Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Android Google Microsoft Software

MS Office Tablet Delay Gives Google a Real Chance, and Not Just Google Apps 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the microsoft-working-hard-to-break-vendor-lock-in dept.
rtfa-troll writes "Microsoft Office slideware for iOS and Android has been resisting many migrations to Google Apps. Although a number of the largest companies, from KLM to Disney, have already moved to Google Apps, most large companies are still using Microsoft Office heavily. The majority of current Google users are smaller businesses. Now Microsoft has been forced to admit that its office suite for Android will be delayed by at least a year and Zdnet tells us that Google will be the big winner from that. However, they also say QuickOffice, rather than Google Apps, will be the main winner. Other Android app suites will benefit too, though currently the Android version of LibreOffice is only available as a dev build for sideloading and is having some difficulties packaging for Google Play, so it may not benefit from this delay unless more volunteers step up to help. Microsoft relies heavily on Office for revenue, so this may represent a real, long-term threat to the company."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MS Office Tablet Delay Gives Google a Real Chance, and Not Just Google Apps

Comments Filter:
  • Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Friday April 12, 2013 @08:35AM (#43431577)

    Is Google introducing some type of "uncloud" feature for Google Docs?

    I like Google Docs but it sucks having confidential business materials out in the cloud somewhere.

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by schnell (163007) <[me] [at] [schnell.net]> on Friday April 12, 2013 @08:53AM (#43431703) Homepage

      I don't care as much about the cloud aspect - although I'm sure most large companies will. The issue for me is that I simply can't imagine doing a presentation or a spreadsheet on my tablet and not having it be a painful experience. Writing long e-mails on an iPad is already no fun; a document with formatting and tables seems practically like an exercise in masochism.

      I can read Office documents on my iPad already. I still view it (other than short e-mails) as a content consumption device, not a content creation device... even if it had a snap-on keyboard. So I just don't get why the presence of an office suite on a tablet/mobile device is a big deal. Your mileage may vary.

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Covalent (1001277) on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:02AM (#43431773)
        This.

        I am a chemistry teacher, which means my work involves symbols, sub- and superscripts, diagrams, etc. Creating that sort of work on a tablet / phone is painful. I don't see that changing any time soon, either. A dedicated keyboard allows multi-key commands (Ctrl-Shift-= for superscript, etc) that a tablet cannot do. A mouse allows for nested menus with thousands of options. That's a no-go for tablets.

        For me, mobile = consumption and desktop = production.
        • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

          by OpenSourced (323149) on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:17AM (#43431913) Journal

          You could try the Samsung Note tablet, with pencil. In the Notes app you can write formulae (although mainly math, which can be even resolved), squares, etc, and be recognized (mostly) by the software. Probably it won't be yet useful for you, but perhaps you want to keep an eye on it.

        • by glennrrr (592457) on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:18AM (#43431921)
          One of the nice things about an onscreen keyboard is that they can be customized for the task at hand, thus the spreadsheet keyboard in Numbers for iPad. Now imagine a keyboard with C O H S P + - 1 2 3 4 5 6 and a subscript superscript lock button.
        • A dedicated keyboard allows multi-key commands (Ctrl-Shift-= for superscript, etc) that a tablet cannot do.

          A tablet with a keyboard can, whether that keyboard is a dedicated attachment (e.g., ASUS Transformers and their keyboard slices), via Bluetooth, etc. Over time, developers with apps needing complex input like this will support such keyboards, just as they do with desktop (and, to some extent, Web-based) app counterparts.

          A mouse allows for nested menus with thousands of options. That's a no-go for ta

        • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

          by kidgenius (704962) on Friday April 12, 2013 @10:38AM (#43432705)
          As an engineer, let me recommend one way of improving your speed at writing out superscripted/subscripted formulas, along with other mathematical symbols; use LibreOffice. It has a built-in equation editor that works quite well. You can just type in and it will automatically reformat. For instance, typing "H_2 O" would subscript the 2. Doing "x^2+x+1" would superscript the 2.
          • by Covalent (1001277)
            Thanks! I have just started using LibreOffice (at the suggestion of another teacher) and have been very impressed.
            • by vandamme (1893204)

              Now if we can just get people to send .ODT files around, instead of converting to the "standard", .DOCX.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          That may just be because no one has written a good interface to do that.

          Lets say you are a chemistry teacher in a 3rd world country and all you have are tablets.
          How What would yo need to do? What would te interface need to support?

          You are tied to the complexity of the PC. Tied so tightly you can't imagine there could ab another way.

          What if you hit a spot on the screen and just said 'Superscript'?

          Why do you think you can have hotkeys on a PC and not on a tablet?

          • by Lussarn (105276)

            You are tied to the complexity of the PC. Tied so tightly you can't imagine there could ab another way.

            A tablet just isn't up to the task of serious content creation. You can barely write on them (yes you can, but it isn't exactly fun) and your fingers are just too clumsy compared to a mouse pointer. This will not change until the next tablet revolution comes with completely overhauled interfaces, this will probably take some time if it will ever happen.

            This has nothing to do with "complexity", tablets and PCs are two very different things as it stands today. Tablets are great for consumption.

        • by sootman (158191)

          Ten years ago, when Windows XP tablets first started coming out, there was a sketching/diagramming app that took your shapes and "fixed" them -- you draw a kind-of circle and *poof* it would snap into a perfectly round, evenly-stroked circle. We have handwriting recognition now -- it should be pretty easy to write software to parse a hand-written equation to something properly set in TeX or MathML or whatever -- potentially MUCH better than key combinations. Or imagine a tool that let you build equations by

        • by njnnja (2833511)

          This is the kind of thing that touchscreens should be perfect for. It's basically just context-switching UI, such that when the program knows that you want to write a formula, it should switch from a virtual querty keyboard to a more appropriate input device. Maybe a virtual, periodic table keyboard, with two or three rows of numeric input corresponding to normal, superscript, and subscript. Or whatever. The point is that a customizable input device (like a touchscreen) is only better than a non-customizabl

        • by extra88 (1003)

          Google Docs, like LibreOffice, can insert equations written using LaTeX notation.
          http://support.google.com/drive/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=160749 [google.com]
          I don't think you can write while never having your hands leave the keyboard (you must at least tap/click the "New Equation" button) but I don't know how easy it is to operate that way in any desktop program that renders input.

          BTW, MS Word's Equation Editor lets you enter LaTeX also, it's not some superpower only open source software has.

          I'm not promoting any

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Funny)

        by theskipper (461997) on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:15AM (#43431895)

        According to the Microsoft pad-thingy commercials, you can create content while hand-walking across a desk or dancing as an angry cheerleader. So toughen up soldier, if they can do it you can too.

        • I am still trying to figure out why the angry cheerleader triggers a "grotesque" response from me. It's kind-of like something from Uncanny Valley. All the parts are there... it's just not quite right.

          -CF
          • Simple, Its all CGI with two people. There was a special that showed the choreographing of it. Angry cheerleader is all computer generated falseness. You have to be more astute than most.

          • That's the problem -- all the parts are there. Including the penis and testicles. It's a transvestite cheerleader..
        • by steelfood (895457)

          Funny, that sounds just like every other pad commercial I've seen on TV.

      • by rs1n (1867908)
        Indeed your mileage may vary. I think that there is a significant number of business folks who would love to travel even lighter. So rather than lugging their laptop (for work) onto the plane as a carry-on in addition to their iPad or Android tablet (for play -- i.e. media consumption and basic gaming), they can opt for just the tablet to do minimal office work on a smaller device.
      • The issue for me is that I simply can't imagine doing a presentation or a spreadsheet on my tablet and not having it be a painful experience.

        I do these things on my tablets all the time and find them completely unchallenging. Spreadsheets in particular benefit from touch and pinch to zoom.

        Which part of it scares you?

        • by schnell (163007)

          Which part of it scares you?

          Fair question. When I work with Excel spreadsheets, much or most of my time is spent doing things that involve "right-click" menus or menu options from the Ribbon. The right-click stuff could be easily enough emulated with a contextual press, but most tablet apps don't have a menu bar and I have a hard time seeing how to make activities like advanced formatting, data filtering, sorting and grouping/ungrouping easy to do on a tablet. Even if it were easy, I still can't see it being as easy as it is with a mo

          • but most tablet apps don't have a menu bar and I have a hard time seeing how to make activities like advanced formatting, data filtering, sorting and grouping/ungrouping easy to do on a tablet.

            Why don't you just borrow an Android tablet and try it.

            Even the free Kingsoft Office would give you a pretty good idea of what you can do. It most certainly has a menu bar and a context-aware ribbon. Once you're used to it, it's faster than WIMP.

      • by sjbe (173966) on Friday April 12, 2013 @10:53AM (#43432845)

        I still view it (other than short e-mails) as a content consumption device, not a content creation device... even if it had a snap-on keyboard.

        There is one type of content creation a tablet could in theory be good for, namely anything requiring a pen. We all still use lots of pens so the need is obviously there. A tablet could be great for drawing and note taking (think equations or diagrams which are nearly impossible on a keyboard or with fingers) if the interface was done right. There is a reason most students still take notes on paper. Problem is that we are stuck finger-painting on our tablets which doesn't work for those purposes. A tablet should be the perfect device for students to take notes on but no one makes them right now with that task in mind. A tablet could be a great content creation device for the right applications.

        The problem with using a stylus on a tablet is that the software designers invariably and wrongly try to use the stylus for navigation or as a keyboard instead of just using it for what it is actually good for which is ONLY drawing. The fact that you can draw alpha-numerics or point at navigation buttons is just a bonus but they get all excited and try to use the stylus for things it does do well. They (historically) have tried to use a stylus like a mouse pointer which demonstrably doesn't work well since the interfaces were designed for keyboards/mice combos. Or they try to turn it into a keyboard for text input which doesn't work either (too slow and character recognition generally sucks). A stylus/pen is for drawing and only for drawing. Even interfaces which are designed for fingers don't really translate well to a pen - pens are for drawing thin lines, not pushing buttons. You don't (typically) use a pen to push a button when you hold a real pen so why would you do it on a tablet?

        • You may be looking for the galaxy note series from samsung. The whole series (note 1, note 2, note 10.1, note 8) have features like formula match, which reads your handwritten equations and tries to guess what the formula was, shape match for diagrams, and handwriting recognition.
          • by sjbe (173966)

            You may be looking for the galaxy note series from samsung. The whole series (note 1, note 2, note 10.1, note 8) have features like formula match, which reads your handwritten equations and tries to guess what the formula was, shape match for diagrams, and handwriting recognition.

            I appreciate the suggestion but I very much remain dubious they will get it "right". While I don't have anything against those features they are superfluous. Someone needs to get drawing and note taking right. It should work very much like writing on a paper note pad and be very easy to use. Every pen implementation I've seen so far gets carried away with handwriting recognition and other theoretically nifty features (which rarely work very well) but don't make just writing/drawing easy which is the bit

            • I appreciate the suggestion but I very much remain dubious they will get it "right". While I don't have anything against those features they are superfluous. Someone needs to get drawing and note taking right. It should work very much like writing on a paper note pad and be very easy to use. Every pen implementation I've seen so far gets carried away with handwriting recognition and other theoretically nifty features (which rarely work very well) but don't make just writing/drawing easy which is the bit tha

      • by mcrbids (148650)

        Bluetooth keyboards for the win! I have a Dell iGo Stowaway bluetooth keyboard and it turns my Android Razr Maxx HD phone into a mini-laptop in seconds.

        • Bluetooth keyboards for the win! I have a Dell iGo Stowaway bluetooth keyboard and it turns my Android Razr Maxx HD phone into a mini-laptop in seconds.

          Or a dock like with the ASUS Transformer. Love it.

        • Am I the only one who hates phone naming conventions? "Android Razr Maxx HD". I almost feel dumber typing it.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by technomom (444378) on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:07AM (#43431811)
      There's already an offline feature for Google Apps, it's called Offline Docs. But yeah, it's still not quite there yet.
    • Actually, yes, in 2 ways:

      1- Google Docs works offline in a number of OSes (Chomre OS...)

      2- QuickOffice, from Google, is a regular, client-side Office suite.

      • QuickOffice - Which Google bought 2 years ago and promptly quit updating (possibly to kill off a rival to GDocs pathetic offline capabilities) is a slow and rather dated looking, regular client-side Office suite.

        T,FTFM

        • It seems ok to me.

          I have Docs to Go as well on my phone (got both docs to go and quickoffice free from amazon as apps of the day). Each one has pros and cons. IIRC quickoffice is faster but there are things that it doesn't do a good job with that Docs to Go can do better.

          Have always had to hesitate when I open a doc and cant decide which tool to use (especially now that my phone also has "Document Viewer" from google...but maybe that is just read-only quickoffice).

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mabhatter654 (561290) on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:19AM (#43431925)

      QuickOffice is their offline product. It has been floating around since the Palm days to read MS Office docs. The only problem is that QuickOffice never picked up OpenOffice file types... And that is what Google Docs are built on natively.

      If Google would move on the OpenOffice compatibility they could grab a bunch of Linux Desktop offices as well that use LibreOffice included in lots of distros. And LibreOffice is free for Macs and PCs so google could do a Google Docs plugin.

      Microsoft has allowed too much NIH from MS Office management and they are about to lose their Monopoly money. They were supposed to have a native Dot Net version of Office 3-5 years ago.. They could have been running it on Xboxes... But the Office team couldn't do the job. They couldn't deliver a Native Metro Office either... So the Office team not doing their homework means Windows RT has to run a "fake desktop" for MICROSOFT'S FLAGSHIP PRODUCT. That's not Winning. So is it a surprise that MS can't get an iOS or Android version out? Microsoft has lashed their shops together so tightly they can't pick them apart... They can't even keep up a MAC version of Office without a year lead time.

      So while the FOJ was utterly ineffective in intro long Microsoft's behavior with the law, at least Microsoft's 10 year focus on bending and weaseling out of the DOJ rules took their collective eyeballs off MAKING SOFTWARE. (Kin and Courier could have won them back share YEARS ago) And now the little ships like Apple and Google have paddled far enough away on different directions Microsoft can't hurt them anymore.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by steelfood (895457)

        Wait, what? Do you even know what you're talking about?

        Metro is just a fancy desktop replacement. It offers little to no functional purpose. Why do you think it failed? It's not because Microsoft's own products couldn't support it. It's because it was a useless waste of screen space and mouse clicks. Office runs "natively" on Metro as far as it can, i.e. there's a button to start Office apps through Metro. That's it. There's no other requirement to being "native". Metro is not an architecture thing, it's ju

        • You just explained why people don't understand that Apple revolutionized tablets as much as Palm before them. That Microsoft's "solution" for having Office on Metro was just an Icon to open a normal desktop shows that they DON'T UNDERSTAND TABLETS. We already had that... And customers REJECTED desktop GUI metaphors on a finger-based device... Microsoft added nothing of value to the RT version of Office that the XP version from 2002 didn't have.

          Microsoft's entire Office Product is tied to a giant GUI kit, r

      • If Google would move on the OpenOffice compatibility they could grab a bunch of Linux Desktop offices as well that use LibreOffice included in lots of distros. And LibreOffice is free for Macs and PCs so google could do a Google Docs plugin.

        Very true. I'm still looking for one. Everything that has read/write functionality seems to be all MS Office format oriented. While its nice for getting the occasional docs from others, I primarily use ODF formats. AndrOffice will read 'em, but not write 'em. And LibreOffice isn't quite there yet. First to support ODF will gain a huge market share.

    • by fermion (181285)
      As has been said, if I am a small company I might like the free nature of Google for creating memos and the simultaneous editing of other documents. It is better than $400 a pop for each machine running MS Office. If I am a bigger, the uncertainty that my documents are going to available on Google(peoples accounts have been mysteriously shut down) and have the confidential information for other to mine online would not be worth the risk.

      That combined with the fact that a tablet is not a great way to dev

  • by alen (225700) on Friday April 12, 2013 @08:41AM (#43431617)

    there are dozens in the iOS app store. Pages is the closest thing to word and some are nothing more than text editors.

    either way you don't need the entire MS Office on a mobile device. just a few features to use on the road or train

    • either way you don't need the entire MS Office on a mobile device. just a few features to use on the road or train

      That works well when commuting within a city, but it breaks down when taking several hours to travel between cities in different states/provinces. That's why I still carry a 10" laptop.

    • Re:how hard is it to make a word processor?

      About as hard as it is to make a web browser... But once you have one of those, it's a piece of cake.

      Supporting all the RETARDING document formats (other than HTML) is what's hard. Really, WTF people. We solved this problem and everyone just ignores the fact.

      • by alen (225700)

        Pages on ios will NATIVELY export to PDF and MS Word if you ask it to. how hard can it be to support different formats?

        • natively export ?

          and.. .what features are supported ? export is not a yes/no situation. some features export well, others not well, others not at all, others don't even exist in the exporting WP....

    • either way you don't need the entire MS Office on a mobile device. just a few features to use on the road or train

      Depends on the mobile device. I have Numbers for my iPhone, and it's a complete pain in the neck to do any editing on it. The only redeeming quality is that it uses iCloud, so I only use it to view documents I've created on my Mac, making only minor corrections as necessary. But if you're using a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard, you'd definitely want more features than many of the light-weight word processors that are available can offer.

      • by alen (225700)

        isn't that the whole point of a tablet? light use on the road?

        it was never meant to replace a Mac, PC or desktop software

        • isn't that the whole point of a tablet? light use on the road? it was never meant to replace a Mac, PC or desktop software

          It all depends. You definitely need light-weight on a phone, which was kind of my point. Some places are using iPads and other tables as PC replacements, so some of those features that aren't included in the current crop are definitely needed.

    • Mobile devices (phones, tablets) are great consumption/reading devices. If you do actual work product on them, as in type serious documents, add tables of numbers, do graphics, you're not going to get much speed or productivity on them. The delay is exaggerated in terms of its effect on the marketplace.

      There are tons of iOS and Android (and even handful of BB) apps that do rudimentary "office" work, and do them pretty well. You're not going to get 55wpm with your effing thumbs, however.

      And when it finally a

    • and then you got to work with others, who use Office, and you can't edit their docs, or you can, but the layout is all screwed up, or you can, but then you screw the layout for everyone else

    • Does it really surprise you that MS has problems with execution? I mean they had tablets long before Apple. And they were little more than laptops with touchscreens and styluses. They cost more than regular laptops, but you could use a stylus [yipee]! Well, you had to use a stylus because MS never changed Windows for Tablets enough to where it really made use of touch with your fingers. The iPhone didn't succeed because Apple put OS X onto a phone and called it done. Apple actually created a new UI to

      • The problem with Microsoft's execution is they confused 'Finish then run' with 'Kill violently'. Zune is the perfect example of this followed by Windows 8.

  • I use Kingsoft on my tablet, and it works ok. I've been able to develop a powerpoint, read documents and even edit lightly some documents. It has some cloud integration but also keeps documents on the tablet. Now on my phone I use Google drive, mainly because I have an old smartphone and don't have the resources to load another application. So what does slashdot use?
    • My transformer came with Polaris and I also own Quickoffice. They're both pretty good for document compatibility, but the interfaces take a little getting used to. That's the main gripe I have. However, with the tablet is docked in the keyboard, it's much more intuitive--like running an office suite on a laptop.
      • My transformer came with Polaris and I also own Quickoffice. They're both pretty good for document compatibility, but the interfaces take a little getting used to. That's the main gripe I have. However, with the tablet is docked in the keyboard, it's much more intuitive--like running an office suite on a laptop.

        Very much agree, though I wish they would support ODF.

    • Like this man said, "Kingsoft Office", available in Google's PlayStore.
  • by Sez Zero (586611) on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:00AM (#43431759) Journal
    But really there's no difference between QuickOffice being the "winner" over Google Apps, since Google owns them both:

    http://www.quickoffice.com/google_acquires_quickoffice/ [quickoffice.com]
  • by paugq (443696) <pgquiles AT elpauer DOT org> on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:09AM (#43431831) Homepage

    In my experience, Zoho Docs [zoho.com] is years ahead of Google Docs. Very few columnists talk about it but it's the only serious "office for web" I would consider for my business. It does everything Google Docs, Hangouts, Drive, etc do, plus a few more things.

  • by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:21AM (#43431957) Homepage Journal

    A really really dumb idea. Its one of those areas where people need to comprehend what a tablet is good and not good at. Reading office documents is viable, but actually doing office level work? No no no.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      I see people using them for work all the time. They're quite successful at it.

    • by sootman (158191)

      Wow, what a lame attitude. Sure, maybe I don't want to write a hundred-page doc or build a hundred-slide presentation from scratch, but why wouldn't I want to be able to make little fixes as needed? I comprehend exactly what a tablet is good at -- doing things quickly and easily, anywhere, without having to unfold a laptop, find a seat, wait for it to come up, etc etc etc. I can be anywhere, any time, and think of something and *poof* -- open, edit, close. Done. Which, by the way, is exactly what I currentl

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday April 12, 2013 @09:28AM (#43432017) Homepage

    Microsoft has more or less relied on Office and upgrades of Windows for years for revenue, and have for the most part kept it as a Windows-only piece.

    As other office suites come along, and other OSes as well, Microsoft seems to be now finding themselves trying to remain relevant.

    Would most people with an Android tablet even *want* Microsoft Office for it? It seems that if you wanted the full Microsoft experience, you'd have bought one of their tablets. And if you didn't want the Microsoft experience, you won't be looking for this software.

    I don't really see Microsoft as a company who really innovates -- I'm hard pressed to think of a single product which Microsoft invented/pioneered, and which is what people want.

    The OS took years to catch up to what others were already doing. Office is certainly a feature rich mature piece of software, but many of us don't find ourselves needing Excel and PowerPoint in our non-work lives. Moving the Start button or some of the changes lately have been mostly decorative and not revolutionary.

    The Kinect is neat, but like so many products someone else innovated and Microsoft purchased.

    A late delayed release of Office for Android? I suspect there's an awful lot of yawns which accompany that news.

    As to innovating anything new and groundbreaking, we'll see if Microsoft ever does that. I'm hard pressed to come up with any examples, current or past, of stuff that they've released which was truly 'new' and lasting -- mostly it's been clones of products other companies have already been shipping, and many of them weren't exactly huge successes (like the Zune for instance).

    • Microsoft has more or less relied on Office and upgrades of Windows for years for revenue, and have for the most part kept it as a Windows-only piece.

      Those two products support the entire company. The remainder of the company has thus far either barely broken even or lost money. Windows and Office profits have been declining lately with the rise of smart phones, tablets, Android, iOS, and the advent of mobile computing in ways Microsoft cannot fathom.

  • The prevailing opinion seems to be that mobile apps only need to "support" a subset of features, and that's fine for authoring from scratch. But when you edit existing documents, it can break or drop unsupported features.

    For a random example, take http://docbox.etsi.org/usergroup/usergroup/70-drafts/00019/etsi_dtr00019v113.doc [etsi.org]. LibreOffice mucks up the first two pages. The version of Polaris Office in my tab just crashes.

    The (sad) alternative right now is RDP/VNC into a real PC and struggle with virtual mic

  • Microsoft Office is probably even more popular than Windows itself.
    Those who use LibreOffice or any other variants, for the most part, come back to Microsoft Office.
    Especially when they have to work with complex documents.
    So, while the perception is that Microsoft will be losing market share over Google Apps for mobile devices, the truth is, unless Google Apps come to be on-par with Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.., then the moment Office is an option for Android/iOS, it will grab some of the market share ba
    • Microsoft Office is probably even more popular than Windows itself.

      While I agree there...

      Those who use LibreOffice or any other variants, for the most part, come back to Microsoft Office. Especially when they have to work with complex documents.

      You go off to the wrong conclusions thereafter.

      The folks that use LibreOffice/OpenOffice either don't want to spend the money for MS Office, or want to be free of Microsoft.

      And honestly, when I need to author a complex document I first do it in OpenOffice/LibreOffice; then I export to DOC, and check it in MS Word before distributing it to others. Why? B/c many only have Word, and OpenOffice/LO makes better DOC/DOCX files than MS Word does - and its far easier to keep the formatti

  • Microsoft just seems totally disconnected from the market and their customer base. Once again it seems to me as if they want "everything" but cannot focus on "one good thing", whether it be an OS, Office, Phone, Media player, Gamming Console or whatever. Instead of controlling everything, focus on something and make it really, really awesome that your customer base cannot live without. If not, prepare for irrelevance, kind of like what happened to Novell in the 90s (remember that one MS).
    • by gtall (79522)

      Microsoft succeeded in part by tying all their products together. This is how they kept the competition out of their business. So for them to concentrate on one thing would be anathema to them. Once those tie-ups get broken, they have tough row to hoe since nothing they do in any of their individual markets is very good.

    • Microsoft just seems totally disconnected from the market and their customer base

      They may very well be disconnected from their market, but they are probably listening to their customers. Problem is, their customers are not whom they should be - they're primarily corporate IT, the OEMs, and a few others. Not the people that actually use their software. Meanwhile their market is the people that actually use their software...or may be it's just as badly defined (quite likely).

  • This is another contender that has not been mentioned yet. Softmaker's file format filters are excellent. No iOS support though as of yet.

  • I think the market is really there for the very small organizations (we're moving lots of folks to Google apps - if they have 4 people in the office it's not hard) and for the very largest organizations that have the clout to enforce change from the top down and do their own software in house, but I don't foresee the midsize businesses changing over from Office any time soon. It's integrated into certain ERP applications - for example, the medical software SRS relies on Excel and has a toolbar built right in. Getting software vendors to change their ways is going to be required before those mid size businesses can even consider breaking off the Microsoft teat.
  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Friday April 12, 2013 @11:12AM (#43433035)

    I'm not a MS-basher, (typing this on my Win7 PC running MS Office; works very well, and needs to, because all my corporate customers send me...MS Office docs...and no, sorry, whilst I have LibreOffice installed, and think it's great, there's plenty of documents I receive that it just won't work/display as the author intended. Idem for Pages etc. on my iDevices).

    Anyway, MS have tons of cash, and presumably plenty of talented people, but they seem to be playing 'catch-up' all the time; perhaps they are influenced by their "closed/NIH" mentality. (Reminds me of when I was working with IBM in the 1980s & 90s- they reacted to the 'opening' of the PC architecture they created by trying to 're-close' it with the PS/2; yeah, that worked well).

    Once the genie is out of the bottle, then the game has changed, and you need to change with it. It's no longer good enough to try and 'punish' other platforms by denying them MS Office. (For this is the real reason for Office non-availability on Android etc., make no mistake. "Don't want to buy our Windows OS? Well f*ck you buddy, you're obviously not looking for 'enterprise-level' software, and good luck with LibreOffice running your weird XL macros and PPTs!")

    Sure, PCs will always have a role, especially for heavy content creation, but where the heck is MS Office for iOS, Linux (Yeah,yeah, WINE, I know, but that's missing the point) and Android? You can bet your ass that if MS Office was run as a separate company, they would not be taking *years* to get their products out on these platforms where penetration is high and growing.

    In the meantime, I'm sure Google and others will soon get their act together and we'll (finally!) have seemless document creation & modification across platforms.
    I can't wait, and I'm sure I'm not alone. This would knock a far bigger nail into MS's coffin than the supposed 'failure' of Windows 8.
    (Oh yeah, while you're at it G-men, can we have a 100%-compatible substitue for Outllook, please?)

    • These aren't published formats. Everything is guesswork, so you can't be 100% compatible. And MS raises the bar instead of publishing anything helpful. So no, you'll never get MS Office XLS/X 100% compatible or MS Outlook 100% (what does that mean anyway, Exchange compatible?). Go with other standards like OpenDocument, PDF, etc and Groupware*(zimbra, open x-change).

      *from osalt.com

    • by steelfood (895457)

      The internal politics of MS are keeping it from progressing quickly. The lack of a vision from up top is keeping it from moving in a single, unified dimension.

      MS is like an amoeba still running on a large chunk of food it was lucky to happen upon and consumed a long time ago. It has since blindly stretched out to its surroundings in an attempt to find the next big chunk of sustinence, but it has not been able to find anything, and pulls back almost immediately in trepidation.

      The reason it hasn't been able t

    • by mattsqz (1074613)
      nobody wants a 100% compatible substitute for outlook, because people want their email to -work-. outlook is awful, i spend more time supporting outlook bugs and failures than any other single thing in the office.
  • While I use Google docs / Libre Office for personal stuff all the time and can't justify the cost of MS Office for personal use, you are going to require expensive third party software and more complex management to meet PCI / FIPS / SOX / etc... for the corporate world to migrate to Google Docs environment. Sure its let another chink in Microsoft's armor, but I wouldn't be holding off for the going out of business sale from this.
  • I still don't get it for content creation and access where you need web access.

    What the cloud delivers the cloud can take away; deliberately or otherwise.

  • "Microsoft Office slideware for iOS and Android has been resisting many migrations to Google Apps."

    Isn't "slideware" a reference to PowerPoint, not the whole Office suite?

    How does software "resist a migration"?

  • Quick Office standing a chance? I'm sorry to say but Google isn't known to be a good executor. Besides, if Microsoft maintains the speed of its suite's ever moving file formats, Google's suite doesn't stand a chance.

    Sorry, I had to say it as it is.

Recent investments will yield a slight profit.

Working...