Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Readies Ad-Supported Office Starter 2010

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the low-intensity-conflict dept.

Software 235

Martin writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "Microsoft Office Starter 2010 will be not available for purchase; it will only come pre-loaded on new PCs. It includes basic functionality so users can view, edit, and create documents via Office Word Starter 2010 and Office Excel Starter 2010. Not only are these programs ad-supported, but Microsoft claims they are 'designed for casual Office users,' who apparently will be perfectly fine with reduced-functionality and ad-supported software."

cancel ×

235 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689367)

GOOOOD morning !!

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689383)

Wow wasn't the big shit about Microsoft Office over Star/Open Office the whole idea that you won't be able to use the poweruser features and all the scripting. So why should the casual user deal with ads in something that will be feature crippled and basically "consumer" branded (read CRAP) when they can fire up a free non-ad infested version of Open Office. All the basic shit is there and it is basically the same, users can export the files to doc and even set it to default to saving as a Microsoft Word doc. Before you reply about difference remember they said casual use, not corporate office use. If it wasn't for being the incumbent Operating System, Microsoft would have no standing with this. I wonder if they can even be construed as them manipulating their monopoly to enhance their Office productivity market as a matter of curiosity. Whether or not it does, this looks like a waste of time. I guess it is better than Microsoft Works.

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689433)

when I read that, there was only one thing I could say: niggers.

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (3, Insightful)

mustafap (452510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689525)

>So why should the casual user deal with ads in something that will be feature crippled and basically "consumer" branded (read CRAP)

Unfortunately, they will use it because it is there, installed on their machine.

Still, at least this new version of office really will stink, and will make Open Office look even better.

Nope (4, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689625)

Peolpe will use it because it's there. And now because office is "free" with their new computer they will have no reason to pirate it and every reason to use it, thus deepening the MS monopoly on the desktop.

I smell some new antitrust action.

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (3, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689747)

So why should the casual user deal with ads in something that will be feature crippled and basically "consumer" branded (read CRAP) when they can fire up a free non-ad infested version of Open Office.

Because everyone is already familiar with Word and Excel, and it's more painful to switch to Open Office than to see some ads. Speaking from experience, switching to Open Office is quite annoying if you're used to Word and Excel. (Although it is more annoying to switch to Office 2007 from Office 2003, with that stupid ribbon interface).

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (3, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689819)

In my experience most people barely notice the difference.

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (5, Insightful)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689969)

In my experience most people have never even heard about Open Office and will never even bother looking for an alternative to MS Office.

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689985)

Here comes the anecdote waving contest, I am now satisfied.

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (2, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690087)

In my experience, people who say they are satisfied rarely are.

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (3, Insightful)

M-RES (653754) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689839)

Heh, I think you argued yourself into redundancy when you noticed how bad the ribbon effect was! ;)

My in-laws didn't want to fork out the hundreds of for the full blown version of Office. Had something like this existed then, they may have used it out-of-the-box. As it was, at the time I gave them the choice - use an illicit copy of Office (which they weren't comfortable with) or use a FREE and legal Office replacement (which they weren't even aware was available).

The opted for the free and legal route and now use NeoOffice quite comfortably. The 'pain' of 'switching' was less than the pain of the pricetag for Office, although to be honest there was no real switch involved with it being a fresh install, and even if there was I think the average user is having to learn to 'switch' every time a new version of MSOffice is released because MS in their wisdom keep changing the interface dramatically. So simply sidestepping to a competitor version with at least the level of functionality the vast majority of users need is actually quite easy.

I think this 'free' pre-bundled Office Lite may have quite an impact on the uptake of OOo though. If only because there'll be fewer non-tech users buying a PC without Office pre-installed. At that point they usually turn to their 'techie friend' for help, whereupon their friend may suggest OOo like I did. People like free - if it's pre-installed it's free, yet OOo is also free. People like easy too - pre-installed means no extra work, installing OOo means 5 minutes of work which isn't QUITE as a easy... shame, but OOo loses on those odds I fear.

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (2, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690069)

The 'pain' of 'switching' was less than the pain of the pricetag for Office

In my experience, the "pain" of switching from MS Office to a non-MS office suite tends to be a bit less than the pain pain of upgrading from one version of MS Office to another anyway - OOo is certainly less "different" than some versions of MS Office.

Unfortunately, it does seem that people are more accepting of the MS-inspired pain though - maybe that has something to do with the feeling that upgrading MS Office is something that has to be done so the pain must be endured, whereas switching to an alternative is a choice, so there is an easy way to avoid that pain (by not switching). Most people take a very short-term view and avoid the immediate hassle, even if it might mean more hassle in the future.

I think this 'free' pre-bundled Office Lite may have quite an impact on the uptake of OOo though. If only because there'll be fewer non-tech users buying a PC without Office pre-installed. At that point they usually turn to their 'techie friend' for help, whereupon their friend may suggest OOo like I did.

I'm not convinced - PCs have traditionally come with *some* crappy office suite installed (e.g. MS Works). I'm not sure this is going to change anything.

People like free - if it's pre-installed it's free, yet OOo is also free. People like easy too - pre-installed means no extra work, installing OOo means 5 minutes of work which isn't QUITE as a easy... shame, but OOo loses on those odds I fear.

I suppose a lot will depend on what the PC manufacturers decide to bundle with the machines. Sadly, I suspect they will bundle the MS product, just because "MS Office" is a brand that people recognise (even if it happens to have "(crap edition)" after it). If OEMs were going to start bundling OOo, I suspect they might've done it before now - I can't think of an especially good reason for them to have been bundling MS Works instead of OOo for years, other than for the ability to use the MS brand and _maybe_ because using OOo might undercut some of their MS Office sales.

Re:GOOD MORNING SLASHDOT !! (2, Interesting)

ocularsinister (774024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690049)

Actually, everyone is familiar with Office 2003 - Office 2007 is a massive UI change, OpenOffice is not. I think my Mum would find the Office 2003 -> OpenOffice transition much easier than Office 2003 -> Office 2007. Heck, even I found myself wasting so much time finding functionality I was familiar with in old versions of Office that I downloaded OpenOffice to use instead!

Does it come with a dildo? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689371)

So users could also fuck themselves in the ass while using this?

Re:Does it come with a dildo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689387)

This is one of the few times that I really hope this comment isn't downmodded...

Re:Does it come with a dildo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689435)

for reals, this is +6 funny

Re:Does it come with a dildo? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689397)

no, you're thinking of linux. they're the real dick sucking faggots. sucking their shit off the dicks of other faggots.

Actually... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689407)

Linux users get lots of pussy. You are just jealous, M$/App|e fanboi.

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689535)

no. you have that wrong. linux users are pussies. that's what you meant to say.

btw: how are you liking that big dick in your ass?

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689611)

No... it's definitely my big dick in my lady's tight pussy. You fucking M$/App|e fags can copulate with a bear trap and die.

Re:Actually... (0, Offtopic)

M-RES (653754) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689857)

I copulated with a bear trap and lived. I loved it so much I bought a whole range of traps... mmmmmm masochism!

*readies his version of IDA* (3, Insightful)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689373)

You think the ads will last long? Bring it on.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689455)

You think the ads will last long? Bring it on.

Have you tried Office 10?

Unless you're desperate to stick with Microsoft products or are part of a large organisation which can use the collaboration features, there's better options out there. It's a huge, slow, clumsy tool, not something that welcomes casual use.

I'd suggest you get hold of the tech preview and see for yourself.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689481)

What, a Beta product that's slow, clumsy and not feature complete!? Inconceivable. Let's wait for the final build before you start omgwtftrashing MS.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (3, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689543)

Let's wait for the final build before you start omgwtftrashing MS.

Oooooh, poor baby MS. Did I hurt their widdle feelings now? Should we refrain from commenting on ANY beta software? Anyway, it's not just me that's panning it.
Stephen Frank said

I’ve been a recreational and professional computer user for, what, 25 years, and I can’t make heads or tails of the user interface on this Office 2010 preview...
Seriously, go look at this thing.

Or how about Scott Feldstein

Sweet jebus noooo!
Why does Office have to look like you're piloting the friggin' space shuttle? .

FWIW, my prediction is that Office 2010 will be the Vista of MS Office suites.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689837)

Wow two whole completely random people on the internet who nobody has heard of think it's confusing?! It's a total disaster!

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689565)

A Final product from MS that's slow, clumsy and not feature complete is not all that inconceivable either.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (1)

rastilin (752802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689993)

Neither is a revolutionary piece of software that re-sets the benchmark for everything to come and blasts all competition into dust. I know you're working towards a point, but I just don't see what that point is.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (2, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690051)

Neither is a revolutionary piece of software that re-sets the benchmark for everything to come and blasts all competition into dust.

I noticed you were careful not to include two of the words the person you were replying to used: From MS.

I think your decision was very well made.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (1)

rastilin (752802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690225)

I noticed you were careful not to include two of the words the person you were replying to used: From MS.

Ooh, burn. Well spotted.

So I'm going to do it now. "Neither is a revolutionary piece of software that re-sets the benchmark for everything to come and blasts all competition into dust all that strange coming from Microsoft."

I also want to ante up with the following.

It's totally understandable why people would say that OpenOffice fails because of Microsoft's plot. Otherwise they would have to admit that it (OpenOffice) kind of sucks in comparison.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689607)

Office 10, that's so 2002. I think you mean Office 13.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (4, Funny)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690135)

Office 10, that's so 2002. I think you mean Office 13.

Is that the one that turns into a disaster shortly after launch, but then they manage to rescue it whilst completely missing the mission objective? :)

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689697)

have you used the "better options" OOo is larger and slower than any piece of software i have ever known, visually unappealing and the least intuitive interface ever... should everyone use it because its open sourced? no, because it being open sourced doesnt make it better, it just makes it messy...

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689735)

Huge, Slow, Clumsy? Have YOU tried it?

Minimize the Ribbon and rely on the contextual menu that comes up when you highlight text and the interface is as small as notepad.

It takes up almost exactly 300MB of space. Which is comparable or smaller than OpenOffice.

I don't know what part of it you find slow. On every system I've run it on, even my pretty old laptop it seems snappy and responsive.

And if Office10 Home and Student is priced similar to Office 2007 then you'll probably be able to find a copy priced at around $50-$70.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (4, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689903)

Minimize the Ribbon and rely on the contextual menu that comes up when you highlight text and the interface is as small as notepad.

Alas, I doubt they'll let you minimise the advertisement pane.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (2, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690101)

Just wait until the ads get hacked, or the DOJ makes them advertise Linux/OpenOffice as part of a settlement.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689791)

You think the ads will last long? Bring it on.

Have you tried Office 10?

Unless you're desperate to stick with Microsoft products or are part of a large organisation which can use the collaboration features, there's better options out there. It's a huge, slow, clumsy tool, not something that welcomes casual use.

I'd suggest you get hold of the tech preview and see for yourself.

In other words... "I'll tell you why it's shitty, and then I'll suggest you try it!"

You know that doesn't make sense, right?

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689963)

Speaking as one who HAS tried Office 10 -- and many of the alternatives -- I'd love to hear you explain what you're talking about.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689567)

cant you just install the latest mvp hosts file and just see white boxes in where the ads are supposta be? i use oct. 08, 2009 version of that and 99.9% of the ads are now white space... not to mention i use adblock plus in firefox....

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689643)

If only Microsoft had a product called Fire, then I might be into these type of apps.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689805)

*readies his version of IDA*

IDA?? OllyDbg is all I need. why wait until you get all the asm listing just attach, NOP-NOP-NOP JNZ->JZ and you are done.

By the way, the news here I think is that they are doing this to replace Microsoft Works. I think that will certainly piss off people from some industries (I think lawyers use that no?).

I agree with the OpenOffice advertisement haha.

Clippy pushes Viagra (3, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689813)

Clippy [wikipedia.org] is back, and he's pushing Viagra right to your desktop.

If I wanted ad supported docs I'd use Google. In fact I prefer it, because its at least up front about the ads.

Google Docs is more than adequate for the casual user.

OpenOffice is still free, and easily able to handle book length documents, huge spreadsheets, etc.

So where does Microsoft think they will find a market for this stuff?

Re:Clippy pushes Viagra (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690107)

They don't find a market, they abuse their OS monopoly to create one.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (1, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689867)

Why not simply use something else if you aren't willing to pay the going price? There seems to be an automatic reaction to ads - block them at all cost! Have you ever considered why ads are used? Yes, on some web pages its blatant cashing in, as many ads as possible and three lines of content, and those websites never see my custom at all. However, in a lot of cases the site or facility is worth having, and worth rewarding. I may never click on an advert, but I am more than willing to let them show me adverts in the offchance that one may catch my interest and send a few pennies their way.

Your approach is little more than theft - your immediate reaction is to see how you can take what is offered, but not at the offered price. So I ask you again, why not use something else?

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690155)

Your approach is little more than theft ...

Yes, in the same way that it's 'little more than theft' if you leave the room to take a whizz while watching an ad-supported TV program. i.e. nothing like theft at all.

Re:*readies his version of IDA* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690197)

I feel epic fail coming soon to MS as the marketing pin heads die off in a blind rage of anti MS software support, kill them for me daddy. Burn in hell shitheads, OPEN OFFICE FOR THE WIN.

don't forget to die.

Just what I've always wanted... (2, Interesting)

sitarlo (792966) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689375)

A version of Office with commercials! Woot! Seriously, apps I'll never need or use, and links I'll never click. What a waste of time, energy, and resources.

Re:Just what I've always wanted... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689527)

But these commercials are special - they help you concentrate and give you ideas by showing ads relevant to your document and the items on your desktop. It's a win/win.

I see you're typing a document... (2, Funny)

poptones (653660) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689609)

Would you like to view a commercial for the US mail service?

Re:Just what I've always wanted... (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689849)

He says as he posts on an ad supported website...

Re:Just what I've always wanted... (1)

js_sebastian (946118) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689873)

He says as he posts on an ad supported website...

There are ads on the internet? I forgot about that...

(this post was enabled by firefox+adblock)

It's ad supported? (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689405)

Well, let's buy ad space on it, and then advertise for Open Office.org!

Re:It's ad supported? (1)

hoskeri (948924) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689447)

I think its really sad that microsoft can basically ignore the existence of openoffice.org even after all these years.

Re:It's ad supported? (5, Insightful)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689469)

What makes you say MS is ignoring openoffice? I just assumed this new cheapo version of Office is in direct response to the rise again of viable alternatives such as openoffice and Google Docs.

Re:It's ad supported? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689859)

Right on spot. But now there's one more reason to switch to OO.org! Who wants to see blinking flashing ads while composing a document?

No matter what they do, they always end up helping the competition every time they try to compete with it. They are really ridiculous in this matter. The only thing they know how to do is to market their crap using their already established monopolies as a leverage tool.

Oh well...

Re:It's ad supported? (2, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689475)

Who says they're ignoring it?

But even if they were - perhaps there's some validation for that. After all, as per.. http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1398133&cid=29689373 [slashdot.org] ..it's entirely more likely that people who grow tired of the ads would just download a patch to remove the ad functionality (not counting the people who would actually -buy- Office, of course).

Re:It's ad supported? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689865)

Who says they're ignoring it?

The GP.

Re:It's ad supported? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689651)

This seems to be MS' direct answer to OOo.

OOo is widely seen as interesting alternative to Office, but a major complaint is "limited functionality". Now personally I wouldn't know what's lacking - collaboration maybe but that's for big organisations, not for me. Now MS releases an Office with "limited functionality", that sounds very much like OOo.

Interesting parts are of course what functionality is gone, and how it is ad-supported. If there's a blinking moving ad taking up 20% of your screen that's horrible of course. If it is text ads on the side that's much more manageable.

And it probably won't be too hard to disable the ads: they are surely downloaded over the Internet so disconnecting the computer from the network will do already. Otherwise some rules in the firewall or some entries in the hosts file will do.

And I smell food for another anti-trust law suit if they are going to bundle it by default with Windows. Unless they also install alternatives but that's not too likely.

Re:It's ad supported? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689773)

What it's lacking is MS compatible scripting and an exchange capable PIM like outlook. Evolution would be perfect for that, but the Windows version of Evolution is clunky, buggy and slow. Then there are the nice little wizards that make it quicker to create a birthday card or whatever. Apart from that oOOo is a viable alternative, however given the choice most users would go for MS Office because the look and feel is better.

Re:It's ad supported? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690231)

What it's lacking is MS compatible scripting

I estimate about 99.9% of the users doesn't know that MS Office supports scripting or how to use it. This is very much an enterprise-option where some IT person produces templates that includes such scripting. So for most users this is a non-issue.

and an exchange capable PIM like outlook.

Again enterprise-level stuff. Not for the home users or small businesses.

And whether the "look and feel is better" that is usually not as much a matter of preference but a matter of familiarity. Most users are familiar with MS Office already. OOo is different. For many users that is an issue.

Re:It's ad supported? (1)

the33mhz (1652985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689537)

Yes! OpenOffice.org for the win.

Just use Open Office (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689411)

Hmm, sounds exactly like Open Office, just without the ads.... I'll stick with OO. I'm a "casual" office user and haven't touched MS Office in five years.

2002 called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689437)

Ad-ware, 2002 called, and it wants it's idea back.

If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue... (0)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689477)

... then why isn't bundled "office" software?

Probably can't get MS to bundle OpenOffice, but maybe it's possible to get some of the major PC makers (e.g., HP, Dell, etc.) to bundle OpenOffice on PCs they sell? They certainly add plenty of craplets to their PCs, so why not add something actually useful to their customers?

Re:If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689503)

The browser thing started back in what, 94? You gotta way like 15 years for government regulation to work.

Re:If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue. (4, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689571)

Because PC makers will bundle it with their computers, like they do with MS Works. Microsoft won't be bundling it with Windows.

Re:If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue. (1)

bashmohandes (1194771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690183)

It replaces Microsoft Works, there is no more Works, just Office Starter edition

Re:If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue. (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689585)

If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue... ... t hen why isn't bundled "office" software?

Because this version of Office is an option when you buy the new computer that you can choose to remove whenever you'd like. Whereas Internet Explorer is something that you have no say on when buying a new computer or even uninstall when you do get the computer (well, not easily anyway.)

Re:If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689627)

... then why isn't bundled "office" software?

Because it isn't bundled.

I dislike Microsoft and dont like defending them but this simply isn't bundling. The Office license is sold separately, while dell does include a free Microsoft Works package with most models (I even got a works disk with a Red Hat workstation a few years back) the package is entirely removable. This is no more illegal then if an OEM pre-installed Open Office or Ubuntu including Open Office with their default install.

The browser is an issue because it is integrated into the kernel and not removable. Office is not integrated and completely removable.

Now if MS is using under the table deals to "persuade" OEM's to sell more Office licenses then we have a problem.

Re:If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue. (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689919)

"Office Starter" is ONLY going to come pre-loaded on new PCs, and will not be available separately. If that's not "bundling", what is?

Re:If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690017)

"Office Starter" is ONLY going to come pre-loaded on new PCs, and will not be available separately. If that's not "bundling", what is?

Is it integral to the OS?

If it's not then it's an OEM problem and has nothing to do with antitrust. This is not bundling, much like Dell's "free" MS Works it is a separate line item and completely removable. If this were bundling the including a power supply with a laptop would be bundling and that is definitely not an antitrust issue.

Re:If a bundled web browser is an antitrust issue. (1)

polle404 (727386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690035)

They get paid to bundle all that crapware, as far as i know.
I'd rather donate to OO, than to a fund that pays Dell to preinstall it.

...It smells like a french whorehouse in here.... (0, Troll)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689515)

It was only a matter of time before the inner slut came out to pander the genuine windows licensee. Selling MS Windows OS over and over is not enough for these vampires; Word Pad is just bad pimping. No more free bees you hos!

Now that the Boss has put a stop to employee gaming, p2p, porn, chatting, youtube and iTunes, the company workplace will be overjoyed that staff will instead be watching Red Bull, Old Spice, Midol, Chili's, McNuggets, and Iron Man III dancing across the desktop. I'm just glad to see the corporate ethic of "suck every buck possible out of everything, and exploit your customer to death". This way, shareholders get paid while, consumers feed the data mines. Software finally graduates into ad space pandering, just like the web, radio, cable and film. Its Eau de Cologne Bologne. I real "quickie."

OMG... deja moo... with ads... (0, Troll)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689517)

MS Works all over again with file formats that nothing else can read... and adverts!!!

Re:OMG... deja moo... with ads... (2, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689575)

Because nothing reads doc and xls files, right?

Re:OMG... deja moo... with ads... (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689605)

Heh, I was thinking about works as well. I wonder if there will be new bloated file formats for wasting space and bandwidth? Maybe the time is ripe for WindozeSecureEmail which will put the text into a hi-def-animated-picture-filled pdf-like drm-o-rama file format? That should burn off a few clock cycles.

if I wanted... (4, Insightful)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689533)

...a slightly more annoying Office with slightly less functionality for free I'd use Open Office.

Oh wait, I do!

Doesn't sound to bad to me... (3, Insightful)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689563)

This doesn't sound all too bad. The ads would likely bother most of the slashdot crowd but then most of us are either using open office, a pirated copy of office, or when we're forced to at work, legitimate purchased copies of office. Microsoft finally offering a free copy of office with new computers with the stipulation that there will be ads and limited functionality is still better than nothing. It really kills a sale of a new computer when a person asks "Will this have Microsoft Word on it?" and you say "Well no... that will ll be $100 extra..." And some people just aren't open to the idea of an office alternative (open office.) I'm surprised they haven't done something like this sooner, though I'm willing to bet that the growing popularity of open office has been pushing them in the direction of offering a "free" version of office.

Re:Doesn't sound to bad to me... (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689709)

Seriously in this day and age there is no reason to have a pirate copy of an office suite. Open Office or Symphony work fine and have 0 adverts.

I don't know anyone who would having the choice of free Office software with and without adverts would take the first choice.

Although I can see Clippy now.. "Hi I see your trying to write a letter to your girlfriend, would you like to buy some Viagra?"

Someone tell me.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689587)

Someone tell me if Slashdot's editor is changed? Recently I see many stories from M$ than G

Ads for what? (1)

Impeesa (763920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689589)

Really, ads for what? Windows? Office? Like, in case they haven't heard of it?

Re:Ads for what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689649)

Like all the rest of the Internet ads.... free Korean MMOs and penis growth pills

Alternatives (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689621)

I think "casual" office users would be more than happy with something like Open Office, or Google Docs. There are free alternatives that don't have ads, why would someone use this? If it gets put on PCs automatically it will get used by users too lazy or uninformed to find something better, but doesn't MS already have a product they've been putting on new PCs called MS Works?

Re:Alternatives (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689655)

There are free alternatives that don't have ads, why would someone use this?

GRRRRRR... (1, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689669)

that's what I get for posting to slashdot while I'm on the phone.
To finish my thought -the reason why is very simple.
Piss fucking simple:
COMPATIBILITY

Re:Alternatives (3, Insightful)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689677)

more than happy with something like Open Office, or Google Docs

Most users actually use what is pre-installed, a clear attempt for MS Office to gain new grounds. Why do you think the IE6 is so widespread still ? It is the default bundled browser on Windows XP. This is not a good news for Open Office or Google.

Re:Alternatives (1)

Chris Oz (684680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689723)

I don't know a 30 second video ad every time you run the spelling checker could help the adoption of OO of G Docs. It really depends on how intrusive the ads are and going by the Zune they will be trying to get their dollars worth from you.

Re:Alternatives (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689703)

why would someone use this?

Because they already have this and it does what they want it to do. The same reason they stick with Windows and Outlook and Media Player and IE.

Why oh why (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689623)

Why can't they just bring back 4.3? It would run so fast on these new machines.

Go ahead, make my day (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689681)

By experimenting with starter edition, non-technical users will conclude that MS Word is unstable (software with ads usually hangs while trying to load them), lacks essential features and of course looks junky. We can then take pity on them and offer to install "new Windows [ubuntu.com] that comes with no ads and fully functional software".

You would think Microsoft would learn its lesson after shipping with a media player that doesn't play DVDs and can't rip/burn your own CDs to standard MP3s. Apple, take cue for a new "I am a Mac" ad featuring a comparison to iWork.

Re:Go ahead, make my day (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690305)

...software with ads usually hangs while trying to load them, lacks essential features and of course looks junky

The publisher of the app is probably more relevant than the "ad supported" part in regards to "hangs while trying to load".

You cant say "will lack essential features" when you dont know what will be in there or what people who will actually use this version requires. Personally I think they are happy enough being able to read word docs and write the occasional one-pager.

I very much doubt it will look "junky". Hate Microsoft all you want but you cannot deny that a lot of their success has to do with their "eye-candy". Perhaps companies like Apple have passed them with both looks and usability, but I still doubt Microsoft will release an office version that looks "junky". Again you say this like it was true but you have no proof, not even a screenshot, of what it would look like.

I think this is a good move by Microsoft and I also think they should have done this a long time ago.

Can you uninstall it? (2, Insightful)

bradbury (33372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689701)

The question will be whether you can uninstall it? I've got better things to do with my disk space and network bandwidth than support/tolerate adware. Do I have to pay for the Ads to be downloaded if my Internet access is over a 3G network???.

For that matter is it possible in Windows 7+ to uninstall IE (or the anti-virus/Windows update/big-brother/similar software)?

Can one get back to the state where it is more like a Windows 2000 system (I still have my Win2K install disks...) or even Windows 98 or 95 [1]?

Sigh, when will someone sue computer manufacturers (HP, Dell [2], Apple, etc.) so they will all provide hardware without software and end the paternalistic (monopolistic) HW+SW bundling practices?

1. Though in theory one really wouldn't want to run 95 or 98 because their unprotected nature is presumably what started the madness...
2. Though I recently noticed Dell may be returning to providing a Linux option...

Opera Software called... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689759)

...And they wanted their failed business model back.

seems like an obvious move (4, Insightful)

j-beda (85386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689883)

It seems like a pretty obvious move - with the advent of so many free non-MS alternatives I think Microsoft has a legitimate fear that they will become just one of the options in the "office suite" space, rather than the de facto standard. Getting their "free" offering onto as many desktops as possible MIGHT protect that status.

The open source alternatives however are hard to "compete" against, since they are generally going to continue to live even with a vanishingly small "market share" - as long as enough technical types are willing to support them.

I think in the long term, MS and others are not going to be able to justify to the consumer the high prices for their offerings that they have been able to up to now, and that low cost (perhaps free/ad supported) is the only way they are going to be able to maintain any level of profitability and stay in business.

Bring on the confusion (4, Insightful)

arctanx (1187415) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690005)

Yes, this is not a product which any Slashdot readers are going to use in any serious capacity. It will, however, be used by a bunch of not computer-savvy people who just bought a computer and saw that it came with Microsoft Office pre-installed. We already saw the confusion that came about when Windows was split into half a dozen different versions -- now they can get it from Office too.

The Slashdot readers _can_ expect to be getting phone calls asking where the word count feature or the two column button is on their new computer. They'll probably be cheesed off when you eventually work out what the problem is and they discover that they have to lay down another couple of hundred dollars for real Office.

On a side note, I don't think ads will be a problem at all for the target audience. If anyone has seen Windows Live Messenger lately, you'll understand what passes for acceptable for advertising in desktop applications these days.

Clippie is back!! (1)

scsirob (246572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690091)

"I see you are typing f*ck... Would you like to see related ads from our valued partners??"

Welcome back Clippie!

So... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690143)

Basically, this is adware? I bet anyone any amount of money that anti-malware software doesn't classify this as adware.

Can't people just use OpenOffice already?

Adverts coming from an internet server? (2, Interesting)

ocularsinister (774024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690179)

Adverts coming from an internet server? A quick fix to C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts should fix that...

You are all idiots (0, Flamebait)

bashmohandes (1194771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690215)

Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition is the replacement of Microsoft Works, and it will be bundled with the new machines that already comes today with Works. This would boost Microsoft office business even more, because there is no more Non-Ribbon office applications in Microsoft platform, even Wordpad got ribbons in Win7, which means people will be extremely familiar with the ribbon. One more thing, anybody says he hates the ribbon is a big IDIOT, the ribbon is the best UI component ever released, and if you just can't admit it, go f*** yourself. or sleep with your OpenOffice.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>