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Microsoft Windows Technology

Microsoft Phasing Out Office Starter Edition 132

Posted by Soulskill
from the decreasing-bloatware dept.
nk497 writes "Microsoft has started phasing out its Office 2010 Starter edition, ahead of the arrival of Windows 8. Office Starter was included in the OEM pre-installation kit (OPK) of software sent to manufacturers, and included ad-supported versions of Word and Excel, but not Outlook or PowerPoint. That will be replaced with an Office 2010 Transition OPK, which will instead push users to download a trial of the Office suite and offer a link to buy the full version. The free Office Web Apps will also be available for users not wanting the full version."
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Microsoft Phasing Out Office Starter Edition

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  • Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@RABBI ... minus herbivore> on Saturday June 23, 2012 @12:14AM (#40418865) Journal

    They're just marketing tools. Nobody actually uses them.

    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sdnoob (917382) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @12:22AM (#40418899)

      actually, a lot of people use office starter, even in soho environments.. and that's microsoft's "problem", it was cutting into sales. not enough people actually *buying* their overpriced office products.

      plus, some clever folks online have figured out how to install starter on any newer (vista or seven, i think) pc.

      • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jesseck (942036) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @01:05AM (#40419021)
        That's correct... I've done the same with people I know that have purchased a new computer. I tell them to use Office Starter, save some money, and *if* they find they need more features or Outlook, they can install Office after purchasing a license key card. They save money at first, and I can only think of one instance (of about 10) where the user had to purchase Office after the fact.
      • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @01:36AM (#40419115)

        actually, a lot of people use office starter, even in soho environments.. and that's microsoft's "problem", it was cutting into sales. not enough people actually *buying* their overpriced office products.

        plus, some clever folks online have figured out how to install starter on any newer (vista or seven, i think) pc.

        Overpriced? Office Home + Student costs around $99 OEM version (includes Word + Excel + Powerpoint + OneNote). That seems like a pretty reasonable price.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sortius_nod (1080919)

          Doesn't beat free, which is the point here.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by hairyfeet (841228)

            Well I think the real point is if you need MS Office? You'll buy it and if you don't then you won't, simple as that.

            I can see why MSFT did this, since it seems Word is used by more people than anything else in MS Office, but they really need to be worried about giving up the home users because $99 for Student is just too high. That is why I just give my home users LO because frankly it'll do what the average home user needs even though it won't cut it for the business users but they should be worried about

            • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

              by ericloewe (2129490) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:04AM (#40419983)

              Home and Student, with three licenses, is usually ~100€. Around 30€ per license is a very good deal for anyone who doesn't use it for "revenue-generating activities". If you need something beyond Word, Exce, Powerpoint and OneNote, you can buy the individual program (in practice, two licenses - one for a desktop and one for a laptop/tablet).

            • by westlake (615356)

              they really need to be worried about giving up the home users because $99 for Student is just too high.

              MS Office Home and Student for Windows and OSX consistently tops the software bestseller lists at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, etc., etc., etc. The price of the Home edition has never been an obstacle to sales.

              OneNote is one of the overlooked gems in recent versions of Microsoft Office. OneNote makes it simple to take notes and keep track of everything with integrated search, and offers more features than its popular competitor Evernote. One way it is better is its high quality optical character recognition (OCR) engine. One of Evernote's most popular features is that you can search for anything, including text in an image, and you can easily find it. OneNote takes this further, and instantly OCRs any text in images you add. Then, you can use this text easily and copy it from the image.

              OCR anything with OneNote 2007 and 2010 [howtogeek.com]

              Most buy the three-seat version of Office Home, retail boxed.

              Office University Edition is $99 at Walmart,com (Word. Excel. Publisher. OneNote. Outlook. Publisher. Access.) Student ID required.

              If you use Office at work the chances are quite good that MS Office P

              • by Grishnakh (216268)

                MS Office Home and Student for Windows and OSX consistently tops the software bestseller lists at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, etc., etc., etc. The price of the Home edition has never been an obstacle to sales.

                You don't know that, because you don't know how many people didn't buy it because of the high price. For all we know, if they cut the price in half, four times as many people might buy it. Yes, it might be a bestseller, but it's also something that most people with a computer think they need to have, ev

                • For the students for which $99 is too much to pay, Microsoft maintains their mindshare through pirated versions...

        • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

          by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:02AM (#40419177)

          Office Home + Student costs around $99 OEM version (includes Word + Excel + Powerpoint + OneNote). That seems like a pretty reasonable price.

          You're used to it seemingly :-( Software took another turn recently... The new Mac OS Mountain Lion costs $20 [engadget.com] for instance.

          • That's just for the first hit. Where Apple will really make hand over fist in money will be at the App store and iTunes.

            • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

              by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @06:33AM (#40419919)
              Really? Apple's Q2 Financials [apple.com]
              • In Millions:
              • Mac Desktops (1)(9): 1,936
              • Mac Portables (2)(9): 4,662
              • iPod (3)(9): 2,528
              • Other Music Related Products and Services (4): 2,027
              • iPhone and Related Products and Services (5)(9): 24,417
              • iPad and Related Products and Services (6)(9): 9,153
              • Peripherals and Other Hardware (7): 766
              • Software, Service and Other Sales (8): 844

              (1) Includes revenue from iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro sales.
              (2) Includes revenue from MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro sales.
              (3) Includes revenue from iPod sales.
              (4) Includes revenue from sales from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore in addition to sales of iPod services and Apple-branded and third-party iPod accessories.
              (5) Includes revenue from sales of iPhone, iPhone services, and Apple-branded and third-party iPhone accessories.
              (6) Includes revenue from sales of iPad, iPad services, and Apple-branded and third-party iPad accessories.
              (7) Includes revenue from sales of displays, networking product, and other hardware.
              (8) Includes revenue from sales of Apple-branded and third-party Mac software, and services.
              (9) Includes amortization of related revenue deferred for non-software services and embedded software upgrade rights.

              Apple makes almost as much money in iPod (2.5) hardware than they make in Apps, Media, and software sales (2.0+ 0.8) combined. The iTunes revenue also includes iPod accessories as well. And any revenue from the App or Media or Mac App store to Apple is only 30% of reported revenue as they have to give the original content owner their 70% cut first. Bottom line: Apple makes most of their money from hardware. This isn't hard to look up.

          • Software took another turn recently... The new Mac OS Mountain Lion costs $20 for instance.

            And for a more appropriate comparison than an upgrade of a 12 month old version of an OS, iWork costs $79 [apple.com].

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bert64 (520050)

          It's not wether msoffice is worth $99 as a whole, it's wether it offers $99 of benefit over and above libreoffice or the free version of office starter... Chances are that for most people it does not, making it overpriced.

          • by EdIII (1114411)

            Come on guys...

            I love open source, and hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but $99 is not over priced. $300,$500, and more is over priced.

            Considering the features, complexity, and maturity of the product it's very hard to say it is not worth $100 if you want something nice. LibreOffice is okay, and quite usable, but there are still some things I like Office for.

            The IDEs and software tools that I have are more than $99.

            If you want to see something way over priced try looking at Adobe.

            • by Teun (17872)
              Agreed.

              For home and word processor use LibreOffice is quite sufficient.

              When you need it professionally there's little that beats MS Excel and $99.- is a good investment.
              A full licence for private use would be silly, both from the point of options never used and the price point.

              • $99 for a partial Office suite, could be seen as a good investment. Until next year, when your new investment is no longer compatible with the latest OS/hardware shit being pushed. Then it's another $99 to upgrade. (Rinse, Repeat.)
                • by hairyfeet (841228)

                  Uhhh...I run MS Office 2K on Win 7 X64 and with the compatibility pack i can open 2K7 (and I assume 2K10 but I don't know anybody with 2K10 so can't test) MS office files just fine.

                  You can bitch at MSFT about a lot of things but backwards compatibility? NOT one of them. MS office 2K runs like a dream on on Win 7 X64 and is insanely fast.

                  • same here i used office 97 until i switched to OO.o/LO. installed and ran fine. it is one of the ms products that fallowed all of the rules and uses more or less unchanged interfaces same ironically with ms bob which i got board in windows server class and installed on windows server 03.

            • by oiron (697563)

              As an individual, I may make a different decision; for example, there may be things that Office is better at, which I don't care about. Price wins over features I don't need.

              But yeah, $99 is not really overpriced, if there's anything in that which you care about.

            • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @06:14AM (#40419853) Journal
              $99 is not much if for a piece of software that you use as an important part of your job. $99 is a lot for a thing that you use occasionally at home. The problem is that since discontinuing MS Works, Microsoft doesn't really have a product for people in the latter category. They'll end up using Google Docs, Open/LibreOffice or some other competitor's product and then one of the big advantages of MS Office - that everyone uses it and so training costs are low - is reduced.
              • by Dr. Evil (3501)

                You're not allowed to use Home and Student for part of your job.

                Office Home and Business is $249 per machine.

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              I love open source, and hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but $99 is not over priced.

              [citation needed]

              The most credible alternative costs $0. It's difficult to argue that $99 is not overpriced.

              Considering the features, complexity, and maturity of the product

              Features: If Libreoffice doesn't have it, that's probably because statistically no one uses it. Complexity: Seriously? How much of the complexity is due to unnecessary convolution? Maturity: Uh no. They keep changing things and then it's not mature any more.

              If you want to see something way over priced try looking at Adobe.

              It's a matter of supply and demand. There's no supply of competition for Adobe (GIMP gets closer all the time but the usability is still behind IM

              • by whargoul (932206)
                Ok...what about Base? The last time I used it it was an unusable pile of crap that had no interoperability between other systems or file formats. No import, barely an export (if it had any at all) no connecting to outside sources what-so-ever. MS Access is the ONLY reason I still consider purchasing Office, not for its database functionality (which is fine) but because it can connect to just about anything on the planet.
                • by drinkypoo (153816)

                  Yes, although anyone creating an Access app is a tool and every Access app is an abortion on a plate, Access is a "valid" reason to buy some pro edition of Office. Mostly to open legacy apps, because let's face it, you're much better off with a standards-based webapp and it's not much harder to make one what with all the CMSes out there today.

                  However, virtually no home user needs Access. For virtually anything the home user would do with Access, there's a superior standalone app.

              • by EdIII (1114411)

                [citation needed]

                The most credible alternative costs $0. It's difficult to argue that $99 is not overpriced.

                Citations about my personal feelings, or that it is over priced? That's difficult to provide a citation for either way. I am not aware of any authorities on the over pricing of products that I can reference their publications or studies.

                My point is you can't compare against free if you are talking about over priced. When we say over priced, we are not referring to some economics term, but the feeling that Microsoft is over charging us for something simply because they can, and that the product is not nea

        • Restricted license (Score:5, Informative)

          by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:35AM (#40419257)

          You 're not allowed to do commercial things with that. Why would I need office for home use? No, I'm not a student, so what exactly do you propose to do with it?

          Send a letter to my sister congratulating her with her birthday? Put all my recipes in a spreadsheet (after all, it's a database, right?). Maybe make a presentation so I can convince my girlfriend it's better to watch sports on television tonight than Jersey Shore?

          Keep in mind that many companies already have a license where it's legal for their employees to run full office at home and that many charities get a "free" license from MicroSoft so their volunteers can use it. There isn't a lot of situations left where you would actually have to buy a license if you really wanted to use MS Office and not be able to do so already, or use the Starter Edition, or Libre Office. Only there the "Home" license would be required.

          Oh, now I see, you want to use full blown Outlook because you like the features (I despise it with a vengeance myself). Sorry, that's not in Office Home, you need to buy the full package for that

          • by Nimey (114278)

            Outlook is a godawful email client unless you've got it talking to an Exchange server. It is just bearable with a POP server but deliberately[1] bad for IMAP.

            [1] bad enough that simple incompetence can't adequately explain it.

          • I actually use this for making presentations for church and my kids use it for school presentations. I also like using spreadsheets for budgeting and items like that for the home. Just throwing out a few situations where a cheaper license like this is useful. Before it was available I would not consider getting Office because of the price and the rest of the family did not want to learn a different (free) office suite so they did not have anything to use.
        • by temcat (873475)

          It's strictly non-commercial use, no?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Most of us aren't students.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          When LibreOffice is free and does most of the same stuff, $99 sounds like a rip-off to me. I can do a lot of things with $99; why should I spend it on some office software that I rarely use?

          Go to China and ask the factory workers there if USD$99 sounds like a "reasonable" price to them.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        actually, a lot of people use office starter, even in soho environments.. and that's microsoft's "problem", it was cutting into sales. not enough people actually *buying* their overpriced office products.

        plus, some clever folks online have figured out how to install starter on any newer (vista or seven, i think) pc.

        Yep, I used Office Starter when it came with my personal laptop, it was pre-installed. That laptop got stolen and the replacement didn't have Office Starter, I'm back to using Open Office as all I need on that laptop is to open a few .doc or .xls files and maybe do something simple like write a letter or do a personal budget. Not worth paying A$300 for an office license.

      • just as long as they never start using MS Works. that is an oxymoron if i ever saw one.

    • by Zondar (32904)

      Did you mean the programs, or the employees of Microsoft?

    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tough Love (215404) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @12:55AM (#40419007)

      Libreoffice cares, that's who. This boneheaded move by Microsoft will be good for at least doubling the downloads.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Agreed. And now I dont have to uninstall that junk prior to installing LibreOffice for friends and family.

      • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by donaldm (919619) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:36AM (#40419259)

        Libreoffice cares, that's who. This boneheaded move by Microsoft will be good for at least doubling the downloads.

        I use Libreoffice on my Linux laptop (Fedora 17) and actually do collaborative work with people who use Microsoft Office. Unfortunately I do have to produce xml, docx or doc files so the people who use Microsoft Office can read them which is easy for me to do. Usually most people I work with don't even know I run pure open source software and even if they see my screen think it is some professional version of Microsoft Widows which their company has not upgraded to yet. I do explain when asked but most people I work with have company laptops and are pretty much locked into a Microsoft environment.

        • Do you use your Fedora install in an AD Enviroment and get proper resource/permission/authentication? What packages properly handle the translation from AD permissions to the Linux level of permissions? Only projects I' can find for AD on Linux are old as RMS himself, or too expensive for one laptop out of 400 in a company.
          • by spasm (79260)

            I'm not the parent poster but I've also been using openoffice/libreoffice on a linux laptop in a predominantly microsoft environment since ~ 2001 without any meaningful problems. Whatever authentication method ID is using for network connectivity and access to shared folders seems to be being handled perfectly gracefully by my distro (mint at the moment, following ubuntu, suse, redhat) without me knowing or caring what it is. Admittedly my employers across that time period have been large research univers

          • What packages properly handle the translation from AD permissions to the Linux level of permissions?

            Samba4 is what you're looking for.

      • ... LibreOffice changes it's name to something less awful than "LibreOffice" will downloads increase.

        Part of the problem with many free alternatives to closed/commercial software lies in the name: Libre Office sounds like a bad knock-off and doesn't roll off the tongue as well as Open Office or even Star Office for that matter. Give it a better name and people may want to give it a try.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      No shit!

      THIS is News For Nerds?

    • by Aggrajag (716041)

      I bought a desktop for our nursing station at work. The requirement was: "as cheap as possible" so I got them a basic HP desktop with Windows 7 and Office Starter. Add to that Windows Live Mail and Powerpoint Viewer and everything works perfectly and looks like a regular office PC.

      Nursing home where I work at the moment has a extremely tight budget and the money we have goes to taking care of the patients.

  • by PlusFiveTroll (754249) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @12:22AM (#40418897) Homepage

    Lost office sales must have convinced them to do this as a way to push people to cloud services, once they're on the cloud MS can find some way to wring cash out of them. I've seen a large number of people that just need Word and Excel use the Starter and never buy a full version, that can't be good for the earnings.

    • Very possible, but I think this will backfire. Bill Gates stance on people using MS software for free, was smarter (I believe gates had a statement along the lines of "I would rather people pirate windows XP than use the competition. Something that is much more real of a competition, as people for whom office starter is good enough for, Google docs is probably also good enough for. Pushing people to the cloud, isn't the best idea when microsoft isn't winning the war in the cloud.
    • Lost office sales must have convinced them to do this as a way to push people to cloud services, once they're on the cloud MS can find some way to wring cash out of them.......

      Oooh ooh ooh.. Classic Slashdot business plan. I know this one:

      • 1. build web office suite
      • 2. get lots of people using it for free
      • 3. ????
      • 4. profit

      Next Microsoft will be releasing Office under a GPLv3 compatible copyleft license!!!

      • Lost office sales must have convinced them to do this as a way to push people to cloud services, once they're on the cloud MS can find some way to wring cash out of them.......

        Oooh ooh ooh.. Classic Slashdot business plan. I know this one:

        • 1. build web office suite
        • 2. get lots of people using it for free
        • 3. ????
        • 4. profit

        Next Microsoft will be releasing Office under a GPLv3 compatible copyleft license!!!

        lets see ads pay, or charge for extra features.

  • Reading the headline I though that would mean one less piece of rubbish to remove from the system after buying it... it's a shame that isn't the case.
    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Worse rubbish by the sounds of it. At least Office Starter was a useful, usable piece of software. It sounds like they're replacing it with shovelware that does nothing but pester you to give it your credit card or go to some free web-app suite.

      I only hope to high heaven that it's easy to uninstall (not dug in deeper than an Internet Explorer flavoured burrowing tick).

  • why not have works come back?

    • by nzac (1822298)

      Probably because whatever works would be today would be made redundant by LO.

      It would just result in works being compared to LO like IE is compared to Chrome or Firefox. They would be giving people an excuse to bash MS. Plus they would loose sales to those who don't need anything more.

  • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Saturday June 23, 2012 @01:26AM (#40419075) Journal

    I have LibreOffice of course, but don't actually use it much. Word processing seems antiquated. I use text editors and browsers for my writing. Most of my writing is programs, documentation, posts, and emails, not letters. Good riddance to all those empty forms one is expected to know and follow in letter writing.

    Spreadsheets are sometimes useful. But I often find programming languages more flexible for heavy duty calculation.

    If I do a lecture, I work from notes and use a chalkboard or a whiteboard. One problem with a presentation is it's too static and linear. Fairly easy to skip stuff your audience already knows, but not so easy to whip up new slides on the spot for the other way around. A talk is constrained enough for a slide show, but that also makes them of limited value. Everyone has been in useless, boring meetings dominated by PowerPoint presentations.

    What else do office suites do? 3rd rate database management, drawings, and...?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What else do office suites do? 3rd rate database management, drawings, and...?

      If you got a slutty secretary in that office suite, there are plenty of things that it can do.

    • Yikes. Seriously? I don't even know where to start with this post.

    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:42AM (#40419285) Homepage

      You're running solo and expecting everyone else to do the same. Wrong way of understanding the masses. Although because it works for you, and really well, by all means continue to do what you do.

      Business around the world need a set of tools to act as a common denominator. An Office suite is a popular method. It allows for any employee to come and go out of a company with little downtime to transition in learning a new documentation scheme. Excel files can become massively complex with formulas and macros. Word files become excessively complex when rendering a 500+ page report deliverable to clients as a way of selling research and other interpretation data. Often including all sorts of markups and embedded photos. These files will need to be viewed by all parties involved with little fuss and ease of printing and editing.

      Oh, and you're running some heavy duty calculations, Mathcad is worth looking into. The licensing is uber expensive, and yet companies pay hand over fist for them. I can guarantee you, it has nothing to do with being ignorant of other options on the table.

    • It's useful for medium sized mailings (merging), document revisions where multiple people work on it consecutively, working in company templates and making graphs and forecasts and such. Sure, for each of these things there is specialized software available that will do it better than the office suite. The reason why it's there and why it's so ubiquitous is that it's there and "everyone" can use it.

      You start with a simple document, decide you want feature X that you haven't used before and it's there, in t

  • by Qubit (100461) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @01:27AM (#40419085) Homepage Journal

    If Microsoft doesn't want to cater to this audience, LibreOffice [libreoffice.org] is more than happy to step up and provide a high-quality, powerful, free (and Free) office suite.

    I've installed LibreOffice on dozens of machines, and many friends of mine now rely on it for opening a variety of files that MS-Office can't (or won't) open for them. It'd be great to hear from any OEMs who are considering installing it as a part of the base package on their machines.

    • To be fair, and unfortunately, I receive sometimes MS office-made files that look different in Libre/Open Office. I don't really care on a personal touch (usually it's some slight design problems), but on the professional side the files often have to be the same, and I cannot complain (to a client) "don't use this feature" or "save as office 2003"...
      • by Teun (17872)
        A word processor is in my view meant to create documents, they are then presented via a printer or maybe pdf.

        I don't expect my audience or client to edit my documents.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I don't expect my audience or client to edit my documents.

          Metric shitloads of companies expect documents in doc format. This is stupid but it is also the way they do business and if you want to do business with them (including applying for a job) you will need to speak .doc.

          • LibreOffice handles .doc files (both input and output) just fine, in my experience. Most of what I do with it goes out either as .doc or .pdf with no problems.

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Since even office doesn't always properly load office documents, I have a hard time believing that libreoffice will handle them all correctly.

              Boring, simple documents will work fine. Anything else may be altered subtly.

              • Can't claim it handles "all" .doc files correctly, because I only generate/read a tiny, tiny fraction of all that exist. But, it (and OpenOffice before it) has worked well for me, on documents ranging from simple 1-pagers to 80-page grant proposals. MS Office may render them "subtly" different, as you say, but since I'm not running both office suites side-by-side I'd be unlikely to notice. The fact that I always have the full and latest version at no cost doesn't hurt, either!

                A huge amount of money is ridin

      • It's not "Sometimes" in my experience, the vast majority of Word documents I receive look substantially different to their intended rendering in LibreOffice. Which I find to be a shame. I usually dare not edit them and send them back because I fear that it will ruin the layout. Happily the work-issue laptop is Windows + Office. I get my productive work done on Linux and read documents on Windows.

        Since I don't really care about the layout, it doesn't bother me too much - I'm more interested in source code. T

    • OEMs will pre-install LibreOffice on machines as long as LibreOffice pays them to do it. Which will never happen.

      • It's better than the alternative of having to pay Microsoft (and charge customers more) for a copy of Office, isn't it?

  • My wife has been running open office on linux and macos for years. Recently when she needed a copy of microsoft office she reacted with incredulity when she found out that our son's laptop (which came with windows) doesn't have microsoft office.

  • by Torin Darkflight (851576) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @01:58AM (#40419163)
    I'll say right off, I actually use Office Starter for my SOHO work. I know this post is gonna get voted down simply for that reason, regardless of how insightful or informative this post ends up being. But, as someone who has no need for PowerPoint or Outlook yet still requires absolute 100% Office compatibility for my work, Office Starter has met all of my needs. That right there is perhaps the biggest pro of Office Starter. Even though it might not have all the features of the full Office suite, it is still 100% across-the-board compatible. A Word document or Excel spreadsheet created in Office 2010 Professional will look pixel-to-pixel identical when opened in Office Starter, and vice-versa. Although LibreOffice and similar FOSS office suites are good programs in their own right, they simply are not absolutely 100% compatible with Office. As others have mentioned above, I too have recommended Office Starter to those who only need Word and Excel (Or even just Word), and haven't heard any complaints from them. I even found the actual installation files for it in the recovery partition on my new ThinkPad laptop, and have successfully used them to install Office Starter on my home-built Windows 7 desktop. So, when Microsoft does away with Office Starter, I'll still have a way to install it on any new computers I buy or build in the future. Yes, ads are annoying. But, at least Microsoft did something right with the ads in Office Starter, and made them unobtrusive. No rapid flashing, no popups, no ads with audio. They just sit there in the corner, slowly cycling, and are quite easy to tune out once you start focusing on your work. So, I can understand why some people dislike Office Starter...but I legitimately don't understand the mass hysteria about it being a bad program, and the "good riddance" attitude of most people in regards to the news of it being discontinued. I LIKE Office Starter. Yes, I could buy a full version of Office if I wanted to...but I don't NEED to. Office Starter meets all of my SOHO requirements. Thus, I'm part of the incredibly small minority of people who actually think it's dumb for them to get rid of Starter.
    • Paragraphs? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Qubit (100461)

      Have you heard of them?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Paragraphs aren't supported in the ad-ware Internet Explorer Starter that grandparent poster is using.

      • Your sig should be on a t-shirt.
      • It WAS broken up into paragraphs when I typed it out, but it stripped them out once I clicked Submit. Maybe I need to completely disable NoScript on here.
    • There is no such thing as "100% office compatibility"... Just 2 days ago i watched someone copy his powerpoint presentation from one dell laptop to a slightly different model because he couldn't get the external monitor port working with a projector. The results, when displayed up on a big screen were quite embarrassing, with various formatting errors cropping up. Both laptops were a similar age, both running windows 7 and msoffice 2010.

      • It is not a bug. It is a feature. Badly implemented feature but feature nonetheless.

        MsOffice promises to be WYSIWYG. That is what you see on the screen is exactly what you will get when you print it. Yes, it actually belongs to that era where printing documents from MsOffice was its main use. All its foundations are laid to meet that spec. But Microsoft screwed up the implementation. Instead of making the screen master and the printer should exactly print the screen, they intermingled printer idiosyncrasi

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          I seriously doubt those two laptops were configured with different printers, both belong to employees of the same company who work in the same office and in which there is only one type of printer. I can't imagine any reason why those two machines would have different printer settings.

          As for implementing software to respect printer margins, i can kind of understand why word would have been written that way... But powerpoint? 99% of powerpoint users are intending to display their work on screen and will prob

          • by deimtee (762122)
            It's not just the model of printer or the driver installed. An office document will reflow if any of the print settings on the printer setup are changed. Margins are the main culprit, but even something like changing from metric to imperial units will do it.
            Here in Aus, the A4 / US Letter resize screws up a lot of formatting.
            • But powerpoint isn't intended to be printed, primarily, although it does have a mode to print your "notes" those are not supposed to be something you distribute, but instead something you use to queue your speech, or if you forget something.

              My guess would be that powerpoint uses a mixture of screen relative positioning and pixel exact positioning, which screws things up if you change the display size. Perhaps the "nearly identical machine" is a red herring, and the real problem happened when he hooked up t

          • The basic code that handles fonts, rendering, kerning, word wrap, hypenation etc are common to Word and Powerpoint. All these were written long ago when the machines were underpowered, disk was slow and expensive, and most offices were printer centric and the PC was targeted to secretaries upgrading from IBM selectric typewriters. Daisy wheel typewriters and golf ball typeface typewriters doubled up as "computer printers" in the early days of Wordstar, Wordperfect and MS-Word.

            Remember? you need only 7 bit

    • by martin-boundary (547041) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:46AM (#40419421)

      Thus, I'm part of the incredibly small minority of people who actually think it's dumb for them to get rid of Starter.

      I suspect they're being smarter than you give them credit, actually. Did you click on the ads and buy a product? No? How many people who used Starter did actually clickthrough? I bet the Starter Edition brings in next to no revenue to Microsoft. They may not be very good at software engineering, but they are excellent at sales, and if they think that switching people to a new shareware/trialware system is going to be more profitable, then they're probably right.

    • by Nimey (114278) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @10:00AM (#40420595) Homepage Journal

      I know this post is gonna get voted down

      KARMA WHORE SPOTTED.

      Also, please use paragraphs as a courtesy to your readers. I can't make myself read that constipated mess.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      You'll still buy their OS, so no loss to them if they dump Starter.

      If you need backup copies, torrent sites will provide.

  • Made me download LibreOffice [libreoffice.org]

  • Why not pre-install LibreOffice and provide a link to download Microsoft Office just in case someone feels they still have to have it?

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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