back to article You want how much?! Israel opts not to renew its Office 365 vows

Microsoft’s desire to move users into the exciting world of Office 365 subscriptions has been dealt a blow as the Israeli government took a look and said “no thanks.” In a statement given to The Register, the Israeli Ministry of Finance explained that it currently spends more than 100m Israel New Shekels (£21.3m) per year on …

  1. James 51 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    I wish the UK goverment had this capibility.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I wish the UK goverment had this capibility."

      The only capability needed seems to be common sense. I see what you mean.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: UK Government Capability

        The only capability needed seems to be common sense and the ability to resist brown envelopes passed under the table. In other words, the ability to say NO as many times as it takes.

        There fixed it for you.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: re: UK Government Capability

          "In other words, the ability to say NO as many times as it takes."

          Makes you wonder what would happen when a firm that can't take NO for an answer meets that guy who can ONLY say NO?

          1. Cuddles Silver badge

            Re: re: UK Government Capability

            "Makes you wonder what would happen when a firm that can't take NO for an answer meets that guy who can ONLY say NO?"

            Ah yes, the age old question - Can God say no so many times that even he couldn't close a sales pitch?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I believe UK gov DO have common sense, they just choose not to deploy it. But hey, to shift to the usual subject, after brexit we're gonna be so awash with extra cash, who cares about 500 million here or there.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          I believe UK gov DO have common sense, they just choose not to deploy it.

          Having a faith is very comforting, even if it's misguided.

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Well in Germany...

      ...there are lobbyists to be fought.

      1. Basil Fernie
        Meh

        Re: Well in Germany...

        Ummmm, "bought"

    3. DBJDBJ

      you mean capAbility ?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Options

      Spell check is an add-on.

    5. Twanky

      I wish the UK goverment had this capability.

      See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/open-document-format-odf-guidance-for-uk-government

      I particularly like the bit where it says 'The UK government has selected ODF 1.2 as the standard for editable office documents to be used across government.'.

      Across government. At all levels. Cash-strapped local government authorities please take note. Yes, that means use LO or similar in the schools - not just in the classrooms but for admin too.

      What's that noise? Damn, I must have been dreaming.

  2. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    £££££££££££

    I don't know why governments are even entertaining the move over to subscription services like O365 you get screwed by moving you costs from CAP-Ex to much more expensive OP-EX and if your supplier decides to hike your prices tomorrow you have no choice but to pay or lose access to everything.

    I can see the advantages for smaller org's that don't have the muscle to sort out the infrastructure for themselves but for the big boys, it makes little sense as they have the scale required to force economies.

    I can only guess that too many civil servants have been playing buzzword bingo and not looking at the figures and risks properly.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: £££££££££££

      "I can see the advantages for smaller org's that don't have the muscle to sort out the infrastructure for themselves"

      OTOH a small org might not have the cash flow to pay the subs reliably. If a bad month means you can't pay the sub and get cut off from an essential service the next month is going to be a whole lot worse.

      1. TinMan Emeritus

        Re: £££££££££££

        Say, nice little bizness you got here. It would be a shame to see anything bad happen to it.

        1. wayward4now
          Pirate

          Re: £££££££££££

          "Say, nice little bizness you got here. It would be a shame to see anything bad happen to it."

          Yeaaaah, that's the ticket.

    2. DonL

      Re: £££££££££££

      "I don't know why governments are even entertaining the move over to subscription services like O365"

      Because MS has made the on-premise version more expensive than the O365 version, even though the on-premise version is included in the O365 version.

      Therefore we subscribed to the O365 version, even though we're not using the online stuff at all.

      You basically can't fight MS as long as the users (unaware of the pricing) keep shouting that they need MS Office "since that's what everyone else is using" (their words, not mine).

      Schools (which are paid by the government) are also facilitating this by teaching everyone how to use MS Office and providing copies of MS Office at an extremely reduced price.

      1. RegGuy1

        Re: £££££££££££

        Schools (which are paid by the government) are also facilitating this by teaching everyone how to use MS Office and providing copies of MS Office at an extremely reduced price.

        Surely the schools can be incentivised to allow their staff and pupils to explore alternatives by giving them bonus payments when they teach their kids how to use alternative products. Indeed why not make interoperability a condition of the contract with M$?

        Change the curriculum to measure how well the kids know how to use different products, and crucially how to make sure they understand that different products can work together.

        The government has the money which M$ wants. Make them work for it, and if they won't, tell 'em to fuck off.

        It's not rocket science; you just have to have the mindset that M$ are a supplier that are trying to shaft you, so work out how you can shaft them back. At the end of the day you have the money, so you can always put yourself on the winning side. (Unless you choose to roll over either because you are thick or are receiving thick brown envelopes.)

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: £££££££££££

          "The government has the money which M$ wants. Make them work for it, and if they won't, tell 'em to fuck off."

          The Israeli government just did.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £££££££££££

        All publicly owned entities should be using OSS. Governments need to step in and end this idiocy. Where manufactures won't supply drivers, or the specs/apis to create them, those manufacturers should be banned. There are very few countries in the developed world that don't have the expertise to develop a UI/Office/server set of apps that would be more than sufficient. Smaller countries or those with less expertise can simply follow those examples.

      3. razorfishsl

        Re: £££££££££££

        It's not "users" it is weak willed management.

        and even weaker IT teams.

        It staff are no longer accountable if the 365 fails.

    3. oiseau Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: £££££££££££

      Hello:

      "I don't know why governments are even entertaining the move over to subscription services like O365"

      No?

      It's quite simple: it's because there is usually an absolutely unbelievable amount of public money involved in it, which means that there's also an equally unbelievable amount of pork to go around.

      Cheers,

      O.

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: £££££££££££

      "I can see the advantages for smaller org's that don't have the muscle to sort out the infrastructure for themselves"

      That seems like an edge case to me. I'm purely speculating here, but it seems to me that an org that is so small that it can't sort out infrastructure is probably also so small that the infrastructure it needs is simple enough that they could sort it out themselves.

      1. IamStillIan

        Re: £££££££££££

        "That seems like an edge case to me. I'm purely speculating here, but it seems to me that an org that is so small that it can't sort out infrastructure is probably also so small that the infrastructure it needs is simple enough that they could sort it out themselves."

        As someone in this position, I see both sides. We use o365, but that's because we're a dev shop working on MS stuff and get it free though the partner program. If we weren't a dev shop we'd likely not have the infrastructure / skills in house run something like that ourselves.

        It takes care of a lot of bits of stuff - AD, Fleet admin, E-Mails, OneDrive, Office, various resilliance and audit issues.. so it probably would be worth the full cost if you were starting out with none of that. Once you learn a little bbit about it, there's also various approahes around to avoid the full costs (I mean the legal ones).

        1. wayward4now
          Linux

          Re: £££££££££££

          "It takes care of a lot of bits of stuff - AD, Fleet admin, E-Mails, OneDrive, Office, various resilliance and audit issues."

          Or, install a free copy of Ubuntu or whichever distro you choose.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: £££££££££££

            "Or, install a free copy of Ubuntu or whichever distro you choose."

            Ever wonder why Red Hat keeps getting business for its Enterprise solution instead of everyone just going to Fedora? There's more to running a business than just the software, after all. Sometimes, the support for the software is more important (and more expensive) than the software itself. There's something about that age-old question, "What price peace of mind?"

    5. Griffo

      Re: £££££££££££

      Because after decades of Government IT departments providing shit IT solutions on spaghetti architecture that was always N-5 revisions new, they probably decided that outsourcing part of their stack to the vendor to keep evergreen probably makes a lot of sense.

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: £££££££££££

      "you get screwed by moving you costs from CAP-Ex to much more expensive OP-EX"

      For businesses you get to write off the opex off against tax 100% each year vs capex being on a depreciation schedule.

      That doesn't apply with governments or public sector of course, except as a notional thing for residual book value.

      The scarier thing is that many of the orgs which have waltzed unquestioningly into the arms of office365 or google for outsourced mail have _NOTHING_ in the way of exit plans.

    7. crocodome

      Re: £££££££££££

      Size matters, for sure.

      Also be mindful of government budgeting rules in what constitutes as OPEX or CAPEX. I wish I could CAPEX this stuff.... even if I try, it will be recovered out of OPEX (twice the penalty in the end) over a period.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Office is a ergonomic mess with bloat features that 99.99999999% of users have no need of.

    Libreoffice is free and just fine.

    1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Libreoffice is free and just fine.

      A tip I received from a mate who is in recruitment always publish your CV in pdf format, not as a doc. The various compatibly issues between different flavours of office / LibreOffice can really screw up the formatting of your cv and the recruitment agents will seldom help you out.

      1. 0laf Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

        I use LibraOffice at home and MS at work. They are 'broadly speaking' compatible but in reality they cock up each others stuff and sorting out those small problems is a ballache.

        PDF format deals with some of it but it is by no means a guaranteed way to avoid compatibility issues. I use Nuance at work, others use Adobe. We can still run into issues with PDFs produce on one causing issues but not the other. And PDF is supposed to be a standard format.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

          The formatting can be a nightmare. We had one supplier turn up with a PowerPoint presentation, our company had standardized on LibreOffice and the meeting room computer had LO on it...

          Much "hilarity" ensued as the presentation slides popped up and the workflows shown had arrows running from a wrong box to another wrong box! Luckily they had a printout with them, which was quickly copied and passed around.

          On top of that, many telephone systems, ERP, DMS and other business systems have addins for MS Office, but no equivalents for LibreOffice.

          1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            @big_D

            "other business systems" includes OCR, in my experience. Maybe also voice "recognition" systems, I am not certain.

          2. ma1010 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            @big_D

            I do a fair number of presentations. I hope you didn't buy from that supplier, because the presenter is an idiot. Why didn't he bring his own computer with the proper software for his presentation? Or, if he needed to use someone else's computer, save the presentation as a PDF?

            All my presentations are done in LibreOffice Impress. When I do the presentation live, of course I have LibreOffice on my laptop. After the original presentation, I then export the LibreOffice file as a PDF, and that gets posted to the web site, and people can view them with no formatting problems.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

              One slightly annoying LO issue makes me sometimes regret switching to LO. It's that in WORD Selecting FILE - NEW will open a link to my templates (albeit at the top of an annoyingly fussy page), and selecting or navigating to one will open a new document with that template.

              But in Writer this just isn't available so simply. The FILE- NEW just opens a blank document in the normal template and instead you need to either chose FILE -TEMPLATES and chose one, which opens the chosen template file as an editble document (so you have to remember to save it as a document or risk over writing the template) or FILE- TEMPLATES -MANAGE TEMPLATES ( and then IMPORT if the template file isn't where LO expects to find it. Which is all much less intuitive.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

                From my point of view, that's a plus point. It's one less click to the "standard" new document template which I want 99.9% of the time. (Although I agree choosing a template and it becoming a document on opening it would be an advantage since editing a template file is something most people would only ever do rarely and should be the special case, not the other way around))

              2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

                At Terry 6, re: templates.

                I've found that a good way to prevent accidentally overwriting a template is to use ($FileExplorer) & change the template properties to Read Only. The next time you open it & change something, attempting to save it usually results in a "Whoops! I can't do that, Dave, it's locked. Give it a different name." dialog box which solves the problem.

                Hope that helps! Cheers & enjoy a pint.

              3. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

                Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

                @Terry 6 - Another slightly annoying LO issue is that any instructions I find seem to be for a slightly different version... Such as, in my copy (5.1.6.2), the Template Manager can be reached as you describe, or by File - Templates; and double-clicking on a template opens a new document based on it, and there's an Open button that does the same, with an Edit button next to it to edit the template itself.

                Intuitive, of course, is highly subjective, until you've received proper indoctrination.

                1. Basil Fernie

                  Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

                  LO does have a bleeding-edge track and a more conservative "stable" track for corporates etc where a less rapid pace of change might be appreciated. Even the fast-track stuff is coming out these days with very little RC-feeling to it and I expect that it will become more and more a development platform for basing the various apps mentioned earlier on. "Stable" has leapfrogged several version levels to be sniffing at the heels of "bleeding-edge" and I think we're going to see LO making major inroads into hitherto closed markets.

              4. Mark Wallace

                Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

                "The FILE- NEW just opens a blank document in the normal template and instead you need to either chose FILE -TEMPLATES and chose one"

                Um, File - New - Templates, select a template, and double-click it or click Open.

          3. Ilsa Loving

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            >The formatting can be a nightmare. We had one supplier turn up with a PowerPoint presentation, our company had standardized on LibreOffice and the meeting room computer had LO on it...

            He didn't bring his own laptop? There's no way I would allow someone from outside the company to bring random powerpoint files and run them on our computers, even if said computers were just conference room PCs.

            That being said, I've found LO Impress to be anything but impressive. When compared to PP or Keynote, it's just so shockingly bland that you may as well just display a PDF on the screen.

            1. big_D Silver badge

              Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

              @ma1010, Ilsa Loving,

              they did have a laptop with them, but my (ex-)employer had the meeting room so set up that it had a dedicated PC connected to an embedded screen, with mouse and keyboard wireless onto the table. He was also unwilling to let them use their own laptop.

              His fault, not the presenters.

              Also, at many symposiums and other events I've been to, you have had to submit your presentation 3 days in advance and it was put on a dedicated laptop that was on the podium, so they could just close your presenation and open the next speakers behind the scenes, no plugging and unplugging devices on the podium between speakers.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

                " at many symposiums and other events I've been to, you have had to submit your presentation 3 days in advance and it was put on a dedicated laptop that was on the podium, "

                3 days in advance is plenty of time to discover problems.

                What I see is far too many people showing up hopelessly underprepared and then expecting the local IT folk to drop everything to make it work.

                1. Mike 16 Silver badge

                  3 days in advance is plenty of time ...

                  @Alan Brown

                  3 days in advance is plenty of time to discover problems.

                  What I see is far too many people showing up hopelessly underprepared and then expecting the local IT folk to drop everything to make it work.

                  True Dat! Working backstage for a fairly well-known conference (Well, El Reg covers it :-), I lost track of how many times the speakers, who were asked to come "on deck" backstage 5-10 minutes before their talk, showed up with "just a few changes to my slides". Yeah, we developed a process for doing these "diving catches", but it was never smooth, or justified.

                  An then there's the folks who used snazzy custom fonts in the PPT decks, but did not bring the fonts along... (almost as good as the "file:" URLs for images you'd occasionally see on websites. "Hey, it worked on my machine!")

          4. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            The formatting can be a nightmare. We had one supplier turn up with a PowerPoint presentation, our company had standardized on LibreOffice and the meeting room computer had LO on it...

            Ever heard of PowerPoint viewer ?

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

          "And PDF is supposed to be a standard format."

          I'v been taking a few PDFs prepared for printers and reformating them for putting on a web site, with a bit of editing of the copy in one case. I'm starting to realise that while PDF is a standard container format what's hidden inside can be as mad as a box of frogs.

      2. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

        Hamish:

        I have a tendency to use RTF. It seems from my experience that it is far *more* portable than even PDF.

        But I don't rely on fancy formatting or fonts.

        1. eionmac

          Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

          Concur. I use PDF and RTF

      3. Mike 16 Silver badge

        Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

        @}{amis}{ Unfortunately, sending a CV as something other than a Word .doc may get it immediately round-filed. I discovered this when applying for a Hardware debug and kernel developer, and asked why that requirement. It boiled down to "our buzzword scanner only understands .doc", and that said buzzword scanner was a common bit of software for many HR departments.

        YMMV, and maybe being rejected by a company with an insane HR dept. is not the worst outcome.

        OTOH, I snuck my CV in the side door directly to the manager who had the open position, and was hired. OTOOH, HR was not the only part of the company suffering from the transition from "founders who know what they are doing" to "Adult supervision all around", and they went under after 3 years. I was acqui-hired by a well known firm that did not have that particular mental illness. They had plenty of their own, home grown insanity, but paid well.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

          It boiled down to "our buzzword scanner only understands .doc"

          That may be the case with HR. With pimps agencies there's a suspicion that they want to be able to edit the CV and don't know how to do that with PDF.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            Yes, this. Agencies, in my experience, usually have a standard CV format they use. The CV you give them will just be translated to that format in the end.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            Bingo. I had one of those pimps modify resume and add bunch of crap. I had brought my own hard copy. Said pimp sent me a nasty email about bringing a copy of my resume .

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

          "Unfortunately, sending a CV as something other than a Word .doc may get it immediately round-filed"

          True.

          Here's what I've done for years to work around that: I submit my CV in both word format (from LibreOffice) and in PDF format. Just in case. To the best of my knowledge (but how would I know, really?), this has never caused my CV to be roundfiled.

          When I've been on the hiring end of this, though, I rarely tossed out an application because of formatting getting messed up by a bad export. However, I very often tossed out an application because the CV had too many spelling errors, or (even worse, in my opinion), had wrong, but correctly spelled, words. That indicates that the applicant just ran it through spell-check and accepted all "corrections" without actually checking them . Blindly relying on suggestions from your tools is not a habit you want to see in a software engineer.

      4. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        CV in PDF

        Another good reason to publish your CV as a PDF is that it makes it harder on recruiters to "fix" your CV before presenting it to prospects, thereby guaranteeing a mismatch and lost time for both other parties.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

        "A tip I received from a mate who is in recruitment always publish your CV in pdf format, not as a doc."

        As someone who has worked in recruitment I can tell you that's definitely terrible advice and will be consigning your CV on the fast route to the dustbin for many opportunities. Only use Microsoft Office formats that can be easily edited.

        "The various compatibly issues between different flavours of office / LibreOffice can really screw up the formatting of your cv"!

        Hence why close to no one in business uses LibreOffice.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

          "As someone who has worked in recruitment I can tell you that's definitely terrible advice and will be consigning your CV on the fast route to the dustbin for many opportunities. Only use Microsoft Office formats that can be easily edited."

          Actually it's great advice, recruitment agents have no business editing anybody's CV and you should avoid the ones that do. If they complain about PDF, you've dodged a bullet.

          I settled on PDF after turning up to one too many interviews to find a bunch of skills and experience I don't have had been added to my CV (in a different font!) - waste of time for me, and for the prospective client.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Here, recruiter! Edit my CV, I dare you

            I'd be more than happy to share an editable CV with a recruiter should they ask for one. Just like I'm sure they'd be delighted to copy-edit in TeX markup

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Here, recruiter! Edit my CV, I dare you

              "I'd be more than happy to share an editable CV with a recruiter should they ask for one."

              They probably won't. If you didn't use a Word document format they are unlikely to even read it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            "Actually it's great advice, recruitment agents have no business editing anybody's CV and you should avoid the ones that do"

            It's standard practice to reformat CVs to an agency template format. Especially for more senior roles. No one is suggesting that they edit the actual.content.

            Submit in PDF = might as well stick it in the dustbin.

          3. eionmac

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            Alteration of a document produced by me, by 3rd party 'others' (who should only transmit it) , was countered at meeting by my requesting very publicly the name/address of 'the others solicitors', as I would bring an action for breach of copyright. Silence ensured. I then handed out printed copies I had brought. The leader then advised said '3rd party others' that they were unreliable, asked them to apologize and myself on receiving apology not to sue.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

              "Alteration of a document produced by me, by 3rd party 'others' (who should only transmit it) , was countered at meeting by my requesting very publicly the name/address of 'the others solicitors', as I would bring an action for breach of copyright."

              I'm surprised they didn't counter that they were acting as your agents and therefore the copyright fell to them instead of you (like how creating something for a company means the copyright goes to the company rather than you).

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

          "As someone who has worked in recruitment I can tell you that's definitely terrible advice and will be consigning your CV on the fast route to the dustbin for many opportunities. Only use Microsoft Office formats that can be easily edited."

          Why are you editing other peoples CVs? You don't know them other than from what's on the CV. It is NOT your place to add or remove anything. You should be advising your clients if you think they should be making changes otherwise you may be committing fraud by doing it yourself.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            "Why are you editing other peoples CVs?"

            To submit to clients in a standard agency headed format. It's very commonly a requirement.

          2. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            I had an interviewer ask me about the time I had been self-employed. The agency had changed the word "unemployed".

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

          "Only use Microsoft Office formats that can be easily edited."

          I don't want it to be edited, I want people to view it exactly as I produced it. Neither Word nor LibreOffice can guarantee that while PDF/A certainly does. .doc and .odt are terrible format for exchanging CVs.

          I've never had a PDF CV rejected, and if I did it wouldn't be somewhere I'd want to work anyway.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

            "I've never had a PDF CV rejected"

            They just don't bother contacting you.

            "if I did it wouldn't be somewhere I'd want to work anyway."

            It won't reach the client. It will be ignored at the ag w next s t age.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

              "They just don't bother contacting you."

              I actually got interviewed in each instance, and got the job in most cases. If someone wants a CV in a specific format they will ask for it, otherwise they have already dismissed themselves as a credible employment option.

      6. Basil Fernie

        Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

        Do I detect a faint aroma of FUD? M$ can mess with introducing inconsistencies between "different flavours of office / office" and profit handsomely from their dupes incessantly upgrading to try to get onto a stable playing-field, which all of a sudden tilts yet again?

        Get off the M$ rack and live at peace with LibreOffice, which reads M$ document formats that M$ doesn't even remember dropping into the dumpster while shuffling across to the bank.

        I've lived comfortably enough in an M$ universe ever since the early days of Star Office (hmm, even had to cope with WordStar formats in those days as I recall) and coped outside of the cage. M$ hasn't learned much about ethics since the days of forcing XT manufacturers to pay up for licences for unwanted MS-DOS on the basis of a proposition that veered between blackmail and monopoly. Nearly put my budding business out of the running until I discovered DR-DOS. Thank you, Digital Research.

      7. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

        A tip I received from a mate who is in recruitment always publish your CV in pdf format, not as a doc.

        That is the purpose of .pdf, is it not?

        The last time I used Microsoft Word for Windows (we called it "Winword" at the time; it was version 1.1b), word processors were used primarily to create paper documents, which was the thing that people other than the document's creator were going to be seeing. The saved files were meant to be reloaded later on the same program, generally by the same person, and often only on the same machine.

        Given how often MS likes to change the formats to prevent forward compatibility to add exciting new features everyone wants, the only thing that makes sense is to distribute documents intended to be exchanged electronically in .pdf format, if at all possible (and a CV would be one thing that does lend itself to that). If you must save in an editable format for files intended to be used by others, don't use a proprietary format whose main/only purpose is to extract money from your company (or your self) and transfer it to Microsoft without any actual benefit to the extractee. I have to imagine MS Office is capable of saving in/exporting to open formats...

    2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      RE: "features that 99.99999999% of users have no need of."

      Trouble is, each user uses a different subset of features so even though any individual may only use 99% of features, with that huge number of users every feature gets used by someone and so is useful.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Libreoffice is free and just fine."

      I am a _huge_ fan of LO, but whenever I bring this up the fanboys at work bring up 3 issues.

      - macros (yes, apparently people really do use them)

      - spreadsheets (supposedly calc is far inferior to excel)

      - powerpoint enough said)

      My feeling is that it's more about "dunwannas" than "itdondothas"

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Alan Brown

        I used OO.o / LO for years as my primary office solution, on Linux. But I often needed to send out documents, spreadsheets etc. to clients. After the first OO.o ballsup, I always kept a spare computer in the corner, with a copy of Office XP on it, so that I could check the formatting and data (and make corrections), before sending out the files.

        If you are purely working for yourself or with others that use LO / OO.o, you can chose to use LO / OO.o without too many headaches. If you need to exchange documents on a regular basis with a company that has standardized on MS Office, you really need at least one copy of MS Office, to check that the formatting is correct - nothing worse than sending out a document with TOC and Index, only to find that opening it in Word has pushed the text around and the TOC and Index no longer correspond to the rest of the document, it just doesn't look professional.

        If you can get away with just swapping PDFs, it can work, but if they want the original documents as part of the contract, it can be a real pain.

        For me, in the end, it was cheaper to use MS Office than having to correct every document before sending it out.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Alan Brown

          "If they want the original documents as part of the contract, it can be a real pain."

          Especially if they want them for legal reasons - have you ever tried to open ancient word documents in the latest version of Office?

          LO/OO can at least open them quite well (and it's fairly well known that MS used to (probably still do) use OO to repair hopelessly damaged word documents for clients)

          Why would you ever trust stuff that may be needed in ten years to be stored in a proprietary format that's a constantly moving target? That's the essence of PDF or ODF (especially as the former _is_ a ratified standard these days)

        2. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Alan Brown

          For me, in the end, it was cheaper to use MS Office than having to correct every document before sending it out.

          Working as intended, says Microsoft.

  4. fnusnu

    Microsoft's response

    Here you go:

    Microsoft respects the views of the GPA and is working to better understand their requirements. We recommend that all our customers move to an annual pricing model in order to receive the benefits of the latest updates to our software.

    1. vir

      Re: Microsoft's response

      "Better understand their requirements"??? Here ya go:

      They want to be able to have a system they can rely on without worrying about being held hostage to price hikes or "updates" that they can't refuse and that break things or change functionality to the point that they lose time and work trying to figure out how you "made things better". They're confused because "updates to your software" are things that up until now have been included in the purchase price instead of being a perpetual money sink.

  5. tempemeaty

    Balls

    Israel has them. No other government does.

    May God keep Jerusalem in peace and protected forever.

    1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Balls

      "Israel" and "peace" in the same breath isn't that a contradiction in terms, what they are doing today in the west bank is in my eyes at least as bad as the apartheid.

      And before anyone lays into me over anti-Semitism I am personally an agnostic and don't give a damn what anyone worships it's their personal choice and all such choices are equally valid, butchering other people over their choices is sickening.

      I just despise Israelis terrible human rights record, religion has nothing to do with that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Balls

        Dear }{amis}{,

        You clearly also had "Balls" for making that comment without anonymity. However, I think you just put yours in the shredder.

        1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
          Go

          I think you just put yours in the shredder

          Meh, I honestly feel that letting stuff like that slide and not speaking out is one of the root causes of a lot of the problems in the world today, as such I seldom feel the need to hide my opinions.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            IT Angle

            Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

            @ }{amis}{

            you used the word 'feel' twice. perhaps you should *THINK* instead?

            (then you'd realize that the alleged 'human rights abuses' by Israel are just Islamist propaganda)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

              bobby, you must be going hungry this summer, I felt for you, so there...

            2. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

              Uhmmm, read up on what's ACTUALLY happening Bob. It's hard to find, but factual news is still to be found about what is happening in and around Israel and "Palestina" (in so much as there is such a thing). While certainly a lot of what is happening is a direct reaction to and consequence of violence from the muslim side of the argument, the Israelis are most certainly not exactly doing themselves any favours in how they deal with things. Reactions aren't always exactly proportional or just. There's plenty of criticism to be leveled at Israel, and putting them above critique because of Islamist propaganda isn't going to help the situation.

            3. localzuk

              Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

              @bob - there's video footage of IDF soldiers beating children, and shooting a nurse and disabled man in a wheelchair. That isn't propaganda. That's reality.

              1. LDS Silver badge
                Devil

                "there's video footage of IDF soldiers beating childre"

                So they just look like US cops?

              2. Updraft102 Silver badge

                Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

                bob - there's video footage of IDF soldiers beating children, and shooting a nurse and disabled man in a wheelchair. That isn't propaganda. That's reality.

                Has it been verified that the IDF soldiers were, in fact, IDF soldiers?

                Hamas has long sacrificed its own people for the propaganda value. I wouldn't believe any video wasn't them in IDF uniforms unless the individuals could be identified positively.

            4. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

              Ironically, being a Jew and a Zionist I can't wholly support Bombastic Bob on this. Israel has behaved quite badly sometimes. Which country hasn't? Even ones who are far more secure than Israel. That being said, saying "I'm an agnostic" is no defence from accusations of Antisemitism. Why would it be? Jews are a culture and an ethnic group as well as a religion. And Israel is the (only) Jewish state.But a real touchstone of anti-semitic attitudes is whether you offer the same or greater levels of criticism of other countries that behave badly sometimes. Particularly countries that do far worse things far more often. cf Myanamar/Russia/Turkey/most other Middle Eastern countries/Pakistan/most ex-colonies of the UK/etc etc etc. If the only country you criticise is the only Jewish one then it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the differentiating factor is the Jewish one.

              1. heyrick Silver badge

                Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

                "is no defence from accusations of Antisemitism"

                Dragging the idea of antisemitism into things should never be used to stifle criticism of the actions on the Israeli state and military.

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

                  True. Yet to focus on the behaviour of Israel, but ignore similar or worse behaviour from other countries and to do so whenever any aspect of Israel is mentioned when you would not do so for stories about other nations makes antisemitism very relevant indeed.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

                    " but ignore similar or worse behaviour from other countries "

                    When those countries are (or like Israel at least claim to be) modern democracies, similar standards are in general applied.

              2. JLV Silver badge

                Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

                Terry, that is a very valid point. And I certainly would not deny that many people still hate Jews. Coming from Westerners, like me, whose culture enabled the Holocaust, antisemitism is vile (Arabs, currently, have IMHO more valid reasons to be less than happy with Israel).

                But you also need to consider in your argument that, for many critics of Israel, applying the metric of whether we condemn Myanmar, Pakistan, etc is a red herring. Of course we do, but I also think some of those countries epitomize the Orange Buffoon’s “shitholes”. Would I expect any better of Pakistan (not Pakistanis abroad)? Saudi? Myanmar? No.

                It’s like a teacher wondering why the kid spending his time sniffing glue isn’t getting differential equations. They don’t and teachers don’t expect them to.

                Jews, and I am paying them a compliment there, we expect better from. They are smart, have contributed massively to Western culture and known the evils of (our) persecutions. Many of us have largely positive opinions of Jews.

                We expect better from Israel. It’s like that good friend, not the glue sniffer, who massively sucks at math, despite being really smart. Embarrassing - you had much higher expectations.

                When we don’t turn around and say “of course, Israel’s no worse than Sri Lankan Buddhist fundamentalists screwing Tamils after the war” that may be because that goes without saying and it would be flogging a dead horse. Do you want Israel human rights discussed on par with Uzbekistan’s? Thought not.

                Automatically dismissing all criticism of Israel's human rights records wrt to the Palestinians, as only motivated by Antisemitism does the person arguing so little credit. It's also gradually losing its steam. Didn't say _you_ did, but it is a common avoidance mecanism.

                I like Jews, still do, and would really prefer Israel, which is otherwise a largely admirable country, to regain its honor by negotiating in good faith towards a two state solution and treating Palestinians more fairly.

              3. Basil Fernie

                Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

                I have a sneaking feeling, Hamish, that affirming your elite status as an agnostic will not give much protection against the next suicide-bomber/pedestrian-levelling-device-operator who visits your local shopping centre/pub/busstation/social occasion. Not even win you a moment to find out whether they tick the "Prefer Islam" or "Prefer Judaism" box on your questionnaire. Not of course that it would be relevant, you could predict the answer with, as I read the journals, just about 100% accuracy most days of the week, with an even lower error rate on Shabbat, alias Saturday.

                On the other hand, if destructive behaviour is preceded by unignorable, timeous warnings urging civilians to evacuate a targeted site, you could even as an agnostic predict pretty accurately who would soon be dealing out the unpleasantness, and probably why.

                As an agnostic (your choice, no problem) you might be comfortable with the dry recountings of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism. Kind of interesting that although antisemitic attitudes and behaviour have been documented from as early as 300BCE, in Egypt, the term only came into focus towards the end of the 19th century (when else?) in Germany (where else?) being coined as a very misleading euphemism for Judeophobia (what else?) by a journalist (who else?) who was clearly guilty of terminological inexactitude, to quote another journalist, At this stage, even an agnostic may without embarrassment study antisemitism from any number of angles without bothering himself with questions of religion, and perhaps mull over the weirdness of two Semitic people being in intense conflict with each other, but only one is suspected of "antisemitism".

                "The Semites are a group of people that live in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. They include Jews, Arabs, and other ethnic groups" - quoted from simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/semites

                Perhaps the most immediate conclusion that such a study might yield is that one should be very, very choosy in selecting journalists to inform one on the current stages of this tussle. A little light may be thrown on this by visiting HonestReporting,com and noting the retractions etc that they have forced from usually well-regarded news channels on grounds of failing to apply accepted professional standards of journalism. Of course, you might then want a little relief and visit HonestReporting.org.

                Honestly, if I didn't know better, I'd also be agnostic..

          2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

            Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

            All that is required for Evil to succeed is for Good men to do nothing.

            Speak out against it, stand fast against it, shine the light of public awareness into all the dark nooks & crannies where it tries to hide, & tear it out by the roots like any other weed you exterminate from the garden.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Balls

        You are critising a government not a people, much as they like to think so the Israeli government does not speak for all Jewish people. At least not judging by conversations I have had with one or two Jewish friends who disagree with a number of policies.

        Kudos to Israel though for telling Microshaft to poke it.

        1. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: Balls

          the Israeli government does not speak for all Jewish people.

          Nor should it. In fact, it shouldn't speak for Jewish people at all. It should speak for citizens of Israel, whether they are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or any other religion.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Balls

      I think they have also many security concerns, and a foreign system that slaps software in your PCs whenever it thinks it's good to do doesn't look something very security-conscious Israel would like.

      With standard perpetual licenses they can vet software and control updates, with Office365 it becomes much harder. Plus there are the increasing costs, and the risk they could be cut out, i.e. if US decides some form of sanctions against the country in the future. The CLOUD Act may be also a factor.

      Microsoft & C. may found that trying to force everybody into a subscription model could fire back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Balls

        "there's video footage of IDF soldiers beating children, and shooting a nurse and disabled man in a wheelchair. That isn't propaganda."

        Just last week : Palestinians ( Hamas really not Palestinians in general) fire 2 dozen rockets at Sderot, do you think that the Rockets know how to target "only" soldiers.

        I lived in Israel for 3 years, living there is nothing like what you see on the Media. 99% of people on both sides just go quietly about their daily lifes. I worked, ate and drank with Israelis and Palestinians side by side.

        Most of the shit is stirred up intentionally by and extreme minority of hard liners. The media only show this extremist side of things, its certainly no worse than Northern Ireland at the time.

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

          Re: Balls

          @AC - '"there's video footage of IDF soldiers beating children, and shooting a nurse and disabled man in a wheelchair. That isn't propaganda."

          Just last week : Palestinians ( Hamas really not Palestinians in general) fire 2 dozen rockets at Sderot, do you think that the Rockets know how to target "only" soldiers.'

          So were those children, nurse and man accused of firing the rockets? Were they in the process of firing rockets? No? So what was the justification for beating and shooting them? A disciplined military force should be targetting combatants, not civilians. A police force should be arresting suspects, not beating them. Misbehaviour by the IDF ignored, if not condoned, by the Israeli government fuels support for those who want revenge, perpetuating the cycle of violence. The Northern Ireland Troubles are a blight on the record of the British government of the time, so that is not a shining moral standard for comparison.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Balls

            So what was the justification for beating and shooting them?

            Nothing, none needed. It's what soldiers do! All the time and everywhere! Deployments starts out all very idealistically and then after a little while of action and casualties, it's just "us and the wogs and we actually don't care about them wogs". "Don't point an army at something you don't want 100% to destroy", basically.

            I think it is somewhat hypocritical to be criticising Israel while "we" are happily blowing up weddings, markets, hospitals, school busses besides "regime changing" all over the place with no consequences for any of it on "our side" and nothing learned and no tangible benefits achieved by doing it.

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: Balls

              "I think it is somewhat hypocritical to be criticising Israel while "we" are happily blowing up weddings, markets, hospitals, school busses"

              Not really - those things are not in general deliberately targeted. Israel is deliberately choosing to shoot unarmed civilians including children. Over 2000 shot in the last 6 months alone. That's the difference.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Balls

          "Just last week : Palestinians ( Hamas really not Palestinians in general) fire 2 dozen rockets at Sderot, do you think that the Rockets know how to target "only" soldiers."

          So you think that makes it OK for the IDF to deliberately target civilians including children?

    3. JLV Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Balls

      One of the only political rallies I've ever attended was a pro-Palestine demonstration. Some of the most impressive people there were Jews insisting on a two state solution. Really uplifting, and restores Jewish honor, compared to the lot running the show in Israel at the moment. One would think that Israelis know exactly what it means to be deprived of one's country.

      Antisemitic, me? I will personally admit to feeling much more kinship with Jews and their culture than Arabs. But that doesn't make Israel's position right. And Arabs did not cause the Holocaust. Westerners, not Arabs, did it or let it happen so playing that card ad infinitum to justify any and all abuses is dishonest.

      I'll also be the first to admit that Hamas and Hizbollah will shed blood at the first sign of meaningful Israeli negotiations (you do remember Rabin, though?) And that Palestinians are far from perfect.

      None of that makes your post less distasteful, Balls. If nothing else, not empathy for an entire people's suffering, not ethics, not international law, not a sense of justice, then realpolitik savvy alone would suggest negotiating from Israel's current position of military and internal demographic strength, while the USA is not yet too preoccupied with China's ascension to limit it's veto's usefulness. Who's to say what things will look like in 50, 100 years?

      To conclude: best wishes to Israel's position wrt to MS. All my sympathy, nitwits like Balls, and Bob, in full form, aside.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the Bright Side

    MS may now find it easier to do business with other states in the Middle East. Such is the Polititics of the region.

    1. el kabong Silver badge

      Israel would be killing two birds with one stone then

      Causing their idiotic enemies to commit to ruinous deals while choosing the better deal for themselves. Very shrewd of them, little wonder Israel seems to be doing so well.

  7. big_D Silver badge

    Lower Saxony dropping Linux

    Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) has declared that they will force the Finanzamt (Internal Revenue) to stop using Linux and switch to Windows. This was without the required reasoning being defined and without a cost study.

    FYI Lower Saxony's IR has used Solaris and then Linux for its systems. They have never had Windows. They moved to Solaris in the mid-90s and to Linux around 2005/2006.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We've definitely hit 'Peak Bullshit'. - Have we hit 'Peak Subscription' yet?

    Another small cut to Redmond... In the court of public opinion however, all the tech giants have had a mixed year, even if the bottom line looks rosy... Is this a sign of changing times?

    We've definitely hit 'Peak Bullshit'. There is more critical journalism now towards tech giant's disingenuous statements about 'your privacy is important to us' or OS surveillance is about 'offering greater user experience', or 'subscription models are all about 'providing better service'.

    Fatigue for corporate BS... Overall I believe we've reached Peak PR. Fall on your swords PR folks... You've been regurgitating the same BS for a decade. So much so, you may have actually damaged the Brands you represent - irreparably... .

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: We've definitely hit 'Peak Bullshit'. - Have we hit 'Peak Subscription' yet?

      "We've definitely hit 'Peak Bullshit'."

      If only.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now *there's* an EU initiative ....

    surely 27 countries with a combined population of nearly half a billion could cobble together some sort of FOSS desktop toolkit for the 80% of email/web/client-server/database type applications ?

    That is, put some backing into what is already available as a FOSS alternative to the MS hegemony ?

    If nothing else work out some sensible overall guideline whitepapers about GUI design (see related GIMP grumbles).

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Now *there's* an EU initiative ....

      Unfortunately there is no initiative to do so because the greedy bastards of this world won't make any money.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Stop

        the greedy bastards of this world won't make any money.

        downvoted for lack of imagination. There's plenty of money to be made, still. Just spread across a wider userbase than a few EnormoCorps. Part of the problem now is that the EnormoCorp have managed to supplant the elected mechanism of government with the unelected privilege of wealth.

        Seems Eisenhower could not have been more right. Probably the most prescient president the US had.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the greedy bastards of this world won't make any money.

          @JimmyPage

          About the US.

          Eisenhower hit the nail on the head. The Roosevelts were pretty good too. It appears to me that Jimmy Carter was either the last honest (mostly honest) President or that Governance has become so stifled by Lobbyists that we can no longer tell who's taking backhanders. I'd suggests that all Politicians, other than a very few (ie Bernie Sanders), are beholden to Corporations as the cost of American elections are stratospheric.

          Some of you may recognize how far to the right the entirety of the US (and much of the world's) political discourse has been forced by Corporations/the wealthy since the mid-1970s.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Now *there's* an EU initiative ....

        They might go that root, should the rumour of Trump looking to add tariffs on European IT*.

        * There might not be much, but I'm not sure the same can't be said about between Trumps ears.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Now *there's* an EU initiative ....

      If you are only aiming for 80% coverage, what's already there is enough.

      The more interesting question, given Microsoft's apparent suicidal desire to break with their own past, is when will the FOSS alternative start to be more backwards compatible than the Win10 treadmill? For some people, that is already happening.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Now *there's* an EU initiative ....

      "surely 27 countries "

      There's the problem. They'd be aiming for a racehorse, end up with a camel and they'd never agree on what colour it should be.

  10. BOB JOHNSON

    Finally someone is stepping up and saying hey Microsoft....we have alternatives and ya better consider your price structure. Plus last week I saw that there is a lot of push back to the subscription fees for Office 365 Personal.

    They are trying to squeeze money from something that reached its zenith a long time ago.

  11. N2 Silver badge

    Excellent news

    who needs it when the free alternatives are really very good

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Plus last week I saw that there is a lot of push back to the subscription fees for Office 365 Personal."

    Not according to Microsoft's last quarter results.

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    As Microsoft is trying to change the GOI

    Pure, unadulterated trolling.

    Respect!

  14. Conspectus83
    Mushroom

    Hope they fail and fall flat on their arses

    I don't usually subscribe to Microsoft knocking but this time I am fully in. I hope Office 365 falls flat on its arse and alternative apps take off destroying their market share.

    I have looked at the fee for a normal user and its £7.90 ($10.20) a month. Im just about to upgrade to a new laptop and was thinking of upgrading to Office 365......not anymore.

    In 2008 I bought the Office products for £70 and its done me 10 years. To spend approximately £100 a year for Office...no chance.

    For my usage there are plenty of alternatives and I will be imbracing them and I hope so many others do.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Hope they fail and fall flat on their arses

      "I have looked at the fee for a normal user and its £7.90 ($10.20) a month. "

      It's £59 a year for a normal user or £69 for a family subscription with up to 5 users.

      "In 2008 I bought the Office products for £70 and its done me 10 years."

      Well its about £120 to buy it outright these days. You still have that choice.

  15. karlp

    Opening Remarks

    Honestly, this is likely nothing more than opening remarks in a procurement process which is playing out mostly behind closed doors.

    Most organizations are quickly coming to a place where if you use MS solutions, you are a subscriber. Whether that be an EA agreement, or an ad-hoc subscriber. Vanishly few people can actually operate an MS organization these days without being subscription in practice (if not name). It has been this way for quite some time now.

    Even organizations which are operating an entirely traditional on-prem infrastructure are largely receiving the ability to do so under some type of subscription program.

    For any organization to say "no" to MS subscription would essentially mean having to be ready, in short order, to remove their dependency on MS, something that would likely cost a lot more than whatever the licensing costs are.

    The cost and time of such transitions are typically far more than even the long term costs of the licensing, so it's likely that this move is more about a negotiating tactic than anything else.

    That said, if they do follow through I hope that the project is well tracked and discussed over the coming years. We haven't yet seen a properly managed and executed attempt to remove Microsoft from a large organization with the tools now available to us.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Opening Remarks

      "For any organization to say "no" to MS subscription would essentially mean having to be ready, in short order, to remove their dependency on MS, something that would likely cost a lot more than whatever the licensing costs are."

      Hmmm. At any one time, maybe. Over a longer period of time those subs add up as a comment a little way up the thread points out. The real problem that prevents a proper consideration is short-termism. For once Trump seems to have the right idea.

  16. ivan5 Bronze badge

    <i>We haven't yet seen a properly managed and executed attempt to remove Microsoft from a large organization with the tools now available to us.</i>

    Then you haven't looked very closely. The French Gendarmerie has been using Linux on their desktops and servers since 2001, they have also standardised on open office and the odf format a nationwide standard.

    1. karlp

      Apologies if my meaning was not clear.

      What I was trying to say is that we haven't recently, to my awareness, seen a large (5 digit or greater head count) non-tech organization which operates (more-or-less) front to back on a Microsoft platform try to meaningfully extract itself from Microsoft to such an extent that ongoing payments to Microsoft are either majorly reduced (>75%) if not eliminated entirely.

      I know a lot of organizations toyed with the idea in the mid to late 2000's before everyone settled into MS 3.0 stack (Win7 + Office 2010 + Server 2008R2) - but vanishingly few even attempted it, and I'm not aware of any, outside of the tech sphere, which actually meaningfully accomplished it.

      I think another such attempt today could be a lot more meaningful if managed appropriately. Google, Apple, or *Nix (or some mix) as a desktop platform, coupled with almost exclusively web-delivered services or centrally provisioned cross-platform apps is realistically doable these days in ways that just weren't possible a decade ago.

      But such a transition will require a level of determination we don't often see in the private sector, and will require a high level of project management to successfully deliver.

      I hope that we see such an attempt in the near-ish future, whose process is well documented, such that we can learn better how this type of transition could play out in the current market, which differs quite substantially than the market even 5 years ago, much-less 10 or 15.

  17. J J Carter Silver badge
    Boffin

    M'kay....

    Oy vey! US military funding alone to Israel is $3.3B a year but Jewish blowhards quibble over O365 license costs...not sure they've thought this one through.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: M'kay....

      1.) Start‑ups raised a combined US$5.2bn during the year, 9% more than in 2016.......Fundraising by Israeli start-ups has been rising steadily since 2012, when it was just US$1.8bn. From the Economist https://industry.eiu.com/login.aspx/

      2.) Starting a comment with "Oy Vey" tells me exactly where that comment is coming from. Hint, stereotype racist caricaturisation.

    2. JJ55

      Re: M'kay....

      "Oy vey! ... but Jewish blowhards quibble over O365 license costs...not sure they've thought this one through"

      I'm quite sure you thought your post through. Your intentional on-line Anti-Semitism is all but acceptable now that the National Socialist Momentum party run by Comrade Corbyn is so close to power.

    3. Lars Silver badge

      Re: M'kay....

      US taxpayers will pay for it, the dollars will return home but into MS pockets, but that does not change the fact that one shouldn't, as a MS customer. question the amount of money demanded.

  18. martinusher Silver badge

    Its the problem with expensive licenses

    Once your annual licensing fee exceed a certain threshold the build/buy equation tips towards 'build', especially if you are an organization like the Government of Israel that has access to a lot of software talent. (...and $20million plus a year buys you quite a lot of talent)

    Its the problem with software. It costs a lot to make but very little to replicate.

  19. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Joke

    Simple Reason: Office 365 is not Kosher

    A Jewish year can be 383-386 days during a leap (or pregnant) year.

    Israel would need to buy extra coverage, way too costly.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Data

    Of course, handing over all the data belonging to a country under major existential threat, into the tender care of a moneygrubbing EU lawbreaker notorious for their lax customer security, could never be an unspoken influence on the decision.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much are these programs actually worth?

    Based on a comparison to other software, such as games that sell for $60, I'd say that a copy of the MS-Word program is actually worth about $10 outright, or maybe $3 per year. Same for the other Office Suite applications. They're just not that complicated, in comparison to much larger programs with a shorter shelf-life. So maybe about $100 outright for the whole Office package, or perhaps about $30 per year per seat.

    So $27.4M per year is about SIX TIMES the reasonable amount assuming that EVERYBODY living in Israel gets a license. Yes, it's insane.

    Israel is correct to walk away.

  22. Herby Silver badge
    Joke

    This just in...

    Israel commits to massive updates for Libre Office. Details to follow....

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, I get advised that the free open source office suites work just fine. Why subscibe to lose control over costs, updates, etc. ?

  24. Joeman

    Next UK.Gov proposal will be to hike everyone's national insurance payments by the cost of an O365 subscription so that everyone in the country is licenced! thus effectively slashing government spending on 365 licences to zero....

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