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Microsoft Businesses Cloud Windows

Microsoft Will Block Desktop 'Office' Apps From 'Office 365' Services In 2020 (techradar.com) 217

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is still encouraging businesses to rent their Office software, according to TechRadar. "In a bid to further persuade users of the standalone versions of Office to shift over to a cloud subscription (Office 365), Microsoft has announced that those who made a one-off purchase of an Office product will no longer get access to the business flavours of OneDrive and Skype come the end of the decade." PC World explains that in reality this affects very few users. "If you've been saving all of your Excel spreadsheets into your OneDrive for Business cloud, you'll need to download and move them over to a personal subscription -- or pony up for Office 365, as Microsoft really wants you to do."

Microsoft is claiming that when customers connect to Office 365 services using a legacy version of Office, "they're not enjoying all that the service has to offer. The IT security and reliability benefits and end user experiences in the apps is limited to the features shipped at a point in time. To ensure that customers are getting the most out of their Office 365 subscription, we are updating our system requirements." And in another blog post, they're almost daring people to switch to Linux. "Providing over three years advance notice for this change to Office 365 system requirements for client connectivity gives you time to review your long-term desktop strategy, budget and plan for any change to your environment."

In a follow-up comment, Microsoft's Alistair Speirs explained that "There is still an option to get monthly desktop updates, but we are changing the 3x a year update channel to be 2x a year to align closer to Windows 10 update model. We are trying to strike the right balance between agile, ship-when-ready updates and enterprise needs of predictability, reliability and advanced notice to validate and prepare."
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Microsoft Will Block Desktop 'Office' Apps From 'Office 365' Services In 2020

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  • Time to switch (Score:3, Informative)

    by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Saturday April 22, 2017 @09:09PM (#54285063)

    If you run the other popular operating system, full installs of Pages, Numbers and Keynote come with it.

    • Re:Time to switch (Score:4, Insightful)

      by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Saturday April 22, 2017 @09:21PM (#54285109)

      Why? If you have a desktop version of Office that you've already purchased you already have an office suite. It's the cloud storage you need to switch. Google Drive or Dropbox will happily take your money and cost a lot less than 365 to boot. Well, Google drive will, Dropbox seems to have missed the whole "I need more storage than the free version but don't want to pay $100 a year for this crap when I won't use 90% of it" boat...

      • It feels like this is intended to spark some sort of frothing outrage, but it doesn't sound all that unreasonable: So... the free business OneDrive and Skype service that came with their product ends when mainstream support for that product also ends three years from now? Yeah, well... okay? Pony up and pay for a service to store your documents online somewhere. It's really not all that expensive. And generally speaking, it's stupid to count on a "free" cloud service lasting forever. Hell, even *paid*

        • Exactly right. This whole writeup is pitched like it's an eeeeevil plot by MS, but I don't see it that way.

        • Last month I paid 10 cents. S3 is stupidly cheap for storing documents and source code backups, since that takes up very little space.

          ARE YOU MADE OF MONEY? You could have paid 1 cent if you had used Glacier instead. As long as you don't plan to be on a hurry to restore your backup, because I'm pretty sure Glacier restore is a team of interns who take the bus to go off-site and fetch backup tapes. That's how slow it is. But at 1/10 of the price of S3 which is already dirt cheap, it's to be expected.

    • Those will still work with the business version of OneDrive after 2020? Or did you misunderstand the summary and think Microsoft is deactivating Office 2016 in 2020 completely?

      What Microsoft is announcing is relatively obscure and probably won't affect many people at all. Home users will be completely unaffected. Businesses are largely moving over to Office 365 anyway, the combination of "Corporate OneDrive + non-subscription Office" is pretty unusual.

      Switching over to the Mac (or, more easily, to Libr

    • If you run the other popular operating system, full installs of Pages, Numbers and Keynote come with it.

      As usual the anti MS hate is in the story. The title is wrong.

      Yes MS plans to keep desktop versions of their apps. What MS is doing is requiring an Office 365 account to use Skype for Business and OneDrive when support ends in 2020 for Office 2016.

      The desktop apps are here to stay folks

  • by steak ( 145650 ) on Saturday April 22, 2017 @09:13PM (#54285075) Homepage Journal

    free too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This is about Microsoft's non-subscription version of Office being able to access the corporate version of OneDrive, so LibreOffice won't help here.

      It'd be interesting to see the FOSS community come up with an equivalent to OneDrive (if we could somehow do it without needing a central server, that'd be a major step forward) but a FOSS office suite isn't going to help.

    • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Saturday April 22, 2017 @11:22PM (#54285465)
      If all docs were made with Libre Office we'd have less compatibility problems (usually problems arise when MS office stuff is read in anything else ; not the opposite). Users need to change their habits.
    • what's on offer here is Microsoft's cloud backup service & Skype, which were free with certain standalone copies of Office. Offsite backups of your Spreadsheets is a big deal for some users, especially small businesses. And if you're non-technical the monthly fees are made up for in less downtime and not paying the local tech to periodically recover lost data.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by westlake ( 615356 )
      The problem is "that thing" is the generic stand-alone office suite of the nineties. Sans Outlook. Which is not what you are looking for if you are shopping around for alternatives to the corporate editions of Office365.
    • So this is a true story. I work for a small-ish company that had an MBO. We were tight with money because we had to be, and for legacy reasons had been using Lotus Smartsuite. No really - don't laugh. We still have loads of old documents we need to access occasionally in wordpro or 123 format. Anyway, I installed open>libreoffice on everyones desktop. And the vast majority of users were happy with it. By happy, I mean didn't give a fuck since most users only do basic stuff. But a very small minor
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Could someone remind me of the actual benefits to using Office nowadays compared to a FOSS alternative.

    Aside from the fact that Office has essentially taken older files hostage with propriety file formats.

    • by Vskye ( 9079 )

      Clippy? Lol

    • Best practice for business continuity is to use a product with a support contract behind it.

      Yes it rarely breaks, and local IT usually fixes it via StackExchange or Social.Msdn searches. But when you don't have an answer, you can say your admin is on the phone with support, and it's no longer your job on the line.

      I realise that most linux advocates don't experience nor understand this type of Fortune 500 corporate culture, but this is the decision engine for Microsoft's terrible direction in most things. Pu

  • This only applies if you are connecting to Office 365-hosted versions of these services with a non-Office 365 version of Office. But still...
  • Sour the milk (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 )

    Fuck you Microsoft. Fuck you for allowing OEM copies of Office to be purchased with a machine, but require it to be activated against an email address!!

    Pro Tip: create an email distribution group of say software@domain.com and make IT staff members of it.

    Fuck you for now allowing us to mix Office365 apps with OEM!

    And Fuck you for making this such a miserable experience to deploy across the network as needed.

    Oh, and FUCK YOU...just because for good measure!!!

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      No, Microsoft Fucks You! If you have to have every single feature that Office offers then you are their bitch. Admit it, bend over, get in position and spread those cheeks. Otherwise you can opt for something else and be free.

  • by FrankHaynes ( 467244 ) on Saturday April 22, 2017 @09:46PM (#54285187)

    Outlook e-mail in the Office365 "cloud" is horrid and featureless. Click to Flag a message? It dutifully flags it with NO OPTIONS for setting a reminder popup or anything. Useless! I'm sticking with real Outlook running on my computer under my control.

    I'm glad all these nitrogen-cooled 53 terahertz PCs are becoming little more than dumb terminals for whatever crap a web programmer sees fit to jam down our browser's throat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 22, 2017 @10:11PM (#54285265)

    Read the real story [office.com], not some stupid 3rd party blog.

    Firstly, this is ONLY commercial Office 365 cloud services -- essentially, OneDrive For Business (effectively hosted SharePoint) - not to be confused with OneDrive for consumer (completely different) and hosted exchange. CONSUMER SERVICES ARE UNAFFECTED.

    If I am understanding this correctly, the ONLY people affected are companies that [a] paying for Office 365 subscriptions (otherwise they would have no access to Office 365's hosted services); but also [b] not using the Office 365 included distribution of the Office software.

    The push here is to get enterprises moving and use the Office 365 version of Office instead of whatever old version they bought as a one off -- you don't get to use Outlook 2013 to talk to Office365 exchange, you use the 'evergreen' Office 365 version of Outlook. Any enterprise that's simply using the 'current click to run' version of Office 365 is unaffected.

    Consumers and people not using Office 365 services are NOT AFFECTED. People with Office 365 subscriptions using the Office 365 software are not affected. This is absolutely no different to any other service with a dedicated client that insists your client software is kept up to date. Netflix makes the exact same demand, for example, and nobody complains about THAT.

    Absolutely nobody is required to pay any money for this -- you are either already paying for the new version (with your office 365 subscription) or you can't access the services you're not paying for ANYWAY. The only people affected are those paying for Office 365 but not using Office 365 version of the software that they are already paying for. That is literally IT.

    • Yes, but many of us specifically choose to install the Office Pro Plus version because it allows us to do the following: - Control what computers have the software installed. We don't want users installing it themselves. - License using MAK keys so users don't have to log in if theybdont need to use the online integration pieces. We also have some machines that go 30+ days without internet access... The Office365 installer version goes into "limited feature mode" after 30 days of no internet - Control and c
  • I wonder if that means they are going to push an "update" to cripple MS Office WebDAV support.
  • It's bullying! Let's call it what it is. If you use stand along version of office, we'll cut you off. In other words, pay us monthly fee in perpetuity, or we penalize you. The Anti-trust groups should be getting involved in this one. Libreoffice is free and has worked well for me for years. SO does Jitsu for Internet calls. Skype just throws ads at you while it's open.
  • Ah yes, your periodic flavor of Microsoft schizophrenia...
    Force people to pay subscription for Office, push ads in every nook and cranny of your OS, make more product lineups no one cares for, be the first to introduce hated intrusive privacy destroying telemetry features right on the core of Windows, use some of the dirtiest tactics on the book to fool costumers into upgrading their OS version to the latest... I've never seen such an impressive implosion showcase.

  • [...] when customers connect to Office 365 services using a legacy version of Office, "they're not enjoying all that the service has to offer."

    "Enjoy" is not a word I normally associate with using Microsoft software. "Endure" is better

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And there you go. Microsoft changes the features and terms of your usage of the products you purchase, after you purchase them, whether you rent or buy.

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Sunday April 23, 2017 @03:10AM (#54285919) Journal

    In principle this could prevent me from writing my scientific manuscripts with Word. On the other hand, nobody forces me to use the newest version of Word. Kind of to probe a point (but mostly because I like it more), I use Word 2007 to author all the manuscripts we publish. There really aren't any compelling reasons for me to upgrade to the new versions of Office.

    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      I use Word 2007

      I failed to ever see any reason to upgrade beyond Office 97. In fact TeX is the way to go.

      • I use Word 2007

        I failed to ever see any reason to upgrade beyond Office 97. In fact TeX is the way to go.

        TeX is not the way to go when the journal provides a Word document template.

  • Perhaps they're daring people to switch to another office product. I don't see how the operating system underneath is of much relevance. Even from that measure, it seems like this move is targeted at companies using an installed product with a business cloud storage. So if someone were to flip office suites, what alternatives are there for that?

    I think the LibreOffice team should be looking at where MS Office is going with cloud storage and make sure their product offers something equivalent. If it does,

  • Promoting the open source business model since the 70s. .|.
  • Open Office serves my needs
  • by orin ( 113079 ) on Sunday April 23, 2017 @08:13AM (#54286745)
    It's Office 2016. Which falls out of partial support at that date (for some features, there will still be security updates). So they are saying "hey, if you want to interact with Office 365, you won't be able to use Office 2016 from that date to do it". By then we'll have had several more versions of "not Office 365 Office (such as Office 2018 and Office 2020" come out, which will work with Office 365 premium services. And they'll each be supported for 5 years. Because support for all services isn't perpetual. And you'll still be able to use Office 2016 with your Skype for Business On-Prem deployment (if you have one). What they want to do is to not have to support some premium features for what at that point will be a 5 year old product. Like an LTS version of Linux. How long are they supported again?
  • I hope they do not change their mind, large business will have a cow over this. Why, updates controlled by a third party, rental fees and what about travel, do you need to be connected to the internet at 35,000' ?

    Office 365 system requirements for client connectivity gives you time to review your long-term desktop strategy

    I did, when Windows 95 came out, went to a fairly new OS and never looked back. Nothing like loosing work many times per week to give me incentive. Granted I heard M/S is much better these days, but as someone mentioned, the spyware on W10 keeps a tiny smile on my face.

  • LibreOffice great but it is STILL missing a good Visio replacement. At work I use Visio HEAVILY. There is really no good open source replacement for Visio. I've tried all of them (I think).

  • OK, ok, hang on. Only when I have to use it.
    I work at a software company and we are a MS shop. I run Linux at home, and have since around '99. If I need to log into my work machine, I can launch my container that connects to the work vpn and does an RDP into my machine in about 10 seconds. Linux just works for me, even with MS (most of the time).

    But I refuse to sync my phone with Outlook, for two reasons.
    1. I don't want to check work email all the time, and have that expectation that I am always availab

  • FTFA :

    Microsoft is claiming that when customers connect to Office 365 services using a legacy version of Office, "they're not enjoying all that the service has to offer.

    "Enjoying" is a bloody funny word to use in the context of office software. If I wanted to spend the value of a subscription to Office 365 on "enjoyment" there are many things I'd choose first : fairground rides or ice-creams for example. A year's subs would even stretch to a hooker.

  • The original MS blog makes it clear that "Stand alone" versions will still be usable. This did not clearly make it into the "news" articles.

    Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support

    Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support required to connect to Office 365 services. Starting October 13, 2020, Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services. Office 365 ProPlus will deliver the best experience, but for customers who aren’t ready to move to the cloud by 2020, we will also support connections from Office perpetual in mainstream support.

    The primary impact is to those purchasing MS "Business Essentials" licenses ($5/mo) and using "old" office versions. Effectively, they will be required to purchase office every 5 years (~$400) or upgrade to "Business Premium" ($12/mo).

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