back to article Microsoft's Office nagware dead in icy water

Microsoft quietly yanked its Office nagware program off the interwebs last week. The company’s Office Genuine Advantage notifications program, which Microsoft only expanded to be used in 41 countries across the globe in August 2009, was killed on 16 December. ZDNet’s Ed Bott received word that it had been axed, after a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Office Piracy is Pointless.

    open office, star office, google docs.. etc

    1. Just Thinking

      Open Office

      I take it you have used OO Base then? That's half a day of my life I will never get back.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I did and I'm still using it

        because my brain can cope with it as it will with any other software package/application one might throw at it. I'm not totally against MS products though, pay me and I'll use them any day..

    2. Wize

      And the formatting doesn't go wonky...

      ...when converting between different programs. </sarcasm>

  2. terry 1
    Thumb Down

    event logs

    I wonder if this will stop off office 14 checking on the net each and every time it loads up. Logs just keep filling up with checks and disabling them forces the software into running into a non commercial mode.

    Such a pain

  3. Wibble

    Note to Microsoft: piracy is your problem, not ours.

    What value did it have? Pirates don't upgrade.

    But it's lovely to be a Microsoft customer, or thief as Microsoft call them. Arrogant bastards is what most of us think of Microsoft.

    Is it churlish to suggest that Microsoft's prices are the main cause of their piracy 'problem'? One could point out that Office has more than doubled in price over the last few years and the only real effort MS have put into later versions is the licensing.

    Reap what ye sow.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Not really with you on pricing

      Even ignoring the introduction of the Home and Student Edition as a replacement for the Student Edition in 2007, which significantly increased the number of people eligible to buy the cheapest version, Office Small Business Edition 2003 launched at $449. Whereas the comparable Home and Business edition for 2010 launched at $279.99.

      It is difficult to think of reasons to continue buying it, however. Any copy from the last 10 years will do and there are so many other options now.

      1. Wibble

        Office pricing

        I bought Office 2008 home/student which included Entourage (=Outlook) for £80 (which included 3 licences). The new Office 2011 home/student doesn't include Entourage, so you have to buy the full version for £180 (one licence). That's a 150% markup, or 450% if you count the three licences.

        Currently Office 2003 Pro is going for £50 on amazon

        Office 2010 (complete with different interface, space and time wasting ribbon, licencing issues, etc.) is going for £329.

        Milk that cash cow. Moo. Moo.

  4. netsurf

    intergration with win 7 WGA?

    does this possibly mean that they plan to merge wga and oga together? it could possibly lead to a killswitch for both

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to be convinced ....

    there were 2 divisions at MS. One "anti piracy", whose job it was to come up with various methods of protecting software. And then at the other end of the office, just before the release department, was the "pro marketing department" whose job was to water down all the anti piracy tweaks, to allow students, and employees to fill their boots with MS software (windows and office, mainly) so that their home PCs were MS friendly.

    Of course when students, spouses and kids all went out to work, what did they prefer using/were able to use/asked to use ?

    MS every time....

  6. Loki 1

    Benefits of genuine office?

    But what benefits does Genuine Microsoft Office have over the free pirated version of Microsoft Office? I don't understand? ;-)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    But if they killed the program,

    where is the tool to get it off my systems so it doesn't bollux them up in the future when they can't call home?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    There are good alternatives

    Anyone with enough nous to run pirated MS software PROPERLY will most likely be using open source alternatives as well. If MS make it impossible to pirate their software they full well know that those said people are just going to use and improve the alternatives.

    I love to see MS between a rock and a hard place, it just might force them to innovate. The windows interface has hardly changed since Win 95, windows explorer does not have tabs or split screens; It's not the 1990's any more.

    Give me KDE 4.6 & compiz any day.

    1. Refugee from Windows
      Thumb Up

      Hear hear

      They need to keep enough people running their Office software for it to stay the default. Make it too hard for copies to be used by anyone else and you risk losing market share. If a hookey copy of MS Office gets crippled fairly fast, you'll not bother and move to something else.

      Trouble is for them, you end up with all the up and coming generation who've got used to using the alternatives and don't even consider it.

      You can of course put a "trial" version and set of nagware on every laptop you sell. That just delays the fateful day that you take the cash cow down to the glue factory.

  9. Nick Galloway

    I want to upgrade for what reason...?

    I am still using office 2003 and am unconvinced by all the 'improvements' to subsequent versions of office. The reality is the upgrades from office '97 have been superficial for most users. The open source alternatives are now reaching a level of maturity that could steer quite a few from the current Microsoft offerings.

    Bugger it, I might just ditch the whole lot and go back to using a pencil and paper. The battery never went flat on them!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Office 2000

      Here. Improvements since then? Absolutely none relevant to the vast majority of us.

      On the OO front... I try, but, frankly, Office is the only reason there is still an MS partition on my otherwise Linux machine.

      1. colinm

        RE: Office 2000

        Office 2000 isn't getting security patches any more, so that's one good reason to change.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Office 2000????

          Like anything productive - the Microsoft patches are like handfuls of hot rivets in the hull of the Titanic...

          Not particularly worth shit in the first place.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        More 2000

        Same here. OO is not quite, I think, up to '2000 levels, but it's close. On the one occasion I installed 2007 it gave me nothing over 2000, apart from an unusable interface, *and* it made 2000 run like a dog (how did it do that?!), so I had to uninstall it.

        I install both '2000 and OO on everything, despite the fact that I can buy 2007/10 for next to nothing (legally, Software4Students/etc). There's absolutely no value in current Office versions that would make WGA an acceptable price to pay. The only slight fly in the ointment is that one of my kids is expected to use Word 2007 at school, for some extraordinary reason I haven't been able to get to the bottom of.

    2. Daniel B.

      Upgrade to unusability!

      Get smacked with the Ribbon. That's the main reason for which I am *not* upgrading at all. I'll keep my Office 2003 because I hate that piece of shit interface!

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        I still don't understand the ribbon hatred

        It just moves everything back into drop down menus, with the caveat that menu entries are buttons rather than text. Which is good because people can recognise images a lot more quickly than words. I guess the only caveat is that if you have automatic hiding disabled then the drop down menu doesn't automatically, ummmm, undrop.

  10. Steve 13
    Thumb Up

    Pencil and Paper

    Battery might have been okay, but the nib went blunt!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Remember trying to sharpen a broken pencil with your finger nails? Or having a pencil sharpener, but finding that the lead was broken every quarter-inch from the fall.

      Ahh, yes... that old technology: not always so reliable!

  11. Anonymous Coward

    blaming it for lost sales?

    I assume they are blaming a reduction in sales on the irritation they have caused to their actual customers with this,

    It may be true.

    OOo here, although I do have a copy of Word 2.0a for Windows 3.11 here. Somewhere.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    full office 2010 pro

    ...for £38.95. Not even entering into the Open office v MS discussion, but if anyone wants MS Office 2010 try ""

    If I have to install MS office so the wife (teacher) to use it as it's what is used in school, I'd rather pay £40 for the full pro version, than £80 for the cut down student / teacher version.

    Even if you have a kid in pre-school, you'd qualify for the deal.

    Personally I've always been happy with Open Office but to keep the peace, have gone with the above deal.

  13. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Upgrade? Why?

    The ONLY reason I have ever seen for upgrading which makes sense is so that you can open documents that some twonk in HR mailed out using the latest/greatest version of MS Orifice.

    I find it much easier to demand that said twonk mails it out in a format I can read - like scribble marks on dead trees. This seems to cut down on the amount of twonkery I receive.

    For added shits and giggles, pointed comments about "proprietary document formats" , "discriminatory practices" and "not in line with current government guidelines" seem to put the wind up the twonks....

  14. Anonymous Coward

    MS stop shooting themselves in the foot

    The reality was every pirate copy stomped on had to potential to create another Open Office convert or evangelist, so they took out the bullets from their own gun.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no compatibility issues here...

    if some dick emails me a dotdoc I import in into google docs.

    job done. simples etc.

    I do use office at work. but not at home.

  16. g e

    Benefits of Genuine Office

    BoG Off

    Really, did anyone at MS think that one through?

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