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Microsoft Software Upgrades Technology

Microsoft Office 2013 Not Compatible With Windows XP, Vista 711

hypnosec writes "The newly unveiled productivity suite from Microsoft, Office 2013, won't be running on older operating systems like Windows XP and Vista it has been revealed. Office 2013 is said to be only compatible with PCs, laptops or tablets that are running on the latest version of Windows i.e. either Windows 7 or not yet released Windows 8. According to a systems requirements page for Microsoft for Office 2013 customer preview, the Office 2010 successor is only compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012. This was confirmed by a Microsoft spokesperson. Further the minimum requirements states that systems need to be equipped with at least a 1 GHz processor and should have 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit systems or 2 GB for 64-bit hardware. The minimum storage space that should be available is 3 GB along with a DirectX 10-compatible graphics card for users wanting hardware acceleration."
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Microsoft Office 2013 Not Compatible With Windows XP, Vista

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  • Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:34AM (#40694129)

    Good. XP needs to be wiped out.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

      by HappyEngineer ( 888000 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:06AM (#40694331) Homepage

      Good. XP needs to be wiped out.

      Why? Do you just hate old software that works or did it run over your dog?

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

        by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:45AM (#40694563) Journal
        Old software has bits that rust. They oxidize into AOL subscriptions. You don't want that.
        • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 0ld_d0g ( 923931 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:10AM (#40694713)

          IMO its not the users, its the developers. Because of a retarded default setup, XP allowed developers to ship code assuming the user will always run as root and Vista broke that. Developers are now forced to reduce the number of - Add Admin priveledges to this process token - UAC prompts which can be jarring to the end user experience. For that alone I think novice users should be moved away from XP as soon as possible. In the enterprise I think its not so bad since the software used can be carefully chosen and you can run XP as non-admin.

          • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

            by xQx ( 5744 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:00AM (#40694985)
            I worked at a school in the nt4 days.

            I have adored UAC since it's release, because of exactly that reason - it forces developers to develop properly.

            The amount of times I was on the phone to software companies who were flabbergasted that I wasn't running their software (and didn't see it as an acceptable solution to their software failures) as administrator.

            It was just discraseful.

            Thank you Microsoft for releasing vista. - Now mod me to hell for saying that!
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:10AM (#40694709)

        A home user running xp doesn't care about office 2013, and a business user on XP would reasonably move to 7 before getting office 2013 anyway.

        XP is approaching the end of life where you can say it 'works'. It has compatibility and security issues that will no longer get fixed, and as time goes on new software will rely on libraries and so on that just don't exist on XP (see the hardware acceleration on DX10 class hardware mentioned).

        With linux these sorts of problems are simply solved by a free upgrade (which, like windows, comes with features you may not want and so on), but with MS they charge you money for it, but the core problem would still be there, you just don't get an excuse of 'oh but I can't afford Ubuntu 12 when I still have 10' the way you do with XP and 7.

        That something 'works' is a moving target in the IT sector. Does it support flash? How about the latest version? Will it support HTML5 and whatever video encoding scheme your browser wants? Will anyone even want a browser without hardware acceleration in a year or two? Is there a new UI API that just doesn't exist on an old version? Etc. The world plods along, and eventually it's not practical to make your software for an old operating system, as relatively important companies start making that transition your computer will 'work' less and less, in the same way IE6 works but doesn't.

        I'm not sure it's there yet, but XP clinging to life could start to cause issues as security and compatibility move past what is reasonably possible on XP.

        • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SplashMyBandit ( 1543257 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:26AM (#40694795)

          > (see the hardware acceleration on DX10 class hardware mentioned).
          Nope, that is entirely a ploy by Microsoft to mov people off WinXP. There is no technical reason why you can't get DX11 effects on WinXP provided your video hardware supports it. How do I know this? well OpenGL will give you DX11 effects no matter what the operating system. But Microsoft had to find ways to move users clinging on to XP (and bring in more revenue even though users won't be doing much different with Win7 that they aren't doing with WinXP) and holding back newer versions of DirectX/Direct3D was one way of milking the cow. Unfortunately the vast bulk of Windows users don't know about that and have been played (again) by Microsoft (although, most won't care I suppose, but that is up to them - the point is that Microsoft gave them no choice for their own cashflow reasons, not technical ones as you allude to).

          Once MS decided to abandon support for XP with newer DirectX versions I'm sure I gave them more technical flexibility in what they could do - but it was not technical limitations in XP that stop you having 'DirectX 11' style effects - like I said, OpenGL can do the same effects on Windows XP and many more operating systems - since OpenGL is no longer subject to the whims of any single company (unlike Microsoft and DirectX). Hence, I'm developing my modern jet combat simulator in OpenGL with GLSL shaders - just as the X-Plane developer famously did too: [] read how chosing OpenGL over DirectX resulted in business opportunities that personally made him $US 3.5 million dollars in a few months when his OpenGL code was very easily ported to the iPad/iPhone unlike DirectX apps that are stuck on the Windows desktop [which is the whole reason Microsoft tricked developers into building workflows using DirectX, since MS knew this would make it hard for game developers to leave, which makes it hard for gamers to leave - it is all about the 'lock-in'].

          • Re:Good (Score:4, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:56AM (#40694963)

            > $US 3.5 million dollars

            3.5 million US dollars dollars

          • Re:Good (Score:4, Interesting)

            by jaymemaurice ( 2024752 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:45AM (#40695537)

            It's not about weather or not they can make the DX10 API work with XP, it's weather or not they want to spend the time to do so and deal with the steaming shit it will become- there could be things like the way memory is allocated or cpu-gpu tasks are scheduled in extensions to the kernel - though they could work around them them them have made XP DX10 not as compatible or efficient if it were a seperate addon without kernel changes. Sure, maybe they could have made those kernel changes and included in a service pack. And with no profit on a decade old OS. Then again the FreeBSD guys could have made UFS completely backwards compatible between BSD4 and 5 or Linux could still allow you to run the 2.2 kernel with the latest GLIBC compiled userland.

            Your points about DirectX vs. OpenGL being multi platform are valid, but I have noticed not all OpenGL graphics drivers are compatible with all OpenGL applications. As for the DirectX lock in - the sad truth is many windows developers is they often need the handholding of the IDE and Microsoft environment to be any sort of sucessful. Without them, there would be far fewer. That lock-in is lower start-up cost to see a project through to its release.

          • Re:Good (Score:4, Interesting)

            by asdf7890 ( 1518587 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:07AM (#40695637)

            There is no technical reason why you can't get DX11 effects on WinXP provided your video hardware supports it.

            There are technical reasons for it not being easy to support though. The driver model for the graphics sub-system in XP is quite different, and there are differences in low-level memory management that mighh be significant too. Because DX is quite tightly coupled with those areas (whether this is a good thing is another discussion) it will be affected by such differences and may need different code paths to handle them and that extra jiggery-pokery would need aggressive testing. The time (and therefore cost) of supporting DX10+ on XP would most definitely not be trivial.

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          "XP is approaching the end of life where you can say it 'works'."

          Yet earlier today I saw a person browsing 4chan on a 75MHz Pentium running Windows 95.

          Ahem, what was your point? Looks like software even older than that is 'working' just fucking fine to me.

        • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:52AM (#40694935) Journal
          The stepwise nature of the move-along is the issue here. Once you subscribe to the Office leash you are doomed to be led by it. Here boy. Heel. Sit. That's a good boy.
  • Lol (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sentientbeing ( 688713 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:38AM (#40694141)
    2 gig of RAM to type a letter
    • Re:Lol (Score:5, Funny)

      by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:41AM (#40694157) Journal

      I wonder what the requirements for Notepad will be.

    • Re:Lol (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mashiki ( 184564 ) < minus caffeine> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:44AM (#40694169) Homepage

      Yeah, I just had to make sure here on that one. Open office... 27.3MB of ram in use with my largest technical letter open, which is 173 pages long. Okay there MS, you guys are insane.

      • Re:Lol (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Dadoo ( 899435 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:58AM (#40694259) Journal

        Okay there MS, you guys are insane.

        Yeah, my wife has been using OpenOffice every day, now, for about six years, and she's convinced anyone who pays money for office software is crazy. She's a grant writer for non-profit organizations, so she has to exchange documents with people all the time, and she has no issues at all. OpenOffice does everything she needs.

        The thing that really amazes her is that OpenOffice is actually better at reading old Microsoft Office formats than more recent versions of Microsoft Office.

        • Re:Lol (Score:5, Insightful)

          by multiben ( 1916126 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:05AM (#40694315)
          For simple documents, it's good. But for serious stuff it is slow, flaky and unreliable. It has excellent integration between other MS stuff like excel, project etc. I have seriously tried to use OpenOffice as a replacement and I'm sorry to say that it just doesn't quite cut it yet.
          • Re:Lol (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:25AM (#40694457)

            If you're writing a document that complex, you probably shouldn't be using MS-office or libreoffice or any other WYSIWYG editor.

            • Re:Lol (Score:5, Interesting)

              by multiben ( 1916126 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:29AM (#40694467)
              I'm sorry, I can only see half of your reply. I can't see the bit where you suggest an alternative?
              • Re:Lol (Score:5, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:35AM (#40694491)

                LaTex or something that allows you to separate the content from the presentation. It's something that tends to make things a lot easier if you decide later that you want different formatting or if you need a copy for two different audiences, but where the audiences can't for one reason or another use the same formatting. Like say if you're sending one copy to somebody that always uses a mobile phone.

                • Re:Lol (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @03:28AM (#40695121) Journal

                  Riiiight, that is like suggesting the replacement for Excel is buying some cluster time at CERN. LaTeX is about the most user UNFRIENDLY software that has ever been designed, a piece of software that wears obtuse and fiddly like badges of honor, so far the ONLY ones I've ever seen use it are those writing their thesis in some tech area like engineering.

                  If you want to replace Office it has to be user friendly, not a royal PITA with a giant learning curve. This is why geeks don't understand why Linux never goes anywhere on the desktop, they don't mind fiddly ass CLI crap nor spending a weekend learning bash commands and can't understand the average user would rather spend the week at the DMV than deal with that shit. Make LaTeX as user friendly as MS Office and then no problem but as it is? A good 99% of the population will never bother, they have better things to do than spend hours learning that mess, like actually writing what they needed a WYSIWYG word processor for in the first place!

                  • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                    by Alex Belits ( 437 ) *

                    A good 99% of the population will never bother, they have better things to do than spend hours learning that mess, like actually writing what they needed a WYSIWYG word processor for in the first place!

                    A good 99% of the population will never bother, they have better things to do than study medicine, like actually healing the sick through prayer and blood-letting.

                  • Re:Lol (Score:5, Funny)

                    by tehcyder ( 746570 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:14AM (#40695931) Journal
                    I absolutely agree with you, but criticising LaTeX on slashdot is a bit like posting that the Pope's a paedophile on the Opus Dei chat forums.
                  • Re:Lol (Score:5, Insightful)

                    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:24AM (#40695983) Homepage Journal

                    So, to recap the thread:
                    1 openoffice (i'd say libreoffice) does office work well
                    2 but not for complex documents
                    3 but for complex document office is not good either, you would be better off with latex
                    4 latex? we need simpler stuff
                    right, so GOTO 1

          • My spouse and I use LibreOffice daily for serious stuff -- it is fast and reliable, even on a machine from 2001. There is nothing major to complain about, except for MS monopoly on doc and docx formats, but that is not really a LibreOffice's fault. We convert everything to Adobe PDF, and the documents are guaranteed to look exactly the same on all systems, unlike MS docs, which are always a line or two off when opened on another computer. Where a .doc/.ppt is needed we export to Office 2003, because docx ex
          • I admire you for having document processing needs far above those of common folk like me. Hopefully someday I might be so powerful and influential that I must succumb to the needs of Microsoft to get my work done.
      • I think they use the same method our company does to set requirements: the specs of whatever desktop our dev director happens to have on his desk the day he signs off on the final build. "Seems to work fine for me on this one guys"
        • Re:Lol (Score:5, Informative)

          by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:54AM (#40694609)

          The question though in this case isn't "what does it take to run office" so much as "what does it take to run any application in Windows 7 or Windows 8?"

          Those system specs are nearly identical to Windows 7's system recommendations.

          Essentially all the recommended system specs are saying is. "Your computer needs to run Windows 7, after that Office will be fine with whatever." If your OS is crapping out without any apps running (min OS specs) then you won't be running office smoothly either.

          • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:36AM (#40694843)

            It is stupid to relate just what the program needs. That doesn't tell an average user anything. If a program said "Requires 10MB of RAM, 50MB optimal," people would be confused, and might try it on ultra low spec systems. It should spec in terms of what the whole system, with OS and all, should have to run well.

            For example a number of modern games recommend 4GB of RAM. Now they are all 32-bit apps and anyone who knows about the Windows memory model knows this means they won't be designed to use more than 2GB of RAM themselves under normal circumstances. So why the recommendation then? Well they are counting on using most of that 2GB, so they want to make sure there's plenty left over for the OS, virus scanner, IM, Steam, and other things people might have running. The program itself may only need 2GB allocated to it to run ideally, but it won't get 2GB of memory unless the system has a good bit more.

            So makes sense to me you do things like Office in the same way. Also it makes sense to not be stingy on recommendations. Something I always hated back in the day was games that were under on their recommendations. They'd say something like "386 20MHz 1MB minimum, 486 25MHz 2MB recommended, 486 33MHz 2MB optimal." Now to me "optimal" means "runs really well cranked up" and "minimum" means "minimum to run reasonable." However what they really mean was "minimum to run the program at all, you can't really play at this level," and optimal meant "Runs reasonably well with this but you'll need a good bit more to crank it up. Said game would need like a 486 50MHz and 4MB to really run properly.

            Well we shouldn't do that. It should be spec'd in terms of a reasonable usable minimum, and a recommended that is actually good performance. Well, for 64-bit 7 I'd say 2GB is a realistic minimum. With that, you can run the OS and an app or two reasonably well.

            It's also not very demanding. 16GB of RAM is all of $90 these days. I have 16GB in my laptop just because why not? It bumped the cost hardly at all over 8GB.

      • Re:Lol (Score:5, Informative)

        by Z34107 ( 925136 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:38AM (#40694507)

        It's not that bad. Word 2010 uses ~95 MB of memory for an 11,461 page document []. I sincerely doubt Word 2013 is much worse.

    • Re:Lol (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:45AM (#40694177)

      256k to write a letter, 1.99gb to display that letter with the Metro interface.

    • Re:Lol (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:46AM (#40694187) Homepage

      And yet, it doesn't seem to do all that much more than the old WYSIWYG office apps that ran on DOS and used 2 megabytes of RAM.

      MS Office is like the Madden games -- every couple years we fork over money for an updated version, but football itself didn't change in the interim.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Maybe now people will stop giving me heat about the memory footprint I have from using EMACS as my mail client.
  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:49AM (#40694207)

    From all indications, Office 2013 is just more metro UI devolution insanity from Microsoft.

    Corporate IT will not have a problem skipping this upgrade cycle, and will be richer for it. No upgraded licenses to pay for to Microsoft, no new training required for users, and everybody is happier (except for the Microsoft people, of course).

    • I've actually been given the green light to try and make our apps work on WINE in Linux because of the Metro. interface. We either upgrade to Windows 7 and do it after then, or I get the apps working and we do it sooner. Either way, MS is dead here.

      Big problem for MS is that I work in education; We have no money and aging hardware as the norm. If Linux works here, they stand to lose BIG.
  • by Globe199 ( 442245 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:49AM (#40694213)

    Precisely why would Microsoft Office need DirectX? a 3D spreadsheet maybe? Maybe a really awesome animated book report?

    • Re:DirectX? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jeeeb ( 1141117 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:01AM (#40694287)
      From the linked page:

      A graphics processor helps increase the performance of certain features, such as drawing tables in Excel 2013 Preview or transitions, animations, and video integration in PowerPoint 2013 Preview. Use of a graphics processor with Office 2013 Preview requires a Microsoft DirectX 10-compliant graphics processor that has 64 MB of video memory. These processors were widely available in 2007. Most computers that are available today include a graphics processor that meets or exceeds this standard. However, if you or your users do not have a graphics processor, you can still run Office 2013 Preview.

      Also it would seem the requirements are rounded to the nearest 0.5gb and probably are for extremely heavy usage cases.

    • Re:DirectX? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:01AM (#40694291)

      Precisely why would Microsoft Office need DirectX? a 3D spreadsheet maybe? Maybe a really awesome animated book report?


    • It's because they had to rewrite the UI to deliver a high framerate with almost no latency. (No seriously.) And it actually is rational. When you're scrolling in something for instance with a mouse wheel it just moves in increments and you don't detect any lag. If however you attempt to scroll through a list with your finger and it trails behind a half second it will feel sluggish and weird. There are a number of phone and tablet apps I've used that have this lag and it's really annoying. If they wa

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:51AM (#40694223)
    Fine, have neither XP nor Vista. No mention of Ubuntu 12.04... meaning that's compatible probably?
  • Piracy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xyzzyman ( 811669 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:52AM (#40694231)
    Vista not being compatible is suprising to me, but XP support being dropped is acceptable. Who still running XP would actually be paying for Office 2013?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Vista not being compatible is suprising to me, but XP support being dropped is acceptable. Who still running XP would actually be paying for Office 2013?

      Oh please. XP is going to turn 11 when that thing comes out. It is time to move on and it is rediculous to keep supporting it. It is not a simple matter of a recompile either. Businesses will stop using it if no one writes software just like we still would be using IE 6 if Google didn't refuse to support it for docs and youtube. Then afterwards facebook and others chimed in and poof the users went away kicking and screaming but upgraded to Firefox or IE 7 or later.

      Same is true with XP. XP can't do HTML 5 in

  • by NervousNerd ( 1190935 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:55AM (#40694249) Journal
    I can see why they'd drop support for XP, being that it's 11 years old now and that it's been succeeded by 3 versions now? But Vista? Really? Vista and 7 are very, very similar. They even back ported some of the 7 stuff to Vista around the time 7 was released with the "platform update". This is a marketing reason, not a technical reason
    • I dunno (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:38AM (#40694861)

      I can see two sides.

      On the one hand it does sound marketing based on account of the fact that 7 and Vista are similar so you are right, little technical difference.

      On the other hand it still requires support. If you officially support it you have to go and test everything on another two platforms (32-bit and 64-bit). This means regression testing on all the patches and all that jazz with it. It adds a non-trivial cost. Given that Vista never achieved much market penetration and most Vista users went to 7 when it came out, I can see just thinking it isn't worth the money and hassle to support it.

      Remember that for MS support can't mean "Will probably run but might have problems or break shit we haven't tested it." Support has to mean full support and testing.

      So I can't say what it was and it may have been purely marketing, but I can see a valid reason as well.

  • by sylvandb ( 308927 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:56AM (#40694253) Homepage Journal

    I am a little bit surprised that Vista will not be supported. I expect Vista just never had the market penetration to be worth the aggravation.

    But really, who cares? Open Office (actually I prefer Libre Office since 3.5 came out) does everything I need, and everything everyone else I know needs. The only reason for Microsoft Office is cross compatibility with other MS Office users but it has been a few years since Open Office failed me in that regard. And even then, the sender did not actually need anything that Open Office didn't do. They used MS Office "just because."

  • by Qubit ( 100461 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:00AM (#40694279) Homepage Journal

    I'd suggest that people run a more modern operating system than Win XP, but LibreOffice will even run on Windows 2000!

    LibreOffice system requirements []:

    - Microsoft Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4 or higher), XP, Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8;
    - Pentium-compatible PC (Pentium III, Athlon or more-recent system recommended);
    - 256 Mb RAM (512 Mb RAM recommended);

  • Computers (Score:4, Funny)

    by MicroSlut ( 2478760 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:01AM (#40694651)
    Gosh darn it all, I purchased a USB device but my 486 DX2 66 doesn't have a USB port, so I purchased a USB card so I could use my USB device and wouldn't you know it the USB card is PCI and I only have ISA slots. Then I puchased one of these new fangled LCD displays but my Trident video card couldn't push 1440x900 so I purchased a NVidia graphics card and wouldn't you know it the graphics card is PCIe and I don't even have an AGP slot! Then I purchased the new Office 2013 and put in my CD-ROM and wouldn't you know that Office 2013 is on a DVD! Sumabitch.
  • by SlashDev ( 627697 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:44AM (#40694897) Homepage
    What is this compatibility thing all about anyway? Who cares? Most people who use word processors don't upgrade their software or OS to that matter. People don't upgrade, they buy a new PC with a newly installed OS. That's my opinion and observations.
  • by neurocutie ( 677249 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @02:54AM (#40694953)
    Most folks at our institution (including myself) are still using Office 2000 and get annoyed with any .DOCX files that we get.

    Honestly, although I have access to newer versions of Office, I don't see the point. Not a single thing I want from a newer version of Office, and the bloating hardware requirements makes it that much easier to just say NO...

    most folks still sending out .DOC files as well, only those with no clue are saving Word files as .DOCX.

  • by Vskye ( 9079 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @04:03AM (#40695319)

    Complain about lost profits.

  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:01AM (#40695607)
    MS is using their monopoly to force the whole world to upgrade again. If you run a business and a partner sends you a document in the latest fscking MS Office format, then you have little choice about the matter.

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