them into a subscription cloud service using this “step up SKU”.

    If you already have paid for all this, it should not take too much more money to move to a subscription model where you have to continue paying for something you had already bought? The only thing this is effective for is separating fool from money.

  28. Rick C. Hodgin

    It's your data they want

    All your documents. Personal. Professional. If the data's on your local machine then no one has access to it outside of viruses and obtaining physical access to the machine. But if it's on "the cloud" then they have full access to it. To read. Scan. Sift. Assemble a picture of your actions, either by programmatic algorithms which are constantly improving, being changed, or by a person reviewing whatever they want about everything you've put up there.

    The cloud should be avoided at all costs. In every regard. Completely, and without reserve. And switch to LibreOffice. A Java-based office suite that runs on all platforms.

    1. Fihart

      Re: It's your data they want

      Too right.

      We now know that the US spies on its allies in the EU -- that any stolen data that is commercially sensitive may be made available to US competitors.

      Then there's the likely Data Protection Act breach involved in lodging client or employee personal data knowingly on an insecure platform.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We NOW know ?!?

        We now know that the US spies on its allies in the EU

        Puhleeze, we've known this for years. It was nice of Snowden to show some new evidence, but it's hardly been a secret..

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: We NOW know ?!?

          THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

          I couldn't agree with you any more. I used to live 'round NSA-land in the 'Burbs of Baltimore. And you couldn't spit a foot their with out either hitting someone who worked there (i.e. The NSA), or knew someone who did.

          All Snowden did was wreck MicorSofts' Sh!t by simply stating that the Sky was in fact Blue, hardly revelationary News. But News that reminds those not to place such blind trust in a Corporation that treats is Costumers like Criminals before the fact. FailBOX every 24h Phome-Home, and always on (spying) Kinect.

          ** Ok so Microsoft dumped the 24h Phone-Home requirement and, the Arsehat that was in favor of it went off to take the CEO Job at Zynga. But, if the FailBOX wants any chance in Hell at succeeding, next gen. It had best lose the Kinect.

          As for Office365... Well whats left to be said? that hasn't been said?

    2. Chemist

      Re: It's your data they want

      "And switch to LibreOffice. A Java-based office suite that runs on all platforms."

      Just to pint out that OO/LO is NOT Java-based - it just uses Java fro some activities and one of the project aims is the elimination of Java

      From : http://www.libreoffice.org/download/system-requirements/

      "For certain features of the software - but not most - Java is required. Java is notably required for Base."

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: It's your data they want

      Sadly that would be the problem with all the hate that Adobe Flash is getting (Justified or not!), I find Java to be just a tasteless and bad. I'm sure enough People would avoid Open/Libe Office just on those grounds alone.

  29. RobHib
    Flame

    Right - So according to Microsoft I'm a square! (And I'm proud of it.)

    I've just retrieved my 'CURRENT' Microsoft Office disks, here are the details:

    Microsoft Office 2000 Premium (CD 1 of 4) - Part No. X03-79344 , © 1983-1999

    Now this is an upgrade of Microsoft Office 97, CD 1 of 1, Part No. X03-72155, © 1983-1996. This '97 disk is bundled with the O2K for compliance reasons if I need to reinstall it.

    Why the hell would I want to upgrade when there's SFA useful features been added in the meantime--like over the past 13 years or so!!!? The only stuff that's been added is either trivial or detracts from its operation.

    Microsoft *partially* fixed the broken (never fully developed I should say) footnote numbering in Office 2007 which I would have liked to have had but (a) I wasn't going to pay for bug fixes and (b) the product was made essentially unusable with the bloody useless 'Ribbon', even the fuzzy Segoe cleartype in the menus irritated. ...And nothing of significance has happened since.

    In the meantime, my wallet has remained all the thicker.

    Microsoft really must be kidding, besides I'd never trust my data to the Cloud anyway. Renting software is nothing more than a con job and the 'Cloud' is a fancy way of catching the inexperienced or neophytes new to IT.

    P.S. We've still dozens of XP-sp3 machines in this organization for similar reasons (there's no plan to upgrade them either).

    As the old proverb goes 'a fool and his money are soon parted'. At this rate, O2K has still a decade or so life in it at this embellishment. After that, LibreOffice ought to be sufficiently developed to take over.

    1. RobHib
      Facepalm

      Re: Right - So according to Microsoft I'm a square! (And I'm proud of it.)

      Duh! That 'embellishment' should be 'establishment' of course.

      I'll even concede it's not M$'s fault if I don't bother to note MS Word's auto-correct! Embarrassing.

      P.S.: I'll upgrade to Office Mind-Reading version when available. Promise.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Previosuly on this debacle - Would you like to speak to a Microsoft licensing expert?

    Hell no and it's ridiculous that the license system is so stupidly complicated the reseller should even consider that is a reasonable question to ask.

    MS Licensing planners please line up behind the telephone sanitisers, your ship is about to leave.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Previosuly on this debacle - Would you like to speak to a Microsoft licensing expert?

      On second thought perhaps we should keep the Telephone Sanitizers.

      I for One like to confidence to pick up a Phone and know that it had been cleaned!

      Microsoft Licensing Experts however are generally useless....

  31. Fenton

    Interface with ERP system

    Unfortunately at some point you may have to upgrade a blackens system (ERP) that uses and office product as a viewer, E.g exel as a front end to a BI system. You may suddenly find that your old office 2003 install is no longer compatible.

    I'm finding this more and more the case these days.

    To the point that ERP upgrade projects are put on hold waiting for desktop upgrades to complete.

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. MarketingTechnoDude

    efficiency of word

    I did observe many years ago when writing a graphics device driver for a PC, that WORD seemed to be traversing the full file every time an extra character was added to the document by the user. Oh and why did the entire document need to be loaded into RAM? No wonder we have such slow bloatware these days...

    1. Richard Gadsden

      Re: efficiency of word

      Actually, there was a reason for that.

      They used to append changes to the end of a file to save changes faster (in an old version of Word, you should find a "fast save" option). But the problem was that if you then emailed that file to someone, they could wind back the last few changes and find out about things you've now deleted from the file.

  34. WibbleMe

    I only have use for office type Apps once or twice a year; Microsoft consider a Pay As You go option say Word+Excel for $0.05 and hour via cloud, pre pay.

  35. Cyfaill
    Linux

    Microsoft needs the cloud

    Its future depends on your paying through the teeth for a service they will charge more for, to own your documents by possessing them. And thus controlling your future with, by just denying your access if you don't play ball.

    knowing of a trap is the first stage in avoiding it.

    Windows 8 is designed to send you to the cloud.

    Ironic that azure means a cloudless sky... What humor they have.

    LibreOffice is very capable and you own your documents...

  36. Volker Hett

    Cloud?

    My companies confidential documents? Never!

  37. P Taylor

    If you like your data US side, great.

    A company I recently worked for moved to Office 365, thanks to management that had no clue what it really was..

    The company that sold Office 365 to said company swore blind that the data would be Hosted within the UK on UK based MS servers.

    Well.... after tracing IP packets, guess where all the data goes... Yup, the good ol USA. New York to be exact.

    Oh, and their daily user support has gone up by over 20% resulting in the need for extra IT staff. Since there are constant daily issues with Office 365..

    Ohh how I laughed...

    On the upside, ive done 4 IT contracts this year so far on Office 365 Regressions back to in-house AD/Exchange.

  38. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    The next ploy, once they have you on board..

    I suspect the moment that have you fully by the gonads by hosting your docs as well, "features" will appear that you will have to pay for to remove. I wasn't thinking so much about ads as clippy. Getting people to keep that from their screen *must* be profitable.

  39. Cipher

    It was predictable...

    ... emacs vs. vi fanbois engaged in total war...

  40. ben_myers

    Libre Office anyone?

    Anyone tried LibreOffice lately? Seems to have more developer resources than the Oracle-owned OpenOffice, from which it forked. Works nicely. High degree of compatibility with Office. Not perfect, but really, really good.

    Microsoft seems to be playing the same game in the clouds as it did for years down here on the ground. Integrate Office 365 with other offerings like SkyDrive, to give users a nice comfortable cocoon from which the animals inside will grab your dollars.

    And, oh, yeah, the NSA, MI7 and all other spook outfits will have a much easier time to look over your shoulder. The Microsoft borg remains an apt metaphor.

    ... Ben Myers

  41. Rattus Rattus

    They're right...

    Why on earth am I still using MS Office installed on a PC? I really shouldn't be.

    Let's see, where's that download of Open Office..?

    1. P Taylor

      Re: They're right...

      Kingsoft Office Free is also very good.

      It actually looks like Word / Excel and so on. Surprised MS have not tried to sue them in their normal fashion.

  42. Chris Ashworth

    But Office 365 doen't mean data all stored in the cloud. It just means a subscription model for the license. Cloud use is optional.

    I have Office 365 and the whole office suite installed locally, and my files stored locally.

  43. John Lodge
    Linux

    MS Office Phhhhph

    I have learned to love Open Office and accept all its little foibles with good grace and Thunderbird stays up, unlike full fat Outlook. Now experimenting with Linux and this shows great promise. It's a bit like going back to Novell 3.xx and DR DOS with a decent GUI.

  44. Nuke

    Keep your Older Software

    No need to fire up Notepad or Emacs. It is beyond me why most people cannot just carry on with their existing office software as long as it is consistent within the company. It does not wear out. Unless you need a spell-checker for the latest Papuan sub-dialect, what does the latest word processor have that ones over the last 20 years did not have?

    As for sending documents to other companies, if it cannot be expressed in an email or PDF, as most things are these days send them a scan as a graphic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keep your Older Software

      Mine has all the buttons in the wrong place as it's office 2007; the older ones didn't do that.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No, because then it wouldn't do what is needed.

    Some of our systems have (ancient) reports that hook into databases and use vba and a lot of named range jiggery-pokery to report on various things.

    This would be impossible in some fog-based application. Even if the vba worked, which I'm certain it won't.

    Same reason libreoffice is out.

    Yes, I know this is an antiquated horrid solution, but I didn't make it. In fairness, my experience with jasper reports has been just as painful at times.

  46. JaitcH

    Don't laugh ...

    I still use Word 2007 - others in my office are enjoying 2003 and a couple are still swearing at version 2010.

    If you trust the NSA contractor Microsoft with your data, one has to question your judgement.

  47. HKmk23

    Head in the clouds?

    It is just another attempt to go back in time when the computers were controlled by a few select white coats.

    It just goes to show how many gullible people there are out there.....you may as well do as the MOD are prone to and leave your laptop on the train as put all your data out where anyone can get it.

  48. Anomalous Cowshed

    Square indeed!

    I do the lottery every week in the hope of one day no longer having to use Microsoft Office on a PC.

  49. TimChuma

    What's wrong with Office 2000?

    The only thing I can't open is docx files, but they fixed that after Office 2007 (I use an online converter).

    I can't believe the CD I installed it off still works.

    I did use MS Access 97 and 2000 quite a bit back in the day (and worked out the dreaded Hatten.ttf error that stopped you installing both.)

    Poke mon!? Poke mon ... Poke mon with the poke and the mon,

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