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Microsoft Unbundles Software For NY City

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the take-another-little-piece-of-my-software dept.

Microsoft 131

doishmere writes "Microsoft has agreed to sell individual pieces of software to NY City workers, rather than forcing each seat to buy a full suite of software. The city has created three classes of users based on which pieces of software they need to perform their job, and Microsoft will sell software packages tailored to each class at a reduced price."

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Microsoft (-1, Troll)

phiokouc (1925666) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967826)

I think this perfectly shows the change Microsoft has been going thru in recent years. In early 2000's they seemed to be stuck with 90's thinking, but now they are back to the game again. That is bad news for Google, which has been heavily investing in developing online versions of similar applications that Microsoft offers. But the truth is, none of those come even close what MS Office offers. And after 20 years, there still isn't anything that comes even close to Visual Studio as a development environment.

Recently our company looked at upgrading all our computers and applications and the truth is, there is no competition for Microsoft. It would be great to see Open Source versions for such online tools, but there are none. Even the Google's products are proprietary and storing company data "in the cloud" is not a good idea. I made the decision to upgrade all computers with Windows 7 and the newest Office tools and Visual Studios. Frankly, they all work great.

Microsoft has been having a slow change, but the huge investment in new technologies like Xbox360, the huge support for developers, Windows Mobile 7, online versions of their one-of-a-kind Office tools and Bing show this. We even saw their prototype Courier tablet, which was the first product in a long time that made me horny over a computer equipment. It really was that great, and it was a sad day when it didn't finish as a product. I do, however, hope that Microsoft will use its ideas in future tablets they release.

I think government, cities and companies all see it the same way - Microsoft makes finished enterprise quality software and services that work. Their support for corporations is great and they usually work out good deals on bulk buys. If you're one of those that appreciate quality, you go with Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967886)

It's impressive that you typed that well thought out post (your first post, no less!) all in one minute after the story was made public, despite lack of a subscriber account. It's almost like you knew beforehand that this story was going to appear and wanted to get some pro MS sentiment in before anyone else had a chance to say anything..! How much were you paid for that, exactly?

Re:Microsoft (0, Redundant)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967932)

Well, at least he's right about Visual Studio(as far as Windows is concerned). The fact that the Express version is free AND comes with a free implementation of MSSQL only cements it in because it is the entry point, it's free, and it's what everyone uses in lower division college courses. No better way to lock in your market

Re:Microsoft (2, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968048)

and it's what everyone uses in lower division college courses

Really? I see Eclipse all over the place. Maybe I have not look around enough though...

Re:Microsoft (2, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968082)

Really? I had to use vi through a remote terminal. But I think my professor may have been a sadist.

Re:Microsoft (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968116)

I don't see what is particularly wrong with that, for an introductory class...

Re:Microsoft (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968108)

It's what I've seen across numerous CSU and CCC campuses. Maybe it's a CA thing

Re:Microsoft (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33971026)

For what it's worth, we used both for different courses at my Uni.

Re:Microsoft (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968738)

The use of an IDE in a college is decided first and foremost by which language/platform they use to teach, and that typically depends on the local IT job market - there are places where Java is on top, and there are places where .NET is on top, even within the same country (like US).

Re:Microsoft (4, Funny)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969912)

Well, at least he's right about Visual Studio(as far as Windows is concerned). The fact that the Express version is free AND comes with a free implementation of MSSQL only cements it in because it is the entry point, it's free, and it's what everyone uses in lower division college courses. No better way to lock in your market

This is why they made Marijuana Illegal.

- Dan.

Re:Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970650)

so true

Re:Microsoft (2, Informative)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 3 years ago | (#33971952)

Hmm.. Jdeveloper (from Oracle) is free as is Eclipse and NetBeans, and not just the crippled versions. The super-duper versions are free, too. Oracle XE is free as well, along with MySQL and PostgreSQL. There are other alternatives to Microsoft when it comes to free software. Most of the others don't have strings attached, too.

Disclamer: I do not work for Oracle. I wasn't paid by anybody to say this. Hell, I wish I was - I could use the extra cash.

Re:Microsoft (1, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968066)

I like Windows and Visual Studio as well does that make me a shill too?

Re:Microsoft (2, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968088)

Depends. Are you posting comments praising it that are unrelated to the topic?

Re:Microsoft (1, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968676)

Microsoft is the topic.

Re:Microsoft (2, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968892)

No. Microsoft giving customers a reasonably well packaged offering is the news item.

If you want to praise someone for this you ought to praise the existence of macs, linux, openoffice.

Nah its not us (2, Interesting)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969854)

I wish Linux and openoffice had been the motivator. Google Apps and gmail
is to be given credit for this one. Microsoft is scared s--tless of google apps because
its catching on in the enterprise where Microsoft's bread and butter is. If
lower tier workers can use google and google apps for 90% of their work then their bosses
will figure out how to shift the other 10% on to others. It also deprives them of revenue
from Outlook when google hosts email on their servers.

Re:Nah its not us (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970684)

why do politicians insist on buying the $400 toilet seats? oh thats right they get their pockets lined with politico bucks from the businesses they buy from

(in case there are a few dense politicos and other liberals that don't understand the simile --- Micro$hit is the electronic toilet seat makers of the 21st century)

Re:Microsoft (0, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968102)

The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one.

Re:Microsoft (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970988)

I like Visual Studio too, what difference does it make. This guy is going far beyond "I like Visual Studio", it reads like a psychopath trying to get someone to sleep with him. That account is brand new, has only one post, and he would have to be a very organised thinker as well as a rather hyperactive typer to get all of that out in a maximum of two minutes after the story appeared. It all seemed a bit too orchestrated to me.

Re:Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33968388)

It's impressive that you typed that well thought out post (your first post, no less!) all in one minute after the story was made public, despite lack of a subscriber account.

You do know that the subscriber asterisk can be turned off, right?

Re:Microsoft (0, Offtopic)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970972)

It doesn't matter. It's a brand new account, and that is his only post, ever. I really doubt that account has a subscription. Chances of it all being a coincidence seem rather low to me.

Re:Microsoft (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33968596)

Check out the last three digits of the ID number on the GP's new account. I think his affiliations are pretty clear.

Re:Microsoft (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33971820)

Hopefully a lot. That makes his comment being modded -1 Troll all the more funny.

Good job calling him out on it :)

Clippy says: (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967956)

It looks like you're shilling for Microsoft. Would you like to:

* Talk about how Microsoft solutions are enterprise ready
* Bash Google and/or Apple for no apparent reason
* Mention the hidden costs of open source
* Cleverly forget to mention Microsoft disasters such as Bob, the Zune, Windows Mobile, or Vista

Re:Clippy says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33968110)

Good grief!!!! You say something nice about MS around here and you're immediately attacked.

Just what the heck is wrong with you people anyway.

Re:Clippy says: (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968140)

We have seen how this company operates over many years.

Saying something nice is fine, posting an obvious premade shill piece is not.

Re:Clippy says: (3, Insightful)

randallman (605329) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970610)

That's actually a really good point. I suspect there may be a correlation between age and views about MS. In fact, I'm sure that luring in young developers (counting on them not knowing MS history) is on their agenda.

Over the past 15 years, I've gone from pro-MS to agnostic to "avoid when possible" based largely on their behavior. But young developers don't know about DR-DOS, Netscape, MS JVM, or even the recent OOXML fiasco. So for those that don't understand the reasons for the seemingly automatic negative responses, a single action doesn't eclipse an entire history or even come close to meaning that they've "changed" as the shill put it.

If MS wants to gain respect, they've got to consistently play nice. That means supporting standards instead of trying to own them. That means playing nice instead of trying to lock out competitors with their monopolies. But I really can't see this happening unless they are broken up or they lose enough market share so that they're forced to compete on merit. They're too addicted to their current business of locking in customers and leveraging their monopolies.

Re:Clippy says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33971798)

They've tried. Every time they do, Slashdot groupthink blasts them for it. "Oh, MS opened up code for X, but it must be a trap! If we try and use it they'll sue us!". "Look, MS joined the Z open standards group. We should throw them out, clearly they are only there to Ebrace, Extend, Extinguish".

The problem is not with MS, but with wildy paranoid, probably schizophrenic, conpsiracy theory nuts who think everything "evil" corporations or governments do must be some kind of plan to attack them and their freedoms personally. And this is why most civilised countries have tight gun laws.

Well either they're crazy, or they're paid anti-MS shills, that seems to be the popular accusation for disputing a point these losers don't agree with.

Re:Clippy says: (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972022)

Ah, yes, the "MS can't change because /. readers bash it for its history of, shall we say, less than ethical behavior" argument. [sarcasm]Yeah, /. readers have real influence. They have so much power over MS that MS can't become an ethical organization because of what /. readers have to say about its past..... [/sarcasm]

I can't believe anyone made that ridiculous argument. Just who would have made such an argument? Why, another MS shill of course. I doubt anyone else could have been that desperate.

Re:Clippy says: (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972512)

Not me. Over the past 30 years, I've gone from pro-MS to agnostic to "avoid when possible" based largely on their software. I just don't like being forced to do things "the Microsoft way". I don't like the way they change stuff from version to version for no apparent reason. I don't like the planned obsolescence. I don't like the way they handle security.

I do like Excel -- or at least, I liked Excel 2000. Not so happy about 2003 or 2007, but Excel is still better from other spreadsheets I've tried. But that's about it.

Welcome to Slashdot (1)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970202)

#1 tech news site and it doesn't have a Microsoft section

Please bury this comment I think it might be borderline heresy.

Re:Welcome to Slashdot (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#33971030)

Possibly because MS belongs more in the "religion" section ? You know, where people talk to inanimate objects in the hope that it will get something done for them ?

Re:Welcome to Slashdot (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972714)

Possibly because MS belongs more in the "religion" section ? You know, where people talk to inanimate objects in the hope that it will get something done for them ?
--
What a depressingly stupid machine.

And THAT'S why I don't disable sigs!

The mods must be smoking crack (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968138)

Who modded that post "insightful?"

Re:Clippy says: (4, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968292)

What, was ME just too below the belt?

Re:Clippy says: (2, Insightful)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969884)

As was the London Stock Exchange.

Re:Clippy says: (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968616)

Dont forget they took the music away and the phone data was "lost" too.
Add in the world wide help to seek out dissidents.
Back in the US is just about lockin and cost savings :)

Re:Clippy says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33968628)

Zune wasn't a big seller, but it wasn't a terrible product either. Too late to the party.

Bob? Ok that was 15 years ago, which is like 105 in computer years. Let it go.

Windows Mobile? Wasn't a disaster when it came out. But barely updating it over the course of 5 years (35 computer years) was a big mistake.

Vista? Yeah, that sucked.

Re:Clippy says: (3, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969852)

It looks like you're shilling for Microsoft. Would you like to:

* Talk about how Microsoft solutions are enterprise ready
* Bash Google and/or Apple for no apparent reason
* Mention the hidden costs of open source
* Cleverly forget to mention Microsoft disasters such as Bob, the Zune, Windows Mobile, or Vista

Just once I would like to see a +5 accusation of shilling include a solid rebuttal.

Re:Clippy says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33971734)

Evidence and logic does not a paranoid conspiracy theory make.

Re:Clippy says: (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970448)

* Cleverly forget to mention Microsoft disasters such as Bob, the Zune, Windows Mobile, or Vista

My favorite in this category is still the disaster that TradeElect [computerworld.com] was. Remember all the marketing / ads that were run with this saying LSE decided to use SQLServer? Wonder why they did not do the same when the whole thing went down the crapper and the whole platform got dumped.

Re:Microsoft (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967968)

If you're one of those that appreciate quality, you go with Microsoft.

Is this sarcasm?

I mean you even mention the red ring of death producing machine right there.

Re:Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33968142)

I agree, which is sad since Microsoft is a disorganized mess. Linux should be cleaning their clock right now. Instead, we have Gnome and KDE. That's like having to choose between being prison-raped by a 300 # nigger or a 300 # wetback. (But enough about Hans Reiser!) Android for the desktop is the only way linux can win.

Oh, and cloud storage? Big time illegal in my line of work. Google docs (and no doubt microsoft's copy pasta) are like a cow walking on it's hind legs -- it's not surprising that it's done poorly, it's surprising that it's done at all.

Amazing. (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968532)

Over the years I have seen many pro-MS posters accused of being shills for MS.

I think this is the first time I actually agree with the others that you are indeed a shill.

_

Re:Everything else than Microsoft (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33968632)

TL;DR

Writing long crap and repeating it all over doesn't make it more right.

For your information, in my university, almost everyone uses a Mac - students and teachers. Most of them dual boot or virtualize fedora or ubuntu. I can count with my fingers the number of people running windows. Another interesting fact is that the worst students are the ones running *only* Microsoft Windows.

Oh, and by the way - I run another special flavor of Linux which probably doesn't mean anything to you.

Re:Everything else than Microsoft (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972140)

For your information, in my university, almost everyone uses a Mac - students and teachers. Most of them dual boot or virtualize fedora or ubuntu.

For your information, in my current workplace (and in every other previous workplace) everyone uses Windows and the words "dual boot" and "virtualize" would mean precisely nothing to them.

I assume you are some sort of computer science student? You are not a typical user, and a university is not the real world.

Re:Everything else than Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972404)

"virtualize" would mean precisely nothing to them.

Then your are working with a bunch of dumb people. Apple made so simple software virtualization in their OS that everyone can install crap there without realizing what they are doing.

I assume you are some sort of computer science student? You are not a typical user, and a university is not the real world.

Yes I am. University is not real world? What is it then? Imagination from my head?

Seriously though, I was just telling that in my department people is quickly moving to OSX. Did you really need to come with all of that weaponry?

Oh and by the way.. It's not only in my department, girls in Chemistry and Biology also found out they look sexy with Macbooks.

Re:Microsoft (2, Funny)

ignavus (213578) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969228)

And after 20 years, there still
isn't anything that comes even close to Visual Studio as a development environment.

*cough* *cough* And after 34 years, there still isn't anything that comes even close to Vi.

There! Fixed that for you.

What exactly is new here? (2, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 3 years ago | (#33971160)

For sufficiently large customers or groups of customers, it has always been possible to get special offers from Microsoft. I think the city of New York qualifies for this category.

For comparison:
In the early 90s, Microsoft created the XP Corporate edition that does not need activation, to appease large customers who were worried about losing the ability to install their copies of XP.
Later, Microsoft shared source code with some universities and government agencies to counter the advantage of Open Source in being more accessible for security audits.

Re:What exactly is new here? (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33971810)

And by "special offer" you mean "not being forced to buy what you don't need"?

Re:What exactly is new here? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972682)

In the case of NYC, obviously yes.

But Microsoft seems to be really flexible on those Very Important Customer deals. The examples I used are about
-no DRM (I think product activation is a form of DRM)
-giving access to the otherwise carefully guarded sources.

Re:Microsoft (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972264)

It would be great to see Open Source versions for such online tools, but there are none

Awful sure of yourself there, buddy. What tools have no OS counterparts?

I made the decision to upgrade all computers with Windows 7

Why would a business do that? There's little if any added functionality over XP. Yes, 7 is nicer, but there's no way it could increase productivity. What kind of businessman would waste cash like that? Especially in an economy like this? I suggest you start job hunting, because with that kind of wastefulness your company will be in Chapter 13 before Balmer can throw a chair.

one-of-a-kind Office tools

Such as?

...and Bing...

Ha ha aha HA HA HA! STOPPIT!!! YER KILLIN' ME!!! ha ha HA HA HA Bing! Man, you ought to be on Comedy Central! Now, another suggestion -- take your meds, son.

Apologies (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit999 (1925654) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967864)

I would like to apologize to the slashdot community. I have been off my meds and it makes me do odd stuff like shout "YOU ARE NOTHING". Rest assured I will attempt to continue to take my medicine at the regular intervals assigned by my physician. I also apologize for any threats I may have made, for some reason I though that threats of bodily harm on the Internet are not real and would not be reported to the police as such.

Re:Apologies (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit 40 (1917548) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970104)

"MichaelKristopeit999" is an impostor attempting to steal my identity.

to the individual responsible:
present yourself to me; admit what you've done, then i will kill you

Re:Apologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970136)

it's spelled "thought", retard.

not that i'd expect you to have one...

Class? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33967876)

Does this include niggers, chinks, and jews?

Re:Class? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33967940)

No, but it does include me kicking your teeth you.

The Key Is (3, Insightful)

DannyO152 (544940) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967880)

Getting money for something someone else has done. The NYC employees uses a Mac or LibreOffice, it matters not, Microsoft still collects.

Re:The Key Is (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968160)

Getting money for something someone else has done. The NYC employees uses a Mac or LibreOffice, it matters not, Microsoft still collects.

Paradoxically, NY city "saves" 50 mils in 5 years. WTF?

Re:The Key Is (1)

randallman (605329) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970840)

Because it's not how much you spent, it's how much you saved!

Re:The Key Is (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969322)

Microsoft has Mac products (whether they suck or not), but everyone I know runs the Windows versions in Parallels anyway. At any rate I doubt NYC has many Macs in use.

OpenOffice is, frankly, garbage. LibreOffice I haven't used, but is still in beta with only a few 100k downloads so I doubt it's been deployed in a large city.

Microsoft's Office software is actually pretty good and, yes, I would buy a closed-source linux version if they sold it. For the moment I use Crossover Office which, although somewhat erratic, is still a walk in the park compared to the dung-heap that is OpenOffice.

It would be better for the world if Microsoft just focussed on that and got out of the operating system-monopoly business. It might actually even be better for Microsoft in the long-term, and I suspect it's what's going to happen eventually.

Re:The Key Is (2, Informative)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969444)

You know that you can run Microsoft Office 2007 in Wine, right? It works very well and I have never had any problems with it on Linux. You just have to install a few extra things, but thats fairly easy with wine-tricks. I do a fair amount of things in it for school.

I haven't tried Microsoft Office 2010 yet though, so its hard for me to say if it works or not.

Re:The Key Is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33969832)

Did you know that CrossOver Office is Wine with a few hack patches and a proprietary front end added to make it more user friendly? Apparently not.

[CrossOver is from Codeweavers who fund development of Wine so it's a "legit" closed package version]

Re:The Key Is (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 3 years ago | (#33971980)

OpenOffice is, frankly, garbage. LibreOffice I haven't used, but is still in beta with only a few 100k downloads so I doubt it's been deployed in a large city.

Really? How long did you use it? I've been using it for several years and have had less problems with it than with MS Office. Even my non-computer savvy wife used it for several years writing term papers and book reports for her masters degree. Your follow up statement about LibreOffice tells me you don't know that much about either OpenOffice or LibreOffice. They are one in the same - OpenOffice became LibreOffice after it split from under Oracle(nee Sun)'s wing.

Re:The Key Is (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970946)

Oh, at first I thought you were describing the city itself, which collects regardless of what it does. Ironic that they are angry at being treated the same by Microsoft.

can't access without an nytimes account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33967888)

Quicker to read learn more about this from a simple search or two:

http://www.google.com/search?sclient=psy&hl=en&tbs=nws%3A1&source=hp&q=Microsoft+new+york+city&btnG=Search

http://www.bing.com/news/search?q=microsoft+new+york+city&go=&form=QBNR&qs=n&sk=&sc=5-19

gay penises are the best penises (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33967896)

because they have to get really hard. believe me, if you've ever been trying to have anal with your skanky girlfriend that trying to breach her colon is tougher than shoe leather if you have a semi. gay guys have been bred to have high blood pressure making it necessary for them to attempt impregnating men to have more gay babies who are born priapic and eager to please any tom, dick or harry who crosses their path. you can tell by the mustache since straight men have beards but gays always have mustaches.

Re:gay penises are the best penises (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968156)

CmdrTaco has a goatee (or goatsee, as he calls it)

NY is a freakn corrupt cesspool (1)

fregare (923563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967918)

I grew up there and it turned into shit. It was great in the old days. Now it's shit. I live in New Jerzey now it's worse! I have to get the fuck out of here to the west coast !!!!

Re:NY is a freakn corrupt cesspool (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33967954)

Big cities are shit by nature.

Re:NY is a freakn corrupt cesspool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33968074)

No. We don't need anymore east coasters out here. It's bad enough already

Re:NY is a freakn corrupt cesspool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33969040)

The west coast is any better? Fuck. I live in San Diego and this is the biggest piece of news I've heard in months...

Shouldn't they have been doing this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33968154)

In the first place?

I mean, the fact that Microsoft was forcing software bundles on the city seems very sneaky and underhanded. Usually when you're dealing with that big of a client, you're cutting them the deal, not the other way around.

Also, as much as I love Windows, there is no reason that organizations looking to save money should not be using OpenOffice or one of its variants.

Re:Shouldn't they have been doing this (2, Informative)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968338)

I'm old enough to remember when Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Project, Visio, and whatever else MS is bundling these days as "Office" were simply separate products, which anyone could buy individually. "Microsoft Office" was just a less expensive way to get a bunch of them together. They were put together to leverage the more popular apps in the package, to entice (and then lock) users into using the less successful ones. The idea was to cut into (for example) WordPerfect sales by giving people who were already going to buy Excel a discounted copy of Word to go along with it. Or if you wanted Word and Powerpoint, you could get Excel along with them for a lot less than buying a separate license for Lotus 1-2-3. It worked, obviously, and now it's totally impractical to pick and choose which apps you want. If you want WordPerfect for its markup capabilities and Excel for its charting options, you pretty much have to pay for a bunch of other software you don't want to go with them.

Re:Shouldn't they have been doing this (2, Interesting)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970150)

I'm old enough to remember when Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Project, Visio, and whatever else MS is bundling these days as "Office" were simply separate products, which anyone could buy individually.

You still can buy them separately. I was just looking at a pricelist earlier today that showed Word, Excel, Outlook and Access as individual items. If you wanted more than one product then you were much better off buying the cheapest Office package.

Re:Shouldn't they have been doing this (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972154)

So? What exactly did/does Microsoft do to stop you buying fucking WordPerfect or Lotus 1-2-3 if you're that bothered? Nothing, they just made it not worth the effort, because those products were not that much better than Word or Excel.

Re:Shouldn't they have been doing this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33969886)

There's nothing sneaky or underhanded about it. Microsoft calls it an Enterprise Agreement. Such an agreement involves the customer agreeing to purchase a broad set of products for everyone in the organization at a significantly discounted rate. Microsoft has not been in the business of forcing bundled packages of software on anyone since the DOJ consent decree. But they can still offer discounts for buying software in bulk. If you had actually read the article you would have realized that the summary was pretty far off base by stating that Microsoft had been forcing each seat to buy a suite of software.

And what does Microsoft get out of this? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968182)

Maybe free hot dogs from NY street vendors for their employees. This would definitely be a mission for these guys: http://improveverywhere.com/ [improveverywhere.com]

Armies of folks converge somewhere in NYC, wearing Microsoft T-Shirts, and demand their free hot dogs. And then disappear.

Actually, the trick would probably work better if the folks had iPhone / IPad / iWhatever T-Shirts . . .

An old NYC saying says, "A hot dog vendor, and his hot dog, are not easily parted . . . without a cash payment, or a bare knuckles fist fight."

Re:And what does Microsoft get out of this? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968206)

Perhaps the city threatened to migrate some departments away from Microsoft -- like, for example, the computers that are used in the city's school system? I bet that would have gotten Microsoft to start begging.

Conveniently unbundles... and rebundled. (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968336)

Wait... so they "unbundled" the Office Suite and recreated 3 new bundles costing on average $500 per person? That's the same price as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher bundled together as Office Professional 2010 without a bulk institutional discount!

What a deal!

Re:Conveniently unbundles... and rebundled. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33968656)

If this includes developer tools, Exchange, AD, etc, then 500 per person average sounds about right.

Re:Conveniently unbundles... and rebundled. (1)

jesseck (942036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969238)

Exchange is not Office- it's in Microsoft's server product category (different products in different categories for volume licensing). AD is also Servers (and is part of Windows Servers). Developer's tools- doubtful. You get macros w/ Office Professional.

Curiously absent... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968406)

... is an explanation of why apparently no city employee in any function whatsoever could so much as even consider using OpenOffice for anything at all.

Re:Curiously absent... (1, Interesting)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968514)

The fact that when you open an MS word document and do any editing it fucks it up for everyone else is one reason. One of our meetings went like this

"Who uses open office?"

"silence"

Poor New Yorkers! (1, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968448)

They will slowly be strangled by those closed [proprietary] Microsoft Office formats.

It's document editing and email...for now. What Microsoft will do is to wait for another administration then 'sweeten' the deal. Slowly, Powerpoint, Excel, and all the rest will come into the fold. Then...

Guess what! They will be hooked to the extent that thinking of another alternative will be too expensive a proposition.

Time will tell...but I am almost sure New Yorkers have not seen nothing yet.

Re:Poor New Yorkers! (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969052)

This just happened again the other day. Older version of MS Word on an older machine. I know that updates can loaded and filters can be installed, what I do not understand is why file formats cannot be made somewhat backwards compatible by establishing a system of conditional statements. Of course such a feature would only encourage people not to pay for upgrades, which would be very bad.

Anyway Openoffice solved the problem. There are features that open office does not have, like collaboration, is handled by Google Docs. I had no problem paying MS money until the day when reliability was called into question.

Re:Poor New Yorkers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33969898)

I know that updates can loaded and filters can be installed, what I do not understand is why file formats cannot be made somewhat backwards compatible by establishing a system of conditional statements.

...
How would that work? Seriously, take an open standard like HTML 4.01, try and display a HTML4.01 page in Netscape 3 or MSIE 3, it will look like crap even though all the content loaded (hint: those versions don't support CSS and every website uses CSS now)

If you're referring to DOCX vs DOC. DOC is an MS COM/OLE based file format, it is a hideous Windows specific disaster (literally, OLE is a Windows feature not Office though Office for Mac needs to emulate it with limited success). DOCX on the other hand is a bunch of XML files in a ZIP (Like OpenOffice's ODF but without the openness). The new terrible XML format can't be made backward compatible with the old terrible binary format as they are completely orthogonal (though it is arguable whether OOXML is really much of an improvement).

Finally. (0, Flamebait)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968570)

I guess now I can convince MS to sell me their uninstall utility. That's all I want to use.

$50Million buys a lot of Development (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968736)

I am constantly surprised when I see figures like this. I love OpenOffice/LibreOffice its incredible and Microsoft Office is simply not worth the money to me. I cannot think how many Developers NewYork could add to its workforce with its own Bespoke Extensions that it cannot be worth the money. I keep seeing all these large migrations from Office. When will there be a move with real Developer power behind it.

Does this mean they have to do this for the feds? (2, Interesting)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 3 years ago | (#33968806)

GAO contracts usually have a "most favored customer" clause, meaning that any better offer to another customer is automatically offered to the federal government. I wonder that such terms apply in this case.

Re:Does this mean they have to do this for the fed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33969188)

yes

Re:Does this mean they have to do this for the fed (1)

Pherlin (1131333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970156)

It would... but that would also depend on Microsoft being a Direct GAO Vendor.

Not saying that they aren't... but my gut tells me that some distributor(s) that is(are) able to resell volume licences is more likely the one on a GAO Contract.

so heres what i think is going on (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969226)

Microsoft is a corporation, a technology corporation but a corporation nevertheless. The mentality behind this move is very clear: whatever it takes for the dog to bite. If they scoffed and tried to force the entire suite of products at full price on a cash-strapped city on the heels of an election they would get no business whatsoever, and some PHB who finally listened to the greyhair running the servers would find out exactly how good microsofts competition is. business operating is a recession is still business, it just becomes slightly less encumbered.

Not enough to have "Microserfs" anymore... (1)

avatar139 (918375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969508)

Now they're trying to foist the idea of a caste system on the rest of the poor sods out there stuck using Windows (not just the ones working at Microsoft) because of idiotic decisions on workplace IT policies made by people who don't end up having to support and implement what ends up being purchased. Or those IT heads incompetent enough to still keep continuing to promote using any Microsoft software.

I've maintained for several years now that the above point is the main reason that Windows, Office and Server are pretty much the only thing keeping Microsoft solvent, as those three divisions' continuing success mainly hinges on the applied wisdom of decision making by the heads of educational, corporate and government institutions regarding technical matters (or rather the complete lack thereof) rather than Microsoft making any discernable effort regarding the quality of the products and services they provide...

Re:Not enough to have "Microserfs" anymore... (1)

clodney (778910) | more than 3 years ago | (#33971920)

I've maintained for several years now that the above point is the main reason that Windows, Office and Server are pretty much the only thing keeping Microsoft solvent, as those three divisions' continuing success mainly hinges on the applied wisdom of decision making by the heads of educational, corporate and government institutions regarding technical matters (or rather the complete lack thereof) rather than Microsoft making any discernable effort regarding the quality of the products and services they provide...

Those 3 divisions the only things keeping MS solvent? From what I can tell by looking at earnings reports, those 3 divisions are about 90% of the company. I think most companies would be happy that 90% of the business lines are solidly profitable.

Re:Not enough to have "Microserfs" anymore... (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972390)

Office and Server are pretty much the only thing keeping Microsoft solvent, as those three divisions' continuing success mainly hinges on the applied wisdom of decision making by the heads of educational, corporate and government institutions regarding technical matters (or rather the complete lack thereof)

Their entertainment division (mainly because of the Xbox, although other things (like Zune) get run out of there) is profitable and doesn't rely in institutional purchasers at all.

Why is NYC using Microsoft Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970506)

Why is Mr. Efficient City Bloomberg using Microsoft Office at all?
Using OpenOffice throughout NYC would save tens of dollars per employee if not hundreds of dollars per employee.

a broader set of applications (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972540)

"New York City has put the squeeze on Microsoft, negotiating a bulk software purchase that should lower technology costs for the city and give government workers access to more modern applications .. But Microsoft’s agreement with New York covers a broader set of applications beyond office software that Google has yet to match" link [nytimes.com]

What `broader set of applications' does MS offer that NYC needs to do its work?
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