back to article No it's not Russell Brand's new cult, it's Microsoft's Office crew rolling out their Save Experience

In an effort to help users "save files to the cloud more easily," Microsoft has added an additional save dialog to desktop Office 365 applications, including Word, Excel and Powerpoint. The new "save experience" was announced in January but will be rolling out to all customers in September as part of the semi-annual release of …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    Microsoft is consistently searching for new ways to bedevil the user experience and break any time-saving habits long-time users ever built up.

    You can count on Microsoft for that.

    1. 0laf

      Re: Consistency

      I regret I only have one upvote to give you for that comment

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Consistency

      I think MS is deeply sunk into a big cultural problem.

      Everything is now sacrificed into promoting a single model and a single business, with users regarded as serfs to be herded where the Great Leader decides. The problem is the Great Leader(s) looks to have little grasp of reality - and appalling choices like this one are made. "If your organization does not use OneDrive, we recommend starting to plan an adoption campaign"? Really??

      While in the past MS could be very nasty against competitors, it wasn't against its own users, and usually usability improved over time. Now users must be caged in Nadella's World.

      1. JcRabbit

        Re: Consistency

        It's not just Nadella! It's a cultural war inside Microsoft, and goes all the way back to the 'classic' Visual Basic vs. .NET days.

        On one side you have the 'Raymond Chen' school, who understand one of the main strengths of Windows has always been backwards compatibility and how important that is. In his blog Raymond tells that when Win95 was being developed, Microsoft bought a truck (literally!) of different software from a local shop and distributed the packages among its developers, so they could look for any incompatibilities and fix them before Win95 shipped!

        On the other side, you have the 'we have no common sense' and 'new is always better' school. They want to get rid of everything they consider 'clutter from the past' and start from scratch, not realizing that the 'clutter' is there for a reason and is, in fact, the glue that keeps everything together. They are ideologues, and therefore have no common sense or even care what happens IN PRACTICE, nor how much suffering the full consequences of implementing their ideas will bring to others. It's not their problem and they think it's perfectly ok to bring people kicking and screaming into their utopia - they are doing them a favor, after all.

        It's somewhat amusing - if it wasn't so sad and alarming - to see that what is going on with our society these days was already being reflected inside Microsoft over a decade ago.

        1. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

          Re: Consistency

          I see this in programming languages and packages too. Tensorflow is what I encountered most recently.

          Scenario 1) "warning: doing this is deprecated, do it this way on new projects.". Code keeps building or running as the case may be. Tensorflow DOES NOT do this.

          Scenario 2) " Error: this name is deprecated and you must use the new name.". Why make this an error? This is what tensorflow does. In each case the i've seen the new name *is* sensible and "better" than the old one. BUT, each and every old function, you have code to print the error and abort, why not generate a warning and run the new function, turn it into scenario 1?

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: Consistency

          For all his sterling work, I'm not so sure Raymond Chen still qualifies as a "school", rather than "a lonely guy shouting at clouds". It's some 15 years now since Microsoft lost the backward-compatibility religion, and they've shown no sign of rediscovering it.

    3. Craig 2

      Re: Consistency

      Yep this is exactly why Win 10 is such a pain... Some configuration options have multiple ways of accomplishing broadly the same but with varying UI choices, wording and functionality.

      1. Mr Sceptical

        Re: Consistency - this times 1000!

        Why do I need to wade through multiple menus/CP/settings to get to something that was only a click away before everything was 'flattened'...

        How I long for the simple days of Win7 : NIC icon > double-click > properties!

        Oi! Nadella! Just stop changing things for the hell of it!

      2. Wade Burchette

        Re: Consistency

        I've noticed that with Win10 -- what was once one step is now 5. Each update removes a little bit more of the easy way. I often think the problem with Microsoft is myopia: they like it, therefore everyone will like it too and they don't understand why anybody would not like it.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Consistency

          There's a chapter in Platt's Why Software Sucks titled "Your user is not you". It should be mandatory reading for anyone who writes software that's intended to be used by anyone else.

          Ironically, Platt was named a "Software Legend" by Microsoft back in 2002. Apparently by "legend" they mean "good story, but not one you should believe".

    4. Fatman

      Re: Consistency

      You can always count on Microsoft to continue to improve Windows, making each new version a substantially worse CLUSTERFUCK, than the previous one.

  2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    Well this is going to open up a new can of worms isn't it?

    "So, Jenkins, how did thousands of customer account details get leaked onto the Internet?"

    "Erm... well Excel came up with this new save dialog and I got confused..."

  3. Test Man

    Long time Office user here, since Word 2.0, in fact.

    I know what you mean. Event though I'm fully subscribed to Office 365, on a new document I hit Save, get Backstage, I ignore this (cos I prefer standard Save dialogs) and click "More options" (or Browse) to get the Office Save dialog, then I save it to a folder (that is in the OneDrive folder) in the conventional way.

    I mean Backstage is OK but I just prefer a conventional dialog (I've literally learnt just now that clicking the up arrow takes me up a folder level - so this tells you how intuitive the Backstage is). Also this new dialog is OK but is it going to list all my folders in OneDrive? No?

    Can't Microsoft just make Backstage, this new dialog or the Office Save dialog an option instead of layering 3 different Save "experiences"?

  4. Christopher Reeve's Horse


    Surely the better solution would be to improve the existing dialogue boxes and file explorer, so that online OneDrive / SharePoint document stores can be accessed directly through file explorer (instead of a locally synced copy a la OneDrive client).

    It's all very well when you're using a 'logged in' MS application that has sight of your network, cloud and local storage locations, but this all falls apart when you need to save / open from cloud locations from any other application

  5. keith_w

    file History

    On my home computer, I want all my documents saved locally. They are backed up to an external drive using the "File History" option. I do NOT, generally, want them saved to a "cloud". There are some files that I do want on One Drive, specifically files that change frequently and that I frequently access from other computers using my credentials, and I copy them there but for the most part I very much do not want my various documents stored with Microsoft. Besides, I have more files stored than Microsoft has granted be storage for.

  6. ArrZarr Silver badge

    Normally I'm happy to somewhat defend MS for some of the stuff they try and do.

    In this case, I refuse. Their bog-standard save as window is excellent and gives you all the functionality you want in day to day usage, by being almost identical to file explorer, which you already know how to use because it's file explorer.

    I can only assume that the Backstage was designed from the get go to be aggravating. Whenever I get directed there by office the first, last and every option in-between is to back away very slowly while maintaining eye contact then run screaming for the comforting embrace of the old-school save as window. This is why I only ever save using hotkeys and watching others use the button on the ribbon brings me out in a cold sweat.

    Not as much of a cold sweat as a nightmare I once had about an update to file explorer to use all of the interestingly functional MS Word formatting rules that you needed to get just right for anything to work on your system. Couldn't sleep for a week.

    Oh, and this saving to OneDrive by default is just heresy. That's what the desktop is for.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just want a way to turn all that crap off.

    When I open a save dialog, all I want to see is a list of drives and directories on them. That nice easy hierarchical system invented donkeys years ago.

    Not "Quick Access", or "Libraries" or "OneDrive" or "3D objects" (WTF is that anyway!) or virtual folders that don't actually exist in the subdirectory tree.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "I just want a way to turn all that crap off"


      Seriously, Microsoft is a company in terminal decline. It hasn't had sane management at the top level for a couple of decades now. I can't think of any MS products I'm interested in using that are not basically from the last century and even those are increasingly being spoiled by "innovation". Eventually Bill's product portfolio (and the associated cash-pile) will run out. Whatever you are doing with MS products right now, you should be looking for a migration strategy to something else.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: "I just want a way to turn all that crap off"

        I agree - I ditched MS Office years ago, had a brief flirt with WPS and have now settled on LibreOffice. Can't stand all the faff that MS shoehorn into their products, it always hinders and never helps productivity.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "I just want a way to turn all that crap off"

          "have now settled on LibreOffice"

          Where "Save remote" is just another option on the File menu and stays out of the unless and until you need to use it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "I just want a way to turn all that crap off"

            It also has a proper approach to PDF redaction. If that isn't a hint for governments to take a look. Sadly, that usually translates as some people getting more "sponsorship" from MS to ignore it, though.

    2. ab-gam

      I started a slow slide, and they're pushing me

      My slide started slowly, when I lost access to Photoshop and decided to try GIMP.

      Now I'm dabbling with LIbreOffice, and have gotten myself 'corrupted' to the point I'm actively curious how much I can do in the Linux mode of a newer Chromebook.

  8. TheGriz

    Feature? Users Need Help Saving? Bah Humbug

    I love how Microsoft comes up with something this IDIOTIC and calls it a "new feature". This is nothing more than Microsoft trying to "funnel" people onto their cloud storage, and nothing more. They know the cloud playing field is up for grabs and this is simply their "game plan" to use every "trick" at their disposal to get as many hold out "non-cloud users" to adopt their cloud as possible. You can tell none of these people ever took any ETHICS classes during their college experience. This is the same thing they did with all of their monopolizing moves with Internet Explorer, oh which none of them can seem to remember was a failure, even today, they tried (and failed miserably) at making a new from the ground up browser to appeal to the masses. You see what happened, they ate so much crow having to scrap their own horrible Edge engine, they had no choice but to use a competitors, and base the new Edge on Chrome. LOL, Edge, they should rename it CROW, because they ate so much of it.

    I personally am sick of tech companies adopting and embracing immoral and unethical tactics, simply to squeeze another buck out of the public.

  9. 0laf

    fugging MS

    Get used to Onedrive saving coz that's where MS want all your stuff and increasing they do everything they can to encourage, confuse or force you to use fucking cloud storage.

    I don't even hate Onedrive it has it uses. I just hate the way MS is driving everything towards their flawed strategy which isn't often how I want to work.

  10. Jay Lenovo

    Rube Goldberg UI

    Be sure to budget another hour explaining to each user "How to save a document".

    It's difficult enough trying to help them find their content in the mish-mash of O365 repositories(Teams, Sharepoint, Onedrive, etc)

  11. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    What about companies with poor broadband connections? Has Microsoft tried using onedrive/sharepoint with a standard ADSL connection with a paltry 1mbps upload speed? Thought not.

    We have a customer who had 20mbps down / 1mbps up connection and just three PCs. Sharepoint was a train wreck. It spent so long syncing files that it just broke down when someone edited a couple of large documents. We had support calls every other day for three months.

    We upgraded them to 40mbps down and 15mbps up and they’ve never since called us with a sync problem in over a year!

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "If your organization does not use OneDrive, we recommend starting to plan an adoption campaign to take advantage of being able to charge customers more to use the cloud"


  13. a_yank_lurker


    If being an idiot were a crime the gallows would be busy.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey, Microsoft got religion!

    Because Jezus saves, duh.

    It IS Friday, after all..

  15. steviebuk Silver badge


    "If your organization does not use OneDrive, we recommend starting to plan an adoption campaign to take advantage of the cloud, allowing users to securely access their files anywhere and seamlessly work with others, including in real-time."

    Don't fucking tell us what we need or should do. We don't save to OneDrive cause of fucking GDPR. Its easier saving on perm so we can easily say on a SOR request "No we don't have that file with your name in and its not in the cloud as we don't use OneDrive"

    Stop fucking trying to force the cloud on people ffs!

  16. Deryk Barker

    Why I only use LibreOffice and linux

    Having used linux exclusively for over a quarter of a century I only have to **** with Office very occasionally.

    Recently, for my bowls club, I've had to fight with Office on Windows 10.

    Good grief! Do people *really* think this is the way to go.

    Two quick examples: I wanted to make a copy of a spreadsheet I had open: try File->Save As and I'm suddenly looking at a screen full of "Places" and no idea where the copy might end up.

    Second: I wanted to open last year's spreadsheet, which has the same name but is in a different folder. Nope, Excel refuses point blank to do that.

    LibreOffice, OTOH, simply has the window title of the second sheet say "Filename <2>".

    I wonder just how many billion person hours have been wasted by people trying to work around MS's stupidity?

    Oh and that's leaving aside the time that, in mid-tournament, just as we were about to enter scores, Windows decided to update itself and we could do nothing else. Whenever my linux system (well, one of the dozen or so) needs updating I start that then carry on with whatever I was doing. Has never failed

    1. The Central Scrutinizer

      Re: Why I only use LibreOffice and linux

      Ha h! I'm loving Linux and the free software world more and more. Been using it exclusively for several years and man I don't miss Microsoft's bs one bit. I know I know, people need to use MS products because of lock in etc, but MS seem to have seriously dropped the ball.

      As somebody else has pointed out, there is no cloud. Would you store your data on your friend's computer, so that you can only access it when their computer is switched on?


      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: there is no cloud. Would you store your data on your friend's computer

        Your friends computer is globally distributed, divided into regions with a number of fail over clusters? Or do you just have no idea?

        I get it, it's stupid to trust it. It's also stupid to try and run a globally distributed network when you're a small business. The cloud has it's uses, like any tool. Use it appropriately.

  17. TonyR

    Missing So Much Intellectual Challenge

    Since our small enterprise switched to 100% Mac OSX and LibreOffice.

  18. Zebo-the-Fat


    There is no "cloud" - just other peoples computers!

  19. Scoured Frisbee


    Microsoft... Blah blah whatever. Kudos to the Reg team for making great art for the article - I got a good giggle out of "A Word document saved to OneDrive" and was happy to see truly relevant images. Cheers!

  20. SVV

    I forsee big anti-trust lawsuits

    MS tying their word processor and their cloud storage subscription service together so tightly, with no option to just as easily use any other cloud storage subscriptions you may have has got to be a legal case just waiting to happen.

  21. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Put that metaphor down and back away slowly

    So, the Office team, not content with the (sophomoric) "desktop" metaphor they borrowed from Xerox, decided to extend it for the (irritating) "cloud" metaphor by introducing the (asinine) "backstage" metaphor. That has proven insufficiently awkward, so they've introduced a new and even more vague "experience" metaphor.

    They seem to be taking arms against a sea of troubles they sowed for themselves. Having made that bed, it's time for them to realize there's no point in shutting the barn door now.

  22. DiViDeD

    The "Save Experience"

    How about MS spare a thought for us poor sods who don't want a "save experience"?

    We just want to save our fucking file and stand a reasonable chance of knowing where to find it the next time we want it!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK M$

    office 365 foisted on us, and can no longer set up auto save because my stuff is saved locally, without signing into M$

    On my computer. Where I want it. Auto save IS important to me......

    I don't use the clud, every ones share pint, or whatever.

    Is it too hard to allow auto save to a local disc ?

    I realise there probably some labyrinth within office that allows this but why change something that once worked

    Libre office would be used in a heartbeat, but corporate etc....

    From an old curmudgeon who cut his teeth on motorola 6800.

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