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Old 12-12-2005, 08:41 AM   #31
Chris Owen
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I certainly see the logic of of recommending that Micro$oft try to move more copies of Office and stop worrying whether Windows will follow right behind them.

But it may be that MS has already burned its bridges behind it. It's not just all the tired, old FUD that has long been spread about Linux. It's Steve Ballmer dragging out the SCO debacle and using it to make ominous mouth noises about what other IP infringement lawsuits might be waiting for Linux down the road, and how that ought to scare off any sensible businessperson. To turn around thereafter and try to sell a Linux Office is not only to invite hoots of derision from much of your potential customer base (and howls of rage)...well, what do you say when someone points out that you've just validated the computing platform that last year you were pissing on?

On reflection, it seems to me that it can't work anyway. Consider: MS makes Linux Office. Thousands say "YAY! The productivity suite I need and I just saved a bundle on my OS by switching to Linux!" (Apologies to Geico.) Now your productivity software is competing with your OS. About the only way I could see around that is to subtly cripple the non-Windows versions, and that strategy seems destined to be derailed due to backlash.
 
Old 12-12-2005, 11:55 PM   #32
timbuck
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Have you considered how much extension there is in office that wont fly in linux at present. I mean if you make say this os supports office should an access app that calls the windows api function on that desktop? Is that currently a reality without a virtual os or emulator of some kind and if not whats the point. I'm just saying I think there are issues plus the office suite is following the dot net path. Dont forget many develop systems that rely on and use other office apps as a component of themselves dynamically and statically. Ever seen an Access XP APP load on a box that has office 2k on it? The os restructs to support Access XP on the fly. I would think there are issues maybe im just not seeing the truth but it sure seems like a daunting task to say MS will support all products developed using off on linux . I think thats the big issue office products are not just email database word proc excel presentation they are used to plug together solutions (admittedly often in very bad ways but none the less.

Last edited by timbuck; 12-12-2005 at 11:57 PM.
 
Old 12-13-2005, 01:59 PM   #33
sundialsvcs
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Mr. Ballmer needs to be muzzled a lot more than he is. It's fine to say what the press wants to hear, but that should not dictate your decisions. As a friend of mine once put it, "say what you have to, but never breathe your own ... (ahem) ... 'air.'"

Somewhere along the way, their Board of Directors succumbed to exactly the same "IBM Disease" that Gertsner writes about in Elephants. They basically stopped believing that they must continue to win customers; they now seem to believe that somehow they deserve them. They think that a good salesman can sell a refrigerator to an eskimo, and that, therefore, if only you have enough good salesmen, you don't need to design a better fridge.

The SCO lawsuit was an expensive flop. It was the last gasp of the clueless. The judge isn't going for it. And the market simply doesn't care.

Just ask Wang Corporation about what can happen to your "market share." There was a time when 80% of the attorneys' offices in the world owned one of their dedicated word-processing machines, and paid frightful monthly payments for each one. Does anyone even remember Wang?

If Wang had, let us say, somehow "outlawed the PC," would you consider yourself well-served? You'd still be using a clunker from that era, and Wang's "monopoly power" would be paramount, much to the supposed delight of its shareholders? There would have been no true innovation, because there would have been no need for it. Do you honestly think that you would have even gotten Microsoft Windows (1.0!) had it not been for Apple? Do you think that you'd have had the improvements that you see, say, in Windows-XP, if the threat posed by Linux had not helped to force the issue?

Linux is here, and one of the big reasons is that there is an explosion of new hardware platforms. When I look in the /arch subdirectory of my 2.6 distro, I see twenty-four architectures in there, only two (maybe three) of which I know to be supported by Microsoft Windows. You can literally run it on everything from a huge mainframe to an iPod. I can put my software on any of the Linux architectures just by recompiling it. Apple's getting ready to move into the x86 arena and all they have to do to accomplish this .. is a recompile. Do you grok what that kind of flexibility is worth?!

Maybe MS figures that "people buy Windows to run Office," but maybe they need to take a rude look at where Office actually stands: the competitors have arrived, and they can run on twenty-four platforms while you can only run on a few. Even if they don't match every feature you've got, tit for tat, is that going to keep people glued to an architecture that was set out when Wang was at their zenith? No.

What... do you think they're going to be "loyal to you?" Snicker... chuckle... bwahahahahahahHAHAHAHA! Whatever it is you've been smokin' there dude, at least you should have the courtesy to share some.

And Microsoft could ride that wave, and multiply their business and provide a solid adjunct cash-flow for the years ahead, or they could refuse to accept that the crashing sound that's coming non-stop from the beach is caused by anything other than the wind.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 12-13-2005 at 02:03 PM.
 
Old 12-13-2005, 06:04 PM   #34
timbuck
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Quote:
They think that a good salesman can sell a refrigerator to an eskimo
Works for Dell.
 
Old 12-16-2005, 06:18 AM   #35
sekelsenmat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs
And I disagree. Office is sold for OS/X now, which is basically BSD Unix.
MS Office is only sold for OS X because Microsoft is a major stockholder of Apple (yes, they bought Apple).

When you buy Mac OS X you are giving Microsoft a lot of profit ^^ When you get a Linux distro they only lose money.

That´s why they won´t release it for Linux.
 
Old 12-28-2005, 05:51 AM   #36
Chris Owen
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There's an article over at El Reg suggesting that there may be winds of change blowing. The article is an overview of significant IT-related events in 2005. Here's the intriguing quote:

Quote:
We're not in Kansas any more when one of open source's harshest critics announces support for Linux in Windows Virtual Server 2005 and a Windows server integration deal with JBoss.
What's the world coming to...
 
Old 12-28-2005, 09:02 PM   #37
KimVette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sekelsenmat
MS Office is only sold for OS X because Microsoft is a major stockholder of Apple (yes, they bought Apple).
1. They bought a minority stake in Apple (basically cash for stock and patent licensing deal)
2. They have since sold off their stake in Apple, or so I've read
 
Old 12-29-2005, 10:21 AM   #38
ankursmart
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Office 12

Have a look at the features of the Microsoft Office 12. It is supposed to be radically different from its predecessors. Use of Ribbons instead of toolbars, Saving the documents in PDF format, Bigger spreadsheets, Easier ways to make presentations, New file formats (incl of XML based tags and compression) allows to create smaller sized documents that are more portable due to XML based File-format.

URL : wired-news.blogspot.com/2005/12/office-12.html
 
Old 12-30-2005, 09:40 PM   #39
bigrigdriver
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Even if Micro$oft did port Office to Linux, it would probably be expensive. I'd have to stay with OpenOffice. It does everyting I need to do.

Getting the support you need when problems arise would probably be a bear to resolve (never had a whole lot of luck back in the days when I used Windoze).

But, with my luck, if it was ported to Linux, I'd probably see it as the engine for OO (in much the same way that OO and StarOffice are inter-twined now).

Major bummer!
 
Old 01-02-2006, 12:55 AM   #40
cshaul
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Its my understanding that Office will be tied very closely to Vista, so closely, that it would be difficult to replicate the functionality in a different OS. I am not sure what this means to Office for Mac either.

There is also the issue of various business apps using Service Oriented Architecture that will plug into Office and Vista. Any thoughts on how this would work in Linux?
 
Old 01-03-2006, 11:14 AM   #41
sundialsvcs
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One of the volumes in Microsoft Press's Software Engineering Classics series discusses the project of converting Office to a single code-base that could be used on Mac and Windows, instead of the two "sisters in name only" that they once were. I don't think they'll make that mistake again.

If Windows is only "a system to run Office on," then the product is already in more serious trouble than we thought.

And P.S. ... it looks like they made a very handsome return on their investment in Apple.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-03-2006 at 11:17 AM.
 
Old 01-04-2006, 04:49 AM   #42
Thetargos
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Ohh yeah, Microsoft does own a byte of Apple.

In any case, maybe the decision to not torn into two different entities the Redmond giant by a federal judge, was not so wise after all. As by this action Microsoft could easily have justified the port of their prime and most likely flagship product to other platforms like Linux, and still be able to have the other division work on the OS. However, seems like Microsoft is nowadays counting on Office as the selling force behind Windows. Especially with all the restrictions that are in store for the users with Vista. Not only from the anti-piracy point of view (where would Microsfot stand today, if it wasn't due to piracy, I wonder?), but the high degree of integration down to the hardware (Palladium) and all that DRM crap. I wouldn't be surprised if Vista was the actual first version of Windows you actually rent, instead of buy (IIRC XP was going to be the first, but the consumers weren't yet ready). What if the same happened with Office? Say, instead of a dozen different versions of Windows, why not "buy" it only for a limited amount of time? So the different packages and price tags would include time, number of users (actual user accounts on the system), number of computers that will connect to the computer (supposed the computer has a shared resource on a network with 200 more clients), etc, etc. The Greedy Giant seems to be aiming that way, and not many people are pleased with that... in that sense the customers aren't ready yet apparently... So Office is (especially the all touted significant benefits of Office 12) is quickly becoming the selling force behind Windows, especially if customers won't be making the jump right away.

Such a key product could never be available to the one platform they have been unable to "compete" on even ground[1]: Linux (and the FreeDesktop gang), due to the inherent nature of Open Source. However they do own one aspirational product that to date, has hardly been replicated in both feel and behavior, as well as features: Office. Strangely enough I wonder how much of the world actually depend on Office than on Microsoft's OS for their daily work and productivity? I'd adventure to say that quite a bit. So Windows has come to be (in the big picture corporate, and in many cases in home computers too) as the Office framework, as I said once to a friend... "Do you know what Windows is? It's the useless peice of software required for your computer to run Office.", this may not be completely true, but it is for a great many number of users.

As it has already been pointed out, by porting Office to Linux (a platform that is way cheaper and has been touted to have better security and other features than Windows), Microsoft would be shooting themselves on the foot. Apple expenses are justified by the chunk of it they already own, and because the platform (as a whole) tends to be much more expensive than a regular PC (one of the main reasons why there's no corporate Mac desktops, I'd venture to say), so they don't have much to fear from it, as it will only be used by a minority of people (thos willing to spend the required amounts of money).

However, it would be interesting to see what would happen if they indeed ported what I consider to be their second critical product[2], to Linux. And even more, allowing other applications to freely add support for their formats (like that's gonna ever happen!).

[1] There's actually no-one company to buy-out for competition crunching.

[2] Being the first, the framework, Windows.
 
Old 01-04-2006, 11:09 AM   #43
KimVette
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People still are not ready for subscription-based operating systems. I still run into business people who are absolutely mystified as to why they can't use the one single copy of Windows XP or Office XP they purchased on 20-30 workstations. I mean, they genuinely cannot comprehend that it's licensed to only one machine. I explain to them the legalities of it, the ethics of it, etc. but when I explain Activation they begin to kind of understand, and all of a sudden they're angry at Microsoft for doing such a thing.

Yes, I know there are workarounds, activation can be cracked, and so forth but I will not go down that road except as an academic exercise on a machine which is going to be wiped anyhow (in designing an activation scheme for one client, I spent about a month hacking 30 different programs' licensing schemes, to determine which methods work and which do not, and which is the best compromise for both the end user and the vendor. We ultimately came up with a scheme which is very similar to Adobe's activation scheme - about two years before Adobe introduced activation in CS2)

I have about 30-50 legitimate Windows licenses (I've given a bunch away to friends because I didn't need them all, so I lost track of how many I have left) - about four in use at the office right now (everything else is Linux, aside from the Macs) - and I limit the use of Windows as much as I can. Why? Because I disagree with Microsoft's current anti-consumer policies. Yes, they have to protect against rampant piracy in business, but they have to meet customers halfway and implement a de-activation scheme.

The point is: people are not willing to even buy software off the shelf legitimately - let alone pay a yearly subscription on a per-machine, per-user basis. If it means staying on older versions of Windows, that is what they will do.

Last edited by KimVette; 01-04-2006 at 11:13 AM.
 
Old 01-04-2006, 11:22 AM   #44
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An interesting argument, Thetargos, but I'm not sure that I particularly agree with you on many points...

Microsoft is very much like the recording-industry and the media-industry in claiming that "piracy" surely must be the reason why they are no longer quite so competitive; and in envisioning a wonderful world in which your computer, like a cable-TV subscription, is something that you must forever rent. These are dreams, pipe dreams, but if you only listen to yourself that's all you hear.

I personally suspect that the reason why Microsoft is no longer producing the stock prices that it once did (and why its dividends, once it was finally compelled to pay them, are less than stellar) is precisely that they rely so much upon (1) an office productivity suite that has been copied, and copied quite well; and (2) a single operating-system that has not yet been able to counter either of its two well-heeled, Unix-based competitors: OS/X and Linux, both of which are already on or are imminently coming to the x86 family of machines. No matter who you are, or were, you cannot base your business forever upon just these two things. And hoping to gain market-share from the teenage gaming-set is a crap shoot at best.

I really think that Microsoft was at its finest when it was duking it out with its competitors in the office-productivity arena. But as the competition began to fold, Microsoft's willingness and perceived need to 'compete' with anyone also began to erode. We were rewarded with two indifferent releases of the DOS-based Windows, now two or three increasingly-restrictive offshoots of NT-4, and Office releases whose major differences have been the year-number printed on the box.

If you want to base your business upon the idea of "lock-in," presumably using Windows as the "lock," once again you'd better think twice because the technology is simply not going to allow that. In fact, there is a lot of money being made by busting that "lock," and it's only going to become easier upon easier to do. No one is going to "rent" their operating-systems, and especially not from you. Companies do pay maintenance to the likes of IBM, but they get much more for it than Microsoft could ever hope to provide to millions of les plebes.
 
Old 01-04-2006, 11:26 AM   #45
sundialsvcs
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An interesting argument, Thetargos, but I'm not sure that I particularly agree with you on many points...

Microsoft is very much like the recording-industry and the media-industry in claiming that "piracy" surely must be the reason why they are no longer quite so competitive; and in envisioning a wonderful world in which your computer, like a cable-TV subscription, is something that you must forever rent. These are dreams, pipe dreams, but if you only listen to yourself that's all you hear.

I personally suspect that the reason why Microsoft is no longer producing the stock prices that it once did (and why its dividends, once it was finally compelled to pay them, are less than stellar) is precisely that they rely so much upon (1) an office productivity suite that has been copied, and copied quite well; and (2) a single operating-system that has not yet been able to counter either of its two well-heeled, Unix-based competitors: OS/X and Linux, both of which are already on or are imminently coming to the x86 family of machines. No matter who you are, or were, you cannot base your business forever upon just these two things. And hoping to gain market-share from the teenage gaming-set is a crap shoot at best.

I really think that Microsoft was at its finest when it was duking it out with its competitors in the office-productivity arena. But as the competition began to fold, Microsoft's willingness and perceived need to 'compete' with anyone also began to erode. We were rewarded with two indifferent releases of the DOS-based Windows, now two or three increasingly-restrictive offshoots of NT-4, and Office releases whose major differences have been the year-number printed on the box.

If you want to base your business upon the idea of "lock-in," presumably using Windows as the "lock," once again you'd better think twice because the technology is simply not going to allow that. In fact, there is a lot of money being made by busting that "lock," and it's only going to become easier upon easier to do. No one is going to "rent" their operating-systems, and especially not from you. Companies do pay maintenance to the likes of IBM, but they get much more for it than Microsoft could ever hope to provide to millions of les plebes.

I think it's an established fact that OpenOffice is a solid competitor to Microsoft Office, and that the Linux operating-system also is just as capable as any other to meet the requirements necessary to move many thousands of units even to consumers. (It's been beating them to the punch on the server market for a long time already.) MS should be vigorously putting out the message "We're [still] lean and mean, not fat dumb and happy."
 
  


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