back to article Official: Office 365 Personal, Home axed next month... and replaced by Microsoft 365 cloud subscriptions

Microsoft on Monday teased a few future features of its Edge web browser and Teams slack-killer. It also announced the rebranding of its cloud productivity suite Office 365 as Microsoft 365 – a subscription offering that already included Office 365, alongside Windows 10 Enterprise services and security features. The Windows- …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Embrace and Extend

    .....The upper half of the sign that now protrudes translates in the local tongue as "Go stick your head in a pig," and is lit up only for special celebrations.

    1. smudge

      Re: Embrace and Extend

      I just realised that Douglas Adams must have had a glimpse of the future and of David Cameron, but either the picture wasn't clear or he shielded us from the worst detail.

      1. Jedit

        "either the picture wasn't clear or..."

        You don't think Cameron is a dickhead?

  2. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

    Aduntgeddit

    What was the point of the rename?

    Did they just add alt-Skype into it and decided it's more than just Office?

    Yes there's a bunch of extra features in there that won't see their teenage years, but it's essentially just office. Right?

    For some reason I've got the song Weapon of choice stuck in my head.

    1. elgarak1

      Re: Aduntgeddit

      Standard Operating Procedure. Every once in a while, confuse your victims.

      Plus, they shuffle the subscription plans, which means that a lot of victims will end up in a higher priced one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aduntgeddit

        Bait and Switch.

    2. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

      Re: Aduntgeddit

      Simplify!? All I am now is just confused! Oh, and you can keep your friggingg AI OFF my machines!

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Aduntgeddit

        Oh, and you can keep your friggingg AI OFF my machines!

        Couldn't agree more, and how does that work with GDPR? How will businesses know that customer's personal data isn't being read by the AI? How secure will the data be in the hands of MSFT?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Aduntgeddit

          "How will businesses know that customer's personal data isn't being read by the AI?"

          Oh it's easy, it's *all* being read by Microsoft anyway so everything is fed through their AI for ML purposes before being used for customer experience uses and then fed through the advertising machine and spat out into the anyone on the watchlist/should be on a watchlist processor.

      2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Aduntgeddit

        Indeed, the AI won't be on your machine. It'll be in the cloud somewhere.

      3. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        "Oh, and you can keep your friggingg AI OFF my machines!"

        Looking at the writing skill of the average millenial and later, trained by long copy'n'paste sessions from Wikipedia and other sources, it will take a really good AI to improve them. And that depends on what it's been trained upon... oh wait....

        1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

          Re: "Oh, and you can keep your friggingg AI OFF my machines!"

          May I ask, how old is the average millenial?

          1. jason_derp Bronze badge

            Re: "Oh, and you can keep your friggingg AI OFF my machines!"

            May I ask, how old is the average millenial?"

            Between 21 and 37. Remeber, nobody who uses the word "millenial" means a group of people in a specific age range. It really means whoever they don't like at a given moment.

      4. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Aduntgeddit

        Oh, and you can keep your friggingg AI OFF my machines!

        But it's infused !

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. JacobZ
        Coat

        Re: Aduntgeddit

        Algorithmic Interference, amirite?

        I'll be here all week. No, really, I will. We're in lockdown.

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Aduntgeddit

        Oh dear, "Algorithmic Inference (AI)."... that's good. And considerably more likely to be correct than any form of neural net processing being anywhere near a spell checker. Possibly a very small amount of machine learning, but Artificial Intelligence? Not likely. Most likely just a few more data processing algorithms.

      3. trindflo
        Big Brother

        Re: Aduntgeddit

        Beat me to it! Although it will be Clippy over the cloud, so more pensive while it waits for instructions from the C&C servers in Redmond.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Aduntgeddit

        "Clippy II"

        It'll have to be Clippy 365 to comply with the branding. Or maybe Microsoft Clippy 365.

    4. Tim99 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Aduntgeddit

      So they can include Windows?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aduntgeddit

        Be careful what you wish for...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aduntgeddit

      The point of the rename is to remove 'Office365' as a product that can be purchased on it's own with a 'free' Windows.

      So once everyone is on Microsoft 365 you can then add more functionality to it (and cost). Don't like it? Well before you could just use something other than Office365, do that now (soon) and you can't use Windows at all as you won't be licensed. Pay per month or switch to Linux (or Mac).

      In reality home users will be less affected but businesses will be screwed. The fact it doesn't apply to Office 365 E/F licences is just a temporary thing as they can't see how to do it without annoying too many people (i.e you can't force people to pay for M365 as it is quite expensive, you can't give them M365 for free for a period as it will annoy current M365 users), but it will come for sure.

      The only way to use Windows in an organisation will be to buy an M365 licence for every user.

    6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Aduntgeddit

      So you can do bait and switch and force people to spend more. But one has to have a subscription to be vulnerable.

  3. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Pardon!

    >>>It will also provide parents with driving reports on inexperienced drivers<<<

    HOW? permanent tracking

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Pardon!

      The software will use the same technology that was demonstrated by Apple that time they put a surprise feature in all their mobile devices that watched something, maybe the location system but it worked with that turned off, that would deactivate most features with an annoying screen if they sensed you moving at possibly automotive speeds. They didn't check that you were on a street when turning this on, so it would activate while you were riding a train, and they of course activated it for all passengers in cars. As I don't own a car, that feature was particularly irritating to me.

      So to answer your question, they won't have omnipresent tracking. They'll just watch the device and only track when it moves fast. So only when you're traveling anywhere by any transportation method faster than a walk. Data collected will only include where and when you started the transport, every road you took, how long you waited at any turns, any backtracks or detours, and of course where and when you stopped. Then that data will be sent to your parents or somebody via a cloud service which you don't own and can't audit. That's not complete tracking is it?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We will continue to be quality driven"

    It'd be nice if you just STARTED being kwality driven

    And since when has Orifice 365 had anything to do with productivity? Fortunately I no longer have to use it for work but, when I did, it made life so bloody difficult

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      O365 was a giant step backwards.

      While it resolved the inbox limit by putting storage in data centers, it broke so many user tools that it is now harder to use.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      inferior office suite compared to the desktop offering

      Recently myself and a couple of other IT staff had to use Office 365 for several months to access a few high use spreadsheets and the odd Word Document, it was a horrendous experience, I persisted for 6 months.

      We ended up with many faults meaning it was unusable for staff in the workplace due to functionality shortcomings and the odd incompatibility with the desktop Office suite, etc. Some of the missing features are basic, it was so frustrating to use compared to the Windows desktop version.

      Is anyone aware of a comparison of features between Office 365, Google Docs and Collabora Online 4.2 ?

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: inferior office suite compared to the desktop offering

        "Office 365" is not the online version only, unlike Google Docs. A Office 365 subscription means you have the desktop application as well - although you don't get a complete local installer and you have to install them from the web. You mean Office Online, which is a separate thing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: inferior office suite compared to the desktop offering

          It's both depending on the version you buy. Office 365 F1 (previously called K1) is online only for instance.

      2. Mage Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: inferior office suite compared to the desktop offering

        And if you don't need REAL time collaboration, a decent hosting package and an offline copy of LibreOffice is a more reliable, better quality and more private experience. Cheaper too for a family.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: inferior office suite compared to the desktop offering

          We use LibreOffice at home (and sometimes Google Apps). We could even get a free Microsoft Office licence due to an educational deal.

          I did this mainly to show my kids that there are alternatives to Microsoft Office and you don't need to default to it, FOSS is possible.

          However to say it is more reliable, better quality (or better features) just isn't he case. It is less user friendly, slower and a poorer feature set (also the compatibility with Office files isn't great - Google Apps is better). However after three years we still have it as our primary Office package and will continue to do so - it works well enough for 95% of uses.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: inferior office suite compared to the desktop offering

            I'm a big FOSS advocate and placed OpenOffice on my kids laptop for his college work.

            It was going OK but there were issues in translation between that on presentations between FOSS office and MS Office.

            He qualifies for educational discount and Office works better.

            I work with Office all the time in my job (PowerPoint and Visio) being the main ones. The 365 version's are pretty good. MS Teams also.

        2. jgard

          Re: inferior office suite compared to the desktop offering

          You can argue it's a cheaper and more private experience, but to argue it is better quality or more reliable doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I'm an open source fan and user and I prefer FOSS for many if not most tasks. However there is nothing that provides the functionality and interoperability of MS Office for productivity tasks. Libre Office? Come on, you know that is not true.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to the new Microsoft era!

    Because you know you want it! Now prepare to be milked... sorry! I meant monetized.

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Welcome to the new Microsoft era!

      To be fair, if the general public had not been suckered by the Google/Facebook "free stuff - just agree to us tracking and selling your data!" strategy, chances are Microsoft would not be doing this.

      ... but, as has happened a number of times in recent years, they're just following the trend and arriving late to the party...

  6. Mike Shepherd
    Meh

    "Microsoft will ship Edge code only when it's ready"

    ...for customers to start testing it.

  7. ecofeco Silver badge

    Told ya

    A few of us have tried to tell everyone that MS is moving to all subscription, but nope, nobody believed us.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Told ya

      I think many of us here expected the long con. Sadly nothing we could really do about it. Once critical mass has been upgraded* a.k.a. bent over, the subscription model will ream us all.

      *I use the term loosely.

    2. jgard

      Re: Told ya

      Of course it is, as is virtually every commodity software product - cloud is an innevitability. Even if you could get the same quality and functionality elsewhere, who would you rather trust your data to? Google? Amazon? Oracle? The alternatives are just as bad or even worse!

  8. steamnut

    Alternatives

    At least Microsoft users have alternatives with Linux & Mac (if you must). This same slow shuffling of users towards the "wonderful cloud" by companies such as Oracle, Sage, Adobe, Salesforce, SAP and Quickbooks offer few easy alternatives. Users will just keep sucking it up.

    But, if we are all cloudy based, then the average office PC need not be a very powerful box at all and no more office servers will be required. This is not good news for the likes of Intel and AMD. Maybe that's why Intel is focussing on it's server offerings these days?

    With the Internet bandwidth being throttled during this upsurge in home working, and even Microsoft having to ration Azure resources, I wonder if the "cloudy" bubble will burst once the users work out that their work rates are slower than before. Or even at a dead stop when someone puts a JCB though the optical fibre....

  9. Denarius Silver badge

    More Artificail Stupidity

    Bad enough that I have to use MS "products" in a volunteer role. But having to battle an AI that, if like all others "smart" software I have had to use, will be wrong 90% of the time, causing an increase in effort to do simplest things. If MS wants an improvement, update Office 97 for current doc formats and leave the interfaces alone. Odd that MS dont admit to having a Teams agent for Debian, but one downloads from there in DEB and RPM formats. Now if it only worked simply.

  10. SVV Silver badge

    We’re always looking for ways to simplify

    "Office 365 Business Essentials will become Microsoft 365 Business Basic; Office 365 Business Premium will become Microsoft 365 Business Standard; Microsoft 365 Business will become Microsoft 365 Business Premium; and Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus will both become Microsoft 365 Apps."

    So just to recap, business premiuim will become business standard, business (presumably standard) will become business premium, business will become an app, notepad will become the square root of control panel divided by task manager and if you stand on your head facing backwards you'll be able to use the updates before they're installed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "deepen your connection to the people in your life"

    I am wary of how the latest version of Clippy will deepen my connection with people in my life. I am also worried about how it might make me feel.

    Clippy used to make me feel really bad, especially when helping other people with their fucked up Windows computers.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Adelio Bronze badge

      Re: "deepen your connection to the people in your life"

      I am still running the "stand alone" office 2007 and see no need to EVER upgrade to a newer version or to start paying a "subscription" (read extortion) fee to Microsoft.

      1. DCFusor

        Re: "deepen your connection to the people in your life"

        Until something like "the job's not done until non subscription software won't run" comes along.

  12. James Anderson Silver badge

    Joy to dodgy thesis writers everywhere

    Did I read this right. The plagiarism detection tool, will not only warn you that your cut and paste authoring is inadequate it will give you some hints on re-writing to avoid detection.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Joy to dodgy thesis writers everywhere

      Reading that makes me realise just how old fashioned the phrase "Redmond, start your photocopiers!" is now.

  13. coconuthead

    leaping into a new paradigm in product nomenclature

    Surely they change their product names so often it wouldn't have been *too* much trouble to make it Microsoft 366 for just a year?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Office 2007 has been serving me well for over 10 years

    .... with no recurring charges.

    When the time comes I shall upgrade to Open Office/Libre Office.

    1. ColonelDare
      Thumb Up

      Re: Office 2007 has been serving me well for over 10 years

      I agree with the 'no recurring charges bit", but for me the OO upgrade was in c.2008, and LO a few years later.

      Absolutely no regrets. :-)

    2. SecretSonOfHG

      Re: Office 2007 has been serving me well for over 10 years

      For me it's 2010. Astonishing how well a package that is 10 years old covers my home office needs.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Office 2007 has been serving me well for over 10 years

        "Astonishing how well a package that is 10 years old covers my home office needs."

        If your needs haven't changed then it's not astonishing.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Office 2007 has been serving me well for over 10 years

          But you will be missing out on all the amazing breakthroughs in document writing and column summing made in the last decade

  15. SecretSonOfHG

    Orson Welles?

    That invokes in my head a scene from "Citizen Kane"....

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Orson Welles?

      I don't know, aren't some of these Cloudy Corporations more like the speech he gave on the Wheel in the Third Man? Though not spoiled by the inaccuracy. Germans, not Swiss, invented the Cuckoo Clock. Though the Swiss were tardy at giving votes to Women and joining the UN. Perhaps they are related to Ents.

  16. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Who'd a thought it eh?

    MS going on the 'Never-Never' bandwagon.

    I expect an awful lot of people will not join them. There are alternatives as has been mentioned. I really only need Word and Excel. Actually Pages and Numbers work just fine for my limited use. Anything more and there is Libre Office.

    MS late as usual and may find that home users will not want to keep on paying forever. My neighbour has axed Sky and Netflix since the beginning of the month due to next to no money coming in.

    With an awful lot of people on limited incomes at the moment, they really have chosen a great time to launch this.

    That's another footgun moment for MS.

  17. Alister Silver badge

    An evolution of Office 365, Microsoft 365 builds on the foundation of Office infusing new artificial intelligence (AI), rich content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences to empower you to become a better writer, presenter, designer, manager of your finances, and deepen your connection to the people in your life

    My Bullshit-O-Meter just exploded!

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Mine went stratospeheric and kept on going - I think it waved to the people on the ISS as it went past!

    2. Holtsmark

      >DUMMY MODE ON<

  18. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Windows

    And here it comes

    once you're used to your monthly subscription to office whatever the hell it is m$ calls it this week, along will come

    Subscribe to use windows 10 and get the latest and best updates to it(user experience may vary, updates may crash your computer, failure to subscribe will result in permission to run windows 10 being withdrawn and you'll boot to a blank screen with no warnings, hints, or other help)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And here it comes

      That's what a good number of us have been saying for 3+ years.

      And received a good number of downvotes for our troubles.

      With next to nowt in terms of ££££ coming in, MS really must be on a different planet to the rest of us. Who is going to be able to afford this Sh1t?

      As someone said earlier... Take Footgun, aim and shoot.

      1. billat29

        Re: And here it comes

        I've been saying this for a while too. But I don't agree with your conclusion. Microsoft is at the end stage of revamping its business model. Once all those "legacy" products are out of support:

        If you have some kind of enterprise agreement with all your servers and desktops and client licences, then you are a customer. You have no choice but to renew.

        If you have an Office subscription (cloud or on-premise) then you are a customer. If you want to continue to use it, then you have to continue paying.

        If you use any of the "cloud" offerings and are paying for it, then you are a customer.

        If you have Windows as a result of buying new hardware that came with Windows 10, then you are a prospect. You are only interesting to Microsoft as you might sign up to one of the above.

        If you have an older version of Windows or you took the "free" upgrade and don't fall into any of the categories above, then you are not a customer. You haven't spent money with Microsoft, You are unlikely to spend money with Microsoft. Microsoft does not care about a tightwad like you (me!).

        So, the final question is that out of those "billion" devices now running Windows 10, how many are covered by the above agreements and is it worth setting up a subscription option for the remaining devices. Or is it enough just to force feed the maintenance updates to those users first so they can find the problems in advance of paying customers?

  19. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Linux is looking better every day

    All Linux has to do is sit there and watch Microsoft shave its sheep and then cook them and eat them.

  20. N2 Silver badge

    Twats

    Wasn't it just a few years ago they were dumping on home office promoting the subscription version was allegedly 'better' but more or less the same thing?

    Thankfully, I'm well out of their ransomware but I do hope their next shit is a hedgehog.

  21. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Channel

    While the Stable update channel is on hiatus, Microsoft is promising features that haven't yet been fully baked.

    When it comes to Microsoft AND Google, the Stable Channel is ALWAYS on hiatus.

  22. laughthisoff

    Simplify?

    > "We’re always looking for ways to simplify," explained Jared Spataro, corporate VP for Microsoft 365

    Jared, you're always looking for ways to simplify because you can obviously never find them.

  23. OldSoCalCoder

    More features please!

    In the 15 years I've been using MS Office products from 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 I have never said to myself 'gee, I really wish this spreadsheet software could track where my kids are tonight.' In fact I have never said 'gee, I really need (x) in this office productivity software.' I have said 'Where the hell did these assholes at Microsoft hide (x) in THIS version???' (Through every iteration I've always said 'How do you do mail merge again?')

    I work at a small company with a handful of people spread over a few locations. I have never - ever - needed anything 'new' in the word processor or spreadsheet software I infrequently use.

    I don't like paying a monthly fee forever for something I don't use very often. The part I don't like is the 'forever' clause. I have no idea what I paid for the Office 2010 running on my personal desktop pc, but I know it wasn't $84 per year for the last 10 years.

  24. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Pirate

    I have Office 2019 Pro running on most of my kit, cost me far less than a monthly subscription.

    Having activated it (Yahoo - Pun intended), I am irked, but mostly conditioned to ignore the nagware at the top inviting me to "Sign In" for all the benefits that implies.

  25. keb

    exacerbates the confusion

    Users already dont understand that Windows and Office are two different products/licences. Indeed many say they have "Microsoft 10" when they have Windows 10, and then complain when they cannot edit documents. The name should have stayed Office 365.

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