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Author Topic: MS Office Subscriptions Now  (Read 3510 times)

Renegade

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MS Office Subscriptions Now
« on: January 29, 2013, 05:50:04 PM »
Looks like MS Office is moving to subscriptions?

http://tech.ca.msn.c...for-touch-online-use

Quote
Microsoft has released a retooled version of its Office software in an effort to extend one of the company's most important franchises beyond personal computers.

Tuesday's debut comes six months after Microsoft previewed the new-look Office, which includes popular word processing, spreadsheets and email programs.

The revamped Office boasts touch controls, just like the redesigned version of the Windows operating system that Microsoft Corp. three months ago. The Redmond, Wash., company is trying to ensure its products remain relevant as people increasing rely on smartphones and tablet computers instead of PCs.

Microsoft is offering Office 2013 in a $100 annual subscription package that includes online access on up to five Windows devices or Mac computers. The one-time price to install Office 2013 on a single machine starts at $140.
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TaoPhoenix

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 06:03:16 PM »
I just did it in Libre Office and sent 1 extra line to my recruiter: "This was done in Libre Office and saved to MS Doc format. Please advise if minor formatting problems occur". I never heard of one. (Then again, I never got a job yet either!  :o   )


J-Mac

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 11:35:00 PM »
Hmm.. I really, really have to take SoftMaker up on their SoftMaker Office Pro 2012 upgrade! Anyone using that now?

Thanks!

Jim

40hz

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 08:13:08 AM »
Shouldn't be a surprise. Microsoft has been talking about eventually having online versions of most of what they make for the last two years.

From a business perspective it makes sense for Microsoft and many of  their large corporate customers (with sufficiently reliable broadband) to do it that way. The savings on distribution and packaging costs alone will be phenomenal for Microsoft. And the cash flow advantages (i.e. no contract and pay as you go) and flexibility it offers their customers will weigh heavily in the adoption decision cycle. And as an added 'bonus' it also makes licensing compliance automatic.

All that aside there still remain serious questions that only time will answer such as:

  • How reliable and accessible will the connection IP technology be?
  • Is zero-downtime a realistic promise once hundreds of millions of subscriptions are sold.
  • How will acceptable performance be maintained once large numbers begin subscribing and accessing the service.
  • How secure will it be?
  • How private?
  • How will MS cooperate with requests from governments for warrantless access to user's data?
  • What will happen if (i.e. when) there is a major security breech?
  • How will such a breech be handled? And will the customers be notified?
  • Can we really trust Microsoft? Seriously. Can we? Really?
  • and....
It just goes on and on. And unfortunately, nobody really knows the answers because we're venturing into new territory here.

Gonna be interesting...

But why bother wondering how (or if) it will work for you? MS will give you a free 90 day trial. Easiest and surest way to check it out is to actually check it out. Signup here - no credit card required.

(Note: Just for the record, I personally don't like this new direction Microsoft is going in. Coupled with them being in talks with Dell, I think the handwriting is on the wall. Microsoft is committed to moving away from their old business model and planning on introducing an inexpensive "productivity" oriented info-appliance that is designed to work exclusively with their subscription based software. That means a closed ecosystem and customer lock-in. One giant step backwards to the days of timeshared terminals on remote mainframes. Sometimes, the more rapidly things change, the sooner they go back to what they were originally.)

« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 08:22:44 AM by 40hz »

Renegade

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 08:32:58 AM »
It just goes on and on. And unfortunately, nobody really knows the answers because we're venturing into new territory here.

You are far more optimistic than I am.

Ranty
A subscription model for desktop software is a money grab. Pure and simple. That's all. Nothing more. There is ZERO reason to run desktop software on a subscription model. The ONLY exception is the occasional user that only needs it for a short period. Anyone who uses a program on an ongoing basis has NOTHING to gain from a subscription model. Network reliability alone is a deal killer. Servers are one thing, but man... YOUR servers? Seriously? Nah. I like MY servers.

But, that's a tad harsh... for small businesses it does kind of make some sense. Grrr... Don't like admitting that... Grrr... There is a place for it, but it's just really damn small.

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 09:05:04 AM »
It just goes on and on. And unfortunately, nobody really knows the answers because we're venturing into new territory here.

You are far more optimistic than I am.
 

I'm not optimistic at all. I'm a realist and closet cynic. What Microsoft is moving towards is something that has been predicted for the entire industry for a few decades now. There's nothing original or insightful in anything they're doing on this score.

In a linked environment, it's not the device or the software. It's the connections and accessibility that becomes the key factor. Because with the network connection comes the real power. But it comes at a cost since networks depend on standards and regulation to make them workable for large numbers of people. So now we're seeing "personal" and "private" being offered up for sacrifice in exchange for access to a basically free global network with billions of resources hosted on it.

I think it's a very high price to pay. But the younger generation doesn't seem to have a problem with that based on what I've heard many of them saying. But that's nothing new. Aesop even wrote a fable about that very thing.

What Aesop said
Quote
The Dog and the Wolf
 
 
A gaunt Wolf was almost dead with hunger when he happened to meet a House-dog who was passing by. “Ah, Cousin,” said the Dog. “I knew how it would be; your irregular life will soon be the ruin of you. Why do you not work steadily as I do, and thereby have your food regularly given to you?”   

  “I would have no objection,” said the Wolf, “if I could only get a place.”   

  “I will easily arrange that for you,” said the Dog; “come with me to my Master and you shall share my work.”    

  So the Wolf and the Dog went towards the town together. On the way there the Wolf noticed that the hair on a certain part of the Dog’s neck was very much worn away, so he asked him how that had come about.    

  “Oh, it is nothing,” said the Dog. “That is only the place where the collar is put on at night to keep me chained up; it chafes a bit, but one soon gets used to it.”    

  “Is that all?” said the Wolf. “Then good-bye to you, Master Dog.”
           
MORAL: Far better to starve and remain free than to become a well-fed slave.


Renegade

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 09:43:10 AM »
Now you're just playing me, 40hz~! :P ;D You somehow knew that I have a very soft spot in my heart for Aesop! :D (Among my favourite books is "Aesop without Morals", which is an original translation. Great read! :D ) Playing on getting my sympathy there... consider it done! :D

In a linked environment, it's not the device or the software. It's the connections and accessibility that becomes the key factor. Because with the network connection comes the real power. But it comes at a cost since networks depend on standards and regulation to make them workable for large numbers of people. So now we're seeing "personal" and "private" being offered up for sacrifice in exchange for access to a basically free global network with billions of resources hosted on it.

The key there is "linked".

We all know darn well that application software doesn't require a "linked" environment to run. So why pay for that? It's just milking people. Nothing more.

Now, there is value in the "link", but that's in the data transmission, and not in the application.

Cloud storage is a reality now.

Cloud computing is not. And won't be for a while. It's coming, but not here yet.

We simply cannot run heavy duty applications in the cloud. The network just doesn't support it. Yet.

I'll happily side with the wolf there. ;)   :Thmbsup:
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40hz

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 10:42:54 AM »
Now you're just playing me, 40hz~! :P ;D You somehow knew that I have a very soft spot in my heart for Aesop! :D (Among my favourite books is "Aesop without Morals", which is an original translation. Great read! :D ) Playing on getting my sympathy there... consider it done! :D

Perish  the thought I'd stoop to something like that! ;)

Quote

The key there is "linked".

We all know darn well that application software doesn't require a "linked" environment to run. So why pay for that? It's just milking people. Nothing more.

Now, there is value in the "link", but that's in the data transmission, and not in the application.

Cloud storage is a reality now.

The keyword is "linked" in the sense of sharing enabled. Which slides in neatly with shared storage. And "ubiquitous access" as in "my stuff anywhere and on any machine."

Do you absolutely need it? Depends. But it's nice to have. (And that's not dependent on Microsoft as we both know.) But if you can incorporate it into an already popular product line and make it available with a simple mouseclick, it's just one more step towards locking your customers in.

Do you absolutely need it. Depends on what you do. But I found Skydrive to be a blessing when moving docs back and forth between me and my clients. Sure beats e-mailing files back and forth. And all without the need to either set a client up on my server - or me on theirs. Something that's becoming an increasingly touchy subject for many of my clients with all the concerns about network security these days.

So for moderate, ad hoc, or short-term sharing, it works very well.

Quote
Cloud computing is not. And won't be for a while. It's coming, but not here yet.

We simply cannot run heavy duty applications in the cloud. The network just doesn't support it. Yet.

Yes and no. For the average home broadband service on DSL it can be touch and go. But it works much better than I thought it would. On a cable or other standard high-speed connection it's remarkably good. On a dedicated corporate-level fiber connection it just works. Period.

The thing with cloud computing is that to really tap the benefit it will take some rethinking and recoding of many apps to take them from a dedicated PC/CPU architecture to a client/server design. Nothing insurmountable. There's plenty of precedent and best practice behind doing that sort of application. But even so, it's seldom necessary or desirable to have the actual app running on the host unless it's doing something like a huge rendering or gene sequencing task which needed a cluster in order to finish within an average human lifetime.

But it doesn't need to be all cloud or all local. Some sort of PC will always need to be around so you can also do a hybrid approach.  On the client side all you'd need is a client app (which would do the heavy lifting in most cases) and something to link to the backend. Most likely for little other than to obtain an authorization token to prove you are currently an active subscriber. That and to take advantage of the increasingly ubiquitous online storage being offered with many apps.

In this scenario, the app is installable via the cloud and is local on your machine. You only need to be able to connect to the web at least once every thirty days for it to greenlight you. Think of it as a web-based version of  the old antipiracy hardware dongle all those expensive graphics and music software publishers used to be so fond of.

Adobe is already doing it this way - and I personally think their model is the one that's going to win out long term.

Quote
I'll happily side with the wolf there. ;)   :Thmbsup:


Yeah. Me too.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 11:37:00 AM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 02:31:54 PM »
Sorry guys, I like bolt-in parts. They remind me of the good ol' days when I was a mechanic.

Take part out of box.
Bolt part in place.
Part is mine...just so long as I don't break it, fry it, or wear it out.
I didn't subscribe to a parts list.

Now granted I actually did just have a really good time with an Exchange OnLine migration. Pulled all the clients data off of Yahoo and Googles servers (good bit of it too)...and sent it on over to the MS cloud. It went quite smoothly server to server, and synchronized with the client side cache at the same time.

But that's kinda the point really. Because with a client side cache...it's "our" data...not my data...not your data that I need because I created it that you rent me access to. Our data is ok because I still have a copy...and therefore can't get completely screwed. That and Email really was originally designed to be a web based service. So a 5-10 minute outage isn't really noticeable more often than not. Other -mission critical line of business applications - service however are not so flexable.

I've seen several doctors offices experiment with cloud based EMR systems. I have however not yet seen one of those experiments end well.

40hz

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 02:49:07 PM »
^Hear ya!

And I'm personally hoping it won't pan out for a variety of personal reasons much too tedious to go into...

But I'm not hopeful. Because sooner or later I think this is the direction it's going to go in. And if it's not being bossed by Microsoft, it will be by somebody else. Either way, I can see its inevitability. Because there are forces at work here that are maneuvering to bring this change about. And a good deal of the motivation behind it is neither for technical or purely business reasons.
 :o

f0dder

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 03:12:02 PM »
SaaS? Kill it with fire. Then roast the inventors over a slow fire. Then torch the term out of existence.
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2013, 03:53:58 PM »
SaaS? Kill it with fire. Then roast the inventors over a slow fire. Then torch the term out of existence.


LOL!

You're holding too much back!

Now tell us how you really feel. ;D ;D ;D

wraith808

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 05:54:57 PM »
Against my better judgement, I like the online Office Experience.  Actually a lot better than google docs (but they had the run first with a useable interface with mail- and everything else is following; sorry hotmail), which I surprisingly like too. 

But at the end of the day, I crank up my local Office when I need to get things done.  I just haven't gotten to the point where I'll use cloud services for serious stuff.  So this online and subscription stuff doesn't hit me well.  Especially since on my son's PC, he's still using my version of Office XP(!) which is fine for what he does.

Stoic Joker

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2013, 06:00:27 PM »
SaaS? Kill it with fire. Then roast the inventors over a slow fire. Then torch the term out of existence.

Couldn't we lightly eviscerate them first just for effect?

Damnedest thing ... End of the day I was on the phone with a client that uses one of these remotely located LOB services. Yet even though I know the term (SaaS), what it means, and how it's pronounced...I could not for the life of me make it come out of my mouth. Every time I tried I just felt like retching, stammered a bit, and called it something (like above) else.

I don't know if that qualifies as a syndrome or a complex but I kinda like it.

Renegade

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2013, 06:53:06 PM »
SaaS? Kill it with fire. Then roast the inventors over a slow fire. Then torch the term out of existence.

+1

Couldn't we lightly eviscerate them first just for effect?

That raises an interesting question... Is there any horror too horrific to inflict on it and it's creators? :P

Every time I tried I just felt like retching, stammered a bit, and called it something (like above) else.

I don't know if that qualifies as a syndrome or a complex but I kinda like it.

I believe that is the natural reaction of your sanity going into a sort of epileptic seizure, kind of like when you lose all your sanity points from looking into the eyes of Cthulhu. :D

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: MS Office Subscriptions Now
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2013, 07:52:39 PM »
Here's an example of a "subscription" that I actually like:

http://www.onyaktech...m/Subscriptions.aspx

You get to download all their software and use it, and you get to update for the subscription. But, this is very much different than SaaS.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker