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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:14 AM

Why Microsoft’s new Office 2013 license may send users to Google Docs

If you buy a perpetual retail license for Office 2013, it will be locked to the computer you first install it on, forever. Buy a new PC and you won't be allowed to install your existing copy of Office on it, even if you wipe the disk of the old PC. You'll have to splurge for a new one.

This is a change in policy from Office 2010. Office 2010 permitted a single transition from one PC to a new one. It's not, however, an entirely new policy: OEM pre-installed versions of Office (and Windows) are similarly tied to their (OEM) hardware and can't migrate. Adam Turner at The Age first pressed Microsoft for clarification over what its "single PC" constraint actually meant, and noted the newly aligned OEM and retail licenses.

It's difficult to see the wisdom in this change. It's not a big change, but it's not a nice one, either.

Retail sales make up a minority of the Office business. Microsoft doesn't habitually report the exact level of retail sales, but we can perhaps make estimates based on the information the company does provide.

The Microsoft Business Division (MBD), the reporting group within the company that includes Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Dynamics, and Lync, reported last quarter that 60 percent of its revenue is from multi-year subscriptions—Software Assurance plans. The remaining 40 percent is what Microsoft calls "transactional;" one-off purchases, encompassing both OEM preinstalls and boxed copies bought online or in bricks-and-mortar stores.

The company's 2012 annual report also has some useful information. The report says that in its 2012 financial year, 80 percent of its sales were to businesses, 20 percent to consumers. A reasonable inference is that business sales include essentially all of the multi-year revenue (as it is only this year that Microsoft offered a consumer-oriented subscription, Office 365 Home Premium), and about half of the transactional revenue.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/02/why-microsofts-new-office-2013-license-may-send-users-to-google-docs/

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Microsoft’s new Office 2013 license may send users to Google Docs (Original post)
DainBramaged Feb 2013 OP
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #1
TM99 Feb 2013 #2
longship Feb 2013 #7
TM99 Feb 2013 #8
longship Feb 2013 #9
TM99 Feb 2013 #10
longship Feb 2013 #14
L0oniX Feb 2013 #13
IDemo Feb 2013 #16
TM99 Feb 2013 #18
SteveG Feb 2013 #3
alc Feb 2013 #4
Benton D Struckcheon Feb 2013 #5
eppur_se_muova Feb 2013 #6
L0oniX Feb 2013 #11
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #15
d_r Feb 2013 #12
Ron Obvious Feb 2013 #17
dragonlady Feb 2013 #19

Response to DainBramaged (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:27 AM

1. Next to last paragraph, I concur

This is a change that looks bad. It makes Microsoft appear petty and small-minded, determined to wring every last dollar from its customer base. And while that may in fact be the case, doing so in such a brazen manner does nothing more than get people's backs up.

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Response to DainBramaged (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:46 AM

2. Name one major tech company

today that isn't petty, small-minded, and brazenly determined to get every last dollar it can from its customer base.

This is nothing new here for anyone that has followed Microsoft and their business practices for the last 30 years.

I am thankful that I fully made the switch to Open Office.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:25 AM

7. Ubuntu! That's who. nt

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Response to longship (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:53 AM

8. These days Canonical is really no different.

Let me give you some links to read up on the real Ubuntu.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/10/privacy-ubuntu-1210-amazon-ads-and-data-leaks

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2019712/coming-in-ubuntu-linux-13-04-instant-purchases-direct-from-the-desktop.html

http://goodbyemicrosoft.net/news.php?item.697.4

https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/kubuntu-devel/2012-February/005782.html

They have focused solely on Unity which is horrible for anything other than a tablet user. There new phone OS is a joke. Who will use it? With the new laws in the US, every phone is now tied for life to a carrier. They can't seem to make up their mind if they want to be a serious enterprise contender to Red Hat or Novell/SUSE or whether they want to be a grassroots Linux is for all distro.

Are they as bad as Apple or Microsoft? No. Do they still have issues that make them more concerned with their 'corporate identity' than the Ubuntu disto? Yes.

I use Scientific Linux and Debian. I gave up on Ubuntu after the 9.x releases which were the best they ever produced.



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Response to TM99 (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:06 PM

9. Ubuntu uses Debian source code.

I like Ubuntu because it's easy to install and maintain. This, after I did Gentoo for a while, probably the most difficult Linux distribution where everything is compiled from source code, including the OS kernel. An Gentoo install takes many hours on even a fast multicore computer, but it is completely optimized for the hardware. My AMD twin core 64 bit desktop still runs an old Gentoo installation. My laptop (a System 76) came with Ubuntu installed. It's a very nice machine, quad core Intel.

I won't use any distribution that uses Red Hat packaging.

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Response to longship (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:32 PM

10. Yes, I am aware of the root distro

for Ubuntu.

If it works for you, go for it. I have personally used Red Hat and Red Hat based distros since the late 1990's more than Debian or any other.

I was merely pointing out that Mark Shuttleworth and Canoncial are not that different corporate-wise especially in the last few years. That's all.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:54 PM

14. No prob. nt

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Response to longship (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:38 PM

13. RPM's suck the lamas ass. n/t

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Response to TM99 (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:16 PM

16. I installed Linux Mint 14 'Cinnamon' 64-bit last week

Other than having to download a printer driver and a network adapter driver (from the Windows partition, obviously), it's been great. I had installed the latest Ubuntu with Unity, but after several years of Mint/Gnome, it didn't take long for me to decide to switch back.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:21 PM

18. I have heard really good things

about Linux Mint with Cinammon.

I really need to check it out. Straight Debian has been fine, but I think I might really like Mint better.

Thanks.

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Response to DainBramaged (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:47 AM

3. There are excellent alternatives to Office

IMHO, the WordPerfect suite of software (about $100 for Word Perfect/Quattro Pro/Presentation) is an excellent alternative for the home user wanting a perpetual license. Free alternatives are Open Office or LibreOffice.

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Response to DainBramaged (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:53 AM

4. they drove me away

I purchase about one computer a year for a member of my family (we each get a new one every 4 years for about 12 years now). I usually retire an old machine and move office to the new one. I buy 4 office licenses when a new version comes out (97, 2003, 2007, and 2010). I bought a new machine 2 weeks ago and didn't even bother moving MS Office from the retired machine. I've been using google docs and OpenOffice for over a year anyhow to see how they do and haven't run into a case where I need MS Office for personal stuff (a couple of cases where I needed it for work powerpoints).

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Response to alc (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:18 AM

5. Have Open Office...

...never tried Google Docs. Does it have all the functionality? Does it have macro capability?

...Forget it. Just looked, see they have something they call Google Script. Will have to check that.

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Response to DainBramaged (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:12 AM

6. It drove me to Libre Office ...

Tried Open Office and Libre Office, found LO behaved a little better on my computer. YMMV.

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Response to DainBramaged (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:36 PM

11. Open Office and or LibreOffice ...Ubuntu 12 lts. MS can go eat shit & die. n/t

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:04 PM

15. bUG-STILL-ON-SCREEN-10-years-on-can't-kill

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Response to DainBramaged (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:37 PM

12. honestly

i like libre office better than ms office. I set the default save to mircrosoft .doc because the campus uses ms office. But let me clear about that - my work computers have ms office for free (to me) but I'd rather use libre office.

eta and I use libre office for presentations and just save them to my network drive and open them in ms power point on the podiums.

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Response to DainBramaged (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:17 PM

17. No "cloud" computing for me..

I've been involved in and with the personal computers since nearly their beginning and I'm damned if I'm going to go back to a terminal model or net-storage where I don't control 100% of all my code and data on my own damn computer. So no "cloud" in my house, thanks you very much Google, and no contracts with rent-seeking bastards either --sorry, Microsoft. OpenOffice or LibreOffice for me.

I worked for and supported MS for years and indeed still run Windows 7 because I haven't found anything nearly approaching Visual Studio as a development environment elsewhere, but philosophically, I wish I could sever the relationship completely. I prefer Thunderbird and Firefox to their MS counterparts and OpenOffice is more than adequate for what we do. It's really only Dev Studio and the massive investment in Windows and specific apps that keep me around.

Unity is an abomination, though, which is a damn shame because Ubuntu was the one distribution that could have had mass appeal beyond the usual Linux crowd, and that I could have taken seriously.

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Response to DainBramaged (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:03 PM

19. Another vote for Libre Office

It works just fine and is completely compatible with Microsoft, as far as I can see.

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