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Microsoft Corporate Forum

Microsoft wants you to pay $100 a year for Office
What will you do?

 6:52 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

From CNN money
[money.cnn.com ]
Starting on Tuesday, Microsoft will be offering Office as a subscription service for consumers. For $100 a year, "Office 365 Home Premium" customers can put Office on up to five computers (including Apple) Macintoshes and Windows 8 tablets) and store up to 27 gigabytes of data on Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage service. The subscription includes frequent software updates and allows users to automatically load their customized Microsoft Office settings on each different device.

Microsoft's announcement

Open office could see an increase in D-load

[edited by: engine at 6:55 pm (utc) on Jan 29, 2013]
[edit reason] added quote [/edit]



 7:15 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Open office could see an increase in D-load

Yes it could. I regularly refer people to it and explain it is fully compatible with MSFT Office

I've been using OpenOffice exclusively for many years now.


 7:21 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

I also moved to open office several years ago. It is not as pretty and colorful, but it isn't always phoning home to see what's new either. I got Office for Mac with a Promo and never use it, but the install gave me Windows Messenger..as if
What a bonus.


 8:23 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

More people will just stick with Office '07/'10. Microsoft has been making awful decisions the last few years...


 9:27 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Pay recurring for Office: no way.
Move my documents online: no way.

OpenOffice: sorry: it's not compatible enough to use in a business setting.

That's why I use Office for Mac ... It's the only thing MSFT i use and even then iI'm very reluctant in doing so. But I cannot avoid it.

What we need is an offline business grade challenger to Office. A real one.


 9:36 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

About five years ago, I downloaded Open Office, opened a MSWORD doc with it and everything was just a bit off....headers skewed half inch off the page, text overlaying an image, that sort of thing. It was just 95% great, not 100%.

Has that type of thing improved? I'd love to go to OO but that experience put me off it.


 9:44 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>>OpenOffice: sorry: it's not compatible enough to use in a business setting.
Those of us that've been using openoffice for years in their business might disagree. I've had no problems, not in many many years.


 9:51 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

There is also LibreOffice that comes as default with Ubuntu now. It works on Windows, Linux and Mac. I've never had a problem opening any MS Office file with the exception of Microsoft Access (mdb) files.


 4:59 am on Jan 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sure OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Google Docs and the like are fine if you're only using it yourself or collaborating with others using the same software. I've tried mixing it with Microsoft Office and they lose all their value for me. There are simply too many inconsistencies or missing features in most cases.

If you rely on MS Office software then this $100/year deal is not too bad with the number of machines you can use it on. They're making it much more attractive than the one-time purchase versions with these additions. You can easily see the benefits for students or small business with these packages.


 1:54 pm on Jan 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>Sure OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Google Docs and the like are fine if you're only using it yourself or collaborating with others using the same software.

False. That's an excuse.

I've been using OO for years, maybe even a decade, with thousands of clients and other businesses and don't have a problem...and have never had a problem either reading someone else's word doc, or them reading mine.

If you don't want to use it because one time 5 years ago OO worked slightly differently than word, that's fine. But that's hardly an insurmountable problem, nor is it a common one.

General office document and spreadsheet function is transparent between the two systems. If you have specialized (and only then) needs, then maybe you need everyone to have the same system, but that's not the case with most businesses. And if that's the case, then you're arguing that you need to go a paid platform rather than a free, open platform. Let's not suggest that that's a better idea. The only reason people stick to it is because of lethargy - which is also fine but then the argument is 'it's not worth the time to change' and not 'Office is better than OO'. Because it's not.

I ran into this exact situation recently. My linux distro moved to LibreOffice so when I installed a new computer, OO was gone replaced with this other thing. I immediately installed OO, because it's what I was familiar with. Not becuase it was better or worse, I don't know. I just know it was what I was used to. That's what Office advocates are doing, under the pretense that OO doesn't work.

OO works fine, and it works fine in business, and it works fine when interacting with other businesses.


 2:24 pm on Jan 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

I second Wheel,
used OO quite often, had a partner that as every designer, illustrator used a Mac, and never had a problem.
I have both MS and Linux machines, my next MS machine will run w/out Office.


 3:05 pm on Jan 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Microsoft will be offering Office as a subscription service for consumers.

Isn't this something M$ talked about some 10 years ago, I seem to remember.

I guess they feel that, what with all the cloud talk about, now is a good time to launch it.

Not for me though. Rarely use office, or the free versions, anyway.


 3:12 pm on Jan 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>Sure OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Google Docs and the like are fine if you're only using it yourself or collaborating with others using the same software.

False. That's an excuse.

I've seen way to many problems with OpenOffice and the like to willingly go there. Sure enough it's difficult enough to get MS Office to open a document without screwing it up - esp if some moron opens it up with an old version, edits a few letters and then sends it back: all your work destroyed ... With OpenOffice and the like it's even a lot worse.

How recent did I try it: 2011 - before being forced to buy a whole lot Office for Mac 2011 licenses anew as MSFT decided there would be no upgrade path from Office for mac 2008 to the 2011 versions (Home & Business licenses so they're not cheap - by far not).

I'm sorry but screwing up a title page of a customer's layout and you not even knowing it did it and then handing it back is a no go: you just insulted the customer.


 3:51 pm on Jan 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not going for it. I have Office for Mac 2011 but I only need Word and Excel and I like having my files locally since I have some confidential business stuff in there. I can see why MSFT is doing this but from my perspective I'd rather pay $140 once and use it for years than $10/mo or $100/yr.

I guess I'll stick with the old installed version for quite a few years to come, just like I did with Office 2003. Yeah I guess I'm turning into an old-timer LOL


 4:12 pm on Jan 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

The Office subscription will allow you to use the software on up to five devices. So, if you need multiple copies, the subscription could be a very good deal. Plus, you'll always have access to the latest versions of the software.

I like the subscription model for software.

I recently purchased a subscription to Adobe's products. It allows me to use their products on two computers. I had purchased two of their programs and the cost of upgrading those two would have been the same as paying for the subscription for a year. With the subscription, however, I am able to use many more of Adobe's products.


 4:35 pm on Jan 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Don't forget: this pricing is for consumers - not for business use. Business users surely will lose the 5 devices (and get a per user fee and/ro a per device fee), and they'll pay more as is usual at MSFT.


 12:45 am on Jan 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Aside from people just not using so much "formal" correspondence, (e.g.- a "text" replaces an email, a Facebook post replaces a press release, etc), there is also the MSFT v. GOOG play for the "office suite".

Google's challenging line up can be seen at:


GOOG ........ MSFT
Gmail ....... MS-Outlook (on & off line)
Calendar .... (various MS Office products)
Drive ....... SkyDrive
Docs ........ MS-Word
Sheets ...... MS-Excel / MS-Access
Slides ...... MS-PowerPoint


 4:41 am on Jan 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>Sure OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Google Docs and the like are fine if you're only using it yourself or collaborating with others using the same software.

False. That's an excuse.

No excuse. It comes from experience. There are enough inconsistencies with formatting, macros, complex tables that it's simply not a solution to switch to these free alternatives if you use anything even remotely complex in Office.

Sure if you're using Word like it was NotePad, or Excel like it was for CSV files only then you're good to go. Don't get me started on PowerPoint or Access compatibility or the lack of an Outlook replacement. If the free options work for you that's great, but I won't agree with you about the inconsistencies between them and Office. In a larger organization that uses Office it would not be advisable to switch to one of these free alternatives if consistency is important in your documents or data.

That aside, this new subscription plan has been a long time coming for MS. They have been tossing the idea around for years, but it hasn't been until recently that IT people have become used to paying annually for online services on an annual basis. It's been MS's dream to get everyone paying for their software annually. Office 2013 marks a big shift for them in this direction. They're making the one-time payment options pretty unattractive.


 10:46 am on Jan 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Agree with Bill.

I am a big advocate of open source and open source/free - use a lot of it in my business.

However, I am a bigger advocate of the bottom line. I have tried OO several times over the years hoping issues with complex document presentation were finally resolved only to be disappointed.

Sure 95% would work just fine, but the remaining 5% could go to a client without my ever knowing they received a document which looked or operated sub-par until they tell me. That is an embarrassment I wish to avoid. Furthermore, in 17 years of business I've yet to run across a single hire with OO experience while all of them had Office experience. Even if the transition "only" costs a few hours of lost productivity for each employee to learn the ropes, I come out ahead paying for an Office license and using it for several years before upgrading.


 10:35 pm on Feb 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Business users surely will lose the 5 devices (and get a per user fee and/ro a per device fee), and they'll pay more as is usual at MSFT."
This has been available for a while for business users. Some of the Enterprise plans for Office 365 include the full Office Pro Plus, or you can buy it for $12/month per user.
"Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace and Lync.
Office Professional Plus can be installed on five devices per user."


 3:19 pm on Feb 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Shrug. I've got a $20K+ annual revenue stream from software that comes from opensource spreadsheet stuff and goes to corporate users using excel. Never had a problem yet. I'm making money directly and specifically from this stuff. Working fine for me.


 4:54 pm on Feb 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I used to use OO, but I had lots of problems with inconsistent word counts and the spell check simply not working. I don't mind paying a little extra for something that just works.

I'm not keen on the subscription model though, and I won't be rushing to adopt it.


 4:56 pm on Feb 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Wheel: try making sometng in MS office (word specifically), that uses all out the features of word, not a basic thing, but a complex document, background images, illustratations, linked spreadsheets, including title pages, indexes, glossary, pages in A3 in an A4 sized document, rotated pages, complex headers and footers, automated numbering, ... Really the works.

Now send it to _any_ wannabe alternative, and edit it using track changes: add pages, change the title, move text around, add illustrations, change the footers, modify the numbering (if you see any), really work on the document. Change something in the linked spreadsheet if you can manage it.
You'll already see a lot of things falling apart - since you know what the original had - but let's assume you don't know it cause you never saw the original.

Now save it and open it back in MS office ... The body might still be there, the rest - not so much. And try to continue editing it, it'll break even more.

The whole reason is of course MSFT's proprietary approach to it all, with only one real goal: to create lock-in. It's something Redmond is *very* good at unfortunately. Even if they play a charade on ISO standards, their document spec still is not true open and there's still not an open source reference implementation all others can use to make 100% compatible products.

FWIW: to make a file that opens in excel from scratch is dead easy: UTF-16 encode a html file with tables in it. Excel eats it up like hungry wolf eats a baby rabbit. But well substantially editing a document made by excel and preserving the undocumented crap that excel left in there so that it still works in excel afterwards: that's a whole different story. The wolf then bites you.

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