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Microsoft Businesses Software

Microsoft Reports New Subscribers For Office 365 Plunged 62% (itworld.com) 353

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is having trouble selling $7-a-month subscriptions to Office 365. In the last three months of 2016, Microsoft added just 900,000 new subscriptions -- and throughout all of 2016, subscriptions increased by just 4.3 million. In fact, a chart at IT World shows that new subscriptions actually peaked in a year ago, with a steady decline in new subscribers ever since. "In each of the last three quarters, Office 365 grew by about 900,000 subscribers, the smallest quarterly increase since early 2014," they write. "Prior to the nine-month stretch of 2016, subscribers were accumulating at rates two to three times larger per quarter."
This explains why Microsoft announced 97 new markets for the software nine weeks ago. So far after four years, Microsoft's found just 25 million subscribers for Office 365 -- and it's not clear how many of those came from their $100 five-user packages. (Although those figures suggest that Office 365 subscriptions are still earning Microsoft at least half a billion dollars a year.)
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Microsoft Reports New Subscribers For Office 365 Plunged 62%

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  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @08:42PM (#53762347)

    ... smart devices and applications.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:15PM (#53762557)

      ... the adequacy of old perpetually licensed versions ... the preference against paying annually for software licenses

    • Google Docs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @10:14PM (#53762827)

      Google Docs is another reason. Google Docs doesn't have all the features of MS Office, but it is "good enough" for most people. Instead of $7 per user per month, it is $0 per month. Google Docs also has less downtime.

      • Re:Google Docs (Score:5, Informative)

        by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @11:25PM (#53763151)

        The law firm where I was the IT manager asked about Google Docs.

        Appreciate that I've been retired 2 years now and I'm losing my tech savvy as each month goes by, so my remarks apply to about three years ago:

        We had a Microsoft Office site license and the program itself was "on the ground," installed on the server (Exchange) and on each desktop.

        I pointed out that because Google Docs was free, there could be no explicit or implied guarantees or warranties regarding up time or backups.

        Also, "cloud-based," was equivalent to "hackable."

        Because the Firm DID expressly, and implicitly, guarantee privacy, and indeed was bound to protect client and court information according to law, Google Docs was not a solution I could get behind.

        To this day, they have opted to store all that stuff locally with no part of that data facing the Internet.

        I think it was a good call.

        I do not know (or care, now) if Google Docs has a subscription service that would ease minds about those concerns.

        • Re:Google Docs (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @02:31AM (#53763985)

          Also, "cloud-based," was equivalent to "hackable."

          Google's datacenter is likely far less "hackable" than some small company's roll-yer-own solution.

      • Re:Google Docs (Score:5, Informative)

        by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @11:59PM (#53763317) Homepage

        Google Docs is another reason. Google Docs doesn't have all the features of MS Office, but it is "good enough" for most people. Instead of $7 per user per month, it is $0 per month. Google Docs also has less downtime.

        We switched from Microsoft Office to Open Office a few years ago and no one even blinked. I'm not sure most of the people even realize that it changed. Most of them still refer to the spreadsheet as excel when asking a question.

      • by Malc ( 1751 )

        When did Google Docs become $0? Last time I checked (18 mos ago when we were acquired by a company that uses it), it wasn't free, but it was about half the price of Office 365.

  • Owning vs Renting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @08:42PM (#53762349)

    Microsoft STILL hasn't figured out that most people prefer to own something than rent something.

    Their quest for the almighty "endless-subscription" cash-cow is failing.

    • I wouldn't call 25 million subscribers "failing".
      • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:02PM (#53762477)

        I wouldn't call 25 million subscribers "failing".

        Given their user base, I wouldn't call it "succeeding", either.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:34PM (#53762657) Homepage Journal

          Just a few years ago, the assumption was that pretty much every computer user either owned or pirated Office. There are 1.25 billion Windows users alone, not counting the Mac users, which adds probably another .1 billion or so. So Microsoft's market share went from 100% just a few years back to 1.8% under the rental model. That's not just failing; it's failing very, very badly.

          Now this didn't happen all at once, mind you. It all started more than a decade ago when Microsoft massively overcharged for the Mac version of their office suite, resulting in the nascent iWork suite getting a foothold and eventually becoming dominant in that market. From there, they ignored the threat posed by OpenOffice and continued their existing pricing. OO gradually chipped away at the perception that everybody had to own the real thing for interoperability. So when Google Docs arrived on the scene and made it possible for folks to do most of the basics without paying a dime, there was pretty much nothing Microsoft could do about it other than try desperately to milk what was left of their collapsing market for every penny they could squeeze out of them.

          The bad news for Microsoft is that no matter what they do, they're unlikely to increase revenue much beyond their current levels. For most people, the free solutions are good enough, and the people for whom that isn't true are mostly already paying them for it. If they raise prices, more customers will look for ways to get by with the free solutions, and they'll lose subscribers. If they lower prices, nobody will suddenly think to themselves, "For just another few bucks a month, I could have Office," because the existing free tools already meet their needs.

          At this point, it's pretty much downhill from here as the free solutions continue to improve and the reasons for paying Microsoft continue to diminish. IMO, this is what a company on life support looks like, and as Michael Dell once famously said about another beleaguered company, if I were the CEO, "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." Just saying.

          • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @11:12PM (#53763083)

            To put it politely, it's wishful thinking to claim that Office competitors like iWork, LibreOffice, and Google Docs have significantly impacted MS Office's market share. Office has not gone from 100% share to 1.8% share in any real sense. Perpetual licenses for MS Office are still available and, I presume, selling well, particularly in the 99% of the market that is the business world.

            What they have shown is that of the home user crowd, the relatively small number of users outside the business world, users are apparently unwilling to pay the subscription model, perhaps given the alternatives like Google Docs of LibreOffice. Or pirated copies. Or even 10 year old licenses of Office.

            But make no mistake. The MS Office hegemony is still strong and is still making MS a lot of money. And if you think about it, corporate licensing is already a de facto subscription. So it's not like they are not making money hand over fist still.

            • Re:Owning vs Renting (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @12:07AM (#53763365) Homepage

              To put it politely, it's wishful thinking to claim that Office competitors like iWork, LibreOffice, and Google Docs have significantly impacted MS Office's market share.

              We switched from Microsoft Office to Open Office about 5 years ago and since that time as computers have been replaced, office has not been purchased for them. 5 years ago it was also common to occasionally have someone send you a .doc file. I haven't had someone do that in several years. I can't even remember the last time I received a document that I couldn't open in Open Office. About that same time we also switched from Outlook to google mail handling all out corporate email and again, we haven't missed it.

              • Re:Owning vs Renting (Score:4, Interesting)

                by caseih ( 160668 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @12:23AM (#53763457)

                Yes OO and LO are definitely viable replacements for Office for many people. And I can believe they are making inroads, particularly in small businesses. But I have not seen any evidence that alternatives are making a dent in the overall Office hegemony, despite your anecdote. Sorry. Large organizations still use Office and Exchange for a lot of things. MS Office is going to be with us in its various forms for a long time, I'm afraid. In many large organizations it's just part of the annual MS site license that they pay the big bucks for.

            • Re:Owning vs Renting (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Matt Bury ( 4823023 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @12:17AM (#53763423)

              The MS Office hegemony is still strong and is still making MS a lot of money.

              May be true in the good ol' US of A but over in the EU, they're going full-steam ahead with switching from Microsoft Windows and Office to Ubuntu and LibreOffice (There's a draft directive to switch to free and open source IT solutions). Since governments and govt. agencies are Microsoft's main paying customers, then Microsoft are going downhill in a very large market. It's just a matter of how long it takes for the EU to drop Microsoft entirely.

              Need LibreOffice online? LibreOffice 3.5 can be installed on a server and will work in a web browser. Need a supported commercial solution? Check out Collabora and the many spin-off service providers.

            • by nnull ( 1148259 )
              I've switched my whole office to libreoffice. Also, a lot of businesses just run older versions of office. Why should they bother purchasing a new version of office that doesn't offer anything spectacular over the old version? Every business I go around too is running Office that is +5 years old, a lot still running Office 2003!
          • Re:Owning vs Renting (Score:5, Informative)

            by imidan ( 559239 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @12:14AM (#53763405)
            Add to your list of people, the ones like me who purchased Office 2010 for Windows many years ago, purchased some version of Office for Mac a few years ago (2012 maybe?) and are completely satisfied with the features available. I have no reason to buy Office as a subscription because I already have almost everything of any use that it can do. The costs I paid are amortized for as long as I keep using the software, which at this rate is likely to be more than ten years for both packages. Before I bought 2010, for example, the previous version I bought was 97.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            You idiot. 1.8% is just the Office 365 New subscribers, not the total market share.

          • I think Windows 10 has contributed to this by demonstrating to people what happens if you let Microsoft take control away from you.

            Microsoft is doing everything they can to *penalize* it's customers for trying to do the right thing. I wouldn't be surprised if people are getting very spooked about letting Microsoft control anything at all.

        • given it is available in only a very limited number of markets it is actually pretty bloody successful and still growing. Especially considering if you have older versions of office it would be incredibly hard to convince most people to upgrade as the average person really doesn't use many features anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by taxman_10m ( 41083 )

      Do they? How's Adobe doing with their cloud app subscriptions?

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:15PM (#53762559)

        Do they? How's Adobe doing with their cloud app subscriptions?

        Bad comparison is bad.
        You don't have a choice with Adobe, meanwhile the consumer can buy an Office 2016 license outright.

      • Adobe (Score:5, Interesting)

        by p51d007 ( 656414 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:27PM (#53762625)
        I GLADLY pay 9 bucks a month for photoshop/LR All updates come automatically, never had a problem with it, and they usually come up with a new version every year on the old stand alone model, and the update was more expensive than the subscription.
      • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:37PM (#53762677)

        Here's an investor presentation from last week [adobe.com] (PDF). It's a long document, but the following is mostly derived from a couple of slides at the bottom of page 3.

        It looks like their total revenues for Creative Cloud dipped a few percent and then recovered again over the period 2012-2015, and as of 2016 their annual recurring revenue for that area is up to around $3.5B, compared to annual revenue of around $2.5B back in 2012 when their subscription model was starting up.

        Over the same four-year window, it appears that their subscription ARR has been increasing roughly linearly, while their non-subscription revenues are fast approaching zero.

        In short, it looks like they are now better off than they were four years ago in terms of annual Creative Cloud revenue, by about 40% if they maintain their current subscription level.

        Another figure they mention is current year-on-year subscription growth of 46% outside the US. However, they are deafeningly quiet on what proportion of their overall market that represents or the equivalent figure for US customers. Their overall growth rate is clearly far less than that, so it could be that they're successfully expanding into foreign markets and that's helping to drive their overall subscription growth (probably a good thing for Adobe) but it could also be that sales in foreign markets are covering up a significant reduction in the US as increasing numbers of US customers are cancelling their subscriptions (probably a bad thing for Adobe).

        It's also difficult to tell how many subscribers they actually have, since there doesn't seem to be any breakdown of which of the available subscription plans are generating how much revenue or what sort of effects they see from volume licensing, subscribers from different countries, or subscribers paying in different currencies. If we guess an average subscriber is worth about US$500 per year to them in revenues, that would give them around 7 million current subscribers, but this could obviously be way off if say most of the revenues are actually from enterprise customers paying far less than the headline per-seat prices with their volume deals.

        • by MogNuts ( 97512 )

          Very interesting and insightful. What are your thoughts on 365 here? I'm really perplexed on the massive Y/Y drop.

          1) Model changed: people are now using Dropbox Paper & Quip, Prezi (vs. PPT), Marketo (vs. Excel for BI), etc. instead?
          2) They got 365 & found out they didn't really use it much. Then many didn't renew and there weren't enough new subs to both replace & surpass?
          3) Did a direct replacement really succeed, for example Docs? I'm talking consumer & SMB's 5-10 employees, as 'm guessin

          • I don't have any special insider information or anything. I just looked up the most recent official data I could find for Adobe, and highlighted a few key points that stood out to me for comparison.

            Since you asked, my guess is that there's a simple explanation for Office 365, something like the following.

            Firstly, Office 365 is on sale at the same time as a more traditional version in Office 2016. It's reasonable to assume that some people and organisations prefer the subscription/rental model, while others

      • Do they? How's Adobe doing with their cloud app subscriptions?

        Adobe is doing great, but then the users don't really have a choice, do they?

        I'm sure O365's numbers will go up as soon as MS discontinues the desktop installable version.

    • Not just that, people just don't 'lose' their emails. So if someone bought one copy of Office 365, and got 5 Outlook/Hotmail/Live emails for different members of the family/relatives so that each could have a copy on his/her computer, then all they'll do is keep renewing. So they're not likely to see too many new subscribers, since anyone who'd be interested would be covered by the first wave of adapters.
    • Microsoft STILL hasn't figured out that most people prefer to own something than rent something.

      Their quest for the almighty "endless-subscription" cash-cow is failing.

      Yes that must be why Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, Apple Music, HBO Go, Stan, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc are failing so badly...oh wait. Even Microsoft's 25 million subscribers at $7 per month bringing in around $175 million per month is hardly "failing".

      • Even Microsoft's 25 million subscribers at $7 per month bringing in around $175 million per month is hardly "failing".

        Again, given their user base, I'd hardly call it "succeeding".

        By way of comparison, Azure is successful- wildly, incredibly successful. O365...not so much.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:22PM (#53762591) Journal

      > Microsoft STILL hasn't figured out that most people prefer to own something than rent something.

      For many years, I sold some software to small businesses (people smart enough to successfully run their own business). We sold the software for $149 or $189. Our competitor rented theirs for $59/month. This is software that businesses would use for years, so the comparison was:
      $149 to buy it and use it for three years
      $2,124 to rent it for three years

      We had MANY potential customers choose the "cheaper" competitor even though we loudly explained the huge price difference on our web site amd anywhere pricing was mentioned. Potential customers asked us for a monthly option. Eventually we relented and offered the choice, while clearly telling new customers that buying costs a whole lot less. A lot of people chose the monthly option.

      Once in a while, when I noticed somebody had been paying for four years or something, meaning they had paid five or ten times the purchase price, I just cancelled their billing.

      • by CGordy ( 1472075 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @10:48PM (#53762953)
        For context, I work at a large multinational not based in the US.
        We have different approval requirements for capital expenditure versus operating expenses (and in my country, different tax treatments as well). It may be easier for the person responsible for procurement to order a recurring monthly expense than justify a capex spend, especially if the monthly spend is below an approval threshold. It may even be cheaper given the paperwork required.
        • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @01:03AM (#53763635) Journal

          You say this as if it makes sense for the accounting rules to tilt the scales in favor of an objectively and substantially more costly practice simply to make compliance with the accounting rules themselves easier. To me, this seems like an argument that the accounting rules need reform.

          • I don't defend those practices; the post was aiming to inform objectively rather than to advocate one way or the other.

            However, time is money, and rewriting accounting and expenditure rules typically require very high level (expensive) approval, so it might end up costing thousands once the cost of rewriting the procedures is included. It's hard to justify if there are only a few edge cases.
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@@@worf...net> on Monday January 30, 2017 @02:07AM (#53763917)

        For many years, I sold some software to small businesses (people smart enough to successfully run their own business). We sold the software for $149 or $189. Our competitor rented theirs for $59/month. This is software that businesses would use for years, so the comparison was:
        $149 to buy it and use it for three years
        $2,124 to rent it for three years

        We had MANY potential customers choose the "cheaper" competitor even though we loudly explained the huge price difference on our web site amd anywhere pricing was mentioned. Potential customers asked us for a monthly option. Eventually we relented and offered the choice, while clearly telling new customers that buying costs a whole lot less. A lot of people chose the monthly option.

        And maybe your customers weren't so dumb and realized if they paid $60/month, they can get you on the phone to FIX THEIR PROBLEM NOW rather than paying you once and then being a drain on profits when they have a problem?

        I assume your pricing included some support with it, but if you're paying monthly, there's a presumed higher level of support given since why else are people wanting to pay you $60/month versus $150 outright?

        Perhaps they looked at your competitor and they offered 24/7 support for the price? And you offered email "when we get around to it" style support? Doesn't matter if no one ever bothers because no one has a problem

        Then there's the whole "what it costs thing" - if your software is so critical to my business, it would probably cost a lot, right? In which case maybe people felt your product was "too cheap" and thus missing important things.

        • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @09:54AM (#53765229) Journal

          You bring up some interesting points.

          Some customers were very clear that they felt like $59/month was a better / lower price than $149 or $189 to purchase. It wasn't about support, it was purely short-term thinking in those cases.

          Support costs became an issue for us, for the company, because we still had to provide some support for sales we had made years ago. The longer we stayed in business, the higher our costs went, even if sales didn't increase. We cured that with a two step solution. First, we began offering extended support for $99/year after the first year. The first year was included in the purchase price, after that it was optional. That gave out customers the freedom to make a one-time purchase, or to choose multi-year support, at their option. For us, it means today we're not responsible for providing support indefinitely in sales from five years ago. For a couple of months it was an opt-in option you could add, then we switched it to opt-out, with support included by default. Then we changed the language to call it "Standard: with support and Barebones: no support after 12 months".

          As it turned out, with the extended support option, most of the people who demanded a lot of support were people who had chosen the discounted "no support" option. Customers got upset when we told them "you actively chose the unsupported version. Would you like to sign up for support now, 12 months for $99?" I'd prefer to give customers choices, but not if it makes them angry. We moved to $99 / year support as the only option and stopped offering a choice for only 12 months initial support.

          If I ever do something like that again, an annual fee will be mandatory, unless it's a $1 app that obviously doesn't include much support.

    • by zerus ( 108592 )

      Well, to be fair, once a company is in the MS user pool, it is very hard to get out as MS Office is the norm in business. Now, the rent vs own is an interesting take on it. Most large businesses would rather not "own" software as it is often an asset that they have to track, amortize, and depreciate. Renting, or more ideally, annual licensing fits the fiscal year budgeting process much better. So having this as an option really fits the customer's business models better. However, for many companies, ha

  • People are getting tired of a company that sells shit that's worse and worse than what they sold a few years back.
  • When OneDrive was unlimited I was a subscribers. But they reduced it and now they've reduced it again to 1TB. Rather than deal with the few people (their words) that were seriously abusing the feature, they dicked over everyone.

  • Microsoft is having trouble selling $7-a-month subscriptions to Office 365. In the last three months of 2016, Microsoft added just 900,000 new subscriptions -- and throughout all of 2016, subscriptions increased by just 4.3 million.

    That means the market is almost saturated, which is surely good news. This is always the trend with very successful products. Same thing is happening to Apple and its iPhone.

  • *new subscribers* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2017 @08:56PM (#53762437)

    *new* subscribers. I can only be a new subscriber once...after that i'm an existing customer. duh.

    Once MS have 100% market share their new subscribers will fall to 0. Is this a bad metric?

  • The software business has become like a lot of others. There are constant tests to see how much abuse customers will accept.

    With software, there are very complicated issues, such as the cost of training employees in a user interface. That lack of detailed technical knowledge of most customers makes it easier to abuse them.
  • Selling 4.3 million subscriptions for Office 365 last year doesn't sound like the kind of failure I would mind having!

    If the issue is inability to keep subscription levels up as high as they peaked at, when O365 was introduced? I'd suggest several reasons that should be expected.

    1. There was definitely some pent up demand for this product on the Mac side, considering Mac OS X users were stuck on Office 2011 as the latest version, until this finally came out.
    2. A pretty sizeable number of the total O365 subs

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:01PM (#53762473)

    About a year ago, they changed their offering and split it into so many different plans no one knows exactly what you get.

    MSFT needs to immediately limit themselves to four plans:

    1. Student

    2. Entry-level

    3. Power

    4. Everything

    And they need to make it very clear what these mean, in a single page document which is the same regardless of where you find it on Microsoft's site.

    • by MogNuts ( 97512 )

      This might be a factor and you may be on to something. Maybe in our "modern cloud world," where our stuff is available everywhere on everything, the idea of managing your 5 users or which software is on which machine is an irratation we no longer will deal with. And it's regardless of how good a product is.

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:11PM (#53762525) Homepage Journal
    Typing letters, doing a spreadsheet, desktop publishing is not the unique, selling point, must have product that has to work between management and staff.
    Past optimisations between Windows, a CPU and a spreadsheet application helped with GUI and responsiveness due to less RAM, slow CPU's and desktop computer design compromises.
    Commercial/gov users have their software paid in full, home users now have fast hardware and other great software options.
    Home users want to get as far away from boring and expensive work applications as possible.
    Other apps, quality non rental software, free software, open source can offer text and spreadsheet support.
    The GUI is simple, support works, the app is fun for what it offers.
    Microsoft is great for games, GPU's. The complex, boring work like Office GUI is not needed at home for or users.
    Better supported apps exist for the average user doing simple, average computing tasks.
    The early 1980's and 1990's rush to use, understand and study Microsoft application at home to be a better worker is over.
    • Typing letters, doing a spreadsheet, desktop publishing is not the unique, selling point, must have product that has to work between management and staff.

      When one commands the corporate environment, you don't really have to be unique. A major selling point of MS Office is the dominance it has held in corporate business, and continues today. Programs like Outlook, Word, and Excel "work" between management and staff because it happens to be the one software package that is taught to pretty much anyone who needs to use a computer for more than gaming, Netflix, and Facebook.

      Commercial/gov users have their software paid in full, home users now have fast hardware and other great software options.

      I suppose you could consider them paid in full, if you don't count those infamous suppo

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        re "Learning to use the tools that you will need to succeed in the workplace is not a concept that died 30 years ago."
        People are not moving from a generation of typewriters or Wang https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] anymore.
        They got exposed to Microsoft products at school, university and work with such products every day.
        The need for a generation of workers to buy into a new series of expensive MS applications at home is gone.
        As mentioned by others on slashdot that office GUI might even be global and ver
    • Typing letters, doing a spreadsheet, desktop publishing is not the unique, selling point, must have product that has to work between management and staff.

      Excel is unique and there's not really a replacement for it.

      • by MogNuts ( 97512 )

        Amen. Though I do wonder if the drop is because people are using *alternatives* to Excel and not replacements. Think Marketo, HubSpot or Salesforce--where it eliminates the entire need for the analysis step and simply displays what you need from dashboards once it's integrated a company's workflow.

        • Though I do wonder if the drop is because people are using *alternatives* to Excel and not replacements.

          That's an interesting thought, could be.

      • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @11:10PM (#53763075)

        >"Excel is unique and there's not really a replacement for it."

        And, yet, for what perhaps 90% of people use spreadsheets for, the alternatives work just fine (depends of type of user and industry, of course). I know, because I have 150 business users that use LibreOffice and zero using MS-Office. Maybe a few times a year we face an issue, and it is not because LO lacks some feature of MS-Office or Excel, but because some Excel spreadsheet we were sent is using some obscure macros, or an MS-Word document had horribly poor formatting. And then, it just requires someone to work on it a bit to fix it.

  • It is shit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:12PM (#53762541)

    We're getting our 50 users off it. With the non-stop "Service" messages and the intrusive bullshit it keeps trying to push it has turned into a sinkhole.

    For example, Outlook users get prompted to install a NFL calendar add-on to follow football season. When I called support they first told me it must be a malware we picked up somewhere. After getting even more irate they told me "oh, well, yes, we do push that and you can't turn those messages off".

    Utter bullshit.

    • Re:It is shit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geek ( 5680 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:34PM (#53762663)

      I'd kill to get off MS everything at my job. We're a fortune 500 and as my Director and VP once said "Microsoft is a hostile business partner"

      The MS licensing feels like protection money at this point. I can do everything for my job on Linux with the exception of Skype for Business, which we could replace if MS hadn't bought off some of our decision makers and tied us into it.

      • by MogNuts ( 97512 )

        Elsewhere in this thread, in prompted me to wonder if it's because of what you just said. Maybe in our "modern cloud world," where our stuff is available everywhere on everything, the idea of managing your 5 user licenses or which software is on which machine is an irritation we no longer will deal with. And it's regardless of how good a product is.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      For 50 users, you can probably set up a cheap VPS with Postfix/Dovecot somewhere and never look at it again. If you're looking for complete groupware SaaS, there are similarly various options these days that not only will duplicate all the Google/Microsoft features but run it a lot better.

  • Corporates (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sit1963nz ( 934837 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @09:24PM (#53762605)
    I wonder how many of these "subscriptions" are effectively free, given away by MS to students because their educational institute has a licence, and its not just the student , its staff as well who are able to get a free subscription and install it on 5 machines they own. I think there is a VERY big gap between total number of subscription and ones that Microsoft actually make any income from.
  • "Just" 25 million?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 )

    Almost any other subscription service with those kind of numbers would be considered a runaway success. Even World of Warcraft, at its peak, had a fraction of that.

  • My company pays for it. For work-related stuff, I use it. For everything else, I use libreoffice. I don't bother with Java installation though, so I lose some functionality/wizards/etc, but I'm fine with that.

  • For once, can we have a real discussion about this? I wonder what's the reason. Anybody have an *educated* guess?

    1) Model changed: people are now using Dropbox Paper & Quip, Prezi (vs. PPT), Marketo (vs. Excel for BI), etc. instead?
    2) They got 365 & found out they didn't really use it much. Then many didn't renew and there weren't enough new subs to both replace & surpass?
    3) Did a direct replacement really succeed, for example Docs? I'm talking consumer & SMB's 5-10 employees, as 'm guessing

  • on a monthly fee for software. It was only a matter of time before the bean counters took notice and started demanding budget cuts.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @11:04PM (#53763041) Journal
    For 90% of the people free tools without much of bells and whistles like Google Docs is enough. One thing Google doc does well is in collaborative editing. They really invested in that one weak area of MS-Office. For the remaining 10%, 90% of their work also could be done by simple tools. The advanced features of MS Office were used by them just 10% of the time.

    And MS-Office fiddling with UI constantly, with the ribbon interface, then menu items rearranging themselves based on use etc confused lots of users of advanced features.

  • ... if I ever needed ultimate MS Office compatibility, I'd probably re-install an older copy of MS Office I have, However, at this point, LibreOffice opens and works well with the MS Office file that friends and colleagues send to me. So why should I pay $7 per month for the cloud version of MS Office when the free-as-in-beer LibreOffice works for me. I'd rather use that $7 per month for Netflix streaming....
  • -$10 a month to use Office. Wouldn't you? I mean, sure it's not as good as Open office, or... Well it sucks, but they aren't willing to pay me to use those products, they just expect me to use them for free. If MS wants me to use Office, I'm willing, for a mere $10 a month, for $50 a month I'll actually *use* it, not just pretend to use it and install it on my computer!
  • How about fixing it so it doesn't truncate leading zeros? What a piece of crap.
  • I have almost entirely switched to Google docs. It does very little (which is all I need) and it does that very little very well. On occasion I have to open a word or excel doc and use 365 that was installed on my machine by IT. Every time it is a slog through stupid functions to get to the thing I need. Make a table, not right there. Formatting gone nuts again, oh well, CTRL-Z until I can try again. And so on

    Or I can use Google docs and at no point does it get in my way. I don't lose things, I don't forg
  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @10:34AM (#53765437)

    Our school moved to Google Apps and Chrome OS about 3 years ago. Microsoft, at the time, did not have a comprehensive cloud/local strategy that could compete with the ease of use and cost (free) of Google Apps.

    Recently Microsoft has started giving away Office 365 with a local installed copy of Office for education customers. That's nice, but we are very entrenched in the Google Apps/Chrome OS ecosystem - so switching back at this point would cause lots of pain for little benefit.

    So in a period of 3 years we went from buying Office licenses for our all of our students and staff, to a totally free solution. I'm sure many other schools did the same.

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