Fuck you, Microsoft
May your reign last hours, and your death years.
Microsoft has cooked up a post-Christmas gift for service providers to prolong their festive cheer – price hikes of up to 50 per cent on volume licensing agreements. The move has been interpreted by channel partners and hosting firms alike as Microsoft upping the cost for on-premise wares to make its cloudy stuff look more …
Well said Mr Pott!
There will be a flurry of orders before crimble followed by a 'sagebrush blowing in the wind' period.
People will now think long and hard about upgrades (simply not doint them) and even (hurrah) to Linux.
As someone who has run their own IT Company and actually employed people I'm stubborn enough to say to any Microsoft Droid who mentions the word 'Cloud' to me that they get a short sharp F**k Off in response.
Thankfully I don't have to make those decisions any longer but my current POC project is to move our core product from Windows to RHEL/CentOS so at on place, I think the writing is on the wall for MS.
In any case, we can't use a clound solution for our product unless is it a local cloud. Trusting the operation of the complex Industrial plant we run to external networks if we went for Azure, AWS etc is just asking for a major disaster. If we did and it happened then I'd probably end up spending a good few years behind bars at Her Majesty's Pleasure.
> the writing is on the wall for MS
Normally I'd think that might cut some ice with MS, but I suspect the writing writing is on the wall anyway, regardless of what they do. Like the hardware server market, I might by an additional box, but I'm unlikely to do replacements very often, especially as software licensing appears to be going to per-core, so a larger CPU can actually increase the cost of existing software.
MS have grown fat on useful upgrades that have provided but I think that's over to a large extent. How many companies are going to do a major Office upgrade for the new features? Once you've got Lync and exchange working, do you think there'll be a compelling reason to spend a vast amount and go through the hassle of an upgrade?
The useful additional features are tailing off and there is little compelling need to upgrade. Mostly we upgrade so that it won't cost a vast amount the next time we really do need to upgrade.
MS could leave things as they are and lose revenue as people stop buying, or they could hike the prices before people have a chance to leave. Once prices are up, budget will be assigned to cover it - the question is how many customers will you lose vs income gained. Probably, it will be a a revenue gain in the short and medium term. If it goes badly wrong for them, they can always cut prices again. That's the joy of an almost monopoly. If people do move to the cloud, they are likely to shed their messaging skills etc, leaving them even more reliant on MS.
There must be someone/company in the FLOSS community who can develop a rights delegation system for calendaring. That seems to be the major selling point of Exchange which I think, more than Office, is the linchpin of MS' grip on the enterprise.
"How many companies are going to do a major Office upgrade for the new features?"
Quite a few - but also because older versions go out of support.
"Once you've got Lync and exchange working, do you think there'll be a compelling reason to spend a vast amount and go through the hassle of an upgrade?"
Yes - at least every 5 years or so anyway.
"People will now think long and hard about upgrades (simply not doint them) and even (hurrah) to Linux."
I remember a friend saying, many years ago while bemoning the latest tax increase on cigarettes, that if they ever went above 2 quid a pack he'd quit. He's still smoking nearly 40 a day at 7 quid a pack.
Thanks for saying that. My thoughts were on the same line :) There were times where they at least pretended that you get more value for the higher price. This seems to have fallen by the wayside. Has anybody tips on what (actively developed, non-web client only) package you can get a functional equivalent to dynamics NAV?
Do not dream.
Almost the entire IT industry sings and dances the Microsoft tune.
They will get the majority of customers into Azure, and make the remaining ones pay lots.
And everybody will do so complaining happily, some may grind their teeth, but that's about what 90% of business will ever do.
For some reason the entirety of the business world, including the IT industry has accepted that they have to pay and be accommodation to whatever lord Microsoft wishes.
I could give you lots of details, but you know them all already.
Take somebody like VMWare, they have an incredible product, yet to take advantage of most of its usefulness you need to buy MS-SQL and Windows server licenses.
Everybody, almost Everybody is buying into Office 365.
And what VOIP solution is the favourite of the masses? Lync.
And lately everybody you speak to talks about its inevitability, and so on, and so on, and so on.
"God I hope not! Considered Lync for my current place of work, but been warned off it by so many people who have implemented it and come to regret it."
I have never met anyone that used Lync that didn't love it. It's miles ahead of any other solution in the UC space.
Well here's one. I absolutely hate it.
Lags constantly. Fails to start often. Is your PC doing something and you want to make a phone call? Tough luck, you'll need to wait until it's doing fuck all or you'll get so much lag you'll want to cry. Did you hesitate for a second whilst dialling a phone number? Well too late, I've dialled the first part now. Also, the Outlook integration doesn't work properly in Windows 8.
It's basic as fuck, and utter crap to use.
"Lags constantly. Fails to start often. Is your PC doing something and you want to make a phone call? Tough luck, you'll need to wait until it's doing fuck all or you'll get so much lag you'll want to cry"
Then you have some major problems with your PC or installation. Has your Lync admin deployed all client updates? I have used Lync in 4 major companies now and never seen any of these issues.
"Also, the Outlook integration doesn't work properly in Windows 8."
Works fine here. Did you by any chance install 32 bit Lync with 64 bit Office or visa versa?
"It's basic as fuck, and utter crap to use."
It's by miles the best and most advanced UC product on the market and I have never heard any such comments from working directly hundreds of full time Lync users. It sounds like you have an incompetent Lync admin or a broken PC.
seemed to work fine where I used it last, even let me add an external Skype contact or personal stuff.
People did use real phones often for online meetings but the internet connection for the whole office was slower than my 3G phone on a bad day. Mind you, it still did work as did the shared desktops etc.
Only used it in that one place so only the anecdotal evidence. It was on a major, major corporations' system so maybe they installed it correctly and looked after it properly?
I do agree with most of the comments posted here but you are very wrong when you say that:
"Everybody, almost Everybody is buying into Office 365".
I have worked in the software industry for over a decade alongside Small, Medium and Enterprise organisations. I have been bombarded with the Cloud hype and the fact is that businesses have been very slow to adopt the Cloud Office 365 over the past 5 years (the stats published to date prove it); hence the reason why MS is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at businesses to take it up. The 'Cloud' clearly has its place but the reality we are seeing an extension of the MS 'Subscription' & 'SA' hype that we saw 10 years ago. In reality, businesses are not taking up the Cloudy Offering and based on the past 5 years, you will not see a massive leap from on-premise to Cloud; more a re-balancing of Cloud v on-premise over unforeseeable future...
"Runs off to book linuxy training course as everyone'll be dumping the MS Tax soon"
Licensing is only a small part of the total cost of ownership. If Microsoft software is more efficient or better featured than an alternative, then it's not hard for Microsoft to come out on top on a cost benefit analysis, even if the alternative is 'free'.
Sure, if one of their droids is doing the C/B analysis. But what if you're running a proper one that includes the retraining costs every time they shaft users with a new interface because they're bored?
Gawds I still recall some arsewipe standing in front of us when our small non-profit was migrating from Windows 3.11 to 95 and WordPerfect 5.1 to 6.1. "Once you learn how to use this new interface you'll never have to learn another interface again." Yet with each new version SOMETHING in the interface gets f*cked from the way you've been doing it for the last 3-5 years.
Use the cloud back door straight for Uncle Sam finest bent courts to read all your data. or have own data kept in house. Wow a difficult choice there.
Why would anyone use a USA provider unless it was to put out miss-information for the kangaroos of the US in-injustice system to read?
I am sure Ireland is wondering just what sort of illegal hornets nest they have right now.
I hope that someone can sort out a good alternative now that office et all are unusable, unsafe crap.
What has a longer life span than 'never' ever use a subscription service from MS?
See how many people jump ship.. I'm not a service provider, but M$ will swiftly see us and many other companies embracing more open source if they continue down this path - Staff may not like Zimbra and OpenOffice, but they will have no choice if a companies Finance team decide M$ is no longer a viable cost.
The last time I tried to get the company stay on an existing version of office Finance basically slapped me down, they ended up with the latest version of Office as the existing version didn't support enough rows and columns :(
As Finance spread sheets spread like a virus everyone else in the company ended up requiring it as well.
That is because it is common practice these days in finance departments to run business analysis on Excel, rather than on the database's backed or CMS via pre-configured reports.
Every finance department these days just downloads the entire database (or portions of it) to an Excel file and run their stuff locally.
Yes I know, I know.
I'm not a Microsoft hater, maybe I'm almost a fan. I've always been relatively happy to stick with Microsoft. Sometimes their decisions have seemed absolutely barking or even just plain mean (Win 8.Clippy,, Ribbon, ending support for Money, not providing Publisher/Outlook in some versions of office etc) but basically a set of decent products that ordinary people can use.
But a cynical price increase in a fundamental product in the market segment that is most able to move off is just plain insanity.
My guess is that yes they think this segment will absorb the cost, or move to their cloud service, like the article says, where SoHo sales can't.
But it's also the segment that has the sophistication and adaptability to migrate.
MS Business model is dead. Long live the new one!
Can't make you buy a new licence every three years so...
Crush you by the wotsits to make you go to a subscription model. Cloudy will do.
Once that's done, squeeze ever so gently but regularly. You won't notice.
You won't notice how much you are paying and what little value you are getting.
As an ex-Oracle, and a mild Microsoft fan, both these organisations have one key function, to return value to their shareholders. As noted, there is very little you can do to most software products now that actually makes much difference to the end user, but you still have to generate profit growth from somewhere. I saw this early in my career with IBM who used to behave in this way and to a certain extent still does, but they learnt through the emergence of SUN, DEC and others with Mini and Micro-computers.
The flagship products of both these vendors long ago passed the point of delivering meaningful functional improvements, but still charge premium prices for enhancements with less and less business benefit.
Neither organisation will disappear, any time soon, and users have still have too much experience in the chaos and expense of shifting platform. There will come a time when disruptive technologies, or some cost imperative will tilt the balance, but it's probably years away.
Naturally both these august organisations want you to move to their cloud, because when you do, they have you, your capital investment required to in house cloud services will dwarf any business benefit.
Strangely it is probably government that will lead the way, when they look at the amount of money going out to a limited number of mega IT vendors, regulatory breakup might well follow.
Where, oh where are all the Microsoft-only shopkeepers when you need them ?
Linux is already cheaper than Windows, so I guess this will not change anything. Window cleaners pay as Redmond demands and shut up.
Then again, most Windows-only shopkeepers do not understand the dangers of moving to the cloud ... so they might follow Microsoft to Office360. I must admit that you then have the best disaster recovery plan on the planet ... if the NSA is willing to give you a copy of your data, that is.
"Only if your time has no value."
My actual experience... less time is used looking after Linux than looking after Windows, so the time-has-a-value thing works IN FAVOUR of Linux.
"- the supported versions like Redhat and SUSE are more expensive to license!"
Are they? Does anyone here actually know the facts (comparing like-for-like) here?
Gah - It's a good deal more complex than 'Look on the website' in my experience. That's why I asked if anyone actually knew.
"Linux costs more to run for almost all uses except web servers.". How does that work? More electricity? More servers? More admins? More hamsters? Extraordinary claims require details. Bald statements are the stuff of astroturfers.
Try going to the SUSE and Redhat websites and looking - they are more expensive than equivalent Windows Server versions.
Yeah, as someone once said: "Do you think people would just go on the Internet and tell lies? Why would anyone do that?"
Your statement makes no fscking sense because Linux is a challenger not the king of the hill demanding tribute and every house's daughter for a test drive. So Linux packaging and support-providing outfits will be in the general ballpark of Microsoft pricing, thought a few hundred per year less.
According to Red Hat quite a few hundred per year less. I'm sure you can come up with better numbers, mister grassroots:
"Based on these numbers, the five-year cost of ownership for the proposed eight-server solution would be $47,960 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and $119,594 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2." etc. etc.
Pricing statements about "Linux is dear, oh dear" have a nasty tendency to come out of the Dungeon of Redmond exclusively and/or you can smell the money trail from a mile away (cough *Gartner* cough).
Course, getting the users to actually accept a system that looks dangerously hot-rodded at times is something else entirely.
" "- the supported versions like Redhat and SUSE are more expensive to license!"
Are they? Does anyone here actually know the facts (comparing like-for-like) here?"
It is a quite hard question. In the x86 land, Suse charges by socket. Not by memory, cores, threads or whatever. Also, a quick glance didn't show me any limits on use, number of users, load, storage or network usage.
Also, there is a steep discount if you subscribe a 3 or 5 years term.
Example: Standard support (the middle one)
One year: US$ 799 for a two socket machine.
3 years: US$ 2160,00 for a two socket machine.
5 years: US$ 3200,00 for a two socket machine.
This gives you a support 12x5, with unlimited contacts, trough chat, email and phone. It may be pricier than a basic Microsoft server. But it could be used on load levels that would call for an Enterprise Windows Server.
A 4 socket would be double this - as they charge one license for each two sockets.
As you see, not a clear cut answer - and a quite hard one to get.
Yep, big difference between consumer and business pricing.
Another IT Fish Story
Incoming VP-type Fish says: I know the specs on the laptop I want here they are and hands them off to Pilot fish.
Pilot Fish takes specs, looks on approved vendor site. Approved vendor is Dell. System specs only match for an XPS laptop. But Pilot fish is contractor, not authorized purchaser, so he isn't looking on the approved purchasing portal site. So he calls vendor to find his assigned sales person. After 20 minutes of work he has name and email address so he sends specs only (not the device he found) to sales agent to request pricing and ordering information (not a quote, just the information). Sales agent returns a recommendation for a a Latitude 6xxx series laptop because the XPS is a consumer offering and not available via the approved purchasing portal. Final kick: Latitude doesn't meet one of the key specs, it's 1 pound heavier than VP-type Fish wants. In fact, there is another Latitude laptop that does meet that requirement and it is listed in the approved portal. Which Pilot Fish knows because we received several in the last few months.
Full disclosure: I'm not the Pilot Fish, I just sit next to him at work.
> "Office-Home-Premium-Subscription-Card is cheap at amazon.com!" (63.22 USD)
> Verboten for business
> Quite a bit more expensive where I can buy it (75.90 EUR)
> Renewal required every year, so actually a subscription coming in a cardboard box. Better renew soon.
> Output shall be in an opaque, patent-encumbered format. Enjoy your fail.
If an average office worker costs a company £50000 per year and even an ordinary IT worker might cost £75000 or more then (say) £200 a year for Office 365 etc. is peanuts.
As long as that employee saves time in any or all of the following ways:
1) Save time not having to convert some document they can't read using an alternative system or finding out something isn't possible (like executing a macro or something) and having to workaround or worse.
2) Save time using a suite of stuff that works together, with Lync, desktop meetings, calendars that integrate and let others access them etc.
3) Save time using software they are used to.
The simple fact is that companies don't specifically like MS, they don't want to give them money all the time and many corporations have the money (e.g. search AAPL, GOOG) to produce systems to replace everything MS does.
I even recall MS being angry years ago because someone said they were a monopoly. Their answer? "We write software - anyone can replace all of our software with a better, competing product and we will be out of business, so we are not a monopoly at all"
Google has attempted to do just that is seems so why don't companies just switch over? Sure there would be pain perhaps but the refrain I hear here all the time is that it is often minimal pain and then it is plain sailing. Why doesn't another company just replace all of the MS stuff with something cheaper and better (or as good)?
If this is true (is everyone lying otherwise?) then these users can all switch and be done with the grief and hassle.
However, it seems that this may not always be the case for all users. Certainly, my personal experience as a technical person using OOO on Ubuntu was beyond dreadful. Firstly, there was no actual support for clever meeting stuff, calendar integration etc. so much more time was spent doing mundane tasks that a good productivity suite like Office could handle easily.
And often, OOO would simply hang and be useless trying to open the simplest documents. Just because Ubuntu never crashed (- certainly the kernel didn't so I could restart the GUI remotely if needed, which it was sometimes -) still meant that I wasted tons of time trying to get a simple document to be readable.
Perhaps it is hard to replace Office/Exchange/Lync/Azure/Windows. if they succeeded, their solution might cost just as much or more (or they loss-lead and lose money hand-over-fist until they bankrupt MS, which is very long time since they have 80 billion dollars in the bank)?
The people here predicting MS's failure have the same wishful-thinking mindset that people predicting Apple's downfall have - and Apple have nothing like the multiple product-service portfolio that MS have.
Are you for real?
Do you understand how MS operates? (and has been operating for the last 30 years?)
If any company produces a competing product, unless is 200% perfect compatible and looks suspiciously similar it will always be compared on a bad light, and if anybody manages, MS will shoot them down.
The only people who can produce an implementation of MS software is MS.
I could go on a million reasons as to why this is like it is, but the best explanation is what one of the commentators said earlier, MS is like smoking, at some point people want to stop, but few can achieve it.
I ultimately get the same response out of all MS people that I know,
"10 MS keeps me on a job"
"20 We're implementing the latest (365) because it is what MS is pushing and we want to keep up to date"
"30 Goto 10"
I call it the path of least resistance.
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