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OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to Sandman

Re: [Info] Microsoft Office Users, Price Going Way Up

said by Sandman:

said by SilentMan:

Why would anyone pay a lot of money for Office when there is Open Office which is free?

Probably compatibility.

For the most part, I don't think Office is that great, but I really like Outlook and have never found a suitable replacement.

Talking about compatibility, if you put all your mails into a proprietary format files (Outlook), how you'll suppose to see them in case you need it, let say, in 10 years from now? You'll have to purchase Outlook over and over again then. And BTW, they may change the format itself too (e.g. .pstx or something to push you to buy a new version). But what if they'll decide to change their business model and move into another market (Windows 8, OS for smart phones, is one example)? And you'll be left with what? I already have very similar experience with my "beloved" m$ Money program (as you may say about your Outlook). Couple of years ago they have suddenly dropped all development and support and simply moved on to other markets...

That's was my reasoning behind the decision to move from keeping my mails in proprietary format (Outlook) to an open and somehow standard "mbox" format, supported by many programs (like e.g. Thunderbird). Even if all mail programs, supporting that format, will suddenly disappear, I still can open and see all my old and important mails with a simple text editor... That's what I need from reliable data formats for my documents...

Bottom line, be careful and watch out for proprietary formats if you want to keep your important documents. They may change at any time or even completely disappear and you'll be left without your documents...
--
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bgraham

join:2001-03-15
Smithtown, NY
reply to Kramer

I use Office 2003 Word, Outlook, Excel and Publisher a lot and see no point in upgrading when what I have does the job. Microsoft thinks everyone has money just like they do.

I certainly have no interest in the cloud for anything. We just spent 3 weeks with no internet.



Sandman
Premium
join:2002-07-10
Strafford, MO
reply to OZO

Well, ATM, I have Outlook setup with my Gmail, and am using IMAP. I totally understand what you're saying though.
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David
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reply to DrStrange

said by DrStrange:

I hope Microsoft is planning on giving away a lot of software to nonprofits to keep their market share. The subscription model isn't going to fly in organizations with limited budgets.

There are free, open-source alternatives that don't have the annoying ribbon etc. and are less problematic to use.

I agree... I don't even have a full copy of office 2010 (found a portable 2010 cracked off a torrent that's about 1GB in size and works) I will primarily load libreoffice and keep the 2010 office portable I found and keep it as a retainer in case of need. I have been using libreoffice for quite a while now and since 3.6 it seems to be pretty robust and I can't really tell the difference between them now. If you have been using both libre and microsoft office like I have, it won't be much of a crunch to switch between them both.
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amungus
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join:2004-11-26
America
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reply to AVD

said by AVD:

how many people can't figure out .docx extensions?

I don't know. The converter is still free. Basically, it extends the usefulness of my ~10yr. old copy of Office

Funny thing, in that 10 years, the advancements and changes haven't affected my personal use of the product. Different story at work, but then again, I don't necessarily have the same needs at home. Again, speaking of "home," I'm still not sure why the "home/student" editions have such insane licensing terms
(From: »office.microsoft.com/en-us/produ···e_2010_5)

It cannot be used for any commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities, by schools or academic institutions, or by any government organization.

The term "revenue generating activities" is too generally restrictive, IMO.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to Kramer

said by Kramer:

Today, I don't think pricing for home users is that bad, unless you use Outlook. It works out to about $50/PC for a perpetual license for 3 PCs. In two months that goes up to $140/PC. I'm really curious as to how Microsoft promotes this on new PCs. Now when someone goes to Staples and buys a PC it is most likely going to be loaded with a single license version of Home and Student that is going to expire unless the owner pays Microsoft 120 bucks.
Microsoft's bread and butter business is Office. They make a lot of money with it. I get the same feeling you do about the pricing. It should be going down, not up.

I guess mine is a personal reason, I like a few extras, Outlook included that are not in the student pack, for me this escalates the pricing before this news.

said by Kramer:

The question I have is whether or not Microsoft is going to continue to do things this way at $140 or shove the purchaser into an annual subscription plan that costs $100/year? I suspect it will be the former, but I really don't know.

I'm surprised it hasn't started...I was to join Technet and obtain a subscription to help extend on my home user experiences but find you need to pay once a year there now. It is only a matter of time before all software will go the path of a once a year cost/subscription. The O/S might not get there, but I bet the discussions have already taken place on the effectiveness of the option if they should implement it.
--
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Blackbird
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said by norwegian:

...

said by Kramer:

The question I have is whether or not Microsoft is going to continue to do things this way at $140 or shove the purchaser into an annual subscription plan that costs $100/year? I suspect it will be the former, but I really don't know.

I'm surprised it hasn't started...I was to join Technet and obtain a subscription to help extend on my home user experiences but find you need to pay once a year there now. It is only a matter of time before all software will go the path of a once a year cost/subscription. The O/S might not get there, but I bet the discussions have already taken place on the effectiveness of the option if they should implement it.

When we buy something up-front, there's no assurance we'll come back to buy another something later, or when. Today's business management has become all about cash flow and income streams, and the products themselves are merely a means to an end. From that perspective, whatever they can do to assure their customers will forever send them a steady, predictable stream of revenue, they will see as being to their advantage. At the same time, annual user subscriptions & fees, rentals, paid-for cloud dependencies, and repayments & interest on loans lock in some highly predictable income streams, on out into the future. Whether Microsoft actually goes there in full is hard to say... but I believe its lure is having a steady effect on the path they're pursuing.
--
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Kramer
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I just don't see the subscription model working out that well for MS unless they offer an enticing price. The only subscription package that even comes close to making sense to me is Adobe's Creative Cloud. Basically you get a license (plus a laptop install too) for almost every product they make. It's $50/month but you could quickly spend that in upgrades if you use 4 or 5 of their products. To buy that suite of products would set you back $2600. Even better Adobe has an introductory price of $30/month for a year.

Compare that to Microsoft's suite which costs around $400 for perpetual license (Office Pro) and $150/year based on the subscription model. After something short of three years you have paid for the perpetual license on a subscription with Microsoft, but it is over 4 years with Adobe. If you are a teacher or a student Adobe has even better pricing. I'd be much more tempted to go with the MS subscription model if the cost were closer to the 5 year subscription cost = cost of the perpetual license for the same thing. Even four years would be something I would consider. Something less than 3 years is out of the question. With a home user it is something like 1.3 years if you consider that most of the additional software offered by the subscription model will go unused. That's ludicrous.



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

said by Kramer:

After something short of three years you have paid for the perpetual license on a subscription with Microsoft,

and you have received updates and new releases, while after three years with your single version license you are still on the same version. This is an additional value you keep forgetting in your analysis. It's value is not "0".
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PX Eliezer7
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2 recommendations

I've never understood why they had to spend money making new episodes of Sesame Street.

The alphabet does not change. Arithmetic does not change.

Seriously, let the kids watch the 30 years of reruns!

Well----

The same for Office.

Are the [new] programs worth it?

Do they make a pastrami sandwich in addition to doing word processing and spreadsheets?

I use Word [2002] at work.

Microsoft has conned so many people.

If you have a can opener that works, do you need it upgraded?



Kramer
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join:2000-08-03
Richmond, VA
kudos:2
reply to JohnInSJ

Microsoft's upgrade history averages 3+ years per version since 2003. We had 2003,2007,2010 and Now 2013. The reason I haven't mentioned it in my analysis for home users is that for most, there is little to no value in that single upgrade they may or may not be missing during the life of their computer.. Obviously that is subjective somewhat. Some would/should consider the value that upgrade might offer. Some always have to have the latest version of anything.

I deal with a large number of individuals and small businesses. The vast majority (something over 90%) of these users buy a computer with Office on it (or they buy Office immediately afterwards) and keep using it until the computer is retired. Microsoft made this even more likely when they eliminated the upgrade discount in 2010 or was it in 2007? Small business users are a different animal and that's why I avoided a lot of discussion regarding their options but very small businesses upgrade very much like individuals in my experience. It is probably good practice too. There is often a penalty for installing newer more bloated software on older hardware. Larger small businesses may even be less inclined to upgrade software without careful planning and testing and are often years behind in versions. These folks are almost always on a volume licencing plan and their prices are going up too.

Obviously a subscription model can have value based on the factor you mention. It is what attracts me to Adobe's offer. Adobe in my opinion offers much more significant enhancements to their software than Microsoft and they do this on a tighter cycle of two years.



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

said by Kramer:

Microsoft's upgrade history averages 3+ years per version since 2003. We had 2003,2007,2010 and Now 2013.

and that three year cycle is dead. Continuous releases go with "We are a devices and services company"

Ballmer has said as much (or exactly that) publicly lately.

What worked in the 80s and 90s and allowed MS to limp thru the '00s isn't going to work in the current environment. Services are the way to a continuous release system, and the way you kill off the large (and slow) releases.
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Kramer
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join:2000-08-03
Richmond, VA
kudos:2

Microsoft has been incapable of providing anything but marginal improvements with 3 year cycles. Why should I think that would improve... because Ballmer said so?



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

watch this next year -if it doesn't change, then it really will just be a (not so long) decline to irrelevance.
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Kramer
Premium,Mod
join:2000-08-03
Richmond, VA
kudos:2

I will be watching. Microsoft has a tough road ahead. The Word-processor IMHO can only be improved but so much. The same goes for a spreadsheet. Outlook is really irrelevant to a home user and has been for a while. I don't think MS has abandoned home users, but I sort of doubt they mean that much to the company. I suspect a huge percentage of their revenue comes from volume licenses. The future is the cloud and Microsoft is really making that interesting. The whole point of my original post was to point out the cost increases home users are going to feel and to point out the costs of the subscription options . I have met few home users that really need anything more then the free solutions both Microsoft and Google provide. I think MS may just be dumping a bunch of prior home users to free products offered by them and others. This may be by design to some extent.



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

most of their revenue comes from the enterprise, and not from selling office at all - you can see this by looking at their annual and quarterly reports. Boring stuff like CRM is what pays the bills. The only way you make money from the home is by selling devices and services (see Apple) or advertising (see Google) - and this is where they are going for that market.

Eventually the prices for subscriptions (or the offerings at various price points) will come down but without a doubt there is little choice here for Microsoft. They're not doing this to milk the consumer, they're trying to survive as a viable company.
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Kramer
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kudos:2

Click for full size
Huh? Microsoft's single biggest revenue source is from Office itself »www.tannerhelland.com/4273/micro···ed-2012/ and along with Sharepoint and Exchange amount to about 1/3 of their total revenue. I just don't know what piece of that is from home sales. Server and then Windows make up about another 50%. The company, although hugely profitable has been in a rut for over a decade. What do I know, but to this layman, they have been making some strangely risky moves with two of their most profitable divisions. From June 2010 to June 2011 they brought in roughly 22 billion off their Office division. A year later it was almost 24 billion. I'm not sure why they need to rock the boat so much.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback


To me this is off topic, but can you break down the slice of "Windows and "Windows Live"? To me they are 2 differing items altogether.



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to JohnInSJ

said by JohnInSJ:

What worked in the 80s and 90s and allowed MS to limp thru the '00s isn't going to work in the current environment. Services are the way to a continuous release system, and the way you kill off the large (and slow) releases.

Limp though, I thought XP was a great break though at the time.

Services, there is no great advancement in Microsoft services I can see, hence this topic and this discussion. Microsoft is lining it's own pocket, and as a business rightly so, it is entitled to that option. However customers are the wads of cash until spent.....now I'd like to discuss that seriously and it is relative to this topic.....unless I'm missing a brain cell or 2???
--
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JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to Kramer

those are the division names, not the product names.

From wikipedia: Business Division

The Microsoft Business Division produces Microsoft Office including Microsoft Office 2010, the company's line of office software. The software product includes Word (a word processor), Access (a relational database program), Excel (a spreadsheet program), Outlook (Groupware, frequently used with Exchange Server), PowerPoint (presentation software), Publisher (desktop publishing software) and Sharepoint. A number of other products were added later with the release of Office 2003 including Visio, Project, MapPoint, InfoPath and OneNote. The division also develops enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for companies under the Microsoft Dynamics brand. These include: Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Microsoft Dynamics SL. They are targeted at varying company types and countries, and limited to organizations with under 7,500 employees.[67] Also included under the Dynamics brand is the customer relationship management software Microsoft Dynamics CRM, part of the Azure Services Platform.
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Blackbird
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reply to Kramer

Microsoft sees their software as products to be sold or rented to enhance their business revenue stream. Businesses (especially smaller ones) see the software products simply as tools to accomplish work. I've yet to find a business customer that has any love for "software" per se. Typically, they roll over their computers and the software on them when (and if) the tools' obsolescence renders them inefficient. As PX Eliezer7 See Profile and Kramer See Profile have noted, a lot of software tools remain highly functional even to the end of the mechanical life of the computers they're installed on. Among my systems are a Win98 and a WinXP system that are both still running Office 98, and performing their intended tasks quite effectively. The main problem that is encountered in such older-software usage is Microsoft's feature-creep that at times interferes with using the older tools (such as .docx implementations of incoming Word files)... but even then, there are ways around most such things (viewers, translators, etc).

From my perspective, the largest issue facing Microsoft's attempts to encourage migration to a subscription model with more frequent, but smaller, version updating is the impact that will have on businesses who will face a continual flow of changes to their tools. Security updates are one thing for a business to deploy and absorb across their fleets of systems... version updates may be quite another, especially if they impact how things are actually done in the use of the tools. What matters most here is perception: will businesses be willing to incur the usage perturbation uncertainties of continual version updating, regardless of licensing cost advantages or penalties? Currently they're willing (but not happy) to eat the costs of rolling over their tools every so many years... that would no longer be the case with more frequent version updates, and I strongly suspect their "unhappiness" will increase accordingly.

If one thus alienates their business customers and likewise alienates their home customers, what will they have left for their primary markets? Certainly the markets won't simply evaporate... the customers in both sectors have few cost-effective alternatives to just going with the flow, at least to some extent. But things like this do affect how alternatives are perceived... and raises the odds of some upstart company appearing on the horizon to eventually eat Microsoft's lunch.
--
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

said by Blackbird:

and raises the odds of some upstart company appearing on the horizon to eventually eat Microsoft's lunch.

and the funny thing is, all these moves are specifically in response to other companies eating Microsoft's lunch. After all, if things were fine in MS land, they'd not change a thing.
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AVD
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reply to JohnInSJ

said by JohnInSJ:

said by Kramer:

After something short of three years you have paid for the perpetual license on a subscription with Microsoft,

and you have received updates and new releases, while after three years with your single version license you are still on the same version. This is an additional value you keep forgetting in your analysis. It's value is not "0".

depreciation
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Westofhere

join:2005-04-07
West Coast
reply to Kramer

M$ has to do something to maintain its revenue. since they dropped the price of Windows the balance needs to come from somewhere. Why not milk their dominance in the productivity department a little more? In the business arena there is no real competitor, Open Office doesn't have a mail client the will work with Exchange so what alternative do they have? Just buy Outlook? There are too many add-ons for CRM app's etc the people use to jump ship on M$ Office.
This is another case of bend over and take it up the tailpipe.

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