back to article There's no 'My' in Office, Microsoft insists with new productivity hub

Microsoft has updated the My Office app and would like to remind users that there's a free, online version of the suite. The purpose of the new Office app is to act as a hub for all things Office-y. Be it documents the user has recently worked on, or shortcuts to the Office apps themselves. And, oh, if you don't have that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    Just Say No, kids

    It's a gateway drug to subscription everything from MSFT

  2. J.Smith

    Why only now?

    I'm amazed they are only just now releasing an Office hub, I would have thought it was an obvious tool to create long ago. Libre Office, as far as I know, has had a central panel for accessing the individual applications for ages.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Why only now?

      They have Start Menu and um, Explorer and er, Sharepoint.

      Can't see the point. I've never used the ones in Libre/Open/Sun Office or any other combo office suite.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Why only now?

      I've never liked it TBH. I don't like the hoops you have to jump through to get a tab-delimited file with a .txt extension to open in Calc.

      (I do tend to use Python/Pandas for CSV etc. when I can through)

      1. overunder Silver badge

        Re: Why only now?

        "(I do tend to use Python/Pandas for CSV etc. when I can through)"

        I have to ask, what the hell is going on with CSV inside office apps in 2019? CSV as a user data document seems odd, I can't think of anything that is _not_ better than CSV for non-machine purposes. Are you parsing machine code with your office app or something..?... shit"s gettin' crazy.

        1. Baldrickk

          Re: Why only now?

          A spreadsheet is a decent way of quickly showing data in a graph when I don't feel like importing matplotlib and scripting it.

          Generate data, export to csv, open it up and have a play around.

          Actually, I often do this when deciding what graphs to script when processing data properly.

        2. Fungus Bob

          Re: shit"s gettin' crazy

          Manipulating CSV files ain't crazy, might be an activity of Doubtful Utility. My neighbor across the alley wanting to argue with me about who owns snow is crazy.

        3. Giles C Silver badge

          Re: Why only now?

          Regarding csv files,

          Obviously you haven’t tried to do a bulk update in management systems, the easiest way to do this is export as csv, load into a spreadsheet, manipulate data, import back into system.

          Did this the other day to add 60 wireless access points to an ISE system, far faster than using the gui.

      2. JoelLkins
        FAIL

        Re: Why only now?

        >I don't like the hoops you have to jump through to get a tab-delimited file with a .txt extension to open in Calc.

        1. Open Calc

        2. File -> Open -> Select file

        3. Click "OK" to accept defaults

        Yeah, that sucked.

    3. JohnFen

      Re: Why only now?

      "Libre Office, as far as I know, has had a central panel for accessing the individual applications for ages."

      And I've never found that useful, either.

    4. Trilkhai

      Re: Why only now?

      Yep, LibreOffice has had one ever since the OpenOffice crew coded it in for them...

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Why only now?

        The LibreOffice is for the most part the OpenOffice crew, minus the oracle management.

      2. Name3

        Re: Why only now?

        Nope, StarOffice had it already since at least 1997. StarOffice got open sourced as OpenOffice, and OpenOffice got forked as LibreOffice.

        StarOffice optionally even offered an alternative shell including a desktop and startmenu for Win9x, just like Internet Explorer 3/4 offered an alternative improved shell for Win95, that came preinstalled with Win98 and onwards.

  3. Mage Silver badge
    Linux

    Meh, who needs this?

    Finally found a use for a Win10 convertible 10" netbook / tablet.

    Not this gateway drug but a dedicated PDF reader. PDFs are useless on ereaders due to lack of screen size, eink and monochrome (all of which makes them perfect for novels).

    Summatra is far too slow. Except touch works to change page.

    Foxit has got too bloated and adverty.

    Adobe, less said the better unless your company is paying you to use it to create/edit PDFs.

    Browser: Madness.

    Nitro: Gathering names & emails for free download.

    PDF-xchange: You need to install minimal free options and then change settings. Fast enough on a sad Win10 Atom tablet / Netbook, Can only use status bar with touch to change page with it undocked from keyboard / mouse. Unlike Android apps that can use physical volume keys to turn page.

    Years ago I did have Ghostview on XP for PDFs and Postscript viewing as well as export to PNG image format.

    I only create PDFs to upload for paper printing/proofing. Using LibreOffice. It's horrible for anything else, but loads of ancient stuff is scanned books, magasines and such that are out of copyright, OCR badly and often 1080 lines isn't tall enough, 1600 x1200 was better. Portrait works.

    I do actual work on Linux Mint (Mate desktop and customised version of TraditionalOK theme). LibreOffice and Mint's default PDF reader, plus Calibre for ebooks.

    Bluefire for PDF reading on 7" Android tablet and Android phone (both too small for most PDFs).

    Jottr text editor for notes on Android.

    1. James 51

      Re: Meh, who needs this?

      Actaully my Sony PRS-T2 (which is over ten years old at this point) makes a pretty decent pdf reader (as long as the files aren't huge). There are more modern ereaders with better screens, more ram and a more powerful cpu.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh, who needs this?

      There are bigger e-paper readers that display normal PDFs very well and fast. (just in shades of grey, not color usually; despite e-paper tech would already support colors)

      Just your average Amazon Kindle is too small. Look for asian full size epaper readers elsewhere, that come with full Android.

  4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Pointless?

    My problem with the assumption that most will need to link to access (work) documents across multiple devices is not what I see. Where I work, we are issued a laptop which allows us to work either in the office or remotely via a VPN. Very few of the staff are issued a company phone or tablet in addition to the laptop (I personally do not know of anyone who has a phone or tablet). So, the only approved way for most of us to access company documents is through the company laptop. With my personal stuff, when I am traveling I typically am not keeping up with email or typically actively working on a project. If I plan to, it is just as easy to put the documents on a thumb drive and use that for syncing. Also, when actively working on a document, etc. a laptop is the minimum device that works reasonably well.

    1. Diogenes

      Re: Pointless?

      What about school students who don't byo like my school?

      1. Baldrickk

        Re: Pointless?

        Agreed. Just because it's not your use-case, it doesn't mean that it's an invalid one.

      2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Pointless?

        There are use cases were something like this would be useful but I suspect they are more niche than common. What I see is an effort to convince a PHB to waste money on something they do not need by talking up features very few if any in the company will use or need. Essentially pure profit for Slurp. Slurp is trying to shakedown companies with marketing babble that make the 'feature' sound as if it will do wonders for employee productivity when in fact it will have minimal impact on productivity and cost money. This is a problem with Orifice and Bloat, much of what is touted as a 'must have feature' is at best a niche feature; there will be few who will use it heavily but the rest will no real use for it or ever use.

  5. HimInDoors

    Beware the bugs

    The online version of MS Office has bugs: The online version is quite limited in its functionality. If you open a file that has been created on the desktop version, using features that are not supported by the online version, the online version may change/corrupt the file. Be careful!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Beware the bugs

      That would seem to be typical MS behavior: Left hand doesn't know or care what the right hand is doing or supports and vice versa.

      1. Crypto Monad

        Re: Beware the bugs

        > That would seem to be typical MS behavior: Left hand doesn't know or care what the right hand is doing or supports and vice versa.

        Also typical MS behavior: create multiple products with the same name which are in fact completely different, to cause maximum confusion.

        (Skype / Skype For Business, Windows / Windows Phone / Windows RT, Outlook / Outlook Web Access, Active Directory / Azure Active Directory, etc etc)

  6. Someone Else Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The ultimate triumph...

    ...of form over function

    The new app has also received the snazzy new Office icons. Whoop Dee Doo.

    Kinda says it all. Maybe, someday, before the Apocalypse, Micros~1 (and their Stockholm syndrome-addled Millennial Marketeers) will deign to worry more about functionality and less about whizzy.

    /me is not holding my breath....

  7. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    No 'My' in Office?

    Well, 'My' Internet connection is down again. So it's off to the coffee shop to get some work done.

    Damned! No network neutrality and Microsoft hasn't paid the coffee shop ISP their access fee. I guess I'll just be spending the day, posting garbage on comment sites again.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: No 'My' in Office?

      There's no 'my' in MS Office which is fine because none of my documents will ever go into an MS Office either.

      MS: putting the bloat in "Fuck your hard drive free space, go buy a bigger one" software since just after hard drives were "a thing".

    2. Robin

      Re: No 'My' in Office?

      If I could travel back in time, one of the things I would do is have a 'quiet word' with whoever came up with the idea of prefixing everything with "My..." back in Windows 95.

      It's responsible for endless lazy variable names too.

      Then I'd move on to whoever had the bright idea of calling both the browser and the file viewer "Explorer".

      1. Baldrickk

        Re: No 'My' in Office?

        Just whoever had the bright idea of allowing spaces in filenames so I have to quote almost everything.

        Whoever pushed through the change from "C:\My Documents and Settings\USER\My Documents\" to C:\Users\USER\Documents\ despite the momentum of history deserves a medal.

  8. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Flame

    Don't you dare touch my current version of Office

    I don't need yet another junk app to replace what I have got, I have shortcuts in my start menu and file associations for my current version of office thank you.

    If there is any more "Hey it looks like you are running an old version of Office, would you like to upgrade for only £200" its to the uninstall panel and replaced with LibreOffice with you!

  9. JohnFen

    I'm sure they would

    "Microsoft has updated the My Office app and would like to remind users that there's a free, online version of the suite."

    I'm sure they would! Although I seriously, seriously doubt that the online version is "free". You're just not paying in money.

  10. FozzyBear
    Windows

    Cute

    But fucking useless

    I've used word extensively for all things word processor related, including some documents running into the 100's of pages, you know chapters, references, indexes, blah, blah blah. I've used excel extensively as well. Even had to use powerpoint for the various crayon departments ( marketing and upper management ) who's attention spans are measured in fractions of seconds.

    Over past 2 decades with all that usage, weird arsed requests or suggestions made by bosses and other finger painters, there has not been a feature that I have used or needed that was not in Office '97

    /rant

    Now get off my lawn

    1. Diogenes

      Re: Cute

      Over past 2 decades with all that usage, weird arsed requests or suggestions made by bosses and other finger painters, there has not been a feature that I have used or needed that was not in Office '97

      That may be you, but my low literacy/dyslexic students absolutely love the immersive reader & dictation tools that appeared over the last year. The accessibility checker feature is really handy for me finding issues with documents that trip these tools, and screen readers up.

  11. Kev99

    It's a crippled version of the desktop software.

  12. Chris G Silver badge

    The ad for the new Office app is the latest spam on my android via CCleaner, 508mb of phone bloat.

  13. Only me!
    Big Brother

    "you do, of course, need your own Microsoft account to access the goodies."

    LOL. Do you really think you own your account....you should be thanking them for granting temp access to you!

  14. Spanners Silver badge
    Linux

    The first thing to do

    I run lines like

    Get-AppxPackage *phone* | Remove-AppxPackage

    Get-AppxPackage *mixed* | Remove-AppxPackage

    Through powershell (run as admin).

    It clears off most of the rubbish nicely. There are a couple of items to be removed through the control panel and the Get-Office one can be right clicked on and told to uninstall itself. I am aware that this does not stop the data slurp though. That is more a job for the firewall - perhaps SEP.

  15. Tigra 07
    Pint

    Have i been spelling it wrong all these years?

    Mycrosoft Office... Is it still pronounced in a very high pitched tone as "MEE CROW SOFT"? We have to know!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to go

    Over three decades of management and development not listening to the Techs and Public...

    Time to retire and adopt luddism....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There might not be a "My" in Office but there is my personal data, my organisation's proprietary information and our clients' classified docuemnts - none of which will ever be in any of Microsoft's clouds.

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