09.07.09

The Fall of Microsoft Office and the Rise of FOSS vs SaaS Wars

Posted in Africa, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Mail, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice at 5:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Boycott Novell newspaper

Summary: As businesses shift away from proprietary software, a foreseen struggle may involve location of the software

THIS NEWS was alluded to very briefly in a lump of Daily Links, but here it is in detail along with some additional context.

There are many reports out there about a survey that indicates small businesses in the UK are ditching Microsoft Office.

Despite the dominance of Microsoft Office, Google Apps may be gaining ground with small businesses in the United Kingdom, according to a new study.

Accredited Supplier, a U.K.-based B2B marketplace, polled 1,400 Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) customers, and found that 13 percent plan to switch from Office to Google Apps within the next 12 months.

Some suggest that it means growth for Fog Computing, notably Google. To give an example:

British small biz falls out of love with Microsoft, heads to the Clouds

[...]

In their poll of 1,400 Microsoft customers, all small businesses in the UK, they found that 13% of them intend to switch to Google Apps within 12 months while 22% are “undecided”. In other words a healthy number are either switching or probably poised to switch. Of the remaining, 36% were Not Switching and 29% were “Not aware” of Google Apps.

Google is indeed the point of focus here now that the team at Google makes a push into the enterprise.

The response to Google seems to involve an unhealthy dose of FUD. The other day we wrote about how the press had taken Gmail downtime (Web-based side only) out of reasonable proportions, especially given the fact that many businesses don’t quite mind and it’s not news because nothing is ever perfect.

Businesses Don’t Expect 100% Availability With Gmail

[...]

There’s been plenty of blogging, twittering, and general hand-wringing about Google’s Gmail outage Tuesday. But rather than extend this into yet another philosophical discussion about the viability of cloud computing, let’s keep this in mind: Businesses who’ve signed on for Gmail don’t expect perfection. In fact, both Google and Microsoft only agree to 99.9% uptime for their online email offerings.

Familiar Microsoft shills like Preston Gralla do their usual routine of spitting at Google given the downtime which affected only Web access (E-mail could still be accessed via other protocols).

With all that talk about Google Apps, it is worth emphasising that one should ideally move to Free software such as KOffice or OpenOffice.org. Fog Computing distances control and can sometimes hold personal data as hostage. The reason Google is defended in this case is that it helps weaken a company which is constantly attacking GNU/Linux and Free software in general.

The Los Angeles Times has this new piece about Microsoft’s continued loss in Fog Computing.

Microsoft’s grip on users is being lost in the cloud

[...]

Microsoft’s goal obviously is to coerce me to upgrade to the new version of Office, which would cost me as much as $400, take up an enormous amount of my hard drive space and undoubtedly consume obscene quantities of my computing power.

[...]

Still, the cloud is opening the playing field for sellers of what’s known as “software as a service” — instead of buying a program and managing it in your home or office, you pay these guys a subscription fee to maintain the program and hold your data on their computers. (What happens to your data if your subscription lapses or the servicer goes out of business is another issue still lost in the, er, clouds.)

Glyn Moody drew attention to this alerting reminder of how Microsoft exploits schools such that they become agents of lock-in.

Microsoft’s Education Labs launched a new project this afternoon and it’s better on trees and the environment. The group just announced a new Math Worksheet Generator where teachers can generate math problems and email them in paperless Word format to their students. In addition to Math Worksheet Generator, the group also announced plans for two additional projects to be released in the Fall.

Moody’s response to it is this:

Hard-pressed teachers will love this – and won’t even notice that they are being turned into a vector for lock-in to Word (not that they aren’t already). I predict we’ll be seeing much more of this content-driven approach, whereby Microsoft makes people offers they can’t refuse…provide they take King Billy’s shilling.

Speaking of education and lock-in, here is something to watch out for:

After seven years in rented buildings in Ghana, Ashesi University broke ground on a new campus that’s largely funded by donations from Microsoft alumni.

Microsoft’s EDGI is sometimes used in Africa for digital colonisation. While the above does not seem to say much about the curriculum, it remains to be seen if the campus becomes a training centre for Microsoft, recruiting people to have the nation dependent on the company, digitally. In developing nations, Microsoft is still experimenting with business models for squeezing the most money out of already-impoverished people. “Pay-as-you-go” thinking is not passé yet.

As per the new agreement, Landsteinar will offer Microsoft SPLA licensing schema on a ‘pay as you go’ software leasing basis, charging only for the number of users per month.

Fog Computing is either based on advertising or “pay-as-you-go” (subscription) for revenue, whereas Free software is mostly customisation- and support-based. That is where customers actually pay for real value.

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/09/07/foss-vs-saas/

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

What Else is New


  1. The Next Generation of Free Software (or Software Freedom) Activism, Tackling Newer Problems

    New challenges as labour rights and human rights are further eroded, thanks to 'high' 'tech' with its very 'innovative' 'features'



  2. Mass Litigation Over the Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP), Basically an Attack on All EPO Staff, Even EPO Pensioners

    “Importance of a binding and unambiguous erga omnes declaration” stressed by staff representatives of the EPO in a new letter to Benoît Battistelli‘s successor of choice, António Campinos, who has done nothing so far except attacking (or robbing) EPO staff, even EPO pensioners



  3. EPO 'Dialogue' With Staff Representatives is as Dead as 'Dialogue' With the Union

    “Yet another failure of social [sic] dialogue [sic] for Mr Campinos,” according to staff representatives, who rightly bemoan the Office president not giving a damn about staff; things quickly deteriorate in Europe’s second-largest institution, which does even worse things than granting loads of illegal European software patents (harming software producers and users alike)



  4. The FSF Needs to Reject OSI (and Open Source) Along With Much-Needed Rejection of the GNOME Foundation (Not the Same as the GNOME Project)

    Response to a good little speech (unscripted apparently) by Geoffrey Knauth, who explained his position on Open Source about a year ago



  5. Links 11/5/2021: Bodhi Linux 6.0, Coreboot 4.14, and DragonFly BSD 6.0

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 10, 2021



  7. Keynote by FSF President Geoff Knauth and Executive Director John Sullivan

    To quote the source: “FSF president Geoff Knauth became the president of the FSF in 2020, but has served on the FSF board of directors for over twenty years. FSF executive director John Sullivan started work with the FSF in 2003, and has never stopped since, with past roles including the FSF’s first Campaigns Manager and later the Manager of Operations.”



  8. Richard Stallman on Companies That Are “Only Pretending to be American Companies”

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, speaks about US politics being captured and dominated by large and multinational corporations in pursuit of just money and power



  9. Last Night's Talk by Richard Stallman About Software Freedom

    An inspiring new talk reminds many of us why loads of people continue to support the founder of the Free Software Movement



  10. Links 10/5/2021: Huawei's GNU/Linux Laptops and Kotlin 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  11. Richard Stallman on Writing rm, ls, and cp (Also Working on Bison)

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what programs he developed in the eighties



  12. Raise the Roof

    Out comes the taxpayers’ subsidy, assured; with military the sky is the limit (and bailout guaranteed)



  13. Richard Stallman Replatformed 10 Hours From Now

    Link to the talk (when it goes live)



  14. [Meme] Bill Says, Bill Saves

    Bill Gates seems more likely to be indicted than to win a presidential election/term



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 09, 2021



  16. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Gates’s Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein Caused the Bill-Melinda Divorce (While the Media Deflected to Dr. Stallman, Using a Phony 'Scandal')

    It’s becoming rather obvious that there’s real substance to accusations that Mr. Gates was in some sense enabling Jeffrey Epstein; while Gates-funded media told us that he was saving us from climate change and a pandemic (PR stunts for empathy and sympathy) Melinda worked really hard to distance herself from him, the father of her kids



  17. [Meme] Bill, What's Your Opinion?

    While it's ludicrous to insinuate that Mr. Gates somehow "started" COVID-19 he certainly "rode the wave" for reputation laundering purposes, profit, and distraction from scandals that precede the epidemic in China (and caused his marriage to break down)



  18. Links 10/5/2021: SystemRescueCD 8.03, KeePass 2.48 Released

    Links for the day



  19. How We Process and Upload Videos Hosted in Techrights

    With ffmpeg as the Swiss army knife (and various other utilities/programs ‘in between’) it’s possible to automate much of the pipeline associated with video production and self-hosting



  20. Richard Stallman's Free Software Speech in 2020 (FSF Turning 35)

    We've re-encoded (as WebM) the likely sole/only speech Richard Stallman gave about his movement last year; today seems like a suitable time to republish it because tomorrow a British university/group will replatform him (to use their term)



  21. The Chaos Theory

    Making GNU/Linux less stable and less predictable isn't good for GNU/Linux users; but it certainly helps sell Red Hat support contracts and vexation inside the community weakens Red Hat's competitors



  22. Gemini and Techrights: Still Growing in Gemini Space and Always Supporting/Loving the Protocol

    As we continue to expand in Gemini space (where our very large site became a very large and likely the largest capsule) it's worth explaining some of the overlooked merits of the protocol; unlike the World Wide Web (WWW) it does not impose things on the user/visitor, who is more or less in charge



  23. Links 9/5/2021: KDE Frameworks 5.82.0 Release and Patents Related to COVID Subjected to Waivers

    Links for the day



  24. Act More 'Professional' to Appease Mobs

    We should all think alike, dress alike, and like everybody (especially the business overlords)



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 08, 2021



  26. Some Background on the Free Speech Society at the University of Buckingham, Where Richard Stallman is Being 'Replatformed'

    A private British university, the University of Buckingham, will 'host' (virtually) the most-defamed person in the Free software world; the Free Speech Society is only two years old and rationality for its existence is explained by its co-founder James Oliver



  27. Web Sites or News Sites Perish When Their Arguments Are Weak and/or Invalid

    "Just be honest!" is a simple motto for any site; but some sites sell out in pursuit of money or grandiosity, unlike us (we turned 14.5 years old on Friday)



  28. GNU/Linux Turns 38 (in 4 Months From Now)

    Contrary to what the Linux Foundation wants you to think, the operating system turns 38 later this year



  29. Richard Stallman: Steve Jobs Did Some Very Bad Things

    Dr. Richard Stallman told me about Steve Jobs that he had helped digitally imprison computer users



  30. GNU/Linux Founder Richard Stallman to Give a Talk at the University of Buckingham Tomorrow (Live Stream)

    Tomorrow it will be possible to watch this new talk live using Free software


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