EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Microsoft Office Cannot Evolve, Monoculture Eroded

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cash cow

Summary: Office cannot sustain its dominance in a Web-dominated era when devices mostly run Android/Linux

THERE was some amazing news just before this weekend. Microsoft did not handle something as basic as renewing certificates, so “secure Azure Storage goes down WORLDWIDE,” as The Register put it:

The problems were first reported by Microsoft on Friday at 12:44pm Pacific Time on the Windows Azure Service Dashboard. An update at 1:30pm identified a problem with SSL transactions.

And Microsoft actually tries to convince businesses to rely on Microsoft for Fog Computing. Even Windows users — not just GNU/Linux users — won’t want to to rely on that. Services depend on Azure Storage as a sort of file system.

Michael Larabel spread a seemingly false rumour about Microsoft Office (native, not online) coming to GNU/Linux. I have been chatting with him over the years and I consider him a highly reliable and well-informed guy, so his source was deceitful or badly informed. Either way, irrespective of whether or not he was misinformed by someone, here is an article which covers it: ‘Case in point? Oh, it’s a juicy one: “Microsoft is having a ‘meaningful look’ at a full Linux port of Office thanks to Linux showing signs of commercial viability on the desktop,” in the words of Phoronix writer Michael Larabel, who claimed to have it on good (but unnamed) authority.’

The matter of fact is, the Office cash cow is having problems and Microsoft struggles to adapt and keep the format lock-in/monoculture [1, 2, 3, 4]. The following is definitely not the way to rescue Office:

When quizzed as to whether a Microsoft Office 2013 licence can be transferred to another machine, Microsoft told The INQUIRER, “[Microsoft] Office 2013 is a single device license”, adding that those wanting to use Microsoft Office across multiple devices will “have to purchase [Microsoft] Office 365 Home Premium” as well, which allows users to share Microsoft Office with up to five PCs, Macs or mobile devices.

We probed further and asked what will happen in the event that the original PC carrying the single Microsoft Office 2013 licence is destroyed, lost or stolen. Will Microsoft allow the original licence to be transferred then?

This won’t go down so well and already we discover that Microsoft is rapidly being dumped by the Australian government, potentially costing hundreds of millions:

Australia has reduced the amount of money it pays for Microsoft products by AU$100m (£66m, $103m), according to the nation’s Chief Technology Officer John Sheridan.

Speaking yesterday at the Kickstart conference, Sheridan explained that consolidating contracts from 42 to one and working through a single reseller has enabled the savings. One contract now covers 300,000 devices and 260,000 people across 126 entities. Work has begun on negotiations for the successor contract with Redmond.

Microsoft is demoted by Australia owing to some prudent people who seek to decrease reliance, so we are quite sure that Microsoft is sending moles over there as we speak, based on past experience.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 23, 2013 at 6:53 am


    It’s very clear where M$ is heading with these lock-downs. I think even the Australian government might be able to see it at this point. It would be a major breach of trust for them to go down that road, given where it heads. Perhaps they can be prosecuted for heading down that road, but it would be better to avoid the trap and the litigation in the first place. The obvious ways out are LibreOffice, Calligra or Google Docs, each with the help of the OpenDocument Format.

  2. NotZed said,

    February 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm


    I think you’re completely misreading the article about the Australian gov. They’re completely utterly and totally a 100% microsoft shop – and this new “one contract for the whole country” thing is even worse, as it will mean no deviation from the central authority.

    All they did was consolidate multiple contracts into one – and just like those late night advertisements for debt-consolidation services – such a move is just another scam for further lockin.

    100M are just the savings … which must be a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the annual flushing of money down the drain for the actual contracts.

    The article even states:

    “but said cutting costs further by using open source software is not his preferred tactic,”

    Which is political speak for: anything non-microsoft is absolutely not on the agenda, all we are doing is negotiating with microsoft and nobody else. And then he mentions some nonsense about byod – what a joke. Australia is still about where the world was 10 years ago – linux is used, but mostly in minor server roles or unix replacement. But in general, all desktops – microsoft, all email – microsoft, all intranet – microsoft, etc.

    What’s even more offensive is that just on those (presumably annual) savings alone, they could easily fund enough development of openoffice to fix any supposed problems, wine to run any of their legacy crap, and even a linux distribution to run it on. One that looked and worked like microsoft windows xp more than microsft windows 8 ever will …

    No wonder they’ve been having so many security problems of late.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    A proper cost analysis would have TCO include exit costs and cost of vendor lock-in. The lock-in in the new office software brings those costs to new extremes. What the Australian government is trying to do is dig a deeper hole than has ever been dug before. The quote, “but said cutting costs further by using open source software is not his preferred tactic,” shows they are well aware of that. Sadly, that statement puts them in a worse bargaining position. And even if Australia were able to push acquisition costs to near zero by threatening a credible open source strategy, the ongoing maintenance burden of M$ software coupled with the high exit cost, still make it a losing proposition.

    If they throw more money into the newer, deeper, M$ money pit, it is because a rat or two is selling out their country there.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    NotZed, thanks for the correction.

What Else is New

  1. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  2. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  3. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  4. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  5. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  6. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  7. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  8. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  9. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  10. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  11. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  12. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  13. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  14. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  15. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  16. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  17. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  18. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  19. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)

  20. French Article About the EPO "Crisis"

    Le Monde, which covered EPO suicides and nervous breakdowns a year and a half ago, revisits the subject

  21. Battistelli Wants Us to Believe a Patent Office in a Freefall (EPO) is “Stronger and More Sustainable”

    Still in denial (or self-deluding for self indulgence), Battistelli writes about the EPO as though everything is rosy and people are happy

  22. Leaked Documents Shed More Light on What Happened to Alison Brimelow and How Battistelli Rose to Power

    How Battistelli's (almost) all-male (and all-white, mostly French) management came into being, not too long after Ms Alison Brimelow got elbowed out the Office

  23. Leaked: Outcomes of 149th Administrative Council's Meeting at the European Patent Organisation

    The raw details or a summary thereof, based on the above which serves to confirm what we wrote about several days ago, right after the quarterly meeting had ended

  24. Danish Press Coverage of the European Patent Office and the Problems Explored by Techrights

    Jesper Kongstad does virtually nothing to deny the arguments (or "accusations") and instead alludes to the style of the writings about him

  25. Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

    Links for the day

  26. Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

    Links for the day

  27. EPO Updates: Battistelli in Trouble, Grossenbacher and Battistelli Having a Fight, EPO Doubles Down on Željko Topić

    Interesting updates from the European Patent Office (EPO), where things have taken a turn for the worse for Battistelli while Željko Topić secures an extension of his notorious contract

  28. EPO Social Conference Another Example of Astronomical Waste of Money by Benoît Battistelli

    Having paid the media and attempted to scare/intimidate staff into silence (even among one another), Battistelli now pays some firms to lie for him and present the lies while staff representatives are blocked from entering the presentation

  29. As Expected, Benoît Battistelli Puts Longtime Ally Roland Grossenbacher on Top of Boards of Appeal

    Benoît Battistelli's predecessor Roland Grossenbacher, who has a track record of protection and support for Battistelli (no matter the magnitude of abuses), reportedly takes a key position with Battistelli's approval, debunking the notion that the appeal boards will enjoy greater (perceived) independence from the Office

  30. UPC Preparatory Committee Projects Optimism in an Effort to Salvage Its Dying Project, the Unitary/Unified Patent

    Refusing to let the UPC stay in its grave, Team UPC keeps digging up and dishing out UPC misinformation, in front of an audience that need not be preached to as it's already converted (effectively an echo chamber)


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts