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Microsoft Piracy

Microsoft Kills Office Anti-Piracy Program 233

CWmike writes "Microsoft last week killed the Office Genuine Advantage anti-piracy service that first checked — and later nagged — whether customers were running legal copies of Office. ZDNet blogger Ed Bott first reported on Microsoft's move after a tipster pointed him toward a support document on the company's site. That Dec. 17 document simply noted that Office Genuine Advantage 'has been retired,' but offered no explanation. A Microsoft spokeswoman told Computerworld on Monday, 'The program has served its purpose and thus we have decided to retire the program.'"
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Microsoft Kills Office Anti-Piracy Program

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  • Statistics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:16PM (#34620884) Journal

    They probably were more interested in discovering how many pirated copies might be out there rather than thwarting them. Microsoft has always been about market share even if they have to give it way to get it. They practically encouraged people to pirate Windows in the 3.x days.

    • Re:Statistics (Score:5, Informative)

      by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:20PM (#34620936)

      "They practically encouraged people to pirate Windows in the 3.x days."

      It worked superbly with Office 97 etc.

      If you want to catch fish, throw some chum before the bait with the hook in it. :)

      • Re:Statistics (Score:4, Insightful)

        by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:35PM (#34621130) Homepage Journal

        I remembering Microsoft distributing Outlook 98 for free. Now you don't even get Outlook with the Home and Student edition, but have to fork over some major cash.
        The problem is that people do so, instead of using an e-mail client instead.

        • The problem is that people [buy a copy of Microsoft Office just for Outlook] instead of using an e-mail client instead.

          Does the e-mail client have an appointment calendar? For example, are Thunderbird users aware of Lightning [mozilla.org], a version of Sunbird packaged as a T-bird extension? There's a reason that Outlook's icon is a clock, and not just because the rim and hands spell "OL". And can it connect to Exchange at work, where IT has disabled standards-based connection protocols for nebulous "security reasons"?

          • by gadget junkie ( 618542 ) <gbponz@libero.it> on Monday December 20, 2010 @06:40PM (#34622092) Journal

            The problem is that people [buy a copy of Microsoft Office just for Outlook] instead of using an e-mail client instead.

            Does the e-mail client have an appointment calendar? For example, are Thunderbird users aware of Lightning [mozilla.org], a version of Sunbird packaged as a T-bird extension? There's a reason that Outlook's icon is a clock, and not just because the rim and hands spell "OL". And can it connect to Exchange at work, where IT has disabled standards-based connection protocols for nebulous "security reasons"?

            I work in a small office (My own!!). My partner is a thumbfisted computer user, take Excel off his computer and he usually would use it as a lamp. BUT, after I installed Thunderbird+ lightning + shared gmail calendar, he was hooked.

            Training time: 0

            His happy face when he clicked his way to setting up a shared event: priceless

          • nebulous security reasons

            They are not so nebulous - when we put Outlook on the internet, it got pwned. They don't dare put Outlook on the internet naked anymore - we have it behind this secured XMLRPC gateway that MS bought from an Israeli security company ("Internet Application Gateway").

            I agree that some of the reason is just pure spite against other software. We previously had an IMAP server, so I could pick up my mail using Thunderbird from anywhere. Now we have Outlook, it's the only program that implements the IAG client, so

        • by bami ( 1376931 )

          You get a lot of stuff free if you have a valid windows license though.

          Outlook Express, the free thing that shipped with Windows XP is revamped to Windows Live Mail. I've used it for a while, got office 2007 (for free through some random student program) and switched to outlook for things where there is no web interface (Exchange webmail is horrible (and broken in some places) in anything but IE, and I don't have the time to install web access to the mail address of my webdomain).

          You can always get Thunderb

        • To be fair, you don't get much out of Outlook without Exchange on the server.. IMHO Outlook should have stayed with the Exchange team.
      • Re:Statistics (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 20, 2010 @06:48PM (#34622194) Journal

        And all the FOSS advocates had a living shitfit about piracy, but you know what? It was a brilliant move. What do you need in an office? You need workers skilled in the tools you use. MSFT never made squat off of home users of office products so it was better to "wink wink" look the other way and let them gain familiarity and skill in their office products which corps will then buy to keep from worrying about a BSAA visit.

        And I'm sorry I can't find the link, but I once saw a great podcast with Ballmer where he explained his thoughts on piracy. He said "I'm not really worried about some kid at a dorm somewhere that passes a copy of WinXP to his friend. What I AM worried about is some boat coming from Malaysia loaded down with counterfeit copies of XP that even I can't tell apart from the legitimate product. THAT is what we are going after with WGA, because if someone buys a machine from an unscrupulous vendor there frankly isn't any way just by looking at a disc or box to tell."

        MSFT knows piracy works to their advantage. Those that pirated as kids end up being customers as adults. They will have experience with MSFT products, know all the shortcuts, and will frankly be an easy sale. That is why I still think Ballmer was nuts to kill the $50 Home Permium program. You'd be surprised how many XP pirates I know are now legit Windows 7 users thanks to the $50 upgrade, and now MSFT has an audience for selling other products, such as the way WMC plugs in nicely into the x360, and for the "anytime upgrade" to Pro or Ultimate. You catch them with pirated free, lure them into the fold with cheap legit copies, and then you have a captive audience to sell to. It is just good business.

    • by Elbereth ( 58257 )

      That's not really true. Microsoft has always been strongly against piracy. However, what you might be thinking about is how easy it was for personal, home users to pirate their products. Microsoft has never raided some guy's house because he was running a pirated version of Windows. However, they certainly have raided businesses. Going after individual pirates doesn't really accomplish anything, but going after the larger cracking groups and corporate users does.

      Just because it doesn't make business se

    • I think you're right there. Microsoft may not be happy that people are pirating they're products and would probably rather have every copy paid for. But they'd also rather have people using a pirated version of their competition instead of a competitor's product. That reduces the chances of another competitor rising up because they have such a stronghold on the marketplace.

      Also, it's probably not worth the time and hassle to harass personal users of the software (medium-large sized corporations maybe)
    • I think it may be more to the fact that because of the strictness of GA it most likely drove a lot of people to open office and google docs. Where before they would get someone buy a copy and share it with three or four people. But they would be using office and demanding office files.

  • time to let everyone pirate software just like in the 90's. next step is to change the serial # back to all 1's

    • I started putting copies of Open Office on computers I worked on or when people asked me for a copy of office. Most people are happy with it, outside of a friend who was a medical transcriptionist and had some special apps that were tied into MS Office.

      Back in the day, whenever I set up a new computer, the first disk I reached for after the OS install was MS Office. Things have changed so much now that I can hardly remember the last time I fired up a word processor and actually used it. If it wasn't for th

      • by Barny ( 103770 )

        I work at a small computer company, and had the decision of putting forward what apps and tools to integrate onto our pre-install image.

        My boss said, "Wait, you mean we can give people this open office thing free?". Yeah we lose the odd sale of MS Office or two, but we sell more PCs because customers get the stuff they want without having to go looking for it.

        That aside, I used to be like you, I went for six years without any sort of office software on my pc. However I started writing as a hobby, and now, w

        • ... I started writing as a hobby, and now, well, all my PCs have OOo installed.

          If you started writing as a hobby, you might want to look for Storybook. It's FOSS and I believe it's on Sourceforge.

          • by Barny ( 103770 )

            Will do, the only real requirement is that it supports English Australian dictionary.

  • ...on what large account threatened to go to OpenOffice if Microsoft kept nagging 'em?

    More seriously (because I know how enterprise licensing works, and I know that an enterprise account was not likely the reason behind this) I dare say that the program simply wasn't profitable--that people either cracked the program to stop nagging 'em if they pirated it, or went to some competitor. No profits = no use nagging.
    • Re:Any bets... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tophermeyer ( 1573841 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:32PM (#34621094)

      Yeah, I feel like what has been happening is that individual users who aren't going to be paying money for business software on their personal machine anyway (like myself), were responding to Genuine Advantage by adopting OpenOffice rather than sticking with MS Office.

      As individual users move towards OO, small businesses move towards OO. As OO gets more common, more people feel like OO is an acceptable option. You see where I'm going with this.

      Seems like it would be better for Microsoft to keep users on MS Office than push them off MS Office altogether.

      • Re:Any bets... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by KublaiKhan ( 522918 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:35PM (#34621148) Homepage Journal
        I think that Google Docs, for better or for worse, will end up having a bigger impact than OpenOffice (or any forks thereof): it comes from a recognizeable 'brand name' and it's got an interface that people are reasonably familiar with. It also "just works"--nothing to install or configure or whatnot.

        When it comes down to the end user, that's going to be one of the biggest criteria for what platform to adopt--and if it were a choice between google docs and MS Office, most people I know would pick the cheaper and easier option.

        Besides, MS doesn't package Office with Windows--but they do package 'the internet'.
        • The problem is that Google Docs is a pain in the ass compared to a local application. OO does have an Oracle flash screen which most people that work in a corporation after familiar with, and it looks like Office 97-2k3 rather than "Ribbons". For most people that are not just entering the market, the brand name and the familiar interface make it a better choice than a browser run application.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blarkon ( 1712194 )
        Most people weren't going to Open Office - they simply put up with the nagging - because in the end the nagging was less annoying than using Open Office.
      • As individual users move towards OO, small businesses move towards OO. As OO gets more common, more people feel like OO is an acceptable option. You see where I'm going with this.

        Nowhere fast.

        If your employer is part of Microsoft's Home Use Program [microsofthup.com] then your personal copy of MS Office Professional is a $9.95 download for Windows or the Mac.

        [U.S. - The price will be about the same, localized for just anywhere eles in the world. DVD media is available]

        Microsoft Office Professional Academic [microsoft.com] is $80 direct from

    • Re:Any bets... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:44PM (#34621278) Journal

      You know, its funny how these Slashdot articles line up with work.

      I just got back from a weeks vacation to learn that we have an upcoming Microsoft Audit here in January. They're going to be viewing our server licenses, office, all that kind of stuff. We're not too concerned since we purchase these things OEM bundled all nice and tidy, but on the odd occaison where a re-install of Windows was necessary and the Office Product key lost, we had this neat version of Office 2003 that didn't need a key to install, imagine that.

      On top of that - we actually have about 150 thousand dollars worth of Client Access Licenses in use on our exchange server that aren't paid for, JUST in our disabled accounts (whose email store we haven't removed since the CEO wants to be able to access them at a moments notice, and we just started the process of archiving them a couple months ago).

      I have told my boss numerous times that we could have switched to OpenOffice or LibreOffice long ago. Almost no retraining really required, the layout is largely the same. No licensing fees. But he pushes back that what they are paying for is insurance. When something doesn't work between MS Office versions he can blame Microsoft. Perfect deflection. He doesn't want to be the guy who made everyone switch off Microsoft and then be expected to fully support it more than MS Office. Its alright, he has his reasons. I don't blame him. I would take the flak and argue the savings - I've personally had enough trouble just getting MS Office to work properly I couldn't see any of the other products possibly being any worse (Especially since OpenOffice can now be deflected to Oracle, Huzzah!).

      I -WISH- my company was a large account that threatened to go somewhere else if Microsoft kept nagging us... My coworkers say that what'll probably happen is that the guy will come in, survey, ask for a dollar amount, the company will write a cheque, and IT won't get Christmas bonuses this year.

      Time to look for a new place to work? Yeah it's going through our (the IT Department's) minds quite a bit. Resumes in hand.

      • Why does that sound awfully like a mafia protection racket?
      • Re:Any bets... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by darkonc ( 47285 ) <stephen_samuel@bcgr e e n . com> on Monday December 20, 2010 @06:08PM (#34621668) Homepage Journal

        ..... I have told my boss numerous times that we could have switched to OpenOffice or LibreOffice long ago.....But he pushes back that what they are paying for is insurance. When something doesn't work between MS Office versions he can blame Microsoft. Perfect deflection.

        Has he ever read MS's EULA? If it breaks, you can blame Microsoft (just like you can blame Oracle if Open Office breaks), but you can't ask for any reparations. You have no better protection against broken code with Microsoft than you do with freed software -- Actually Microsoft is worse.

        Going with Microsoft, you're not allowed to look at the broken code, much less fix it nor are you allowed to sue them for the costs of broken code -- even if you can prove negligence... and, on top of that, you have to deal with things like license audits that will cost you random amounts of money on top of their 'insurance' fees. With freed software, you still don't have the rights of suing for broken code, but you do have the right to (pay someone to) look at the broken code and fix it. At that point Even if the product's originator (Oracle, in this case) doesn't like your fix, you can always keep a (not so) private fork with your improvements. Try and do that with Micorosoft Office code.

        • Irrelevant. MS Office is their current standard. If there's something wrong with it, it's easy to deflect blame because it's what was already in use, and what everyone else is using. If you make the company switch to OO.o, then any results of that switch (good or bad) are your responsibility. If there are negative results, then it is your fault. Sticking with MS Office costs money, but it's money that's been in your budget for years, so you don't have to fight for it. Switching will save money, but yo
        • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

          Don't discount the value of the ability to point the finger, even if you have to pay for a fix. It can save your job/career when things go south due to no fault of your own..

        • I think that's somewhat besides the point. What GP was saying is that the manager wants to have someone else to blame, not someone else to fix it. Wrong mentality, sure, but how else do you get to be a manager?

    • Dosn't need a large account, Home users aren't a proffit margain for MS the way businesses are. They most likely could care less if you spent the 150 on a home edition of MS office, they are more worried about the 45k giant business contract they have with your company. Have nothing in common you think? Here's microsoft's fear. Joe Midlevel in the company goes home, can't afford or can't justify spending 150 on something he only uses for work, because some reason the company won't buy him a copy, he discov
    • I had a legit copy and was only told once about activation and never nagged. I don't know what versions others have, but if you want free, maybe you should go with OpenOffice instead of running your trial out on Office. It is seriously odd, because I have a MSDN membership, and got Office through there, and it said something when I first installed office, but after that, it has completely left me alone
  • It didn't work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:21PM (#34620946) Homepage
    It cost money to maintain and stopped no one. There is no point to it.
    • Citation needed
      • I know numerous people that use downloaded copies of office and most of which were barely computer literate.
        • Yeah I have to give the pirates credit, as yet again I'm more impressed by their "product" than I am the original. I had a friend that was one of those "just knows enough to be dangerous" types hand me a couple of DVDs with a "yo, check this out". Now I remember when pirates actually had to deal with cracks, reg entries, all sorts of BS, but these things were just amazing on how stupid one could be and still work it.

          The first was a copy of Office 2K7 that had every single version, from Student o Ultimate, a

    • Not really the goal (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @06:31PM (#34621954)

      The goal with MS's stuff has always been to find distributors who are committing fraud. While I'm sure they don't mind stopping individuals doing casual piracy, they realize that'll never happen on a large scale. So the real objective is stores ripping people off.

      What you discover is that still around half of all computers sold are done by small shops. May have shrunk some since I last checked stats, but it is a lot. People go to their local computer store and get a PC built. Fine and well. The problem is some of these shops decided to pad their bottom line by handing out pirated software. They don't tell their customers, of course. You think you are getting a legit Windows license and aren't.

      So MS started WGA to combat that. Well when WGA tripped, if you called MS, they asked you questions regarding where you got Windows, and then issued you a legit license (had to do this at a client's site). What they were after is who is handing this stuff out. If they get a bunch of information that indicates a given store is doing it, then they can go after them. They apparently had success with this.

      Well my guess is that what they've found is that stores are not doing this with Office. They implemented it, hoping to have the same kind of thing happen, but have found that stores are not doing it.

      Makes sense. Most people, when the buy Office, buy it as an addon to the system. You pay a specific price for it. However Windows is an assumed part of the price of a computer. So in the case of Windows easy for a small business to decide they want to just not pay and pad their margins (or reduce the price to make it more attractive). Less likely with something sold as a separate addon.

  • Theory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Capt.DrumkenBum ( 1173011 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:23PM (#34620982)
    My theory is that they are scrapping it because it worked. If it works, people can't run their pirated copy of Office whatever, and instead of running out to the store like a good little lemming to buy the latest MS Office. They instead go and download OpenOffice, LibreOffice, or just start using Google Apps.

    LibreOffice is good enough for me.
    • I was just going to reply 'Two words: Open Office' to the parent but yours is much better.
    • It's always been my experience that the only people that use MS Office are employees required to use it. I rarely see home users go out and actively purchase MS Office unless it's for business use. In short, corporations don't pirate software nearly to the same degree as any other group. Besides, why bother with GA scheme when you can rely on the eyes and ears of a disgruntled employee to rat out their previous employer? Hell, it's easy. Just visit http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/reporting/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

    • by Senes ( 928228 )
      Well it didn't work in the way you would think it worked.

      It worked in the sense that it probably flagged a few businesses which MS could audit, at the businesses' own expense, and then slap with fees because some cubicle drone was fooling around with something he wasn't supposed to have been.

      They know it won't stop intentional piracy because the intentionally pirated versions now come packaged with circumvention measures. But if they can keep charging businesses those fees, then they still make a hefty p
    • Yea no, if you're savy enough to pirate office, you're also savvy enough to get around something as silly as WGA/OGA. Most pirated copies already include software to disable these "features" on install. So it had absolutely no affect on pirates. I imagine their were plenty of false positives however that lead to a lot of ticked off actual customers. I remember a long time ago a lot of Canadians couldn't get direct TV, it wasn't sold there. So they started making bootleg access cards and getting it for free
  • by clone52431 ( 1805862 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:30PM (#34621064)

    Did they mean there’s no longer any advantage to using Genuine Office?

  • by 1800maxim ( 702377 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:32PM (#34621100)
    Get MS Office Home & Student edition, pay a rather reasonable cost of $149 (CDN) and live and breathe free! This version will satisfy most people's needs with Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
    • by KublaiKhan ( 522918 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:38PM (#34621186) Homepage Journal
      I don't have $149, and am neither a student nor Canadian.

      I'll stick with a competing product that works and costs less, thank you.
      • I don't have $149, and am neither a student nor Canadian.

        Man, you have it rough. I mean, if you don't even have $149 dollars - I have trouble seeing you owning a PC in the first place... Maybe you meant "$149 freely to spend on whatever" - but I'm going to take it to mean you live from paycheck to paycheck, never having more than $149 in your bank account. Probably heavily in debt.

        And I mean, if you ARE in debt, that would totally make sense if you were a student. Tuitions only seem to be going up and up, with less subsidy from the government. Those riots in the

      • First of, if you're sticking with a competing product for free, you're not a pirate.

        Second, Student & Home edition is not just for students.

        Vast majority of pirates in the US and Canada could afford to buy a S&H edition of Office for $129/$149. Otherwise, stick to OpenOffice.org.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mmaniaci ( 1200061 )

      The software you listed is worth nowhere near $150. I'd pay $30 and maybe up to $60 if I was an early adopter. Its a text processor, spreadsheet program, and slideshow program. Woop-de-fucking-do.

      • by eepok ( 545733 )

        Ya, I use LibreOffice (having just made the move from OpenOffice) at home. I'd actually buy and use MS Office if it was worth what they charged. I'd pay $30 in a heartbeat for a legal installation of Word, Excel, Powerpoint. It's just good to have when dealing with other people's documents or when troubleshooting other people's software illiteracy.

        But I'm certainly not paying $100+ for 3 programs that are now so effectively duplicated.

    • or, you can pay $0.0149 to download Open Office . Then you'll really live and breathe free!

      You won't have to worry about MS License police deciding that you're not (any longer) qualified for the student discount and should pay $x0,000 in license fees and penalties.

      • You won't have to worry about MS License police deciding that you're not (any longer) qualified for the student discount and should pay $x0,000 in license fees and penalties.

        Then just claim you're a home user.

        You are aware that it's Home and Student Edition [microsoft.com], not just Student edition?

        Of course, this is ignoring MS's policy that you only need to be a student when you receive their software and can continue using it afterward. This applies to things like Windows, Visual Studio, etc... that are available th

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:33PM (#34621110)

    How about they kill activation too while they are at it, especially for VLK licensees? Why businesses have to bounce machines off of MS's activation servers when they will end up getting rebuilt anyway, or have to set up core MAK servers for six month activations at a time is insane. A business is under the barrel of the BSA anyway, so they won't be pirating Windows/Office (at least if they want to stay in business after firing an employee who rats them out.)

    OGA/WGA/activation is pointless. It annoys the legit users while the pirates are happily ignoring it.

    • by Twintop ( 579924 ) <david@twintop-tahoe.com> on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:44PM (#34621290) Homepage Journal

      OGA/WGA/activation is pointless. It annoys the legit users while the pirates are happily ignoring it.

      Exactly. I'm running a legit copy of Sever 2008 R2 and after my latest reinstall (on to a SSD), it wouldn't activate without calling an automated number and following prompts. I tried 3 times to get it to activate through this method but it 'failed' every time. After the 3rd try, I let the automated service send me off to talk with a human rep...except for one problem: the extension the system sent me to was a disconnected number. After having wasted 45 minutes on the "simple and automated" system, I found a WGA crack (or whatever the hell they're calling it now) and have been puttering along for the last several months with no problems at all.

      • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

        Activation on server products is a gripe of mine. For production critical operating systems, why do they cause potential problems with paying customers? The pirates happily have this disabled. It is the people who pay the good money for the server editions, only to find they have to call in and get shunted to /dev/null who are screwed.

        Thankfully MS doesn't completely disable the OS like they used to, so an unactivated Windows copy is more of an annoyance than downtime.

    • by RulerOf ( 975607 )

      OGA/WGA/activation is pointless.

      It's not pointless, but it is annoying.

      I take it that you've never used KMS before. As someone who has deployed both XP with a VLK and 7 with KMS, I have to say that KMS is the one thing that Microsoft has finally gotten right about license management. You don't even put keys in your images or scripted installs anymore. It's completely automatic.

      • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

        KMS is actually nice. But it has a few caveats which are annoying:

        1: To have a KMS server, you need 20 (IIRC) clients or 5+ servers.
        2: Activations expire every six months.
        3: You have to make sure your infrastructure can connect to the KMS server, so machines can get their needed keys.

        Its better than MAK, but the best (IMHO) was XP Pro -- pay for a VLK/SA, and not worry about activation, and the infrastructure changes for it.

    • The whole point is to make it annoying, so that the easily-scared father of a family will feel ill at ease when confronted with a big warning he is doing something illegal (--> deterrent, it makes you feel a criminal), or give up because he has to find a crack through a website full of pr0n, or call in a kiddie next door. I'm not saying it works very well, just that the rationale is that for the 1% that fall for it.

      In other words: having to input a key, legit or fake, makes you acquire *conscience* of wh

  • It just wouldn't be Microsoft without detection tools that let pirated copies pass and cause trouble to the owners of valid licenses.

  • I wonder if the OGA system was decommissioned because Microsoft sees a new trend in server-based, cloud computing versus the decentralized system we have now. Microsoft might really moving towards offering Software as a Service. Very soon, you might use Microsoft Office online only and pay a subscription fee to use a cloud-based form of the office system. In anticipation of this move (and this is purely conjecture) it makes no sense to keep spending money on the infrastructure necessary to maintain the O
  • I received an email from Chase Online Banking today saying Microsoft is retiring their Money software. Here's the text...

    We have been notified that Microsoft® is retiring their Money and Money Plus software. As a result, we will no longer support Microsoft Money at chase.com. Starting January 31, 2011: * We will remove or disable all online banking features within Money. * You will not be able to use Money to download transactions from Chase Online. * You will still have the ability
    • It does say something to people who bought MS Money alright! It means after you buy software, the vendor has plenty of ways to take it away from you later. Sure you can still run MS Money to manage your accounts and such, but when feature support is dropped by the companies you use it with, you begin to realize that Microsoft is still in control of the Money you spent your cash on. People who use MS Money are also people who are more careful with their money -- otherwise why else would they use a program

  • How do we remove OGA installations left behind?

  • by ZappedSparky ( 1935014 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @06:28PM (#34621918)
    My computer like a few came with MSO pre-installed. I didn't mind the initial legit check (I still have the licence key) and subsequent download of updates. It's when a few months later it asked, nay, demanded to check again. Later I opened a document and it asked again, and again, and again so on and so forth. An e-mail natter back and forth with someone whose spelling could be better at Microsoft help got me nowhere. "Have you entered the correct licence key?" "Have you un-installed and re-installed, then re-entered the licence key?" There must be something better I thought. So I gave Open Office a try. A free office program? It must be a bit naff, full of bugs I thought. Well I was surprised, I've had no problems with it and it covers all my needs. I haven't looked back since.
  • and decided to go with OOo and Google Docs (free). So far I haven't regretted my decision one bit. Heck, when I got an iPad, I was glad I had a Docs account, as Documents2Go synced perfectly with Docs. I tried the web version of Office, and while it looked great, it was far less functional than Docs.
    Admittedly, I don't have incredibly complex document needs. Basic word and spreadsheet, and so far Google Docs and OO have handled my formatting needs just fine. I export as doc or docx or xls when necessary, or

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:03PM (#34622400) Journal
    As far as individual users are concerned Microsoft does not care if they pirate it or not, as long as they use Ms Office. But they care about the corporate accounts. So many corporations have bought perpetual license for Office 97. Office 2000, Office 2005 etc. They are all running them in virtual WinXP created by VNC or some such virtualization product. They don't see any reason to upgrade Win, or even get security updates because, all the security policy is imposed and handled by the virtualization server. So pretty soon huge corporate accounts are going to get off the upgrade treadmill.

    I expect a huge fight between Microsoft and the corporations over whether or not the original license allows them to use the product on a virtual machine. The compromise is going to be one last payment to Microsoft to regularize the licenses and that would be the last golden egg laid by the MsOffice goose. After that it will be cooked I suppose.

  • Microsoft didn't worry about end user copying and sharing until they gained what they call "critical mass." After that, they are free and comfortable to abuse their customers by wielding their monopoly powers in various ways with impunity. This was most notably true with MS Windows. The moment OS/2 was effectively dead, they went with their anti-copy measures and it didn't matter to them who it inconvenienced. And once Microsoft locked up their MSOffice monopoly, they did the same thing there.

    So what ch

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal