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Office 2013: Microsoft Cloud Era Begins In Earnest

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the click-here-to-subscribe dept.

Cloud 241

snydeq writes "Microsoft's release of Office 2013 represents the latest in a series of makeover moves, this time aimed at shifting use of its bedrock productivity suite to the cloud. Early hands-on testing suggests Office 2013 is the 'best Office yet,' bringing excellent cloud features and pay-as-you-go pricing to Office. But Microsoft's new vision for remaining nimble in the cloud era comes with some questions, such as what happens when your subscription expires, not to mention some gray areas around inevitable employee use of Office 2013 Home Premium in business settings." Zordak points to coverage of the new Office model at CNN Money, and says "More interesting than the article itself is the comments. The article closes by asking 'Will you [pay up]?' The consensus in the comments is a resounding 'NO,' with frequent mentions of the suitability of OpenOffice for home productivity." Also at SlashCloud.

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Best Yet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728379)

The mainstream media dub every Microsoft product 'the best yet!', even when it sucks.

Re:Best Yet (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728437)

The mainstream media dub every Microsoft product 'the best yet!', even when it sucks.

Anybody who believes Microsoft products are high-quality has no contact with reality. And let's not even mention their business practices.

Too stupid for Linux? Too poor for Apple? Microsoft has just your solution! Microsoft: redefining the lowest-common-denominator and calling it innovation. Yay! Hope you like malware.

Re:Best Yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728461)

Why are you complaining?

Microsoft's downward performance is to the benefit of Linux!

Re:Best Yet (3, Funny)

gtirloni (1531285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728687)

Right, I can see from my window the droves of users moving from Windows to Linux (or even Mac).

Finally, the year of the Linux desktop is here.

Footnote: Win8 probably has more market share than Linux now by now.

Re:Best Yet (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728873)

I suspect that most new Windows 8 devices remain intact only as long as it takes to pop in a pirated copy of Windows 7...

Re:Best Yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729281)

Not necessarily. Those devices might not have Windows 7 drivers.

I had a coworker make that very complaint.

Re:Best Yet (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728983)

Right, I can see from my window the droves of users moving from Windows to Linux (or even Mac).

No, those are the homeless people.

The people switching to Linux are all in their basements, so you can't see them.

Re:Best Yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729381)

I never said anything about people switching to Linux on the desktop.

Microsoft's failure on the desktop translates to Linux success in OTHER areas because MS is simply spending so much time on a no-longer dynamic paradigm.

The desktop has been pretty static for almost 10 years. Changing the paradigm will only shoot a company in the foot.

It's time for innovation to move on to other areas, the desktop is maxed-out and has no need.

Re:Best Yet (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728809)

Is there any high-quality software? All MS software is riddled with bugs and blatant stupidity, but so is linux and OSX. The argument isn't really about which software is the best, but which sucks least. Software is a tool - if it was perfect, you wouldn't even notice it.

Re:Best Yet (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728907)

Indeed. I seem to remember that Windows 8 is also "best yet", while clearly a really bad lemon. Perhaps MS products are just so bad that "best yet" really means "least bad so far"? I am waiting for some incarnation of their products that actually reach "good". Win 7 at least reached "reasonable" if you do not use it for servers or mobile devices. Office is straight in the "bad" class for 2003, 2007 and 2010, with downward tendency. I cannot imagine 2013 doing any better. Maybe if the dropped the atrocity called "the ribbon" 2013 could at least be a bit better than 2010.

Re:Best Yet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729399)

Fuck you and people like you, who are slowing down the adoption of Linux. Linux HAS some serious problems, just like Windows has its own, and blaming all of it on user stupidity makes you a complete moron.

Re:Best Yet (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728559)

The mainstream media dub every Microsoft product 'the best yet!', even when it sucks.

It never pays to insult a heavy advertiser.

This is the best poop I've ever tasted!

Re:Best Yet (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729275)

Pretty sure it's Microsoft itself that says it's 'the best yet'.

Mainstream media just can't come up with their own words.

Re:Best Yet (3, Informative)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729279)

I've been using the Office 365 trial version for a while now. I'm not really sure it's "best yet", but it doesn't feel like a step in the wrong direction, either. Really, the only thing I've noticed about it is that it has more eye candy, with more animations and and such. I'm not a fan of the "save as" page, though--it keeps changing the default save location on me.

What about security-paranoid companies? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728439)

Where I work, there is no way the IT and security people would ever allow an externally-hosted office product. There's just too much security and paranoia about intellectual property, and worse, because we're involved with critical infrastructure.

What are companies like this supposed to do? I suppose we could get a way to host it ourselves, but many of our workstation are on isolated lab networks and have no Internet access at all.

I think it might be easier just to find another Office suite vendor, given how complicated this will make things.

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (5, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728553)

What about HIPPA or other similar regulatory limitations on who can see your documents?

Seems like those would kill this sort of move just as dead.

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728803)

Just so people are aware, it looks like there is still a boxed version of Office 2013, so companies which cannot rely on cloud software and services can still use Office 2013.

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728849)

damn and here i was ready to use my private cloud software.... cloud cloud

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728985)

Just so people are aware, it looks like there is still a boxed version of Office 2013, so companies which cannot rely on cloud software and services can still use Office 2013.

There is definitely a full version of Office 2013 available to enterprises at least. I've been running it for a couple of months now.

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729209)

...but it won't receive regular updates like Cloud Office will

Nah. This is big business. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728833)

Profits > Law

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728943)

Even simpler: We do security consulting and frequently our customers only allow us to store and process data and documents on servers under our control. That means any "cloud" office is completely out of the question. Perhaps this is fortunate, as Office has constantly been getting worse during the last decade. I cannot imagine what GUI design atrocities they have added this time, although "the ribbon" will be hard to top.

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729067)

I had to start using Office 2013. I went to IT and made them reinstall Office 2010. It HURTS to look at the UI. There is no contrast to help determine what is a button. http://cdn4.techworld.com/cmsdata/products/3370360/Excel_2013.jpg [techworld.com]

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729321)

Contrast is configurable - File > Account > Office Theme - Dark Gray
Agreed the default is not enough contrast.

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (1)

hazem (472289) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729589)

Yikes! That reminds me of what a monochrome Mac Classic looked like 20 years ago.

Re:What about security-paranoid companies? (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729199)

If an organization were silly enough to store HIPAA government data like personal health records on MSFT's Office cloud service, they would deserve the requisite regulatory smackdown.

Personally, I'd be more worried that this puts a corporation - and not an especially ethical one - in between me and my data, and that I can't any longer get between others (government, snoops, privacy breaches on the MSFT side) and that data.

pay per use: 50 cents per document save (3, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728675)

Heck why not just meter it. You can pay per document saved or minutes of use. That way if I can have all my legacy documents stored and available on any computer and I just pay when I open them up to edit them. No seats just copies attached to credit cards accounts. No one time big payment.

then when you get sent an MS word document you can edit it (for a price). Viewing could be free.

This way you would not need an internet connection to pay (though that could be one way). Instead a security conscious company could buy a hundred thousand thousand one-time codes that you would enter every time you wanted to save a document. You dole these out internally. Sure people could cheat but they can do that now with cracked licensees if they really want to. Significant Bussinesses won't cheat.

The whole concept here is like a terminator crop from monsanto where you do all the work raising the seed but it won't grow unless you pay Monsanto for the magic chemical it has been engineered to need. In this case you do the install and maintenance on your computer everything is local and under your control but you pay for a code when you want to save a new document.

What matters then is the cost. Suppose the cost to buy it was $300, the cost to subscibe was $150 and the cost to meter it was 50 cents per document save. Which would appeal to you?

penny per save (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728815)

Now that I think about it more, it seems like a penny per document-save would come out about right. I probably save a working document 50 times before its final. and I produce hundreds of documents per year. So that would work out to be a bit more than the ownership price.

Would you buy MS word if it was a penny per document-save?

Re:penny per save (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728979)

I have never paid for MS Office in my entire life (and never used MS Office on my home machinery ever since OpenOffice was first released.)

I strongly suspect that most other folks can say the same - that they either use FOSS by now, or just use a copy 'borrowed' from work, the local torrent warehouse, or wherever.

Serious question - who on Earth actually pays for the thing for home use?

Re:penny per save (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729453)

The home version is only $100, and the audience for Office is not exactly the torrent crowd, so my guess is a lot of people do.

This sounds harder to pirate. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728499)

Pass.

In the end... (5, Interesting)

Sprouticus (1503545) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728533)

Microsoft would be best served by making it free or nearly free for home use and subscription for business use. It is the same model they use for AV, and it works fairly well. Enterprise businesses need Enterprise level support and tools, they will pay because they have no choice.

Sure, you will probably lose some small businesses, but they were not going to upgrade anyway.

This way Office stays the defacto productivity suite, new users (kids) use it at home by default, and businesses have to either retrain every user on a new suite, or pay for office (hint, most will pay for office, no one likes being retrained).

Re:In the end... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728649)

Just like a crack dealer, the taste is free till they get you addicted.

Re:In the end... (2)

fredrated (639554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728745)

At least a crack user is getting something they want for their money.

Re:In the end... (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728955)

I'm trying to remember a joke about a small violin or something but I can't..

Re:In the end... (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729197)

What do a small violin and a lawsuit have in common?

Everyone is happy when the case is closed.

Re:In the end... (1)

razorh (853659) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728673)

hint, most will pay for office, no one likes being retrained

Like most non-tech users felt going from Office 2003 -> 2007 -> 2010?

Re:In the end... (5, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729089)

MS is going to be competing with Google for the home user. I suspect that for the home user Google is good enough, and it is free. At one time many home users had free or inexpensive access to MS Office through enterprise licensing. I recall install such a free copy on my mothers machine years back. If such free licensing were still available, I could see home users accessing MS Office.

In small business MS is going to competing with Google and OO.org and the derivatives.

MS is still successful with MS Office due to file format lockin. You want to work with other firms, who are probably running MS Office.

Although Apple Pages is not online, all storage is now online by default. This means that one can work off any Mac or iPad. Also you pay for Pages once and load on all Macs and iPad registered to your account. So there is that.

It won't happen (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729155)

Because Ballmer is an idiot.

Re:In the end... (1)

schlachter (862210) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729387)

It's hard to imagine that non-business users will pay for this. I imagine that most home users will shell out $120 for the Home version of Office every 6 yrs or so. That's 1/6 of the subscription cost over the same period. I could see MSFT charging $10/month for non-business licenses to ALL MSFT products (including windows).

No thanks. (4, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728547)

Even if I felt the need for a new version of Office, i will be avoiding cloud apps just as I did in the 90s when they where first tried. Frankly, there is big enough problem with applications (games for the most part) requiring an internet connect already without putting the whole thing out there. Even if we ignore the security issues, I dont want to have to be online inorder to work on a document.

Re:No thanks. (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728733)

Same. The only time I've found cloud apps useful is for collaboration projects where more than one person is working on the same document at a time and something like Hg/SVN won't work.

Re:No thanks. (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729069)

I google drive because it works on the iPad and that is my biggest complaint about google drive. I can view the files in offline mode, but I can't edit them. So, why would I pay microsoft for something google gives me for free?

Besides, don't they realize that we all buy one copy of office anyway and just install it on all our PCs? If google would let your edit offline and stopped sucking at formatting, I would never use MS word.

Re:No thanks. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729127)

Wouldn't latency and lag be a nightmare for everyday operations like clicking buttons and entering menus? If not, then what part of the program is in the 'cloud'?

Bought it yesterday (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728573)

Still leaps and bounds better than most everything else out there. Haven't had time to do everything in it but it's just so much easier to work with than OpenOffice or LibreOffice. Glad I get a discount through work though, cause I don't think I would pony up $100+

Re:Bought it yesterday (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728811)

Agreed. For any sort of real office/administrative work, MS Office beats the pants off Open/Libre Office. The latter's functionality in terms of two major office needs (mail merges and pivot tables, not to mention scaling spreadsheets for print) sucks to the point of being basically unusable. MS Office is typical Microsoft (different than standards for no good reason; eg. the wildcard for strings in Access is * not %), but Excel and Word are simply so much better than anything else out there that for REAL work, there's no viable alternative.

Of course, home use is a different story altogether.

Re:Bought it yesterday (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728885)

the shills are getting too lazy... not even signing up for new accounts

Re:Bought it yesterday (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728969)

Shut up "old timer".

Re:Bought it yesterday (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729041)

I know, they just flood the CNN article to post laughable crap about using Office alternatives in the comments and they hop over on Slashdot to celebrate like it actually has some sort of meaningful impact.

It's not quite pathetic enough to be funny.

Re:Bought it yesterday (1, Interesting)

cryptizard (2629853) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729103)

Nice McCarthyism there. I know, its an easy way to avoid thinking and responding intelligently, you can't just accuse people of being shills because you don't agree with them.

Who needs it? (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728579)

I realize needs differ, but Microsoft Works did everything I needed to do years ago. Thus far, the only reason to buy new versions of Office is being forced into compatibility with the suckers who bought the new version.

Re:Who needs it? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728967)

Which is basically the only thing why MS does sell newer versions: Stupid people that cannot distinguish between "new" and "better". Unfortunately, many of them make it to management as they cannot do anything well.

For home use, OpenOffice is more than good enough (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728581)

What in the world do I get out of MS office, in or out of the cloud that I don't get in a basic office package of word processor, spreadsheet, presentation and drawing. Admittedly, the graphics package could be more user-friendly, but there are FOSS substitutes for that too. The bottom line is the bottom line. Money for MS Office or no money for OpenOffice.

For home use, LIBREoffice is more than good enough (0)

Azmodan (572615) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728635)

For home use, LIBREoffice is more than good enough

FTFY

Re:For home use, LIBREoffice is more than good eno (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728797)

As far as I'm concerned, they are exactly the same thing, except are split by rigid computer-geek philosophical divides by idiots who would rather do things the hard way out of principle than work together for the good of everyone.

Re:For home use, LIBREoffice is more than good eno (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729451)

"The hard way" here is to write software instead of buying it from Microsoft. If it weren't for geeks doing things the hard way, there wouldn't be an OpenOffice or a LibreOffice for trolls like you to use.

Re:For home use, LIBREoffice is more than good eno (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729571)

except are split by rigid computer-geek philosophical divides

Except that a lot of those rigid philosophical geeks are the former developers of OpenOffice, and the ones who forked it to LibreOffice. Granted, now that OO is under Apache's stewardship (as opposed to Oracle) it might be nice if they pooled resources. Not sure if they already do this or not.

Re:For home use, LIBREoffice is more than good eno (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729007)

Aren't you forgetting GNU somewhere there? :)

Win 3.1 is more than good enough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728831)

It also does everything you need...as long as you don't share your resources with other other. In other words, never connecting it to the internet.

Likewise, OO is great as long as you print the docs out. The moment you try sharing doc files with other people, everything breaks. I always had issues saving/ exporting/ opening "real" .docx files. Finally, I just gave up and went back to M$.

If formatting, layout, or graphics didn't matter, I'd just use notepad.

I don't mean to bash OO....only wish more people used it. From academics, businesses, and govt.

Re:Win 3.1 is more than good enough (1)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728889)

If you feel compelled to give Microsoft hundreds of dollars every revision just to maintain file format compatibility, isn't that a problem with Microsoft and not the alternatives?

Walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728657)

My, what sharp teeth you have!

Who cares about the subscription look at the TOS (5, Interesting)

bogie (31020) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728683)

"Only one person at a time may use the software on each licensed computer or licensed device. The service/software may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities."

So if your kids want to use Word to make a Lemonade Stand sign so they can sell Lemonade for .05 a cup on the front lawn? Ilegal!

Even worse your kids want to help out with Hurricane Sandy relief by making signs and posting them around the neighborhood telling people how they can help their local non-profit? Illegal!

Or I guess you can't even print up an Ad that you plan on hanging in the local supermarket saying you have a couch for sale?

Btw you wanna bet MS themselves hosts templates designed specifically for these activities?

It's time we hold these companies accountable for the crap they shove in the TOS. What Microsoft is doing is BS and they need to be called on it. Feel free to email Microsoft and tell them that you wanted to buy Office 2013 but because their TOS make both you and your children criminals, you went with Openoffice etc instead.

Re:Who cares about the subscription look at the TO (1)

Delarth799 (1839672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728963)

Just a small heads up, breaking the TOS is not illegal. The only thing that could happen is a possible civil suit.

Re:Who cares about the subscription look at the TO (4, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729349)

Tell that to Carmen Ortiz...

Re:Who cares about the subscription look at the TO (0, Troll)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729407)

Just a small heads up, breaking the TOS is not illegal. The only thing that could happen is a possible civil suit.

Also, Aaron Swartz is working hard on RSS 3.0, your check is in the mail, and I would never cum in your mouth, baby!

Re:Who cares about the subscription look at the TO (1)

cryptizard (2629853) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729017)

Where did you get that? It says one person at a time. Are you using Word on the same computer at the same time as your kids? Pretty sure this means you can't do something like remote desktop a bunch of computers to your one machine with Office on it and have a bunch of people use it at once.

Re:Who cares about the subscription look at the TO (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729185)

I know this is slashdot, but try reading the second sentence, hun.

Re:Who cares about the subscription look at the TO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729189)

Yep. Even though MS probably won't harass anyone but larger companies over this, it's still stupid.

Just like how MS (can) delete your personal nude pictures from SkyDrive, even if you're not sharing them with anyone.

How about keeping things simple? It's been shown over and over again that this is what consumers want, especially with new technology, which is kinda complicated enough on its own.

Re:Who cares about the subscription look at the TO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729405)

The one person at a time thing is to prevent you from running it as a terminal server app.
The service/software statement is to prevent you from selling that as a SaaS service, or integrating their software into your product and then selling it.

Now, go back to your basement before I edit your runlevel.

Still Unclear When Subscription Expires (3, Informative)

number17 (952777) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728701)

After actually reading the articles, I am still unclear about two things when your subscription expires:

1) How long will I have access to my documents? According to current documentation for enterprises and small business:

When a subscription is removed, all data is permanently lost.

http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/En-ca/office365-enterprises/hh143495.aspx [microsoft.com]
http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-ca/office365-smallbusinesses/hh143522.aspx [microsoft.com]

2) Subscribers get an additional 20GB in Skydrive. What happens to my documents if I am using 100% of Skydrive (including the additional 20GB)? Is there a grace period?

They don't make it easy to find the information to these questions. The answers are likely the same for any other cloud service that provides a free and paid offering but why do we have to guess.

Re:Still Unclear When Subscription Expires (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728935)

When a subscription is removed, all data is permanently lost.

Bwahh ha ha ha the black hats going to have fun cancelling businesses accounts.

"Hi, its me, I just wanted to let you know that we've switched to apple macs so you cancel our accounts. Bye bye. Love, Ford Motor co" Really? Destruction of data is going to be just that simple?

Re:Still Unclear When Subscription Expires (1)

NGRhodes (2742089) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729173)

After actually reading the articles, I am still unclear about two things when your subscription expires: 1) How long will I have access to my documents? According to current documentation for enterprises and small business:

When a subscription is removed, all data is permanently lost.

http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/En-ca/office365-enterprises/hh143495.aspx [microsoft.com] http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-ca/office365-smallbusinesses/hh143522.aspx [microsoft.com] 2) Subscribers get an additional 20GB in Skydrive. What happens to my documents if I am using 100% of Skydrive (including the additional 20GB)? Is there a grace period? They don't make it easy to find the information to these questions. The answers are likely the same for any other cloud service that provides a free and paid offering but why do we have to guess.

From: http://www.zdnet.com/microsofts-office-365-home-premium-what-happens-when-subscriptions-expire-7000010498/ [zdnet.com] "For users with an Office 365 Home Premium subscription, as the expiration date of that subscription approaches, users will receive notifications inside the Office applications and via e-mail to remind/nag users about the approaching expiration date. Once the subscription expires, the Office apps will enter a "read-only reduced functionality mode." This means users will be able to view or print documents, but won't be able to create any new documents or edit existing documents. Users who want to regain their full Office capabilities will be able to purchase a new subscription (via Office.com) or a set of predesignated retailers. Users also will have the choice of simply using older, existing versions of Office or to just use the free Office Web Apps on SkyDrive for basic editing. If a user has stored documents created/edited with Office 365 Home Premium in their SkyDrives, these documents will still be downloadable once subscriptions expire. Users can save SkyDrive documents to another computer or drive at any time, according to Microsoft. (With Office 365 Home Premium, users get an additional 20 GB of storage on top of their existing SkyDrive quotas.)"

Re:Still Unclear When Subscription Expires (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729191)

1) From the documents you linked:

When a subscription expires, the subscription enters a brief grace period during which administrators receive notification email messages and see alerts, when they log in to the Office 365 portal, that warn that the subscription will soon be disabled.

...

If you do not renew the subscription, the subscription will soon be disabled; user accounts assigned to the expired subscription are disabled, and users are unable to access the expired subscription. However, administrators can still access the service.

More FAQs here. [microsoft.com]

I would expect Office 365 simply won't allow you to save new files to your SkyDrive account if it fills up. It doesn't seem it won't allow you to save locally though.

Not neccessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728713)

With the progress LibreOffice has made, the only people who use Office are to please those who are extremely picky or actually NEED the features. The only people who would pay are those who need it or don't know better.

Too Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42728715)

It costs more than Netflix. I know which my family would rather live without...

No thanks ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728723)

Subscription software has no interest for me, and neither does storing stuff in the cloud.

If you can't sell me stand-alone software that works and doesn't require on-going fees and access to your servers ... well, I'll just use someone else's software.

I can't imagine most organizations wanting their Office docs in the cloud.

Re:No thanks ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729179)

If you RTFA, you would have known that they still offer a regular non subscription version.

Re:No thanks ... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729559)

My PHB is very keen on moving everything to the cloud. He doesn't actually know what the cloud is or anything like that, he has just noticed it as a listed feature on a load of ads.

Cloud computing's Achilles heal... (4, Insightful)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728725)

...will always be the user's internet connection -- not just in terms of being connected, but likely also having sufficient bandwidth. I can appreciate the usefulness of "cloud computing" -- which is really just an extension of dumb terminals and network storage packaged in this new buzzphrase. However, it really only makes sense in environments in which they have control over the network availability as well. Even Google Docs, with no price tag, is only as nice as my network connection.

What this does for MS Office is that it now has a new form of DRM -- in the sense that you can only run office if you connect to Microsoft -- and they don' t have to advertise it as being DRM.

Re:Cloud computing's Achilles heal... (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729027)

A lot of people work in situations where they cannot have internet access. I spend a lot of time on overwater airliners - typically no internet. I'm often in countries where internet access is unreliable, or untrustworthy. The facility where I work has areas where cell and wireless are not available.

I cannot use cloud-only applications even if I wanted to, which I don't. I'm actually quite happy with the functionality of microsoft apps, but if they move to a cloud-only model, I will need to switch to some alternative.

Re:Cloud computing's Achilles heal... (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729247)

The FAQ does not say it requires internet access to actually use the products in their original form (only to upgrade, manage account, save to SkyDrive, etc).

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/home-premium/#FAQs [microsoft.com]

Re:Cloud computing's Achilles heal... (1)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729397)

The FAQ does not say it requires internet access to actually use the products in their original form (only to upgrade, manage account, save to SkyDrive, etc).

Here is what the FAQ in your link says for the "cloud" version of office (i.e. Office 365):

Internet access is required to install and activate all the latest releases of Office suites and all Office 365 plans.

Internet access is also required to manage, update, and access subscription versions of Office, including Office 365 Home Premium. You need to go online to www.office.com/myaccount to manage your subscription account. For example, if you want to install Office on another PC or device, or to change billing options. You need to connect to the Internet regularly to keep your version of Office up to date and to benefit from automatic upgrades.

Internet connectivity is also required to access the Office 365 additional features such as SkyDrive and Skype world minutes.

Re:Cloud computing's Achilles heal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729425)

You don't have to be connected to the internet at all times..

Two words: Defense Dept (2)

OffTheLip (636691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728749)

Many production networks never see the cloud, or a least no connection to the Microsoft cloud.

Re:Two words: Defense Dept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729249)

The Defense Department is a big customer. They can negotiate special versions of software for their needs. They will probably have to pay extra for the privilege of running a standalone version, but they're already used to that.

Small shops like colleges - who often have research nets isolated from the public Internet - don't have that advantage. They may need to shop elsewhere. Similarly, any home user who lives away from the public grid (such as my mom, who has no Internet service at her cottage) is out of luck.

Thought experiment (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728807)

Thought experiment - self destruction of the office suite... What would happen? My guess is a dramatic increase in productivity.
1) Can't waste time on powerpoints
2) Can't use Excel as the corporate database management system
3) Can't use Word as the corporate database management system. Wordpad is good enough for the average user. In fact even wordpad has too many features for the average goofball.
4) Can't produce meaningless made up metrics using excel
5) Nobody uses outlook unless they have to, so I'd expect a dramatic surge in gmail popularity. Maybe g+/FB/twitter make some inroads into business communication. Linkedin should be paying attention at the change to intermediate themselves as a business social network.

I'm seeing a distinct possibility of a dramatic upsurge in business productivity... either that ore more time spent in meetings and at the water cooler gossip. either way the world would be a better place without office suites.

Re:Thought experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729295)

Cube worker rage detected. Keep distance.

"Pay as you go" - "Rental" (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728813)

If I wanted to rent software, I'd rent software. Micro$oft already has plenty of money, yet they want to suck more of it out of our pockets. No thanks, I'll just keep using old versions of Office I already have, and if it comes down to it I'll use FOSS instead. I'm a human being, damnit, not a revenue stream!

Re:"Pay as you go" - "Rental" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729449)

If you wanted to rent software, you'd subscribe to Office 365.

But since you clearly don't, then there is Office 2013 for ya.

Cloud computing = forced (unwanted) upgrades (1)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728837)

I hated the new interface that came with 2007 (Fluent User Interface) and 2010 was no improvement. I did not have a choice, though, because that is what they install on our work machines. And I just have to deal with it. With cloud services, when the provider updates the software in a way that disrupts productivity, who is held accountable? When Windows Vista came out, people had the option to not upgrade. But when everything is on the cloud, you don't have the choice to not upgrade anymore. What if you don't care for the changes in the newer version? Or worse that the new features break the existing workflow? Suddenly companies are now going to have to leave aside money for re-training programs in the even that the cloud service providers make drastic changes.

Re:Cloud computing = forced (unwanted) upgrades (1)

flex941 (521675) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729019)

You having to put money aside for continual re-traininig is really :) not a problem for cloud service provider. It's a problem for you - deal with it!

Re:Cloud computing = forced (unwanted) upgrades (1)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729147)

You having to put money aside for continual re-traininig is really :) not a problem for cloud service provider. It's a problem for you - deal with it!

That's the point. If the cloud provider updates their end, and I am running a business using their software, I'm stuck having to deal with it (training-wise) as you put it. As a customer of said cloud service, I would be pretty pissed off if suddenly my company was forced into having to upgrade when what my company was using worked just fine.

My Data is My Data (2)

fallen1 (230220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42728939)

My response to Office being Cloud-based is this: JUST SAY NO.

As has been mentioned above my comment, there are multiple problems with this one being HIPAA laws for who can see patient documents. I would also be greatly concerned about corporate espionage - if the corporation was dumb enough to use Cloud Office in the first place. What better way to siphon off sensitive data from other corporations than to host all their files in your cloud?

My strongest reason is even simpler than all of those - my data is my data is my data. It should reside on my home network, not in the cloud. It should be where I can get to it when I need it, without having to worry about if I paid my Office fee for access this month. It should be where I can manipulate it if need be, so that I can read it in a different program than the one it was created in. And it should for ever and all time be MINE. Not Microsoft's. Not Google's. Not Apple's. While the great majority of us who are technically inclined understand planned obsolescence and the inanity of depending on someone else to keep our saved files all nice and neat and accessible, the _public_ at large does not. We should be educating them on "the 3v1Ls" of such and the long list of companies that suddenly vanished after taking a lot of people's money, regardless of it was the corporation's fault they closed or some government's.

Traditional SKU still available (4, Informative)

Necroman (61604) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729003)

It's important to remember that there are 2 ways of buying Office 2013 (at least for home use): Office 2013 and Office 365. MS has a nice simple comparison here [microsoft.com] . The $99/year gets you 5 computers while the other SKUs only let you install on 1 computer.

One important change for the stand-alone SKUs is the # of computers you can install on. In Office 2010, there were SKUs that let you install on 3 PCs for "Home & Student" edition or 2 PCs for "Home and Business" edition. While Office 2013 is 1PC for all editions of the stand-alone. I'm guessing this is MS trying to push Office 365 (the subscription).

If I was installing on 5 PCs, the subscription may be worth it, but I'm not sure I like the idea of my software license expiring and possibly losing data.

Re:Traditional SKU still available (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729257)

They will keep moving towards renting the software.

The good news is there are lots of alternatives these days. Most of those are even free.

I don't think they're that scared (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729021)

The article closes by asking 'Will you [pay up]?' The consensus in the comments is a resounding 'NO,' with frequent mentions of the suitability of OpenOffice for home productivity."

And if Microsoft offers you Office for an annual rate that is the same or less than a typical AV product AND that includes "easy, no hassle updates" that make upgrading as painless as upgrading to the next version of Firefox, 95% of home users won't care. If Microsoft is smart, they'll make billing so easy, so simple, so customer-oriented that installing it on a 2nd PC is just treated as a new silent license, charged at 25-50% the cost of the first one and that's it. Apple's system of authorizing computers in iTunes is a simplistic version of what they could do. They could easily make the admin feature enabled with features like a one-click deactivation of a computer so the key could be repurposed.

What Microsoft should be doing is incremental, yearly updates to Windows priced at the rates Be charged for BeOS. $50/upgrade $100/new install. If they made the OS better and faster like Be did, most users would be like "fuck yeah I'm upgrading!" to the detriment of hardware vendors.

Standard crap slashdot summary.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42729083)

You can still get a standalone non-cloud version of office 2013 too...

No f'n way (1)

SuseLover (996311) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729429)

No way you'd get me to use this service. At my last job, the company used Office 365 Live. It completely sucked. It is slow, especially if there is any latency or ISP trouble. Second, when they setup my Outlook account, it took 6 weeks for MS to get it to work right (something about how the account was created in the wrong context or something)

EditsForSure (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42729555)

I remember the whole PlaysForSure fiasco, where at first, PlaysForSure was a new DRM that was incompatible with a good chunk of the players out at the time. Then, PlaysForSure servers got shut off, stranding people who bought their music legitimately.

For music, at least I can re-get the music someplace else. But for docs, these are my files, I can't go to documentbay.se and get my files from there.

I think a lot of people will be careful with this.

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