back to article Like using the latest version of Microsoft Office? Love Offline Files? Not for long!

Microsoft Office users, eagerly upgrading to the latest and greatest version of the company's productivity suite, have found that the venerable Offline Files function has gone, er, offline. Judging by the increasing rumbling in the company's forums, the problem kicked off with version 1904 of the productivity suite and …

  1. Adair

    Sup with the devil...

    better use a long spoon.

    Nothing new to see here, just business as usual.

    As Fagin sang: 'In this life, one thing counts. In the bank, large amounts'

    If that's the mantra we choose to live by there are no surprises at the outcomes.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Sup with the devil...

      "The workaround is to not use Office to open the file, or to stay connected. Or update to Work Folders or One Drive for Business."

      Or testing updates before you deploy them.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: Sup with the devil...

        The workaround is to NEVER use Office to open the file - use something more reliable, such as LibreOffice.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Sup with the devil...

          There's also WPS Office if all this China kerfuffle doesn't bother you.

      2. Jakester

        Re: Sup with the devil...

        The problem with testing updates before you deploy them is that it could take a person years to test an update to be sure it didn't cause problems (guaranteed you can find problems with any update). Sometimes a specific sequence of events is required to trigger an error. I recall one incident a couple decades ago where the user would experience the loss of a document during editing in the then current version of Microsoft Word. All hell would break loose if the user would mark a section of text, have to scroll a portion of the marked text past the visible portion of the window, complete marking the desired section of text, then paste the cut section to elsewhere in the document. Word would freeze and the document contents lost. Often the recovery feature could be used to get back to where the document state was a few minutes earlier, but not always.

        The amazing thing about the mess was the user was able to identify the exact sequence that would cause the mess. It was repeatable on other computers and documents.

        Yes, testing some key things before deploying is good. I find it better to avoid the crap put out by Microsoft whenever possible. When I setup a new computer, I always put on Libre Office in addition to customer requested Microsoft Office. Reason: when they call me to fix a document they can't open in Microsoft Office or something weird is happening with pictures/images, I open the offending document in Libre Office, fix the document, and save it. I gave up a long time ago trying to fix a messed-up document/spreadsheet with Microsoft Office.

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: Sup with the devil...

          But the difference here appears to be that the issue is not necessarily an accidental programming error but an upgrade of software that knowingly breaks existing functionality which is not regarded as a bug but a new functional structure that will continue into the future. "That's what it does now."

          This is the basic problem with 'rental' software - you get what they deliver, not what you want.

          "This is Meast Feast stuffed crust ... but my regular order is Lactose free Vegan Veg Mania with hand polished pea-shoots and magic pixie dust on gluten free sea weed base!"

          "What do I care? We sell pizza, it's a pizza ..."

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Sup with the devil...

      I think the article is a lie.

      MS know that there are plenty of situations where documents can't go into cloud for regulatory or contractual reasons. So there is no sense in compelling users to have docs in cloud.

      I

  2. sabroni Silver badge

    should've done a Google

    Called it a beta and just stop supporting it when they get bored.

    No excuse for not warning users though, Google at least let you know in advance when they shutter something you're using....

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    Sounds like

    You can sign out of the cloud but you can never leave.

    1. b0llchit
      Coat

      Re: Sounds like

      Welcome to the Hotel Micro-sof-ties.

      Such a lovely place.

      ...

      (Sorry and deep apologies for the real deal)

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like

      Welcome to the Hotel Cloud-ifornia.

      [edit] Drat! Ninja'd by b0llchit...

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Sounds like

        Hotel Clouid-i-fornicate-you

        (except Redmond is in Washington, but the techno-smug is DEFINITELY in Cali-Fornicate-You)

        yeah I'll stop explaining now. coat please.

        from the article: "and an error is vomited onto the screen."

        (worthy of a mention)

        1. Louis Schreurs

          Re: Sounds like

          "and an error is vomited onto the screen."

          (worthy of a mention)

          YASSSSSS

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clouds rule OK!

    Until they simply disappear.

    MS have a really cunning plan.

    IMHO that is to make the PC the 21st Century 3270 Terminal. Their cloud is the mainframe of old. Your PC is a dumb (well almost dumb) terminal.

    Then the builders sever the network cable with a JCB... Deep Joy!

    What goes around comes around unless you can just tell MS to Eff Off and NOT let their software put anything in the cloud. That will I'd imagine get harder and harder as time goes by.

    All those field researchers out in the middle of nowhere and without a budget to stretch to a Sat Phone could well be stuffed by this move.

    Anything with the MS label is banned in my house. Libre Office does the job quite nicely thanks and does not make you bend over a barrel for a shafting

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Clouds rule OK!

        Counterpoint: I use LibreOffice in my businesses, and have setup several other large and small companies to use it. We all find it to be perfectly fine for our needs.

        But don't pay attention to me (or Cavehomme_), that's just a couple of testimonials, neither of which mean anything in your world. Instead, why not download a copy for yourself and try it out? It's not like it'll cost you anything but a couple minutes of your time ... Which you'll get back next time Microsoft's Office365 throws a temper tantrum, should you decide to make the switch.

        1. Trollslayer Silver badge

          Re: Clouds rule OK!

          LibreOffice is fine for basics but I have used advanced functions in Excel which LibreOffice was never meant to handle.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Clouds rule OK!

            PEE CEEs are fine for basics but I have used advanced I/O capability in Mainframes which PEE CEEs were never meant to handle.

            Non-sequiturs can be fun, but not when discussing technical aspects of computing.

          2. RegGuy1

            Re: Clouds rule OK!

            Jesus -- learn to use a programming language (and I don't mean the shitty thing in Excel).

            Making yourself dependent on this paid-for tat is just asking for trouble. Still if that's your choice, don't moan when you are eventually shafted.

            1. Jakester

              Re: Clouds rule OK!

              Many years ago, I spent about 4 months of 1/2 days to make a set of Excel spreadsheets work similarly to present-day workbooks using the powerful macros in Excel at that time. A master spreadsheet would get and manipulate data in 60 other spreadsheets to analyze training schedules for 16 groups of people. It worked great (although slow, taking up to 3 hours to complete with the 8086's of the day. It was obsoleted with the next version of Excel obsoleted the old macros.

              Now, those types of things can be done in pivot tables. Some of the pivot tables I use are easy to setup and use in Libre Office. I have attempted to some of them in Microsoft's Excel with little success. There is often extraneous information I don't need that gets thrown-in and usually information I need that just won't seem to pop-out with Excel.

              Libre Office never prompts/encourages me to put things in the cloud. I assume Open Office Org is also friendly in that regard. Both Libre Office and Open Office have roots in Star Office, I used Star Office, purchasing each new version that was released. When Sun Microsystems acquired the company and changed the name to Open Office (making it available free to all), I switched to that. When Oracle bought Sun, some nervous Nellies created a new fork of the code and Libre Office was born. I too was a nervous about anything associated with Oracle, so I switched to Libre Office. Functionality has steadily improved over the years.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Clouds rule OK!

        at least with Libre Office I can work with Micro-Shaft format documents _AND_ do so on Linux or FreeBSD without having to be online. And it's not all 2D FLATSO, has *NO* ribbon or other irritating UI elements, and I've *NEVER* heard of a MACRO VIRUS that affects Libre Office (so you can open up documents that random people that you don't know might send you with pretty good security and reliability).

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Clouds rule OK!

          You don't have to be online with Microsoft Office 365 or Pro Plus either. Although as 365 is licenced per user it needs to be online once a month to check your entitlement. Pro Plus doesnt though.

      3. cyberdemon
        Trollface

        Re: Clouds rule OK!

        > LibreOffice is crap for business work. I say this as a StarOffice+++ home user since 1998.

        You forgot the troll icon --->

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Clouds rule OK!

      "Their cloud is the mainframe of old"

      yeah I saw that one coming during the dot-bomb days of the early noughties.

      We'd just gotten to the point where computing power was distributed among all of those PCs on everyone's desktop. THEN, "the powers that be", to control and monetize things back in their own favor, "decided" to change everyone back to the old way of doing things, by going light-client-heavy-server instead of heavy-client-light-server. Except they'd use JAVASCRIPT to force all of those "light client" applications into becoming HEAVY CLIENT applications, which is why every web browser nowadays is a FORNICATING PIG when it comes to CPU and memory and other resources...

      that way our ">10 times faster than they were in 1999" computers on our desktops run like CRAP with all of that "required" BLOATWARE, plus the latency of "cloud", and the reliability of a single basket filled with all of our thinly shelled eggs.

      1. poohbear

        Re: Clouds rule OK!

        I see your "yeah I saw that one coming during the dot-bomb days of the early noughties." and raise you The Nineties ... I saw it coming when Win 95 arrived, but MS hadn't seen it yet at that point. When they did, they launched Operation Kill Netscape.

    3. Louis Schreurs

      Re: Clouds rule OK!

      Thanks! Your post pushes me over the edge (pun!)

      My home big box will soon welcome some Linux, which will receice a LibreOffice treatment.

      Sent from my iPad, it is a crime to force someone to edit some spreadsheet on it.

      iThingies are my fav FASHION devices.

    4. TimMaher Bronze badge
      Coat

      Re: Clouds rule OK!

      3270 eh?

      Everybody shout “505”!

      Yeeaaahhhh!!!!!

      I’ll get my coat. It’s the one with the Mylar tape in the pocket.

    5. Is It Me Bronze badge

      Re: Clouds rule OK!

      This is effecting people who don't do the "cloud" thing.

      Offline files are files that are on your fileserver and cached locally so they can be access when not on the home network.

      The solutions being suggested are either Cloud (OneDrive) or need a constant connection (Work Folders)

  5. AMBxx Silver badge

    Did anybody find offline files reliable?

    I always found that stuff wouldn't update as expected. Gave up long ago.

    Onedrive is much easier, especially now you can have automatic cleaning up etc.

    If you want it all local, that's possible too.

    Still no good for a company with shared folders though. You have to use Sharepoint for that (sorry!)

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Did anybody find offline files reliable?

      No you don't. Onedrive can cache all files including from fileservers and SharePoint. See for instance https://redmondmag.com/articles/2018/04/27/onedrive-for-remote-file-access.aspx?m=1

  6. Snake
    FAIL

    Wait, what?

    "Office from [the] start was designed to be a single client Productivity suite"

    Yet Microsoft tries to sell Office 365 under the adverts:

    "Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription service that brings together the best tools for the way people work today. By combining best-in-class apps like Excel and Outlook with powerful cloud services like OneDrive and Microsoft Teams, Office 365 lets anyone create and share anywhere on any device."

    (emphasis mine) from https://products.office.com/en-us/home

    So, in essence: Microsoft is lying in order to sell you the subscription to their productivity suite under the guise that it is cooperative, but actually isn't, when said cooperation modules fail.

    Class action lawsuit, please?

  7. Dr. Ellen
    Big Brother

    LibreOffice. Just saying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But does the bug affect LibreOffice? And does it work properly with the Microsoft Cloud?

      It mildly amuses me that all the people who said Chrome would never catch on are now watching Microsoft do the same thing, except with bugs that were fixed in Chrome some time ago.

      1. jake Silver badge

        "But does the bug affect LibreOffice? And does it work properly with the Microsoft Cloud?"

        Just in case anybody's not paying attention, the answer to both questions is "no". Which is kind of the point, n'est-ce pas?

        1. Remy Redert

          The answer to the first is no. If you point Libreoffice (or any other OpenOffice variant) to any folder synched by a cloud provider, including One Drive, it will happily take advantage of the useful part (file synch and duplication) without any of the downsides of use Office 365 Offline files.

          Unless you're using Onedrive and Microsoft decides to help you by cleaning up some space on your hard drive for you, of course.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "[...] and Microsoft decides to help you by cleaning up some space on your hard drive for you, [...]"

            Obligatory Dilbert back in the days of dial-up - 1995.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Chrome never "caught on". Everything ELSE simply started becoming INDISTINGUISHABLE from the chromium CRAPPINESS and so people settle for what they already have installed on their 'droid phones... hence it's "popular" because no true alternative exists. Google publishes their "standards" which differ from the IBM ones of the 90's [the ones that made Windows actually popular because people went out and BOUGHT IT to add to existing computers, not simply accept because it "came with the machine"], because the new SMUG kids on the block [aka millenials] have to do it THEIR way. And FORCE everyone ELSE to COMPLY with it. Because, they're superior. And it's THEIR turn.

        I'm reminded that I need to write my own web browser, by porting webkit to use MY toolkit [once I finish it] and ENFORCING the non-2D-FLATTY 'classic menus and tabs' look on EVERY operating system [including Win-10-nic]. no more hamburger menus, etc. Something like MIdori, except it won't swallow the fornicating 2D FLATTY HAMBURGER MENU coolaid.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        No LibreOffice is not affected. It seems MS went out of their way to bork offline files (which is an OS feature and therefore should work with all software) on Office.

        1. david 12 Bronze badge

          Offline files work with all software. But encrypted files work only with software that is designed to handle encrypted files. And authenticated files only work with software that is designed to work with authentication. And (closest match) "copy protected" files only work with software that is designed to work with authenticated encrypted copy protected files, and if you copy the contents of the file into an unauthenticated unencrypted location, then the file's not copy-protected anymore. Which is what is happening here: MS Windows won't copy a copy-protected authenticated encrypted file into the local (unencrypted) cache: That is it won't copy them offline. That is what the complaint is about.

          The system is not (at present) completely locked at every level. You can still, in some circumstances, use some other software to tell Windows to make a local (unencrypted) copy of your file in your local (unencrypted) offline-files cache. There are restrictions you can enforce to stop that, but most noticeably if you copy the text into an email message, all bets are off.

          Google, of course, is working on the same stuff, and moving to a system where email messages are content-free, and do not break end-to-end document copy protection. Their system replaces email messages with links to content "in the cloud", and they are trying to move all their enterprise customers onto the new system this month.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            But according to TFA seems there's a problem with all files in Offline Files opened with Office, not just the copy protected ones?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    isn't a good look for Microsoft

    and Microsoft couldn't care less!

    Don't ever hold your breath to see Microsoft sorry enough the revert such a decision. They know masses will suck it up and carry on.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: isn't a good look for Microsoft

      "Microsoft Sorry" - it's their new product line?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: isn't a good look for Microsoft

      "They know masses will suck it up and carry on."

      Unfortunately it's not that simple. The masses will call uninformative tech-support lines with the result that they (together with the poor call-center operators) are driven into total madness. None of the battlefield downstairs will sip through the upper floors obviously.

      But I (and people like me) are the ones who get fucked up!

      1. cyberdemon
        Devil

        Re: isn't a good look for Microsoft

        MS have sat and watched Apple, Google, Dropbox et al for a while now, and come to the realisation that all their competitors seem to be going a little bit evil. But they have a monopoly on that since 1995, so naturally the best course of action is to copy what they do, but ramp up the evil. It's a niche that only Microsoft can fill, just watch while they corner the market!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Love Offline Files? Not for long!

    er... it does sound Horrible Histories... Intentional? BUT NOT FOR LOOONG! ;)

  10. cantankerous swineherd

    import CGIHTTPServer

    import BaseHTTPServer

    class Handler(CGIHTTPServer.CGIHTTPRequestHandler):

    cgi_directories = ["/htbin"]

    PORT = 80

    httpd = BaseHTTPServer.HTTPServer(("", PORT), Handler)

    print "serving at port", PORT

    httpd.serve_forever()

    and you're online?

    1. cantankerous swineherd

      seem to have lost the audience there.

  11. J J Carter Silver badge
    Stop

    Too many cooks

    I find the Microsoft Office Upload Center and OneDrive for Business fight with each other, MSFT can't explain what each one is trying to do when syncing versions/edits.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too many cooks

      >Too many cooks

      Wrong company, that's Apple.

      Crooks

      FTFY

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Too many cooks

      Office upload centre is needed for collaborative editing only. And yes it's veeeeerrrry slow with large documents.

      If you don't need to edit documents at the same time as other users, remove the tick box from "Use Office to sync your files" in the Office Upload Centre system tray app and it will save files and sync many times faster.

  12. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Nice files you got there, pal

    It'd be a cryin' shame if you didn't pay yer protection money subscription fee and something bad happened to 'em...

  13. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Real Reason?

    <snark> Could the issue be Slurp has more trouble slurping data from local networks and drives than from their cloudy operations; of course done under the watchful eyes of you local spookhaus </snark>

  14. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Use LibreOffice instead

    Better price and no M$ crap "updates".

  15. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    FAIL

    Why is this being reported?

    All us commentards knew it would happen.

    Hmm, I suppose to be fair, we didn't know the exact date.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Why is this being reported?

      Yep, this was foreseen by dozens of commentards -including myself- in these forums years ago. I personally explained the (then probable) issues to a few dozens of my customers, and exactly seven of them refused my advice, one of them even telling me that that I was a conspiranoic. I guess I'll be hearing for them in the next few days.

      Thanks, Microsoft!

      8^)

      1. Manu T

        Re: Why is this being reported?

        Wow, I learned something new today: "conspiranoic" ;-)

        1. Mephistro Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Why is this being reported?

          True. Please replace the last "c" with a "d". Secondary effects of posting at ~2 AM.

      2. DJV Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Why is this being reported?

        "I guess I'll be hearing for them in the next few days"

        Please take a photo of the look on their faces when you do the "I told you so" speech!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why is this being reported?

          "Please take a photo of the look on their faces when you do the "I told you so" speech!"

          They will deny they ever said "Project Fear!" in reply.

  16. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Even if those updates break existing functionality.

    I have, over the years, reduced my dependency on MSFT to near zero, but my familiarity with a certain fruity company, telecom providers, and various smaller outfits has led me to conclude that the entire _purpose_ of updates is to break existing functionality. Thus is the user "encouraged" to purchase (or more likely rent) a poor substitute for what is lost.

    Won't somebody think of the oligarchs?

    1. ma1010 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Even if those updates break existing functionality.

      ...the entire _purpose_ of updates is to break existing functionality

      THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

      Sad, but true and well said. I would give you 100 upvotes if I could.

      Even if the developers don't actually intend to break things, devops and agile pretty much guarantee it will happen anyway.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Even if those updates break existing functionality.

        We're Microsoft and we know what's best for you - It's not breaking functionality, it's streamlining the creative process and keeping all your documents safe from when your hardware breaks. The saved space will allow your device to accept the next update of our system that will provide an even more streamlined service. </doublespeak>

        Eventually, like the a/c posted above, it'll just be a pretty terminal. For some unknown reason it will also need 100Gig of local space to do almost nothing.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Even if those updates break existing functionality.

        "...if the developers don't actually intend to break things..."

        Remember: " Bad decisions are usually made with good intentions! "

        1. cyberdemon
          Devil

          This aint no technological breakdown..

          Reminds me of the Chris Rea song..

          But seriously, good intentions or not, I worry for the stability of western society (especially in poor soon-to-be-isolated little Britain) when so much of it depends on this shaky infrastructure designed in California.

          Shops like Tesco can't even take cash now, without a connection to some Cloud ERP server.. Certainly no logistics or distribution company can work without the Cloud these days - they wouldn't even be able to ind their way to the delivery location, never mind know what to load onto the lorry.

          I seriously think that society is so fragile now that it would collapse if the internet went off for a week. They probably wouldn't be able to supply amazonian wood pellets to our converted coal power stations anymore, let alone fill up the petrol stations... If you thought Brexit would be bad for our "just in time" economy..!

          A month and we'd be stabbing eachother over a tin of baked beans.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Even if those updates break existing functionality.

      "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run" was a late '80s catch phrase for a reason.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even if those updates break existing functionality.

      "....that the entire _purpose_ of updates is to break existing functionality..."

      ... thus... lesson one: DON'T update!

  17. seatiger

    There's another way

    Deleted all Office from my PCs and moved to LibreOffice. Some little configurations -like lightening up a bit the matrix on Calc, and applying better looking icon bars- and never came back to Office.

    You don't need to install the Crapola Java is like in OpenOffice and you don't need any strange activations.

    So far so good.

    1. ColonelDare

      Re: There's another way

      I used to use (and teach) M$ Office until 2008 when I left my college job. I chose never to use any M$, or other closed proprietary product, ever again and haven't.

      Later I moved from OpenOffice to LibreOffice seamlessly (at no cost) and things just keep getting better. Whilst I still run LO on a decent PC for heavy stuff (eg editing a 30+ page community magazine), most tasks I can now do on my cheap Chromebook (running LO under Linux Apps for ChromeOS (beta)), or even on my 24/7 Raspberry Pi behind the kitchen telly.

      Cheap, flexible and reliable <glances at M$ in the rear-view mirror and smiles.> :-)

  18. LenG

    Why?

    Why do people use this cra?. Even more puzzling, why do they PAY to use this crap?

  19. Dwarf Silver badge

    Bully Boy Tactics

    I went to open a word doc on my ipad the other day - first time I've need to in several years. it opened, but no siree, you can't edit it without an Office 345 licence.

    Well, stuff that, close doc, open in Pages and do what I need there. If that hadn't worked, well I'd have not bothered and would have waited until I got to my Linux machine or my Mac and used one of the tools on there..

    Microsoft - bully boy tactics won't work. Making things more difficult just makes us more stubborn to do something else that doesn't involve you.

  20. Nematode

    Still on 2010 here.... In fact 2003+.docx converter on da wife's </luddite>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Still on 2007 here. Although 2003 has the better UI...

      1. wibblethribble
        Unhappy

        Unfortunately .....

        I "upgraded" to 2010 :-(

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Why not upgrade?

      To O2003? </luddite>

      But it does not fuck things up.

    3. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Me as well.

    4. Ian Emery Silver badge

      My mother still runs Office 98

  21. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Windows

    Your files

    are our files now, you may work on them we we say you can work on them.

    How much longer are businesses going to put up with the crap m$ are pushing out the door lately? there must be a tipping point when most major companies go "fuck this for a game of computers.... let get some work done instead of spending 2-3 hrs a day fucking about with m$ software so that it works"

    <<<spent the day watching an office installation ... and I mean a DAY ....

    1. slartybartfast

      Re: Your files

      M$ for years have tried to dominate markets and force users into doing things their way (IE6 anyone?). This is one reason we still have to put up with the Office document formats. It becomes a problem if there are no viable alternatives as this means people will be forced into accepting this online only b***sh**. Same goes for Adobe. LibreOffice is a good enough alternative for many but MS still is king as LibreOffice can't touch it for it's advanced features that lots of businesses rely on.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Your files

        LibreOffice is a good enough alternative for many but MS still is king as LibreOffice can't touch it for it's advanced features that lots of businesses rely on.

        They certainly insist upon the features, but it remains an open question, in my mind, as to whether these businesses actually rely in these features, or they just think they do.

        LibreOffice comes with one killer feature that MS never will, though, and that's that it won't ever stop working if it thinks (correctly or not) the subscription fee hasn't been paid recently enough, whether by glitch or by design, and it won't continually use your resources against your own interests, running license checks that do nothing but try to find a reason to stop performing the task for which the software (or the subscription for it) was purchased, and to harass you instead.

        The makers of LibreOffice won't ever send audit teams to the place of business of their "partners" and try to find some technical violation of their Byzantine licensing schema so they can shake them down for penalties and still more future licensing fees.

        LibreOffice doesn't push potentially productivity-breaking updates (since all updates have that potential) unless you want it to, on your schedule. It doesn't try to be some hip and trendy cloud service that doesn't really suit its purpose very well if you need to know it's going to work right when you need it to work.

        Those are not advanced features by any means, but they're important ones, and it would take a hell of a list of "advanced" features that were of high importance to outweigh them, as I see it. The lack of these features alone is pretty close to being a deal-breaker in and of itself!

        1. nijam

          Re: Your files

          > ... whether these businesses actually rely in these features, or they just think they do.

          No thinking involved, the M$ sales droid has told them that

          (a) they rely on the features [unlikely, but just possibly the case]

          and

          (b) LO doesn't have those features [probably even less likely].

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a little pin prick

    Dealer MS Feelgood dealt us a bad batch.

    but you know.. we're hooked, so we'll be back tomorrow.

  23. The Central Scrutinizer

    Microsoft has been characteristically tardy in responding.

    ke surpreese

  24. tempemeaty
    Go

    Go ahead Microsoft...end yourselves...

    ...just sitting here with my popcorn and ready...

  25. Kev99

    Why would anyone in his/her right mind put any proprietary, sensitive, or otherwise for-my-eyes-only file on any type of internet/cloud connected repository is beyond me. Hardly a day goes by where another company has had its data stores broken into by some script-kiddie or NSA agent. It's one thing to keep files on an in house file server but to put them out on the bunch-of-holes-connected-with-string-or-vapor is foolish.

    Oh, one thing the article doesn't mention is whether or not the user can just double click on the file or do a drag and drop to open it.

    1. slartybartfast

      Not so long ago there was a discussion about Adobe's cloud service and plenty of people were defending it over offline, external storage. Seriously, anything and everything stored online can be hacked. The dark web buys and sells lots of our personal data (which means all of our subscription accounts aren't safe). Yes, external storage can be stolen, disks corrupted, destroyed in a fire and so on but the risk of a cloud server being hacked from any corner of the world is so much more likely than a break in at my house by a top techie criminal gang, ready to sell the data they find on the dark web.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Bond007

      "Why would anyone in his/her right mind put any proprietary, sensitive, or otherwise for-my-eyes-only file on any type of internet/cloud connected repository is beyond me. "

      Yup! I will never understand this either! I don't give a t*ss how secure these 'cloud' providers say they are (I mean they ARE going to say they're secure anyway, after all, they want to protect their money!), I would never store anything sensitive on the 'cloud'! It's just begging to be hacked!

      I am quite 'proud' of the fact that I don't personally use ANY cloud storage services!

    3. Mephistro Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Add to that the myriad of MDS style vulns in most modern microprocessors that allow any miscreant with a VM running in the same processor as your VM to access your data. No computer is totally safe, but having a VM in the cloud with sensitive data is like having a big bullseye painted in your arse!

  26. Updraft102 Silver badge

    The workaround is to not use Office

    Agreed. That works as a permanent solution as well!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Microsoft office and productivity

    An oxymoron

  28. Mage Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    The workaround is to not use Office

    Yes, that now seems to be the solution.

    Also to NOT use Windows 10.

    What use is MS's cloudy SW anyway if you have no always on super reliable broadband?

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: The workaround is to not use Office

      Microsoft's "Cloudy Software" works just fine offline too.

  29. Unbelievable!
    Flame

    I'm sick of ms last 5 years.

    All they do is domineer lately. Apple did it all along which is why i was happy to cosy up and stay with MS, take the training and earn certifications.

    Now, In some ways, dare i say it, i wish the fucking internet never existed.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everything in life is transient - including life itself.

    In my nearly 60 years of working with electronics and IT that has been a sobering thread.

    The last few weeks I have been doing a house declutter going back 40 years. Friends commiserated on the nominal 50% drop I took on my collection of 19th century ceramics and modern reproduction bronzes. Fashions change - but they will all be appreciated in new homes. You buy such things for the aesthetic pleasure.

    That financial drop was nothing compared to the large amount of obsolete PC hardware and software that has gone to the recycle skip. Plus a bonfire of the thick wodge of invoices. Fortunately I never made a spreadsheet of the invoice totals.

  31. The Real Tony Smith

    Why on earth is a word processor getting involved with offline file synchronisation? That's the OS's or dedicated app's job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's the OS's or dedicated app's job

      Word is not precisely a word processor and Windows is not precisely an OS.

  32. ecofeco Silver badge

    And there it is

    How's that cloud thing working for ya?

    Suckers.

  33. mrLoganz

    Microsoft's Poor Response

    I think what niggles me the most is the lack of official response from Microsoft. So many businesses are now suffering because of this change and we still don't know if this is a deliberate design decision, an oversight, a bug. Is this something that will be working in the next patch? or is it now broken full stop.

    Currently I am in a holding pattern waiting for some kind of word on the situation, does Microsoft think that little about the businesses that rely on and pay for their software?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft's Poor Response

      "does Microsoft think that little about the businesses that rely on and pay for their software?"

      Do you really have to ask? There are 44 years of actual, real-world empirical data to base your answer on. I think the question people should be asking is more like "Why do businesses rely on and pay for Microsoft software, given that is is so unreliable and that Microsoft clearly doesn't care?" ...

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