Most office workers aren't actually using Microsoft Office



  • Reply 101 of 132
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 526member
    gluben wrote: »
    I work in a local council in the UK and Office is installed right across the board for about 1,000 employees.

    There is no way that we would move to another program like Google Docs or OpenOffice. Our IT department would allow it, probably for security reasons, but also because the majority of staff aren't computer savvy enough to know their way around other programs. We only just finished moving to Windows 7 and Office 2010 and that was challenging enough for them!

    Same here Gluben. I also work for a Local Authority but much smaller than yours. We have only just upgraded to windows 7 and office 2010 and only then because of Microsoft stopping support for Windows XP. I have suggested that instead of using MS office we use Open Office. For what I use Office for Open Office would be plenty good enough. However the IT department are scared to move away fom MS Office.

    As for compatibility though, my niece had to log on to her school network and amend a MS 2010 PowerPoint presentation with an embedded video. The video would not play on her home pc because her MS Office 2007 did not support it.
  • Reply 102 of 132
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post

    Yes, the over engineering of Acrobat defeats its intended purpose. Adobe itself is killing it by compulsively needing to sell the same crap to the same people every year. 

    I would have to disagree with this because customers do not have to upgrade. The basic pdf specification will continue to be supported with any new version of Acrobat. When they introduce new features it is up to the developers if they want to use features that are not part of the open source specification. The vast majority of documents that are shared publicly are fully compatible with the baseline specification. Any advanced features are generally reserved for internal company or government purposes where Acrobat is a standard application. Acrobat Pro is included in Adobe CC but Adobe recognized that unlike the other apps in CC, Acrobat Pro is primarily a business tool as opposed to a creative tool. I think Adobe will continue to upgrade the Acrobat version that is sold independently without a subscription, unlike CS6 which is EOL even though they still sell it.

  • Reply 103 of 132
    doggonedoggone Posts: 307member
    Usage will varying by company and activity.
    For example I work for a science based company. Therefore we mainly use Excel for basic analysis and Powerpoint for presentation.
    The R&D team uses those extensively but the productivity groups use more sophisticated web based software for data analysis.
    Office tends to be the bastion for simple basic activities. Luckily for M$ most companies feel the need to keep it on which costs them unnecessary licensing fees and support costs.
    To be more efficient then specialized software is need. What is clear to me is that specialized software is what often makes the difference in a company's productivity and success in the market place.
  • Reply 104 of 132
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Originally Posted by snova View Post

    you must be looking at some other info.  10.5.8 supported versions are Acrobat 9.x and 10.x.  Linux only goes up to Acrobat Read 9.x

    You are correct, my mistake. I think Acrobat reader 9 and 10 are also considered up to date and supported though. If there was a vulnerability found in those versions, Adobe would patch them.

  • Reply 105 of 132
    benjamin frostbenjamin frost Posts: 7,203member

    Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

    It would be interesting to know what office software Apple itself uses routinely. I cannot imagine their accounting and finance departments using anything but Excel.

    No; all Apple employees are obviously banned from using any apps other than those made by Apple. So clearly, their accounting is up the creek, which is why they make so little profit. How could they possibly dare to use software made by a potential competitor? Apple are such fools for making a spreadsheet programme that is so inferior to Excel; why do they even bother? I mean, can you imagine Apple using Numbers for anything? Unimaginable! I hear you can only create spreadsheets with a maximum of two cells (for Revenue and Profit)!

  • Reply 106 of 132
    benjamin frostbenjamin frost Posts: 7,203member
    Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post

    We have a winner here!

    Yes, the over engineering of Acrobat defeats its intended purpose. Adobe itself is killing it by compulsively needing to sell the same crap to the same people every year. This is one of the built in self destruct mechanisms of software as product in corporate America. Many products get to a robust and reliable state, only to be ruined by the corporate overseers demanding it continues to grow market share and sell more each year. This is a perfect example of how the myth of perpetual growth in capitalism turns into a dystopian disaster for consumers.

    Yes. I strongly believe that a subscription model is the wrong way to go for Adobe. Is it a fatal flaw? I don't know. But how can you possibly charge a regular fee, knowing full well that the software is not going to follow a smooth path of progression?


    I predict that the people who use it for the first year will think they're getting a good deal, due to the lower initial cost. Then, as the years go by, there will be more and more resentment as they realise that they're paying more and more for less and less, like drug addicts getting their fix. So people start to cancel their subs; then, Adobe starts to lose money, so it has to put the price up for the fewer subscribers, then more leave, etc. Another company makes a competing programme that is buy once and everyone flocks to it. Adobe goes out of business. Same scenario for Microsoft Office.

  • Reply 107 of 132
    snova wrote: »
    I tend to agree with this.  Most IT departments have a standard install set (or images) on all machines.  Regardless if and how often the tools will get used by each specific employee.  This allows various departments to compose documents in a format that they know everyone can read.  How often someone is required to compose depends on their role.  Which is a "don't care" form an IT point of view.  For most IT departments, I think it would create too much headache to try to determine who actually needs Office composition tools vs Read-Only tools to save some dollars here to justify custom installs.

    I could go on for days about this topic because this is one of my core skill sets and it is also an area of interest. Fundamentally speaking, image management is one of the reasons for including Office by default in Windows images. But this stems from how much or how little IT understands business roles and use cases. Most IT shops have limited insight into the operations for the businesses they support. They also strive to provide service options that can scale.

    For example, deploying an image without Office may work for one user but if anyone else needs to use the same system, they may need Office. As a result, that user will be less productive on that resource or they will ask for Office anyway. Either way, resources utilization is increased by not including Office on that machine to begin with. For many businesses, not including Office can actually cost more in lost productivity, poor end user feedback and increased support.

    With that said, Office is much more than a native suite of applications. There are virtual installation packages supported directly through Office 365 that look and behave like native installed applications but they are sandboxed applications that can follow a user from system to system. There are also Office web applications that are accessible through cloud service offerings that include editing capabilities.

    Where an organization is able to rationalize user roles to those where Office web apps are adequate AND end user communications are properly initiated with leadership support, an organization can limit their license profile accordingly. The key distinction is relative to user, group and role rationalization combined with executive support. Obtaining that kind of information is difficult. Maintaining it is even more difficult. But that will always be the case when attempting to rationalize an enterprise environment to provide dynamic service delivery.

    Office file compatibility is certainly a factor but more so, most enterprises have a huge catalog of custom developed macros, VBA and databases that depend on Office. Many of these are critical to business operations. Arguably, critical business functions shouldn't be tied up in one off Office code through linked spreadsheets but it is common anyway. Office is an extensible platform that businesses have taken advantage of. Where business continuity is the end goal, you don't simply remove Office from the enterprise.

    Office, as an endpoint application suite is only as good as the back end. While many consumers may not use an Office back end, the enterprise is heavily invested. This includes everything from Exchange Server to SharePoint with other solutions on the fringe like Project Server. 30 minutes every day as an average for email is probably about right. As a pitch for Google Apps for Business, they fail to mention how critical that is because Exchange is the undeniable standard. If you don't want the CTO to show up at your cubicle, make sure that Exchange never goes down.

    Office file compatibility is inherently linked to collaboration and utilizing features that allow for increased scale and options for collaboration depend upon the latest Office suite. Microsoft releases Office file compatibility packs for legacy versions of Office to deal with intra-organizational file compatibility but collaboration through Sharepoint is another matter altogether. Office file templates is another matter. Office suites do very well with using alot of the same collateral without redeveloping it unless it uses custom code. Competitors simply do not have the same features so the level of effort is higher to move to another suite and quality is likely to be less when it uses advanced formatting options.

    Office does support saving files in an open document format in version(s) 2010 and 2013 if memory serves but I haven't seen many organizations use it as a default because it is more limited. Some areas where Office has dramatically improved in newer versions is related to Office file sizes. Office 2013 file sizes are half what they were for Office 2010. That may seem like a minor enhancement but it can pay big dividends in terms of enterprise storage. Other advancements associated with the 2013 suite include pivot tables.

    The enterprise and Microsoft Office are intertwined in ways that would take years to fully understand for the casual observer. While there are alternative productivity suites available, most enterprises would have little incentive to move over to them. Many that do end up using Office on the desktop anyway because web alternatives simply don't meet their business needs. They may be subscribing to Google Apps but they are using Microsoft Office extensively. In some cases, they go back to just using file shares instead of Google Docs storage because of limited compatibility.

    There is the matter of value assessment. This study assumes that certain actions can be equated to, "light editing" and that viewing documents are of little importance and complexity. They further assume that these tasks are of less importance for business critical tasks than others. IT rarely positions themselves as the arbitrator to assess value on the part of the business and frankly, they shouldn't. If the usage in most enterprises is a 70/30 split between, "light" usage and, "heavy" usage, there is still a common denominator; USAGE. If anyone is using it, it provides value to the business. Using an alternative MAY result in license cost savings but it could also impact productivity through training, file format conversions or redevelopment and collaboration.

    There is the matter of management. Office has extensive management features built into it with an excellent support model from Microsoft. IT places a premium on scale and management features and they should. Many aspects of the Office suite can be customized through the package and through Group Policy. That includes enterprise search, features and most importantly, SECURITY.

    When properly implemented, Office can run VBA and macros without user invention for approved and managed resources while retaining a high level of security for unknown or unmanaged sources. Being able to deploy App-V packages with user device affinity and provide access to Office Web applications increases the value even more. One cannot underestimate the value for mitigating security threats through on-going patch support as well.

    For competitors, the value for the Office suite, as a whole, is out of reach in the enterprise. For IT organizations, the risk for adopting an alternative is very high and the ROI for using an alternative is debatable at best. Using licensing and overly simplistic assumptions for usage is two dimensional. The service they provide, in and of itself, is almost laughable. Microsoft provides countless tools for gauging usage for Office. That also includes office file compatibility reporting as well.

    This kind of data can valuable but only when it is in the context of how the business operates. Light usage can equate to heavy usage in an alternative suite because it is more difficult to use or because it has fewer features. Light usage can also be critical to business operations with countless other dependencies. It might work for smaller organizations or even very large ones but it is multi-dimensional. At best, these results are tailored to favor their sales partnership with Google. It is in their best interest to make sure that their analytics increase sales. Naturally, the best way to do that is by using overly simplistic algorithms to associate value to usage and that is inherently flawed for many reasons.
  • Reply 108 of 132
    benjamin frostbenjamin frost Posts: 7,203member

    Originally Posted by DaveN View Post


    Google already reads my email. Why would I want them to read my spreadsheets and letters too? No thanks. It is either keep with MS Office for me or Apple's programs.

    Hilarious! You're happy for Google to read your emails but not your spreadsheets? It's like saying to Satan that you're happy for him to gently hold red hot pokers against your eyes, but tickling your feet? That's a big no no.

  • Reply 109 of 132
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Thanks for providing a source but you're discounting the role of non-traditional "PCs". Marketshare could also mean they can sell 91 Windows licenses out of a 100 desktop PC sales but there are only 1,000 PCs being sold per week and 10,000,000 post-PC devices then that market is effectively useless to them.

    "Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down -13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and worse than the forecast decline of -7.7%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The extent of the year-on-year contraction marked the worst quarter since IDC began tracking the PC market quarterly in 1994. The results also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines."

    Their new CEO looks like he's well aware that MS needs to shift their focus. I suspect MS will eventually settle on enterprise and backend services like IBM, a still very successful company.

    Naturally, non-traditional PC's includes virtual machines, right? IDC doesn't include those in their metrics.
  • Reply 110 of 132
    ecsecs Posts: 307member
    While I dislike Office, I've tried several alternatives over the years, and Office is the only one that really guarantees total compatibility, and that everything works just like on the display of your colleagues and customers. So, even if this study found 70% of the time is spent on viewing and light editing, however Office is still the best way of doing that.

    I said I dislike Office. Yes. But in my opinion, in order to switch to better software, the world needs to get rid of DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, etc, formats, and choose other formats instead. If these formats continue to be the standard, there's no real alternative to Office. I'be tried it for years, and Office was the only 100% reputable soft with these formats.

    But this study is payed by Google, of course.
  • Reply 111 of 132
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    sflocal wrote: »
    I refuse to subscribe to Office365. I shouldn't have to pay for the "privilege" to continuously use it.

    A lot of folks like to use that argument but when you buy it out right you are atill paying for the privilege of using it. Just at a different rate. Crunch the numbers and is it really that much different in costs. Sure if you buy a copy and use it for six years without any updates you might notice. But many folks don't do that, they reup with every version.

    If you really don't want to pay to play then you should be torrenting etc.
  • Reply 112 of 132
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    gman5541 wrote: »
    Nonsense. Office is iniquitous. Even if you're not using all of Office or none at all, you're using a suite that touts a degree of Office File Compatibility.

    Not at my office. Everything is on Macs went to other offices that use macs so we just use iWork. Or it's something that is a PDF so the other side can't alter it. Or a script which is either PDF or Final Draft.

    We are not the norm sure, but there are probably a few offices like us out there. Just depends on what industry you are talking to

    Ps. Check your dictionary, I don't think that's the word you meant to use. Perhaps ubiquitous?
  • Reply 113 of 132
    blah64blah64 Posts: 990member
    Originally Posted by DarkLite View Post

    It's nothing to do with 'world-famous, amazingly detailed psychological profiles' - according to the COPPA laws, even email addresses and IP addresses are 'personal information'. It doesn't matter if a company has the most stringent privacy policy in the world - if you sign up for an email address, that's 'collecting personal information' and they have to comply with COPPA. Hell, if you hit a 404 page on a site and the webserver logs the error (which it invariably will), that's 'collecting personal information' because they logged your IP.


    If the FCC thinks your site is 'directed to children under 13' or that you know people under 13 are using your site, you basically have to do all the COPPA stuff.


    You're totally right, of course, and hey, I'm totally on board. Google should not be allowed to provide services to kids (anywhere!), without verifiable parental sign-off.

    My question was: how the heck was a school allowed to sign up all their elementary aged students for google services? Are the laws that different in Canada that they don't even attempt to protect kids? Or did the school act illegally, in which case someone should complain.

    Related question: since google operates in the U.S., do COPPA laws apply for kids under age 13 who reside in other countries? The laws apply to Google, not the kids, and since Google is based in the U.S. it's not obvious to me (without digging probably pretty deep into COPPA and other laws) how that works.
  • Reply 114 of 132
    jbelkinjbelkin Posts: 74member
    Ms basically built their business by first bundling the office apps to kill their competition who sold standalone apps - then leveraging it with licensing of the WIN OS to bring everyone in line. Just as they've never bundled a full version of Outlook with Mac Office to discourage enterprise from even thinking of switching. Mac users either got Entourage or Outlook lite but never the same access as WIN Office users.

    Only a few specific employees of certain dept need the full power of WORD (Hell, how many people even use the footnote feature) or Excel outside of software to line up cells because Word's formatting is so sketchy? But until the internet, there were few alternatives.

    The current reality is that 95% of employees pretty much do all their typing in the email app - so yea, smart corporations will figure out they don't need an office license for every computer but then if they have mostly have a WIN OS license, MS will push back so they fold probably by threathening to audit them that MS office is really removed, etc ... or if they are large enough, offer them a huge discount.

    Of course, cloud apps only do offer an insecure option but there are certainly cheap/cheaper alternatives that serve 95% of the employees - just as there are some offices with no assigned cubes, it's a new world out there.

    And BTW, you do not really need Adobe reader to read PDF's - most browsers will do or iBooks or of course, Apple's office apps - even those that require a signin.
  • Reply 115 of 132
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member
    charlituna wrote: »
    Everything is on Macs went to other offices that use macs so we just use iWork.

    I think that gman5541 was pointing out that even iWork is somewhat compatible with Office files. For instance, you can read and write Microsoft .doc/.docx files with Pages.
  • Reply 116 of 132
    Yeah. Adobe Creative Cloud at $100/user/month and Office 365 Enterprise E3 at $20/user/month are MUCH better deals than this "monolithic" licensing model...NOT...

    Most folks are still running Office 2007 which they might have paid $400 or so for & Photoshop CS5 (2010) at about $795 or so...tell me how this new subscription model is going to SAVE ME MONEY??

    Look at the bar graph...Citrix Receiver is the #1 App...WHY? you can run your older version(s) of MS Office on your a terminal server somewhere...and not be asked to keep paying for the same damn functionality...over & over...
  • Reply 117 of 132
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

    You're totally right, of course, and hey, I'm totally on board. Google should not be allowed to provide services to kids (anywhere!), without verifiable parental sign-off.

    My question was: how the heck was a school allowed to sign up all their elementary aged students for google services? Are the laws that different in Canada that they don't even attempt to protect kids? Or did the school act illegally, in which case someone should complain.

    Related question: since google operates in the U.S., do COPPA laws apply for kids under age 13 who reside in other countries? The laws apply to Google, not the kids, and since Google is based in the U.S. it's not obvious to me (without digging probably pretty deep into COPPA and other laws) how that works.

    Here is an interesting article regarding Google apps for education:

  • Reply 118 of 132
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,803member

    I can't wait until I can run Office on the Xbox One and access the File Explorer from my gamepad. It's Microsoft's secret weapon against the Sony PS4. /s

  • Reply 119 of 132
    benjamin frostbenjamin frost Posts: 7,203member
    drew0020 wrote: »
    This is another embarrassing article from Daniel. It's be coming par for the course from apple nsider these days. I know it's an Apple fanboy site but I'd like to think of myself (and others) as intelligent and unbiased Apple fans. At my company which is >20,000 we use Office (go figure) and it is a necessity if you are doing any form of serious financial analysis.

    Judging from your post, your company doesn't care about attention to detail.
  • Reply 120 of 132
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,771member
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

    There is a lot more to Acrobat than you realize. It is a professional application on the same level and a complement to the Adobe CC suite. When you just print to PDF from your Mac you are using the open source specifications from 2008. If you don't have Acrobat Pro, you don't see all the items in the "Tools" and "Advanced" tabs with features that are constantly being added and refined.


    With due respect, you didn't specify a single feature, benefit, function or capability of Acrobat over Preview. I'm not saying there's no advantage, but I am saying that you haven't specified what the advantage may be.


    EDIT: I see you elaborated later. Never mind.

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