back to article Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it's just Microsoft 365. Word

Microsoft is squishing its major biz products into a single solution called – wait for it – Microsoft 365, CEO Satya Nadella announced at Inspire, Redmond's annual event for businesses that flog its wares. Not a single chair was flung, we can report. Office 365, Windows 10, and enterprise mobility and security, will be peddled …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    So does this mean that Windows 10 will become a subscription based offering?

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      Windows

      Welcome to Microsoft's "new", more obvious, rentier capitalist model...

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Linux

      There's a video of this here.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      That would never happen.

      Insert coin to continue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Windows

        Drink verification can

    4. PVecchi

      As we all expected

      Microsoft 365 Business... integrates Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security....

      ... priced at US $20 per user, per month.

      https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/07/10/introducing-microsoft-365/?utm_source=IPreferLinux

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As we all expected

        Did you just mention Windows and Security in the same sentence?? LOL..

        Windows is the new burning platform. It's burning more than it ever has done.

    5. WolfFan Silver badge

      So does this mean that Windows 10 will become a subscription based offering?

      Yes.

    6. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      No one is willing to pay for an OS now, they're certainly not willing to pay for updates on a yearly basis.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Big Brother

        "No one is willing to pay for an OS now, they're certainly not willing to pay for updates on a yearly basis."

        I wish it were true. But... THIS time Micro-shaft can get around the anti-trust stuff (because Linux, Libre Office, Mozilla, Chrome, Apache, gcc+tools, etc. are all FREE) to addict everyone into a subscription model for the entire pile, OS, software, intarweb, social media, *BUNDLED*. It's coming. They just have to accustom us frogs to the lukewarm water before they can crank up the heat.

        One Subscription to rule them all (etc.)

        1. wallaby

          And here he is again,

          Mr Microshaft himself.... give a big Yawn to Bombastic Bob

          tedium tedium snore

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We said that was going to happen when win 10 was first foisted on to the unsuspecting public, After all how were they supposed to make money from a 'free' operating system?

      1. dan1980

        I don't think Windows 10 as a whole will be subscription only. Instead, I think that certain features will.

        And this is the big issue with FORCED updates. Recall a recent update which removed the group-policy for disabling the Windows Store from Win 10 Pro, relegating it to the Enterprise version, which requires an extra license.

        This license will now be available via subscription.

        Cue the removal of more and more features from perpetual-license versions, no doubt, perhaps even culminating with the only perpetual-license version being the home edition, with all Pro/Enterprise functionality requiring a subscription.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I've said it before, worth mentioning again.

          Windows will become a 'freemium' product. Those of you who have played one of those 'free-to-play' online games will know.

          Certain enterprise/'pro' features are unavailable unless you pay a subscription to unlock them. Certain features on the Home edition of Windows will also be siphoned into the new pricing model, albeit at a cheaper price.

          Coming to a future forced Windows 'anniversary' update, to bring you more 'innovation'. Ah, now you see why you can't turn off Windows updates indefinitely, and setting up your connection as a 'metered connection' won't save you.

          Think this is impossible? Read the revised EULA of Windows 10 again. You don't own the Windows software. Windows as a Service.

          Not too long ago, we also thought a Snapchat-like transformation of Skype would be unfathomable.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I've said it before, worth mentioning again.

            I think it is possible that Windows becomes a freeium product. Essentially meaning companies will pay and consumers will not.... Only if Chromebook continues to cut into their market share though, which is likely. Not really sure that it works for MSFT though. People who buy CB generally do so bc they like CB, not because they can save 20%. Most consumer users, not all but most, just do not need the thick OS like Windows. That's why they use their phones for most things. Windows, or thick OSs in general, are just becoming a niche product.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I don't think Windows 10 as a whole will be subscription only. Instead, I think that certain features will.

          I think you're right. They will only charge for booting. It's Windows, so that'll be a daily charge..

      2. Alister Silver badge

        We said that was going to happen when win 10 was first foisted on to the unsuspecting public,

        Yes we did, and if I recall, at the time, Microsoft vehemently denied it...

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Windows 10 was declared the 'last version of Windows'

      What do you think?

      The writing was already on the wall when Microsoft refused to sell boxed versions of Windows 10, and the USB stick Windows 10 was unavailable in many countries. The only way you could get Windows 10 was buying a new device, or doing a 'Steam-style' digital download, notably those Windows 7/8 users who had succumbed to the 'upgrade to Windows 10' nagware during that one-year free upgrade period.

      I can't wait for ReactOS or some Windows alternative to run all legacy/current Win32 programs effectively, minus all the 'Microsoft cloud ecosystem' nonsense from SatNad. It shall become an emulator not unlike a retro video game emulator for Sega and Nintendo games, while the rest of the world moves on without Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: Windows 10 was declared the 'last version of Windows'

        "The writing was already on the wall when Microsoft refused to sell boxed versions of Windows 10"

        There this little company called Amazon, apparently they may be able to help you get it.

    9. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Windows 10?

      Never heard of her.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is Microsoft 365?

    Control. A system built to keep us under control, in order to change a human being into this: *Holds up C battery*

    1. Spacedman
      Facepalm

      Re: What is Microsoft 365?

      A C# battery, surely?

      1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: What is Microsoft 365?

        That would be a C:\ battery.

        ....dows that mean all customers must upgrade to an XBOX 365?

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: What is Microsoft 365?

          ....dows that mean all customers must upgrade to an XBOX 365?

          No, but when the battery dies, you get a bonus MSFT product - Ex-cell.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: What is Microsoft 365?

          "all customers must upgrade to an XBOX 365"

          SHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... they don't need any *MORE* ideas [these are bad enough]

    2. yoganmahew

      Re: What is Microsoft 365?

      Slow, really, really slow. I reckon it's a way to increase the number of white collar jobs in a given office. My productivity must be down some percentage points since my company switched to it.

  3. I_am_Chris

    Leap years

    What happens on leap years? Does everyone have an extra holiday and hope that all the SNAFUs will be fixed by 1st March?

    1. picturethis
      FAIL

      Re: Leap years

      You'll need to purchase the Office 365.25 plan. This plan will only be announced / available after March 1st, 2020.

      (A Fail icon for a failure on so many fronts...)

    2. This is my handle
      Joke

      Re: Leap years

      You mean March 0th, or at least that's what the old APL programming language called it (or was it PL/1?). :-)

  4. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Thesaurus time?

    will be peddled in two flavours: Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business

    And there was me thinking Enterprises were businesses, at least outside Star Trek?

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Thesaurus time?

      You see, Microsoft 365 Enterprise is on a 5-year mission to explore strange new value propositions, to seek out new customers and applications, to boldly grow as no scam spawned before!!

      Meanwhile, Microsoft 365 Business dispenses with all the romance of discover and unemotionally operates in keeping with the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Thesaurus time?

        Rule #1 - Once you have their money, you never give it back.

  5. marc@marcwall.com

    Let's see.

    Only time will tell , these revenue models will continue to keep changing. As we get caught up to race to the bottom. I suspect that there will payment issues. Also what are the terms 7 days 90 days? who knows!

  6. wolfetone Silver badge

    Microsoft 365?

    So what are they going to do for the 4 days in the year when their server keel over?

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Microsoft 365?

      We are almost mid-July, and I have experienced roughly 40 days of outage this year alone ... so Office 320 now becomes Microsoft 320 ...

      We all saw this coming before 10 even launched ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft 365?

        Don't forget the mandatory off-day in a leap year.

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft 365?

        MS' figures are here, supposedly: https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-trust-center-operations

        Got any history documentation for your 40 days claim?

        1. rmason Silver badge

          Re: Microsoft 365?

          we use o365 over several business in our group. some standalone and some hybrid. There haven't been 40 days outage in the last several years combined, I don't think, let alone this year alone.

          You've* done something wrong. Several times probably.

          *You the place you work at, not you the person, unless they are one and the same

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Gimp

            Re: Microsoft 365?

            "You've* done something wrong. Several times probably."

            Bought Microsoft?

        2. Vince

          Re: Microsoft 365?

          Yeah so the problem you're missing is that Office 365/Microsoft 365/BOPS/Exchange Online/whatever we called it now is often down for smaller subsets of customers rather than giant cluster-**** outages, and they don't get shown on the global data and status.

          There are issues very regularly, with everything from provisioning users to missing calendars and everything in-between.

          You might not notice all of them as they don't affect everyone, or you don't use that feature/service/function and so on but they're there - it's notorious for random mini outages

      3. M_W

        Re: Microsoft 365?

        I would suggest your issues don't lie in the MS end of the platform. I've been a 365 user for 6 years, and seen maybe 3 days of outage total in 6 years (granted - there was a couple of hours the other day) - as much as I love to give MS some stick, the 365 platform is pretty rock solid tbh.

        The main issues I've seen with O365 is when the local IT don't know how to manage ADFS and DirSync/AAD Connect and make the platform look broken when it's actually the local AD/Authentication that's snookered.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft 365?

          > The main issues I've seen with O365 is when the local IT don't know

          Down time is down time, if it doesn't work it doesn't work. If they've made it so complicated that the local IT dept can't keep it running it's still down time.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft 365?

          There have been some pretty major outages of Office365 in the US, several of them over the past few years. The problem is that Exchange was never designed to be web scale. There was no web scale when Exchange came out. MSFT could have re written the back end and probably should have, but they wanted to get it to market quickly, as Google was/is moving fast, and sticking with legacy Exchange simplified to some extent the process of moving people.

          1. robin thakur 1

            Re: Microsoft 365?

            We had a regional outage on authentication in Azure which borked up not just the SharePoint Online and Dynamics/Office365 access but also our on-prem stuff as that uses AAD in the authentication stage as well via ADFS. This was not reported on the Health page in Office 365 and were it not for an embedded MS employee that alerted us we'd have been none the wiser. This seems almost like a tactic of MS's to avoid people noticing what the real uptime is. If it only reports system-wide outages, that's not really being transparent is it?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Microsoft 365?

            "There have been some pretty major outages of Office365 in the US, several of them over the past few years. The problem is that Exchange was never designed to be web scale."

            Exchange has been designed for hosting / multi-tenant deployments for about a decade now. It's a scale out model so there really are no practical limits on scalability as long as you can throw additional VMs at it when needed... Current recommended per instance limits are 192GB RAM and 24 processor cores. (Microsoft have said that the supported core count will be upped in the future.)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As if they didn't have enough

    SKU's already... (Subscription Katalogue Units)

    Inevitable, there will be plenty of

    "I'm sorry Mr Customer, the Subscription that you are on does not include updates or support. We will be pleased to quote you for another SKU."

    "An upgrade then?"

    "Upgrades? No. A totally new subscription that by the way has fewer benefits that your existing SKU."

    "Fewer? WTF?"

    "Yes. But you get updates with this one."

    "But we need [insert product name]. That was in the old SKU."

    "Yes it was nut we don't offer that any more. To get that product and support and updates, you will need to sell two legs and a kidney. Sign here. Abstraction will be painless."

    A little joke but could it be possible? It is impossible to tell what the MS Marketing wonks will come up with next.

    1. Joe User
      Flame

      Re: As if they didn't have enough

      Sounds a lot like my damned cable TV company/local monopoly.

      "Oh, you want channel A? It has been repositioned in our channel line-up and is now available in bundle X and above."

      "Why can't I simply choose the few channels that I watch and just pay for them? I don't need any of those others."

      "I'm sorry, we only offer select channel bundles."

      <Sigh> "Okay, I guess I'll take bundle X for $50 a month."

      "I'm looking at your account. In order to get bundle X, you have to add phone service and increase your data speed to 1 gigabit."

      "But I don't need phone service, and 100 megabits is fine for my needs."

      "Bundle X is tied to those services. We have no way to separate them."

      Etc., etc., ad nauseam. My cable TV company uses 2 shovels to fling all their bullshit....

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: As if they didn't have enough

        Well, to be fair, the cable companies get shafted, too. The channels themselves are owned by a few major conglomerates. For example, Discovery, TLC, ID, and a bunch of others are owned by one company, Disney owns the ESPN networks, all Disney networks, and several others (including the one that's still contracted to air The 700 Club). Basically put, THEY won't let the cable companies go a la carte, either (Especially Disney. They KNOW they hold one of the most demanded cable channels and make it a Hobson's Choice--you want ESPN? You take ALL our channels...OR NONE. Leave us and watch your customers defect).

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: As if they didn't have enough

      "Subscription Katalogue Units"

      I read that as "Subscription Kafkesque Units".

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: As if they didn't have enough

        > "Subscription Katalogue Units"

        > I read that as "Subscription Kafkesque Units".

        Subscription Kellogg Units - nice and crisp to start but they soon turn into a soggy mess as MS milks them

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is so anti-competitive. They are essentially creating one massive borg bundle. So if you need to buy three things from the bundle (Windows, AD, etc), the incremental price of adding the next product is going to be less costly than any stand alone solution.... and then after they have everyone on their giant bundle, I'm sure there is no way you can extract yourself as you will have to pay the same price for the entire borg even if you don't want one of the products.

    I'm sure they are doing this purely to stop Google (in productivity) and Apple, Google, Linux in end user OSs from picking off their customers. There are many companies out there that want Google G Suite, but also want Windows... or use Macs, but also want Office. They are attempting to say "if you want Windows... you're welcome to buy G Suite, but we are going to double your Windows prices if you don't buy the bundle... so give it a think."

    Come on, EU. You enjoy going after American tech companies. Here is finally a situation where they have it coming.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge
      FAIL

      I'm sure they are doing this purely to stop Google (in productivity) and Apple, Google, Linux in end user OSs from picking off their customers. There are many companies out there that want Google G Suite, but also want Windows... or use Macs, but also want Office. They are attempting to say "if you want Windows... you're welcome to buy G Suite, but we are going to double your Windows prices if you don't buy the bundle... so give it a think."

      I went to microsoft.com and tried to find a way to get info about Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise. I found a lot of bumf, but no real info; I went to the 'contact me' page and, after a prolonged wait, got one of their drones up on the web chat. ("unusual volume", yada-yada-yada) The drone had no clue about MS 365, but could cough up a phone number. I haven't had time to call it. I will. This should be interesting.

      I have a lot of Macs. If MS 365 even looks as though it will increase my costs, and it does, I will be waving bye-bye to MS products. Every single machine will be a Mac or will run Linux, probably Ubuntu or Mint, or BSD. All of them. Any machines which need office-type things (which will not include the servers) will run iWorks from Apple or LibreOffice. I can't use LibreOffice on everything as we have some iPads, and LibreOffice is, I think, GPL3 and so ain't ever gonna be in the Apple Store. No, I'm not going to jailbreak the iPads so as to get it, either. iWorks is free, even if it simply isn't as good as MS Office in many ways (in particular Numbers stinks compared to Excel) but it's _free_.

      Congrats, MS. I've been a Word (and an Excel!) user since 1985. I've used it on Macs, and Windows. I've spent lots and lots of money on licenses, and on training for new users, and all kinds of other things that go with using MS Office. Kiss goodbye to all that. And I'm sure that I won't the the only one who bails.

      Yes, I'm pissed off.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "The drone had no clue about MS 365, but could cough up a phone number. I haven't had time to call it. I will. This should be interesting."

        Hope springs eternal.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        " I can't use LibreOffice on everything as we have some iPads, and LibreOffice is, I think, GPL3 and so ain't ever gonna be in the Apple Store."

        Collabora on Nextcloud?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you are already have Macs and Linux, just buy Google G Suite and cut the cord on MSFT. You could do Libre too, but then you still need to do something about the email, IM, file share, etc piece. Google wraps that in a bow, at a way lower cost than MSFT.

        I bet the catalyst for this move is that MSFT just watched Google Chromebooks take over the education space in about a year... light speed in IT terms. They are probably trying to remove the option before large enterprises do the same... and before Google has Chrome/Android to a point where it can do everything Windows can do and more. This is a classic Computer Associates move. They give you a good price on a giant bundle of software. You think you are getting a great deal. Then someone wants to remove four of the 28 components in that software bundle... CA tells you that your price will remain the same as you didn't buy 28 products, you bought one bundle.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          if they're really sneaky, they'll wait a year or two, then make Active Directory a separate SKU for non-Entdrprise customers, and with a per-entity fee. "Entity" meaning object listed in AD, over which if course they have control - "I don't want my printers listed in AD" 'then your clients can't print to them? pity, that.' "But the former Office apps have created these AD listings, I didn't do it?" 'did you accept the license? if you did, then you authorised the AD stuff' etc etc

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If you are already have Macs and Linux, just buy Google G Suite and cut the cord on MSFT. You could do Libre too, but then you still need to do something about the email, IM, file share, etc piece. Google wraps that in a bow, at a way lower cost than MSFT.

          iWorks does Pages, Numbers and Keynote and is free. To be honest, Keynote is the only one work keeping, the rest can be done with LibreOffice, but the point is that macos comes equipped with it.

          More importantly, you can also use it from somewhere else via iCloud apps - live collaborative working and mass web presenting is now built in to the whole suite.

          - email: Apple Mail or Thunderbird, but TB suffers from a lack of attention

          - IM: iMessage, also supports other messaging strategies

          - file share: not just iDrive, but also anything running webdav.

          - calendaring: anything running caldav - and iCloud

          - contacts: carddav support out of the box - and iCloud

          Furthermore, macos, like Linux, supports open standards out of the box for most of its applications which makes it work exceptionally well with Linux - so we use both.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Problem is that all of that Apple stuff lacks the enterprise features, like DLP, eDiscovery, vault/archive, etc. Not bad, but consumer focused.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I have a lot of Macs. If MS 365 even looks as though it will increase my costs, and it does, I will be waving bye-bye to MS products. Every single machine will be a Mac or will run Linux, probably Ubuntu or Mint, or BSD. All of them. Any machines which need office-type things (which will not include the servers) will run iWorks from Apple or LibreOffice.

        We're well ahead of you there, we dropped the whole Microsoft circus years ago because we have very high security demands - losing Microsoft saved us a LOT of work.

        I am not sure LO on iOS would be that much of a stretch, after all, there is such a thing as NeoOffice for macos (interesting because it fixes the one really irritating deficiency of LO, the inability to use the macos method to insert accented characters).

        Could be an interesting project for next year's law students to sort out, must have a word with the Uni we work with :)

  9. eswan

    "We are transforming the way we partner with you," corporate VP Ron Huddleston intoned.

    "Pray we do not transform it further".

    1. Fihart

      Another cynical abuse of language.

      "We are transforming the way we partner with you,"

      In other words we are not your partner but, rather, have become an abusive spouse.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Another cynical abuse of language.

        cynical? More like "manipulative sales-speak"

        The only way they "partner" with us is that we accept their crap, and they relieve us of our money. That's not a partnership, last I checked. Unless they're equating it to something sexual, of the BDSM variety...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another cynical abuse of language.

        At Microsoft, "business partner" == "organ donor".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The new way

      "We are transforming the way we partner with you,"

      Undoubtedly from the rear.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. lafnlab
    Windows

    Inspire...

    me to use LibreOffice.

    1. Fred Tourette

      Re: Inspire...

      Couple that with some flavor of Linux and you really can get out from under the Redmond Beast. And the for moment, the current version of LibreOffice can open up an Excel workbook, fondle it, close it back up, and a gen-u-ine Excel user can open it back up without finding it mangled.

      The years keep finding me with fewer and fewer reasons to boot into the Dark Side.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Inspire...

        Couple that with some flavor of Linux and you really can get out from under the Redmond Beast.

        Also works with macos, btw :). I have a couple of friends who are already "living Linux" (read: Linux desktop), but when we tried that in our office it just wasn't feasible. Apart from LibreOffice and, at a stretch, Thunderbird there isn't that much quality desktop software and we do need to get work done.

        Sure, you can eventually get people going on things like GIMP and Scribus but we found it easier just to give them a Mac or a Macbook and be done with it - easy to manage, good overall cost profile and fairly simple to secure. As desktops go, they do the job very well and people generally take to them in days, even if they have been using Windows for years.

        That said, when it comes to servers I wouldn't use macos because, umm, how do I say this gently, macos utterly *sucks* there :). We use Linux there, plus the odd FreeBSD deployment to break up cascade failure risks where they would affect critical systems (the nice thing with a lot of FOSS tools is that they don't care that much what platform you run them on).

    2. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Inspire...

      LibreOffice is great value for money (duh), but when using Calc I often find I need to write macros to do things that Excel can do out of the box. Sliding scales on charts, for example.

      But really, coupling Windows and Office for home users like myself would be the one thing that would make me switch to Linux.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Inspire...

        "I often find I need to write macros to do things that Excel can do out of the box. Sliding scales on charts, for example."

        Please submit these to the Libre Office developers. If they're on github, you can do it in the form of an 'issue' with a request like "please implement the functionality as shown in this macro" or something.

        Someone just might do it! Or it could end up in a macro library, and others will benefit.

        THIS is how you "pay for" open source. Contribute something you don't mind giving away, something that could benefit everyone. It adds up, yeah, especially bug fixes or feature enhancements.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Inspire...

      It is kind of crazy that LibreOffice, or G Suite, or any open standards productivity suite can do everything a business needs it to do... but no one uses it because of the formatting issues. There should just be a giant meeting of global CIOs where they all agree to switch to Libre or the open standards suite of their choice within six months. That would end Office right quick. It is just a Catch 22, no one can do it because no one has done it.

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: Inspire...

        We switched our little company to Libre Office, but found we had to keep an old copy of Office 98 as well, as a local government department would always send us vital information in a "Newsletter" formatted with weird Excel activeX elements, that meant no other program could display it in a readable form.

        The same department would also only send us forms related to education grants via fax..............

        We sold the business 2 years ago, and they were still at it, frigging faxing documents in 2016!!!

        Age Concern are another, they sent me some info last week that was full of activeX scripts and formatted for Office 98. I mean, I know they have to DEAL with old people, but they dont have to ACT like them; jeezus, I know people in their 70's and 80's who manage the switch to Libre Office with no issues.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Inspire...

          Google has come pretty close to nailing MSFT Office formatting. They have an Office compatibility mode in addition to the open standards. It isn't completely perfect, but pretty close. Definitely will work. If you need to send something externally, you can always just share the link in G Suite and the external party can open it with a Google account. Doc still resides in your Drive. That gets around the issue as everyone, everywhere has access to a Google account and can use their viewers and editors.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Inspire...

            Unless someone us BARRED from using Google accounts for security reasons (eg. High security airgapped area). Plus what if a critical links DEMANDS use of MS products due to scripts or whatever (and has the power to resist any push to change, could even push back and terminate conteacts)?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Inspire...

              have worked at a place where the contract itself stipulated Microsoft Office to be used for all documents. Then again, have also got younger relatives whose schools mandate Microsoft for doing homework, and teach MS use rather than computee use ....

              1. WolfFan Silver badge

                Re: Inspire...

                have worked at a place where the contract itself stipulated Microsoft Office to be used for all documents.

                So have I. LibreOffice used to screw up formatting; they've got a lot better. iWorks used to have problems (Pages hated doing borders and fills in a way that worked with Word, for example) but that is also no longer the case. Work in LibreOffice or iWorks and export to MS Office formats when you're done. They won't know the difference. In particular the senior management drones who insisted on MS Office in the first place won't know the difference. The main problem is spreadsheets. Numbers stinks, and there are a lot of add-ins for Excel which may be required. That is, in fact, the main drawback to leaving MS Office: Excel is, simply, the best spreadsheet currently available. No-one else is even close.

                Then again, have also got younger relatives whose schools mandate Microsoft for doing homework, and teach MS use rather than computee use ....

                If all they want is a completed file, again LibreOffice and iWorks can do most of what's needed. If you have to actually step through MS Office, then at school get a copy of Office for Education (free! but just one license, and I think it expires after 4 years) or Office University 365 ($80, two licenses, expires after 4 years) and use that. You can stick it into a VM, which would keep your main system free of MS cruft.

                For everything else use LibreOffice and/or iWorks. Or, I suppose, G Suite. Never used that last one, so I don't know how well it can match MS Office output.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: but pretty close. Definitely will work

            New to IT? Pretty close != Definitely will work

            1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

              Re: but pretty close. Definitely will work

              But then that's true of Office too. Just because it formatted your document yesterday doesn't mean it will format it today. Hell it might even go back to formatting your document correctly tomorrow, who knows. But when it comes to Office the phase "Definitely will work" does not apply, the best you can hope for is "probably will work" or even "usually works*"

              OK, so i'm pissed off at the moment, last week PP in O365 decided to replace all the "_" characters in my presentations with funny square boxes and changing the widths of lots of text so things didn't fit where they should have. Then after a reboot it went back to displaying things correctly.

              (*) for a given value of works.

              1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

                Re: but pretty close. Definitely will work

                I believe that Office formatting will still change if you change the printer that you want to use.

                Whilst GDDM has pretty much solved the font issues that used to plague changing the print device (by rendering the page in the computer before it gets sent to the printer), differences in non-printable margins on printers can still cause pages to render differently. Quantization errors in mapping the print resolution between devices might also make a difference.

                1. WolfFan Silver badge

                  Re: but pretty close. Definitely will work

                  I believe that Office formatting will still change if you change the printer that you want to use.

                  Word definitely will. PowerPoint and Excel don't care. Access is... Access, a.k.a. the Spawn of Satan.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Inspire...

        hat would end Office right quick. It is just a Catch 22, no one can do it because no one has done it.

        Alas, you may be overlooking something. Microsoft's lock on the desktop isn't through Word or Excel or Powerpoint. It's Outlook, and so far there has not been a viable replacement. Fix that (especially if you can make it talk raw to an Exchange server) and THAT's when you break the hold they have.

  11. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Coat

    And so the Borg have finally arrived.

    Mine's the one with the Open Source powered escape interstellar lifeboat in the pockets

  12. theOtherJT

    Can anyone clarify...

    ...if this means that we have to buy Windows and Office together and won't be able to decouple the two? Does this also mean that we're onto a rolling subscription charge to even use Windows? I'm a little confused.

    1. conscience

      Re: Can anyone clarify...

      Not sure it's the only option, yet... but all it would take is for the sale of individual copies of each to become unavailable (or unrealistically priced outside of the bundle) and that's exactly what just happened.

  13. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Will they try to trademark "365" now??

    Just asking.

    (Where's the "gets popcorn" icon)

  14. DagD

    why sell software...

    when there are countless dumb arses out there that will pay a "subscription" (i.e. pay for the software over and over again...).

  15. Ole Juul Silver badge

    missing link

    Now all we need is 365 internet.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: missing link

      365 internet?

      That's never going to happen- not while I'm on Virgin anyway!

  16. whoseyourdaddy

    Suddenly, I'm glad I kept my sister's ancient Macbook Pro.

    Redmond/Seattle area must be approaching NYC in living costs.

    I'll be sure to remember that next time a recruiter calls.

  17. Dwarf Silver badge

    Perhaps

    Perhaps when they can demonstrate that they can deliver some of their products on a 365 basis without the mandatory Russian roulette of downtime and the constant need for patching to stay on the supported version, then I might look again. Until then - I've got customer deadlines to worry about and I might go and look up the terms of the trade of descriptions act about false advertising. 365 implies always available.

    A good start would be to define the "supported version" of all products as a number of years that is larger than the number of fingers a person has on one hand, not this "upgrade every 18 months to stay in support" plan that doesn't fit with the business change plan of any real company.

    Microsoft. Take a look at the amount of new legislation that has to be met, the amount of testing (yes, that word again) that has to be done and look at where fiddling with the OS comes in the plan of "running the business"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The awful support

    First hand engagements with pro-support and Cloud support. Utterly kack experiences. The likes of Wipro et al fronting and blatantly lying when called out. The cost of premier support being stupidly high. I fear the worst is yet to come. But I’ll say this. Once you’re in the cloud there isn’t no chance in hell it’ll be easy gtfo. This is akin to outsourcing mark 3. Mark 1 being the boom, 2 the bust (think IBM) and three the boom again.

  19. TVU Silver badge

    "We are transforming the way we partner with you"...

    ...correctly translates as "We are transforming the way we extract cash from you (and not to your advantage either)".

  20. Joe User
    Devil

    "We are transforming the way we partner with you," corporate VP Ron Huddleston intoned.

    "The same way that we 'partnered' with you during the development of Windows 8."

  21. Chronos Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Have you read the blurb on their blog?

    Jesus tittyfucking¹ Christ, it's like someone was playing buzzword bingo and just spewed the winning card onto the web server. They do try their best to make mundane, soul-destroying, humdrum crap sound really exciting - usually by making up new words.

    The bottom line is still "give us your cash and we'll give you a permanent headache" though.

    ¹ Sorry, I don't usually pepper my posts with the f-word if I can help it but I'm afraid, having tried to read that mush, I needed an expletive commensurate with the crimes against humanity committed on that blog.

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Have you read the blurb on their blog?

      Whadya mean "Buzzword Bingo" The word "leverage" wasn't used ONCE in any context, let alone as a verb. The announcement was obviously writtem by a rank amateur.

      1. Mugwump7

        Re: Have you read the blurb on their blog?

        From the 'Business Applications' Section, 3rd Paragraph.

        "Microsoft is uniquely incenting its sales reps to work hand-in-hand with Azure partners to drive new business together and enabling partners to leverage the Microsoft salesforce to grow their business globally."

        And while we're at it, what the hell is 'incenting' ???

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Have you read the blurb on their blog?

      you need more upvotes for that

      [I often use 'FEEL' instead of the traditional 'F' word, because every time someone in a position of power 'feels', I end up getting FUCKED]

      How do you say 'F-U' in government-speak? "We FEEL..."

      Or, in THIS case, Micro-shaft speak. And apparently they've invented a few more synonyms, as you so eloquently pointed out: "usually by making up new words."

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Have you read the blurb on their blog?

      Slurp is a crime against humanity /snark

  22. Lee D Silver badge

    Maybe if they weren't paying reps 10%+ of everything in perpetuity in order to push products that... pretty much... everyone knows what they're buying when they ask for it, they might be able to avoid such subscription nonsense.

    Maybe they could reduce the prices of those ridiculous Datacenter licenses, for instance, or change the stupendous licensing for remote workers, SQL and Exchange to be something a bit more sensible. Because, to be honest, even working for a school, I do everything possible to avoid having to pay Microsoft for things like that (no, schools do not "get it free").

    If the MS licensing was more free and easy, and not "per user, per year" even on your own hardware, I'd make a lot more use of it. As it is, even with some reduced licensing on user-numbers (charged per full time teaching employee), and quite lax installation restrictions for windows / office numbers on clients, I still don't think I'm getting value. Include the Azure / 365 shite and it quickly becomes ridiculous.

    If MS want to make one licence, include server stuff in it too. Every 50 users you pay for, you get a free single set of Exchange/SQL/Server licences, or similar. Then I would consider it worthwhile, and licensing becomes much easier overnight.

    As it is, I do everything in my power to avoid having to pay any more than I already do. Down to literally choosing processors carefully because of stupid software licensing rules.

  23. Kev99 Bronze badge

    So in leap years we're all screwed?

    1. really_adf

      So in leap years we're all screwed?

      Yes. And the non-leap years.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux this, Linux that, Linux the other.....

    As a SCO Xenix reseller (their Watford Office was cool) I made loadsa money selling the optional shelf of manuals with the 3.5" floppies. That was the late 80's. Reading this thread I am wondering if I am 30 years out of sync. I spend my working days visiting public and private sector organizations and selling/migrating them to Office 365. I have NEVER migrated anyone from Linux or G-Suite because I have never bumped into an organization that uses either. As for LibreOffice......?

    I must have missed the post where someone announced that Windows/Office 365 is mandatory. Unless you are in a corp with a centralised IT policy you can go download G-Suite/LibreOffice/OpenSource whatever, it is your choice. Funny how you never see a thread where LibreOffice users want to go to Office... If only El Reg could gather the device OS that people write their posts on like FaceBook and Google do. Then The Truth would be out.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bend over

    Drop your pants or lift you skirt and wait for the snapping of the rubber gloves....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bend over

      No need, I already surf the net using Chrome.

  26. Ben1892

    Erm, isn't Microsoft 365 Enterprise a re-brand of Secure Productive Enterprise? and looks like the Business version is something along the lines of Office + MDOP Cals + Azure AD - no mention of the Windows OS itself.

    I hate to pop the bubble of a good rant about how everyone should run their 10,000 client estate with Libre Office and Linux Mint, but just sayin'

  27. thondwe

    Windows 10 as a Service

    Already here I think - but rather expect that Office 365 Home will become Microsoft 365 Home? So Windows 10 + Office as a subs model (include a Home version of EMS to manage the kids gadgets please!)

    Where it's a mess is that as a Student or as Staff of a Uni/School with Education licencing "Home Use" gives out Office for free anyway. So as a house we have a legit use of Office from my Work, my Eldest's School, but not (that I know of) my Youngest's School or my Wife. Edu people also get access to "Imagine" (so that's Windows Server and a bunch of other stuff F.O.C.). But it's still easier for me to buy Office 365 Home so we can all use it AND get 1TB OneDrives each. Yes I'm honest, but I'm in charge of the Uni's Microsoft licencing!!

    Would be better if the Edu allowance gave a discount codes against the retail? BUT really would be so much better if MS just gave away Windows + Office to families, or even just for Personal Use!

  28. WibbleMe

    He can here the drums they never stop!

  29. JakeMS
    Facepalm

    What ever happened to..

    What happened to the good ol' days?

    Company A wants software B, so A would contact B, B would say "Okay, you want this software, that'll cost you X for a license that supports Y number of computers. If you need additional support you can pay W extra for a personal account manager. If you need the software customized or tailored we can can provide this service for an extra R on your license."

    And that was pretty much it. You got what you asked for.

    I guess now it will be

    Company A contacts B, B says "well we got bundle A it includes D,E,F,G,H,I software which costs X per user, per year, or you can have package B which will only include D,F,H,I which costs Y per user per year, or package C which includes only F for Z per user, per year- We may remove some features over time and swap them to a different package, but rest assured you will be notified when this happens and you will be required to pick a different bundle. Oh you only want software E? Sorry, you need a bundle for that!"

    Jeez, talk about over complicate it MS!

  30. InNY

    <quote>continues putting the "partner first"</quote>

    Which partner?

    Suspicions abound that it will be the supplier rather than the consumer...

  31. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    IT Angle

    A Fiendish Plot

    .....to turn all their 'subscribers' into 'coppertops'.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm tired of being incented,* leveraged, and partnered by Microsoft. I eschewed Windows 8; I switched to LibreOffice two or three years ago; I fended off Windows 10; and I've been playing around with Linux distros in VirtualBox for maybe a year. By the time Windows 7 reaches end of life in January 2020 (and possibly well before), I expect to be running Linux on bare metal.

    *What a great neologism, right? It's a perfect melding of "incentivized" and "incensed."

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