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Microsoft Businesses Government Software

Microsoft Unbundles Software For NY City 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-another-little-piece-of-my-software dept.
doishmere writes "Microsoft has agreed to sell individual pieces of software to NY City workers, rather than forcing each seat to buy a full suite of software. The city has created three classes of users based on which pieces of software they need to perform their job, and Microsoft will sell software packages tailored to each class at a reduced price."
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Microsoft Unbundles Software For NY City

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  • The Key Is (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DannyO152 (544940) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @07:07PM (#33967880)

    Getting money for something someone else has done. The NYC employees uses a Mac or LibreOffice, it matters not, Microsoft still collects.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Getting money for something someone else has done. The NYC employees uses a Mac or LibreOffice, it matters not, Microsoft still collects.

      Paradoxically, NY city "saves" 50 mils in 5 years. WTF?

    • by retchdog (1319261)

      Microsoft has Mac products (whether they suck or not), but everyone I know runs the Windows versions in Parallels anyway. At any rate I doubt NYC has many Macs in use.

      OpenOffice is, frankly, garbage. LibreOffice I haven't used, but is still in beta with only a few 100k downloads so I doubt it's been deployed in a large city.

      Microsoft's Office software is actually pretty good and, yes, I would buy a closed-source linux version if they sold it. For the moment I use Crossover Office which, although somewhat er

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by froggymana (1896008)

        You know that you can run Microsoft Office 2007 in Wine, right? It works very well and I have never had any problems with it on Linux. You just have to install a few extra things, but thats fairly easy with wine-tricks. I do a fair amount of things in it for school.

        I haven't tried Microsoft Office 2010 yet though, so its hard for me to say if it works or not.

        • by retchdog (1319261)

          Crossover Office is wine, except they take care of everything for you for a relatively small price. (It takes me less time to earn the $ to pay for cxoffice than to get wine working on even one tricky software.)

          Since cxoffice is a legit contributor to wine I'm even supporting open source at the same time.

          Thanks for the pointer about wine-tricks though, always good to know alternatives.

      • OpenOffice is, frankly, garbage. LibreOffice I haven't used, but is still in beta with only a few 100k downloads so I doubt it's been deployed in a large city.

        Really? How long did you use it? I've been using it for several years and have had less problems with it than with MS Office. Even my non-computer savvy wife used it for several years writing term papers and book reports for her masters degree. Your follow up statement about LibreOffice tells me you don't know that much about either OpenOffice or LibreOffice. They are one in the same - OpenOffice became LibreOffice after it split from under Oracle(nee Sun)'s wing.

        • by retchdog (1319261)

          I've used it plenty. I have memories of when OpenOffice was good, and this seems to be backed up by many people. On the other hand, maybe my standards just improved or, more likely, Microsoft and Apple have actually improved their stuff while OpenOffice is still bloating up their clone of Office 97 or whatever.

          I just downloaded LibreOffice after replying to this post (note: when you have something that actually works, like Microsoft Office, you don't have to bother trying every "new" office suite in the hop

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        OpenOffice is, frankly, garbage.

        Care to elaborate?

        • by retchdog (1319261)

          Slow. Unstable. Ugly. Inconsistent (try saving a complex OOImpress document as a PDF). Rife with internecine politics.

          Hopefully LibreOffice fixes some of this. It'll still be ugly, but the rest may be fixed and that might be enough.

      • by I_M_Noman (653982)

        At any rate I doubt NYC has many Macs in use

        Only in the schools. (There are only about 1,600 of those.)

        • by retchdog (1319261)

          And is the NYC Department of Education paying for Microsoft Office for those computers and not using it?

    • Oh, at first I thought you were describing the city itself, which collects regardless of what it does. Ironic that they are angry at being treated the same by Microsoft.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the first place?

    I mean, the fact that Microsoft was forcing software bundles on the city seems very sneaky and underhanded. Usually when you're dealing with that big of a client, you're cutting them the deal, not the other way around.

    Also, as much as I love Windows, there is no reason that organizations looking to save money should not be using OpenOffice or one of its variants.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tverbeek (457094)

      I'm old enough to remember when Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Project, Visio, and whatever else MS is bundling these days as "Office" were simply separate products, which anyone could buy individually. "Microsoft Office" was just a less expensive way to get a bunch of them together. They were put together to leverage the more popular apps in the package, to entice (and then lock) users into using the less successful ones. The idea was to cut into (for example) WordPerfect sales by giving pe

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Gadget_Guy (627405) *

        I'm old enough to remember when Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Project, Visio, and whatever else MS is bundling these days as "Office" were simply separate products, which anyone could buy individually.

        You still can buy them separately. I was just looking at a pricelist earlier today that showed Word, Excel, Outlook and Access as individual items. If you wanted more than one product then you were much better off buying the cheapest Office package.

      • by tehcyder (746570)
        So? What exactly did/does Microsoft do to stop you buying fucking WordPerfect or Lotus 1-2-3 if you're that bothered? Nothing, they just made it not worth the effort, because those products were not that much better than Word or Excel.
  • Maybe free hot dogs from NY street vendors for their employees. This would definitely be a mission for these guys: http://improveverywhere.com/ [improveverywhere.com]

    Armies of folks converge somewhere in NYC, wearing Microsoft T-Shirts, and demand their free hot dogs. And then disappear.

    Actually, the trick would probably work better if the folks had iPhone / IPad / iWhatever T-Shirts . . .

    An old NYC saying says, "A hot dog vendor, and his hot dog, are not easily parted . . . without a cash payment, or a bare knuckles fist

    • Perhaps the city threatened to migrate some departments away from Microsoft -- like, for example, the computers that are used in the city's school system? I bet that would have gotten Microsoft to start begging.
      • by I_M_Noman (653982)

        Perhaps the city threatened to migrate some departments away from Microsoft -- like, for example, the computers that are used in the city's school system? I bet that would have gotten Microsoft to start begging.

        Too late. (Unless you're talking about the computers in the school offices? Yeah, we're all on Win XP / Office 2007.)

  • Wait... so they "unbundled" the Office Suite and recreated 3 new bundles costing on average $500 per person? That's the same price as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher bundled together as Office Professional 2010 without a bulk institutional discount!

    What a deal!

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If this includes developer tools, Exchange, AD, etc, then 500 per person average sounds about right.

      • by jesseck (942036)
        Exchange is not Office- it's in Microsoft's server product category (different products in different categories for volume licensing). AD is also Servers (and is part of Windows Servers). Developer's tools- doubtful. You get macros w/ Office Professional.
  • ... is an explanation of why apparently no city employee in any function whatsoever could so much as even consider using OpenOffice for anything at all.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by js3 (319268)

      The fact that when you open an MS word document and do any editing it fucks it up for everyone else is one reason. One of our meetings went like this

      "Who uses open office?"

      "silence"

  • Poor New Yorkers! (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by bogaboga (793279)

    They will slowly be strangled by those closed [proprietary] Microsoft Office formats.

    It's document editing and email...for now. What Microsoft will do is to wait for another administration then 'sweeten' the deal. Slowly, Powerpoint, Excel, and all the rest will come into the fold. Then...

    Guess what! They will be hooked to the extent that thinking of another alternative will be too expensive a proposition.

    Time will tell...but I am almost sure New Yorkers have not seen nothing yet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285)
      This just happened again the other day. Older version of MS Word on an older machine. I know that updates can loaded and filters can be installed, what I do not understand is why file formats cannot be made somewhat backwards compatible by establishing a system of conditional statements. Of course such a feature would only encourage people not to pay for upgrades, which would be very bad.

      Anyway Openoffice solved the problem. There are features that open office does not have, like collaboration, is han

  • Finally. (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Cornwallis (1188489)

    I guess now I can convince MS to sell me their uninstall utility. That's all I want to use.

  • I am constantly surprised when I see figures like this. I love OpenOffice/LibreOffice its incredible and Microsoft Office is simply not worth the money to me. I cannot think how many Developers NewYork could add to its workforce with its own Bespoke Extensions that it cannot be worth the money. I keep seeing all these large migrations from Office. When will there be a move with real Developer power behind it.
  • by dcavanaugh (248349) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @08:57PM (#33968806) Homepage

    GAO contracts usually have a "most favored customer" clause, meaning that any better offer to another customer is automatically offered to the federal government. I wonder that such terms apply in this case.

    • by Pherlin (1131333)

      It would... but that would also depend on Microsoft being a Direct GAO Vendor.

      Not saying that they aren't... but my gut tells me that some distributor(s) that is(are) able to resell volume licences is more likely the one on a GAO Contract.

  • Microsoft is a corporation, a technology corporation but a corporation nevertheless. The mentality behind this move is very clear: whatever it takes for the dog to bite. If they scoffed and tried to force the entire suite of products at full price on a cash-strapped city on the heels of an election they would get no business whatsoever, and some PHB who finally listened to the greyhair running the servers would find out exactly how good microsofts competition is. business operating is a recession is sti
  • Now they're trying to foist the idea of a caste system on the rest of the poor sods out there stuck using Windows (not just the ones working at Microsoft) because of idiotic decisions on workplace IT policies made by people who don't end up having to support and implement what ends up being purchased. Or those IT heads incompetent enough to still keep continuing to promote using any Microsoft software.

    I've maintained for several years now that the above point is the main reason that Windows, Office and Se

    • by clodney (778910)

      I've maintained for several years now that the above point is the main reason that Windows, Office and Server are pretty much the only thing keeping Microsoft solvent, as those three divisions' continuing success mainly hinges on the applied wisdom of decision making by the heads of educational, corporate and government institutions regarding technical matters (or rather the complete lack thereof) rather than Microsoft making any discernable effort regarding the quality of the products and services they provide...

      Those 3 divisions the only things keeping MS solvent? From what I can tell by looking at earnings reports, those 3 divisions are about 90% of the company. I think most companies would be happy that 90% of the business lines are solidly profitable.

    • Office and Server are pretty much the only thing keeping Microsoft solvent, as those three divisions' continuing success mainly hinges on the applied wisdom of decision making by the heads of educational, corporate and government institutions regarding technical matters (or rather the complete lack thereof)

      Their entertainment division (mainly because of the Xbox, although other things (like Zune) get run out of there) is profitable and doesn't rely in institutional purchasers at all.

      • by avatar139 (918375) *

        Their entertainment division (mainly because of the Xbox, although other things (like Zune) get run out of there) is profitable and doesn't rely in institutional purchasers at all.

        You caught me, you're right. Rather you're half-right.

        I forgot they merged the entertainment with the devices in 2005 to help bury the fact that the XBox 360 still takes a loss on every console sold, although how much is a matter of some debate in the industry.

        So while the mobile devices side of the entertainment division fence makes money, the 360 and the Zune are basically write-offs.

        • EVERY console takes a loss per console sold. The Xbox 360 division is profitable because of selling licensing rights to games and its online service that gamers are willing to pay $60.00 a year for.
          The merging of entertainment and "mobile devices" was to make mobile devices more profitable, not the Xbox. What mobile devices makes Microsoft money? The Kin?
  • "New York City has put the squeeze on Microsoft, negotiating a bulk software purchase that should lower technology costs for the city and give government workers access to more modern applications .. But Microsoft’s agreement with New York covers a broader set of applications beyond office software that Google has yet to match" link [nytimes.com]

    What `broader set of applications' does MS offer that NYC needs to do its work?

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