back to article Is Microsoft hinting at a fully fondleslab-friendly future for Office 365?

Microsoft will soon debut a new formulation of its Office 365 subscription service aimed at individual consumers, the company said on Thursday, and in the process it hinted that new, touch-centric Office apps may be coming soon. "We recognize that there are households of all shapes and sizes and we're committed to delivering …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what happens to "your" files on OneDrive if you cancel your sub?

    Personally, I prefer owning to renting.

    1. nodice

      You can always download your data if our subscription is canceled, you just can't upload beyond your existing limit, which is a minimum of 7GB.

  2. Mystic Megabyte


    Anyone who is recommending MS Office should be sacked immediately.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What?

      So, rightly or wrongly, that's you against, well essentially the entire business planet, then. Unless you really thought the productivity suite market revolved around product quality and idealism, as opposed to a quarter century of lock-in? With the sheer volume of Microsoft formatted data rolling around (and bearing in mind the presence of Lotus 123 spreadsheets on 'my' network after about 15 years) I'll make a fairly confident prediction that the format and its ancestors will be claiming market share when I'm soiling myself and explaining to my geriatrics nurse how LaTEX represented the one true typesetting and document exchange format, even while she's exchanging the data I left on my bedsheets. Fired for recommending Office? Maybe in your ideal world. Recommend Libreoffice? You'll likely not be fired, but you'll definitely be ignored .

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What?

        IT at Wifey's work switched over to LibreOffice to save money.

        Saving a small to medium non-IT firm a few grand each year isn't exactly gross misconduct. It's a no brainer.

        They're still able to open documents without any issues, and she finds it easier to use.

        Lock-in is now something MS now wants us to believe.

        (I use Office)

        1. dan1980

          Re: What?

          As an IT provider dealing with quite a few SMBs, I can assure you that a great many of them would just not go for it. Yes, saving money is nice and what company doesn't want that but it's just easier to go the Office route for most people.

          Maybe that's not your experience but it is certainly mine.

          And anyway, at those scales, most companies are buying PCs for people as and when they start and grab an OEM copy of Office for ~$250 at the time. They then keep that PC for 5 years until it becomes too slow or breaks down entirely. They then but a new PC and a new, $250 OEM copy of office.

          I don't recommend Office, per se, as the VAST majority of both staff you are supporting and managers you are dealing with already know Office and would have used it in their last job. That means that it is the default choice.

          To actively recommend a different product that they are unfamiliar with is opening yourself up for pain. They might love the saving and perhaps, like the AC's wife, even find it easier to use. BUT . . . the first time the CEO/manager/loud, annoying, self-important user runs into a problem, that is forgotten and it's all Dan's fault. (Which might be fine for you, but I happen to be Dan so I'll pass.)

          Having dealt with SMBs for over a decade, I can tell you what the price of MS Office buys you: familiarity, features, integration. LibreOffice has some excellent features and for shared features, many of the LibreOffice implementations are far more flexible. That's great, but the first time the MD can't format a table the way he's used to or can't add annoying 'Smart Art' or save an auto-run presentation then a recommendation of LibreOffice will come back to bite you.

          Worse when you find out that the latest version of <insert software here> has some whizz-bang feature they want to use but can't because the integration is for Office only. Maybe it's their off-the-shelf CRM system and it will only integrate with Outlook, so instead e-mails are direct SMTP and thus they don't see a copy in their sent items. Cue abuse. Maybe it's some PDF program that only works with Word. Yes, there are powerful PDF features in LO but "I don't understand why I can't just do it the way I always do it". Cue more abuse. Or maybe their accounting software opens reports in Excel. Not XLS format you understand: it directly calls Excel. Hard-coded. "You mean I have to save it first and then open it? It always used to work before!" Cure yet more abuse.

          These issues will happen and they will blame you for recommending the software and they will expect you to help them with their issues with it without charge. I care about my clients and I don't want them to waste money but none of us have margins high enough to warrant the risks.

          The story may well be different if you have the MD on side and the push comes from them but most small business owners don't want to deal with complaining users and neither do I.

          Make no mistake, I use LibreOffice at home (still on XP!) but I am a techie and my needs are non-critical and if something doesn't work, I am happy to find out how to do it or install the appropriate extension and thereafter enjoy the flexibility. Businesses just want things to workt he way they are used to them working so they ask for and recieve MS Office and I don't counsel them to do otherwise.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What?

            And you're speaking from experience of a LibreOffice roll-out?

            "These issues will happen"

            Will they? They didn't happen for us.

            sure, I bitched about it for a few weeks - but once I reluctantly got on with it [don't tell them this] I liked it. For the customisable, draggable toolbar more than anything... and menus! The "re-learning" for the non-IT was non-existent - they know very well how to operate a toolbar and menu. There isn't a single feature we've missed (Office is grossly under-used, and over-estimated).

            When I'm home, using Office - it just doesn't taste like it used to.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whoopee Dooo

    Yet another SKU added to the simple and cheap Microsoft line-up.

    Filling in my tax return is less complicated and cheaper than buying from MS.

  4. Mikel

    What if Microsoft launched iPad Office

    What if Microsoft launched iPad Office - and noone cared?

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. dwrjones87

      Re: What?

      I do believe you are getting file formats and applications confused.....

      Yes, majority of data may be in MS Office files. Open/Libre Office does a reasonable job of reading them, and actually supports a higher version of the file formats than MS Office does.

      Equally, you can open Open/Libre Office files with MS Office

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What?

        Please, don't be offended by this response...That sodden, slightly mushy sound you can hear is my noggin vigorously reacquainting itself with the wall as you heroically miss the point. Business. Does. Not. Care. I am currently in the second year of a XML-based guerrilla automation war with with a certain support provider who INSIST that you will attach a Word 2003 document with MS specific formatting describing your support case. Provide an XML based document and rejection follows. What's that you say? Missing protected fields? Rejected. Libreoffice is cheaper you say? Where's that Outlook/Exchange thingy that should be a mail application but which certain parts of the business treat like a combination of relational database and file system? Not there? No thanks.

        I do not love Office, any more than I really hate it but to believe it will simply vanish and be replaced by the ODF utopia any time soon is wishful thinking.

        1. Mikel

          Re: What?

          You make it sound like you have some problems even Office for iPad won't solve.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Er, no

    "ARM-powered Windows RT slabs all come with a fully licensed version of Office"

    Not for business use, so not "fully licensed" in my books.

    The sooner MS learn that Windows is not the centre of computing any more, and that Office for other OS will sell, they will do themselves and the world a favour. However, this rental mode and the expectation of your files and ability to access them vanishing if you stop paying is not appealing.

  7. dan1980

    What was that?

    "We recognize that there are households of all shapes and sizes and we're committed to delivering the right Office for everyone . . ."

    Translation: we're committed to getting all our customers onto a subscription model.

    1. hplasm

      Re: "... the right Office for everyone . . ."


      OpenOffice or LibreOffice?

  8. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    More reasoning for open standards:




    any variety of 'nix distributions

    Heck, it has been hard enough over the years in SMEs if the computer in the corner had Office 95 (okay, I'm exaggerating a little?), the one over there have Office 2000 and the new one had Office 2007.

    Things seemed better when all the 'pooters ran the same version of Office bought from an online auction at very, very good rates but the auditors and accountants said it was not a good idea.

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