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Microsoft Businesses The Almighty Buck

For the First Time, Microsoft Got More Revenue From Office 365 Subscriptions Than From Traditional Office Software Licensing (axios.com) 250

Ina Fried, reporting for Axios: Shares of Microsoft hit record territory in after-hours trading on Thursday, topping $75 a share, after the software giant's better-than-expected financial results. As has been the case for the last several quarters, strength in Microsoft's cloud business, including Office 365 and Windows Azure, was the key to the company's growth. Of note, Microsoft CFO Amy Hood told analysts that, for the first time, Microsoft got more revenue from Office 365 subscriptions than from traditional Office software licensing. Why it matters: Microsoft has shown an ability to grow its business even as the PC market has stalled, reflecting moves the company made in the cloud both since Satya Nadella took over as CEO as well as some that were in place before he took over the top spot.
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For the First Time, Microsoft Got More Revenue From Office 365 Subscriptions Than From Traditional Office Software Licensing

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  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:24AM (#54852693) Journal

    Because they practically force MS-Cloud down your throat. They know you need MS-Office to be compatible with all your existing MS documents, yet you can't go to another vendor if you want reasonable desktop pricing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, look on the bright side; LibreOffice and such have been seeing massive increases in support and userbases in the past few years.
      I'm also seeing businesses trying out Ubuntu and such, and saying more positive things about it than Windows 10, which is horrible for Microsoft.
      The subscription and cloud shit is getting out of hand and businesses are starting to get fed up of seeing lists of 50 fucking names that they need to pay
      monthly or such for what should be trivial shit which happens to have non-subsc

  • Absolutely baffling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:25AM (#54852697)

    98% of the people who use office simply type letters and notes, maybe make a simple spreadsheet or two. Openoffice is entirely up to the task. [openoffice.org]

    I really have to give Microsoft credit, figuring out a way to make people pay rent on something as simple as a word processor.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:45AM (#54852807)

      98% of the people who use office simply type letters and notes, maybe make a simple spreadsheet or two. Openoffice is entirely up to the task.

      The issue is that 98% of people who use office exchange documents with the other 2%.

      The other issue is that office 365 includes outlook, which open office does NOT match in any capacity. And the subscription includes a decent mailbox, with alll the bells and whistles - webmail/calendar/contact
        mobile sync, windows active directory integration, etc... its a hell of a lot more than 'renting a word processor'.

      • by MangoCats ( 2757129 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:55AM (#54852917)

        Sorry, I have (been forced to) used Office and recently Office 365 - they are no prize whatsoever. 3+ years ago I worked at a shop that used Google's office suite, it works better, faster and more reliably. I haven't used "local" POP3 mail clients for over a decade, but when I did, Thunderbird and Eudora ran flaming rings around Office.

        The only reason I see to prefer Office to any other mail and calendaring solutions is because it's integrated into the company directory, and if the company would divorce its personnel directory from office, that advantage would disappear too.

        • Outlook calendar integration is quite solid. Comparing with Google calendar I would say G is a 7 and MS a 9. The things that google does badly can be painful depending on your workflow. Outlook/Exchange are also the go-to for many third-party applications.

        • POP3 is dogshit! IMAP is slightly better, but pales in comparison with Exchange. With MS Exchange (the gold standard for enterprise), Contacts, Calendar, and Task items sync seamlessly between client and server. No need to worry about loss of email or fragmented content between devices. In addition, you can setup shared mailboxes, grant full or partial read access to a co-workers mailbox, setup automated rules, and even set permission to allow someone to respond to an email on behalf of someone else. Exchan

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Friday July 21, 2017 @11:05AM (#54852993)

        The issue is that 98% of people who use office exchange documents with the other 2%.

        So logically it's the 98% that must adapt and keep up with the 2%, right? Something is wrong with the logic here. At some point the 2% need to realize that the tail doesn't wag the dog anymore.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        The other issue is that office 365 includes outlook, which open office does NOT match in any capacity.

        What happened to the US having antitrust legislation? If they offer tied products, they should be required to also sell Outlook
          and Outlook services separately at its proportionate cost. Tying Outlook to these other solutions is anticompetitive behavior by MS.

        • What happened to the US having antitrust legislation?

          Have you been following the election returns for the last few decades? Do you know which party controls the presidency, the supreme court, the senate, the house, 2/3rds of the governorships, and most of the state legislatures?

          Hint: It isn't the antitrust party.

          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            Have you been following the election returns for the last few decades? Do you know which party controls the presidency, the supreme court, the senate, the house,

            The Supreme Court's purpose in life is to be an independent judiciary: its members not to be concerned about political matters or political parties.

            Regardless of the political views of the current president or senate they all have a legal obligation to faithfully uphold the laws of the land,
            and the Antitrust laws are among the laws of the land.

      • You want something that rivals Outlook? How about Thunderbird? Outlook is absolute garbage, come back when you've tried a real PIM.

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          "You want something that rivals Outlook? How about Thunderbird?"

          I use both. Side by side. Thunderbird is fine and I love it. But its not even in the same league.

          IMAP is simply not as powerful as Exchange; the meeting / calendar / contact / directory support for thunderbird is a PITA. You can't set up server side rule processing, away messages, forwarding, etc within Thunderbird. Moving large amounts of messages around still weak. Company contact directory support is a PITA. And even mailbox setup is simply

          • I agree. However, the only reason to use Outlook is if one happens to have a Microsoft Exchange based messaging server, along w/ a need to integrate w/ an Office's e-mail setup. Otherwise, Thunderbird/Fossamail works just fine. For RSS, I just use FireFox and stage the feeds from the bookmarks toolbar

            • by vux984 ( 928602 )

              I agree. However, the only reason to use Outlook is if one happens to have a Microsoft Exchange based messaging server, along w/ a need to integrate w/ an Office's e-mail setup

              Yes, also Google Apps Sync with outlook is pretty decent too. Not as seamless, but still pretty solid.

              Thunderbird/Fossamail works just fine

              However, people subscribe to google apps for enterprises or office 365 (hosted exchange) in large part to get the functionality that Thunderbird + IMAP simply does not have.

              I love Thunderbird.Thunderbird is great at what it does, but its missing some big things... because IMAP is missing some big things. And OSS has never really stepped up to the plate and solved any of those items in a really good way.

              I me

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      It's a bit of a cascading network effect. Some people at work use the advanced features of MS Office or interchange documents with other businesses that use MS Office and the people they hire are more likely to have used MS Office, thus the workplace standardizes on MS Office. Since people use MS Office at work, it's easier to get MS Office at home because everything is in the same place and they can apply any free practice/training they got at work.

      You might think it would be a trivial effort to switch or

      • by MangoCats ( 2757129 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:59AM (#54852947)

        I talked with an engineer in ~2005 who "wanted to try Linux" - he asked how he would do things like Word, Excel (Open Office) Photoshop (GIMP), Internet Explorer (Firefox), etc. in Linux. I told him about the equivalent software, his response:

        "You mean I'd have to learn new names and icons for the programs? I don't think I'm up for that much effort..."

        • Then you should switch him to a new version of Adobe/Microsoft products. How many iterations has MSN Messenger been through? I think it's called Lync now or was it Skype?

          • I think it's called Lync now or was it Skype?

            And for all it's changes they have been so slow that there's actually little to no effort to cope with the change. The name is a classic example. Even though the upgrade the file is still called lync.exe, and the change from Lync to Skype for business was cosmetic. They didn't even move buttons around on the interface. Heck I'm not sure they did more than make the background white, the title blue, and eliminate window borders.

            The last truly jarring change was the introduction of the ribbon. That one would h

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          Are you sure that wasn't a tongue-in-cheek answer to the fact that Linux didn't have any of the software he's used to, only "equivalents" he'd have to learn from scratch? Because I have made that switch and it was almost a broken record "Does Linux have X? No, but Linux has Y which is kinda like X...", he probably just realized exactly what he asked for and decided to bail.

      • My opinion maybe unpopular here but am just stated how these users think ... not agreeing.

        Office and Windows are not perfect. We all know this. The users do too. They use what works and brings best value.

        Blue E = internet?? That was true 10 years ago. These same users all use Chrome with a few hanging onto Firefox. They switched to better products and until Firefox hit version 1.5/2.0 IE 6 was the better browser. IE 6 was more standards compliant than Netscape!!?? Go ask an old school web developer if you

    • While you may be right, maybe most people just think it's a better model for paying for software. I can get Office for my entire family (up to 5 people) for only $100 a year. Considering how much this would have cost with the old 1 Licence = 1 Computer method of pricing, it's actually much more cost effective to just pay $100 a year and always have your software up to date.

      Businesses also get a pretty good deal at about $10-$15 a month depending on the extras that you want, but even at $10 a month, you g

      • by MangoCats ( 2757129 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @11:00AM (#54852959)

        It is a lower pain threshold way of paying, but ultimately quite costly, especially compared to using FOSS.

        • If FOSS does the job for you, then you are fine to go ahead and use it for free. but personally I find that OpenOffice just doesn't cut it. It's missing too many key features and just isn't polished enough for my tastes. Even without the troubles incurred when it comes to sharing documents with other computer users, OpenOffice still doesn't meet my needs.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:48AM (#54852835)

      98% of the people who use office simply type letters and notes, maybe make a simple spreadsheet or two. Openoffice is entirely up to the task. [openoffice.org]

      I really have to give Microsoft credit, figuring out a way to make people pay rent on something as simple as a word processor.

      Openoffice is unfortunately a pretty dead project and should probably not be touched or recommended to anyone who do not know what they are doing.
      Instead, go with LibreOffice [libreoffice.org] (a fork of Openoffice) that is maintained and have a good amount of developers behind it.

    • Outlook. Without that, we could switch reasonably easily.

      Problem for MS is they botched up with the recent update and our users are pissed.

      Personally, I could go either way. The subscription cost is lower than the upkeep cost of stand-alone installs, as end users can be 90% responsible for it. But, we have GoogleDocs included with our email subscription so... something might need to give.

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

        Outlook. Without that, we could switch reasonably easily.

        And the amazing thing is Outlook is such a steaming pile of bloated buggy horseshit. And yet apparently no one can get rid of it.

    • And if you "need the Cloud" Google Docs, for 10+ years, outperforming Office 365 even today.

    • It's the business licensing. If your licensing more than a few seats you have to buy the enterprise license and Microsoft forced everyone with an enterprise license to upgrade. Our IT was sending out emails telling everyone to upgrade because of it.

      IMO it's not a legitimate metric when you force every existing business license to upgrade.

    • I really have to give Microsoft credit, figuring out a way to make people pay rent on something as simple as a word processor.

      It's not just Microsoft though. Adobe does it too for their products, and others do too. They're all figuring out they can charge you many times the price of the software by getting you on a subscription. I always avoid subscriptions in general.

      Music is the same way. How many hundreds of dollars are being thrown away by people on things like Spotify? Companies aren't stupid. They know if they can get you paying for the same product every month they make more money than just charging you once and most

    • by tsa ( 15680 )

      It's not the figuring out that surprises me but the fact that they don't die of shame doing this.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      The problem is not the Word processor. LibreOffice needs feature parity with Excel, As Excel is the major justification I hear many people have for staying with Office. And then after getting that TRUE feature parity, LibreOffice need to add some "killer app" functionality, like a better MS Access than MS Access, and a way to handle collaborative databases and cloud-hosted collaborative databases.

      And then get a major marketing campaign to show how LibreOffice Does everything Excel does and mor

    • is what makes Office so successful. It states that 80% of your users only use 20% of your application's functionality, but for each user it's a _slightly_ different 20%.

      Basically, everybody has that one cool feature they can't live without that their entire workflow is dependent on (spacebar heating anyone?). That's how Microsoft gets lock in. You can't leave without taking a major hit.
    • On PCs with Office installed, VBA is often the only programming language available.

      Better than nothing for kids to play around with, like how they played around with QBASIC a generation ago.

      Yes, you can create macros in LibreOffice too, but it's not as easy and performance is dog slow.

    • Office 365 is more than word processing software. Office 365 also includes full hosted versions of SharePoint, intune, Skype for business, and Exchange and includes with subscription add ons crm like Dynamics and the Outlook Contact manager and cloud PBX for things like having dedicated numbers for phones and meetings under Skype from phones. With add ons businesses can also get intune, advanced threat protection, and exchange archiving for ediscovery and audits. Microsofts offers free technical support

  • I ended up converting last year and it is actually a better deal all around. If you work in the business world you inevitably have to deal with MS Word documents and MS Excel spreadsheets and MS Powerpoint sludge.

    What I like is that I can install multiple legal copies on different devices including family members.

    Although it is an annual rent which is going to turn off a lot of people I now consider it a regular business related sense such as dry cleaning or a commute-capable car or for that matter taxes o

    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:42AM (#54852781) Homepage Journal

      Although it is an annual rent which is going to turn off a lot of people I now consider it a regular business related sense such as dry cleaning or a commute-capable car or for that matter taxes on income. If you want to be a grown up there are things you have to pay for.

      It is precisely THAT kind of thinking that is going to possibly eventually *doom* us all to perpetual, rental of software, rather than ownership (perpetual license if you're picky)...and that is NOT a good thing for consumers.

      Once the companies have you trapped in rental..they really have no incentive to improve and innovate now do they?

      We've seen it with Adobe's Creative Cloud rental system....you haven't seen any truly breakthrough improvements to date. Yes, they roll out some nice things here and there, but nothing that is earthshaking. I've certainly not found I miss anything by still using my CS6 apps I bought.

      And we've seen problems with Adobe CC...they will roll stuff out that breaks on peoples systems, and well....you're SOL till they can get an online fix out, meanwhile, you lose business.

      There are also people who've lost out by having their registration get lost in the system or broken, and again...they are SOL till customer service can help, and well, I think with most of these places we know the terms "customer service" and "help" are mutually exclusive terms.

      I can see it going this way with ANY software rental.

      The best way to avoid this is to pay with your wallet.

      • SAS (Software As Service) is replacing the old model precisely because it's a reoccurring expenditure; specifically when it's annual. It's far easier to budget for, can ensure everyone in office is at the latest version for compatibility, and is equal or less in cost when amortized against one-off purchases of boxed software over a set period of time.

        • by jon3k ( 691256 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @12:45PM (#54853693)
          The only reason this is being pushed is because it's getting harder and harder to convince people they need to upgrade Office. I'd argue that most people could get by with Office 2003 and almost guarantee they could get by with Office 2007 which was released over 10 years ago.

          and is equal or less in cost when amortized against one-off purchases of boxed software

          Maybe if you're upgrading every year? Which we all know is completely unnecessary. Office 2016 Home & Student is $149 and Office 365 Personal is $6.99/mo. That means if you keep your office version for two years, it is cheaper to buy a boxed copy than pay for a subscription. No one would argue you could easily use the same version of Office for TWICE that period of time.

          This is rent seeking, plain and simple. They're trying to structure it in such a way to increase your cost unnecessarily and force you to make purchases you wouldn't have otherwise needed.

          • You can call it what you want; no skin off my back. But in the world of software, progress is a moving target. Doesn't matter if you like it or not, I'm simply making a factual statement. Hardware changes, as does the OS to support it, and the applications too. The whole stack is a moving organism. A standing wave of progress if you will. You know, "the only constant is change" thing.

            In business that relies on this technology, you can either upgrade in leap-frog fashion, or replace / upgrade as you go in dr

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        Once the companies have you trapped in rental..they really have no incentive to improve and innovate now do they?

        I dislike it so much, that I think there should be a law against it. Something liek....

        SQUATTERS RIGHTS ON SOFTWARE

        If software or the right to the legal possession of software is included as a product or service, then after a consumer's use of that service and/or legal possession of that copy of software has continued for 12 calendar months without permanent cancellation or termination of th

        • Good luck when tech companies inject so much money into politics through lobbyists and campaign contributions. (both secret and not-so-secret)

      • Maybe this will help with stupid changes just to come out with new versions, then. I don't mind change, but lets face it, everyone hates freaking change. If it works and is making money, maybe they are just leaving it the hell alone?

      • by dj245 ( 732906 )

        Although it is an annual rent which is going to turn off a lot of people I now consider it a regular business related sense such as dry cleaning or a commute-capable car or for that matter taxes on income. If you want to be a grown up there are things you have to pay for.

        It is precisely THAT kind of thinking that is going to possibly eventually *doom* us all to perpetual, rental of software, rather than ownership (perpetual license if you're picky)...and that is NOT a good thing for consumers.

        Once the companies have you trapped in rental..they really have no incentive to improve and innovate now do they?

        We've seen it with Adobe's Creative Cloud rental system....you haven't seen any truly breakthrough improvements to date. Yes, they roll out some nice things here and there, but nothing that is earthshaking. I've certainly not found I miss anything by still using my CS6 apps I bought.

        And we've seen problems with Adobe CC...they will roll stuff out that breaks on peoples systems, and well....you're SOL till they can get an online fix out, meanwhile, you lose business.

        There are also people who've lost out by having their registration get lost in the system or broken, and again...they are SOL till customer service can help, and well, I think with most of these places we know the terms "customer service" and "help" are mutually exclusive terms.

        I can see it going this way with ANY software rental.

        The best way to avoid this is to pay with your wallet.

        I'm fairly certain that Adobe software today would be utter crap regardless of it was a one-time purchase or as a recurring payment. They have been on that path for years, if not decades.

      • you get application hosting. You get apps that work as long as your web browser does, and if your web browser breaks you can wipe the computer and start over and not lose a damn thing. Yes, you're giving up privacy and control, but most people don't need that or care. They care about losing everything when they crash their PC for the 10th time. They care about spending $1k on a PC instead of $200 because then need a fractional amount more reliability.

        You and I are computer enthusiasts to some degree. Mo
        • And I get to take the day off if I can't access the internet from my location. Where as with a traditional application I am forced to work even if reliable internet access is not available.

    • Re:No surprise there (Score:5, Interesting)

      by imidan ( 559239 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:45AM (#54852813)

      I ended up converting last year and it is actually a better deal all around.

      Okay. I bought a retail boxed copy of Office 2010 Home some years ago. Let's say 2012, since otherwise it would be Office 2013. It specifically allows me to install it on multiple computers (three to five, I can't remember; I only have it one two). I don't remember exactly what I paid anymore, but let's pretend it was $150 (that's what a standalone copy costs now). That means I've had use of this software for five years at an amortized cost of $30/year. That cost per year continues going down every year that I still use 2010--and I will, because at the moment, I don't perceive that there have been any great advances in word processing technology in the last 7 years. The cost of Office 365 Home is $100 per year. That really doesn't sound like a better deal to me.

      If you want to be a grown up there are things you have to pay for.

      And if you want to be a smart grown up, you don't pay more for things than you need to, especially by paying over and over again for things you can just pay for once.

      • And if you want to be a smart grown up, you don't pay more for things than you need to, especially by paying over and over again for things you can just pay for once.

        Office 365 has a lot of features that Office 20xx did not have. You did not get 5TB of cloud storage with Office 20xx for one thing. Or online support. Or 60 minutes of Skype to landline calls per month. Or phone support. So to come up with a valid comparison you have to realize that the product+services of Office 365 is not the same as the product-only of an obsolete version of the software.

        • Hmm, none of the things you listed are important to me or anyone I've talked to about office software ... possibly ever. If those things help you, great, but don't use those features as arguments as to why online office is better than the 20xx versions because I believe they aren't useful to the masses.

          Personally, 2010 was the best version for me and I plan to continue to use that as I've not found any new feature in 2013 or 2016 version that make me want to upgrade; in fact, I've found several new featur
      • because you break your computer a few times a year and it's expensive to fix it. Office 365 doesn't break unless your browser does. It works in 3 different browsers so if one breaks you can switch to another. And if all else fails you can switch computers and get to your files.

        It's kinda like being a mechanic and driving a Jaguar. You can get away with it when you can fix it on your own.
      • ... I got Office 2007 Pro. from an estate sale almost a couple months ago. Before it and in the past, I was still using the very old 2K SR3 and 2003 from others who didn't use them anymore. They worked fine for my basic needs (Word and Excel) with their 2007 converter packs and updates. I also use the updated LibreOffice when needed too which is rare.

        I hate the online cloud stuff especially when my Internet isn't reliable. Frak the online clouds and services. I still prefer to do stuff offline and locally!

    • If you work in the business world you inevitably have to deal with MS Word documents and MS Excel spreadsheets and MS Powerpoint sludge.

      This is a lot less true than it used to be. None of the day-to-day data that I deal with has been in any of those formats for a long time.

      The sad thing is, it still only needs one or two exceptions -- say, exporting a spreadsheet to send to your accountant or a contract for review and markup by your lawyers -- to make it worth the cost of buying MS rather than risking data loss in translation. Fortunately, for us it's only things like legal/finance work where any avoidable risk is highly undesirable because

      • From a business point of view, what it costs is just a business expense and is either worth it or it isn't.

        The bigger reason we won't rent software for anything truly essential to our business operations is that it can be changed, made more expensive, or even entirely turned off, at any time, according to nothing but the whims of the software developer.

        Your theory seems to be based on the idea that Microsoft will cut off their revenue stream from you for no purpose other than buggery and to piss you off. Sorry but I just don't find this very convincing.

        I agree that the Microsoft suite is by no means as essential as it once was. This is actually a good thing because to keep Microsoft will then have pressure to improve the product rather than just relying on droits.

        • It's a general principle, not specific to Microsoft. In any case, it's clear that Microsoft is quite willing to update its software in ways that its customers don't want and try to force them to adopt the changes, and life's too short to put up with that sort of abuse.

      • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <eviNO@SPAMevcircuits.com> on Friday July 21, 2017 @12:39PM (#54853637) Homepage

        I explicitly convert everything down to a common standard.

        Last time a legal department sent me a Signed PDF which wanted to open some JavaScript and talk to Adobe servers and then I should create an account with Adobe while Adobe held onto my public/private key for signing.

        I opened the PDF in a non-Adobe product, saved and signed it with a copy of my real signature (which the app happily took from the camera), sent it back. It thoroughly broke their automatic processing but they went on with it (insert Johnny Tables reference here) because nobody at the office understood why it wasn't working (it looked like I signed it after all).

    • I ended up converting last year and it is actually a better deal all around. If you work in the business world you inevitably have to deal with MS Word documents and MS Excel spreadsheets and MS Powerpoint sludge.

      No it isn't. It's just stupid. You can buy Office 2010 on ebay for what... $60 and own it forever. This is substantially less than one year rental cost of Office 365.

      What of any meaningful value does Office 2010 not do that your 365 subscription can?

      Although it is an annual rent which is going to turn off a lot of people I now consider it a regular business related sense such as dry cleaning or a commute-capable car or for that matter taxes on income. If you want to be a grown up there are things you have to pay for.

      If you want to be a grown up you have to be able to do basic math. Paying more over time isn't smart or intelligent. It doesn't make you a grown up. It doesn't improve cash flow. It is simply throwing money away for no reason.

    • > If you want to be a grown up there are things you have to pay for.

      Only an idiot keeps paying for the same thing over and over again.

      A real adult understands a) amortization, and b) sharing of knowledge.

      a) In a few years a kid is able to learn almost the previous 4,000 years of Mathematics.
      b) Likewise, by pooling our knowledge we are able to get Operating Systems and Applications for zero cost.

      One day when you grow up you'll realize collaboration makes more sense then competition and artificial price go

  • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:45AM (#54852809)

    We switched to Office365 this month from 2010, and our end users are sick of it. They complain about re-authentication, along with bugs and other issues. Many people are switching back to our Google webmail instead.

    For us, the price point is higher than where we want to be, given all the SaaS crap we are stuck with. I expect a defection inside a year.

    • They complain about re-authentication, along with bugs and other issues.

      How did you / your IT department manage to break it?

  • Microsoft is irrelevant and dying.. oh wait..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 21, 2017 @10:49AM (#54852847)

    If we want good, open, free alternatives, it helps a lot to donate to the projects.

    I donate to Debian, KDE, LibreOffice, GnuPG, and more.

    Even for OSS projects, being able to fund developers makes a big difference. Put your money where your mouth is. Stop giving money to Microsoft, start giving money to OSS. At least the latter will respect your rights (*) and not treat you as the enemy.

    (*) insert systemd joke here.

    • If we want good, open, free alternatives, it helps a lot to donate to the projects.

      No it doesn't. The Office monopoly relies a lot on system integration with the rest of the business world. Lync, Outlook, Active Directory, Sharepoint, other DMS providers, integration with business software. For the MS side of the ecosystem no money is going to get them to open up those APIs to you. For the 3rd party side of the ecosystem only a huge user base will get them to open up to you.

  • My company and previous company switched to Office 365 only because it's easier to administer via the web interface than it is through the traditional profile/domain configurations. MS has touted that as cheaper to the company than boxed software which is true in the short term (the only thing that matters to beancounters anymore) but is a win for MS in the long term as companies continue to pay annual subscription fees (as opposed to holding off migrating to the next version of office) See Adobe moving a
    • Software "ownership" is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

      That's the fear, but I'm not sure it's actually working out that way. It took what -- 2-3 years, maybe? -- from the Adobe CC switch for multiple credible competing products to be available for some of the big CS/CC applications. They aren't the same 800lb gorilla products, but rather like Google Docs compared to MS Office, they do enough for many users, and in some respects they might even be better.

      Enterprise IT is often awful in terms of cost-effectiveness, because everything is worked out at a high level

      • by jon3k ( 691256 )

        If they're foolish enough to pay through the nose and lock themselves into deals with specific software brands, so be it.

        To be honest the reason we lock ourselves into large agreements is to guarantee large discounts. It's typically not in the businesses interest to use their resources to constantly switch between providers. You can't move several thousand (or even hundreds, and maybe dozens) people between different SaaS offerings every year or two. Not only does this tie up your internal IT resources, you've got to retrain staff which is very expensive.

        • Sure, I understand that and it's a perfectly reasonable position if it genuinely does meet your business requirements better than any other available option. Presumably if and when you reached that "paying through the nose" stage, the balance would change and the costs of migrating to an alternative would look less prohibitive.

          Unfortunately, while your reason is a good one, it is certainly not the only reason that big businesses lock themselves into these agreements. I've seen purchases made for corporate p

  • you actually never owned the s/w - it's always been a rental - just look at the agreements in any EULA...all we've done is go to a monthly recurring model
    • The physical discs the software came on had the full intrinsic value of the software on it and constituted 'ownership' of that copy. The game has changed now that there is no physical component. You are mis-characterizing the situation.
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @11:55AM (#54853317)

    Here is how you make revenue for Office365 go up - change your pricing.
    I would venture that most of this comes from companies. They simply bundle the two together, of course requiring that you buy both. Maybe your costs are the same, or maybe they go up a little, but the ratio is probably heavily weighted towards office365. Microsoft can then say the revenue for 365 goes up, traditional license revenue goes down. But you still have to have both. Maybe they can push just 365 on new clients, but i think that would be a hard sell.

    Then once their subscription numbers are up, they can just let the client-version wither and die.

    At work we have Office365, but everyone I know uses the traditional installed version. It is buggier than it used to be, because it has to phone-home to mothership365. Store docs to OneDrive, view them in the cloud (which I never really do), or log in and use the 365 calendar/outlook, which I try to avoid at all costs. Many many times Office applications will hang now that they are 'integrated' with 365.

    Nobody will care about 365 until they take away the client version, then productivity will tank. By that time though, the frog will be boiled.

  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @11:58AM (#54853345)

    The move to Office 365 was entirely predictable as Office 365 is simply the next version of Office.

    Any medium to large size enterprise that was using Office was already "renting" their software from Microsoft in the form of Software Assurance. Many businesses have become accustomed to annual license/support fees - from networking, to backup to productivity software - almost all of it in production in a decent size enterprise requires annual licensing and support.

    Most enterprises that I've seen deploy Office 365 are deploying local copies of Office 2016 and taking great pains to prevent storage of their data in Microsoft's cloud.

    This isn't some new paradigm shift to cloud/rental software - it's already been here for many years.

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      Sort of, the difference is you could always drop your SA if you needed to and you could carry whatever the current version of the software was. Now if you stop paying your business shuts down. Hopefully one day you're not trying to decide between paying salary or your Office 365 bill. Microsoft will be higher on your AP vendor pay list than the water bill. That's a scary thought.
  • Guess what the first thing that will be canceled when the economy goes sour. Car payment or Office 365 payment?
  • In related news, the number of stupid people making decisions for their businesses is increasing. If my company had paid their rate for 365 since we bought office 2003, it'd be over $1000. We paid like $180 per seat.
  • It's amazing how people will pour more money into speculation of profits through a method that screws the entire public (including themselves) because it will make them a little more money short term. (It's not like stock holders get a free subscriptions to Office 365).

    There is of course LibreOffice (http://www.libreoffice.org) as well as OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org) and for those that want an internal intranet based solutions (or "cloud" on the open Internet) there is OnlyOffice (http://www.on
  • by hunter44102 ( 890157 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @05:45PM (#54855443)
    What happens if you miss a payment or stop all-together? Does the program stop working? I'm guessing the cloud storage might stop allowing new files but who knows

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