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Microsoft Kills Office Anti-Piracy Program

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the euphemistically-named-drm dept.

Microsoft 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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Statistics (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620884)

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 (4, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621130)

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.

Re:Statistics (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621390)

>>>instead of using an email client instead

You mean like Mozilla Thunderbird or SeaMonkey or Opera 11? For businesses MS probably throws-in the Outlook free-of-charge as part of the overall package, and therefore no incentive to switch to a freebie like the aforementioned programs.

In any case this is good news. It means I can use Microsoft Office Pirate Edition instead of OpenOffice.org. ;-) Can't believe I was so stupid as to PAY for Office97. What was I thinking? Although it has given me 12 years of use.

 

Re:Statistics (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621912)

12 years since office 97? It's too early to do the math as the coffee hasn't kicked in yet, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't add up somehow

Re:Statistics (1)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622084)

2010-1997 = 13

Surprisingly, some people didn't buy it the minute it came out ;)

Outlook's icon is a clock (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621400)

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"?

Re:Outlook's icon is a clock (1, Interesting)

Hardolaf (1371377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621548)

If people were to use any of the KDE applications, there is a great all in one organizer application called Kontact which includes an e-mail client fully integrated into it. So yes, there are OpenSource e-mail `clients` with an appointment calendar. As for Exchange at work, I don't know of any good program that can tie into it, only replace it completely.

Re:Outlook's icon is a clock (3, Interesting)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622092)

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

Re:Statistics (2)

bami (1376931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621508)

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 Thunderbird if you like something free, and for people buying outlook: usually it's in some office package from work, or they know how to use it from work and like to do that at home. Not really smart, but a problem?

Re:Statistics (0)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622096)

I've gotten to where I don't even use a desktop email client anymore. When I'm home, I'm usually busy doing non-email things, and my phone has a nice, robust client (K-9 for Android) that suits me just fine. Especially since I don't do a whole lot of emailing anymore. That's what Skype is for.

Re:Statistics (2)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620956)

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 sense to go after a 15 year old pirate who downloads your product doesn't mean that you are encouraging him to do so.

Re:Statistics (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621036)

Right but while everyone else was playing with key disks, and what is the third word on the 37 page of the instructions type games Microsoft did not bother. They were smart enough to realize it does not work, and that if people use it at home they will likely want to use it at work and that means business sales where their bread was buttered.

Re:Statistics (1)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621428)

what is the third word on the 37 page

Petunias

Re:Statistics (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621600)

Petunias

Percy Thrower, rest in peace!

Re:Statistics (3, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621626)

Oh no... not again.

Re:Statistics (1)

increment1 (1722312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621832)

Apparently even Microsoft realized that having users fumble with a key wheel or lookup a word in the manual every time they started their computer or ran Office would be a user experience disaster.

Not being able to prevent piracy does not equate to encouraging it, regardless of whether they benefited from it or not.

Re:Statistics (4, Informative)

fwarren (579763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621128)

Did you forget the Microsoft Internal document that said they would prefer people would pirate their products over them using something else?

Re:Statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621538)

http://wikileaks.com/ [wikileaks.com]
?

Re:Statistics (1)

splerdu (187709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621174)

It's all good for them. A house running a pirated windows OS, is still a house that ISN'T running linux.

Re:Statistics (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621980)

It's even more important with Office. If it's too hard to pirate Office, people will download OpenOffice (or whatever it's called this week). They will start exchanging OpenDocument files instead of Word documents. Other people will have to download OpenOffice to open them, and may find that it's good enough for what they need. On the other hand, if people are pirating MS Office, they'll send Word documents and other people will buy MS Office to be able to open them.

Bill Gates on Microsoft Piracy Policy (4, Informative)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621512)

That's not really true. Microsoft has always been strongly against piracy.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article2098235.ece [timesonline.co.uk] "It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not," the Microsoft co-founder and chairman told Fortune magazine.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/2803 [computerworld.com]
WSJ: But those were stolen, correct?
Gates: Stolen's a strong word. It's copyrighted content that the owner wasn't paid for. So yes.

Hey, Steve, just because you broke into Xerox’s store before I did and took the TV doesn’t mean I can’t go in later and steal the stereo.”
–Bill Gates

“In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.” –Bill Gates

Bill Gates on Piracy: "They'll get addicted, and then we'll collect"

Microsoft doesnt push piracy - on Terminal Server (3, Interesting)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621582)

If you try to run a Terminal Server without your own license, it won't be anywhere near as easy as running Windows or Office. It shows they know how to lock down software when they want to.

Re:Statistics (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621936)

Going after individuals won't allow them to gain millions through a lawsuit and by allowing people to get hooked on their programs they'll want to use them at work which is where their real money most likely is and they have been happy to let countries like China pirate their software with hopes to convert them or at least stop the spread of open source software in high population up coming countries like China.

Re:Statistics (1)

Qlither (1614211) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620990)

Still this is way out of normal for Microsoft now. Unless they are hoping to sue everyone who pirates it, or better yet they are leaving the door open for a new DRM - such as having to have an internet connection 24/7 ;).

M$ Office is too much in my mind, most homes i have seen too dont bother paying it anymore and have gone over to OpenOffice for what little they use the damn thing.

Re:Statistics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621368)

OGA gave OpenOffice a genuine advantage.

Re:Statistics (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621566)

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). Take note RIAA!

people are using google apps (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620924)

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

Re:people are using google apps (2)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621138)

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 the occasional spreadsheet at work, I could easily do without any office suite. I can now put together a new PC for myself and it is months before I realize I didn't install any type of "office" software on it.

And even the spreadsheets we use at work now, I'm in the process of migrating to a database with a web-based front end.

Times change and this is one area that changed a lot. And Open Office works pretty well for the light duty things still hanging around.

Re:people are using google apps (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621850)

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, well, all my PCs have OOo installed.

Any bets... (2)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620932)

...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... (4, Interesting)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#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... (4, Interesting)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621148)

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'.

Re:Any bets... (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621870)

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:Any bets... (3, Insightful)

blarkon (1712194) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621864)

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.

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

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621278)

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.

Re:Any bets... (2)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621586)

Why does that sound awfully like a mafia protection racket?

Re:Any bets... (4, Insightful)

darkonc (47285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621668)

..... 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.

Re:Any bets... (1)

Froggels (1724218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622054)

How many users out there are actually in a position to actually look at the the code in open source software out there and really "fix" it? 99% of the population hasn't a clue how to "fix" "broken" software.

Re:Any bets... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622102)

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 you probably won't get much credit for that and your boss will remember when considering you for a promotion or raise if anything went badly, even if the bad was completely offset by the cost saving.

Re:Any bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621906)

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.

Large accounts would likely have a volume license key of some sort, with X licenses attached.

Re:Any bets... (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621436)

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 discovers open/libre office or google docs. Lets others in the company try it, they discover there are no features they use in MS office that they are lacking. Maybe someone in the right place even likes the interface better. cost on the line, 20k-500k depending on company size Scenerio 2, Joe Midlevel goes home finds a pirate copy of office, uses that instead, lost income $150

Re:Any bets... (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621610)

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 (4, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620946)

It cost money to maintain and stopped no one. There is no point to it.

Re:It didn't work (1)

Yossarian45793 (617611) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621122)

Citation needed

Re:It didn't work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621248)

[1] Your Mom

Re:It didn't work (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621646)

Oh, please. You call that citing?

[1] Mom, Your (2010), Report on the Effectiveness of OGA in a heterogenous business environment, Journ. of Sex. Interc., 1, 5-911.

See? Now everyone can look it up.

Re:It didn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621528)

[3] Your Mom (again)

Re:It didn't work (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621530)

I know numerous people that use downloaded copies of office and most of which were barely computer literate.

Not really the goal (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621060)

Yeah, you won't catch me using Microsoft Office ever again. Damn format lock-in, etc.

I now use iWork and it's much better!

Re:Theory (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621062)

I was just going to reply 'Two words: Open Office' to the parent but yours is much better.

Re:Theory (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621146)

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]

Re:Theory (1)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621318)

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 profit.

Re:Theory (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621536)

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 instead. Finally DirectTV sent some signal that fried the boot leg cards... and also unfortunately fried a LOT of valid cards as well. This was less than a week before the superbowl. What did DirectTV gain in all that? A lot of pissed off customers... and that's about it.

Office Genuine Advantage has served its purpose? (3, Funny)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621064)

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

It's only $149, why pirate? (2, Funny)

1800maxim (702377) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:It's only $149, why pirate? (4, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621186)

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.

Re:It's only $149, why pirate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622128)

if you can't afford £79.99 (Amazon UK) for 2010 (three licenses), then you don't really need an Office product and might as well use Wordpad.

Re:It's only $149, why pirate? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621286)

Get MS Office Home & Student edition, pay a rather reasonable cost of $149 (CDN) and live and breathe free!

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Whoosh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621914)

At least I hope that was a whoosh...

Re:It's only $149, why pirate? (2, Insightful)

mmaniaci (1200061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621320)

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.

Re:It's only $149, why pirate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621550)

Do you have two friends? You can get a three user license for $105.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116856&cm_re=office_2010-_-32-116-856-_-Product

Office does much more than that. It is also highly scriptable, easy to extend, has decent pen input/speech recognition capability, and includes OneNote. Plus access to the web versions of the office suite so you can access some of your documents for anywhere.

$150 is not completely unreasonable, but $35 is just a good deal.

Re:It's only $149, why pirate? (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622052)

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.

Re:It's only $149, why pirate? (0)

taucross (1330311) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621408)

It gets even better. My corporation is covered under the Microsoft HUP, which means I can get a disc or download of Office 2010 for $AUD15. The cost is so small that it is piracy for all intents and purposes.

Re:It's only $0.0149, why pirate? (2)

darkonc (47285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621800)

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.

Re:It's only $0.0149, why pirate? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621978)

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 through MSDNAA and DreamSpark.

Re:It's only $149, why pirate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621880)

Get openoffice and pay 0$. Now that's being free!

Re:It's only $149, why pirate? (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622008)

As a student, I got my Office 2010 Professional for only €69 through the Ultimate Steal: http://www.microsoft.com/student/office/en-us/default.aspx [microsoft.com]
We also get Visio, Project, OneNote and much more for free through MSDNAA. Can't compete with that!

How about they kill activation too? (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (4, Interesting)

Twintop (579924) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621290)

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.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622100)

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.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621330)

It is not entirely true. Consider this : fake antivirus is good business. They make good money (millions) by scaring people away that they have viruses. Similar thing WGA/OGA does. Not everybody is proficient user. Some people who had pireated copies didn't even know they had them: system builder/eller put them. For example they can get afraid that pirated copy is not as good as original, and that they better buy original.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621366)

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.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621450)

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.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

egamma (572162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621486)

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.

Windows KMS IS nice--the problem is that you don't use it for Office 2010, you have to use the "Volume Activation Management Tool". Which isn't automatic, it's annoying.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621532)

I don't know where you read that, but Office 2010 uses KMS too. I don't know if they can be on the same server though... we use MAK for Office because it has a significantly lower deployment in our enterprise when compared to Windows.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621650)

They can be on the same server; a single KMS server can activate Vista, Win 7, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 & Office 2010 quite happily.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621988)

Ah okay. I thought so, but I might very well be thinking back to the "use cases" I read for putting them on different servers. Something about caching KMS servers, if you use different ones you want to turn it off so they round-robin until activation is successful I think.

Either way, the one thing that MS has botched with respect to KMS is administration. KMS really should be a Server Role that's administered through MMC instead of a bunch of wildly spread out VBScripts :P

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

tchernobog (752560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621764)

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 what you are doing, either legal or illegal. Clicking on the "next" button when confronted with the EULA doesn't, since you to it mechanically and never read through it anyway.

Re:How about they kill activation too? (1)

MasterEvilAce (792905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621942)

I absolutely agree. I have Microsoft Office 2010 provided by my company, which I connect to via VPN. Unfortunately I have 9 days left to activate my legal copy, which REFUSES to actually activate. My coworker had no problems activating... but mine is stubborn. It's a FAILED system when you have to find a way to crack paid, legit software.

Too late - the youth have moved on (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621250)

An amusing thing is that I bought Windows 7 for my quad core 8GB v1GB d1TB machine.

But because Microsoft Office is such a hassle, I only run Open Office on it.

The "anti-piracy" app is part of why most young people can't be bothered with Microsoft products.

Bitstream that!

Re:Too late - the youth have moved on (0)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621384)

Yeah, 8GB of RAM seems like it's probably just about sufficient for OpenOffice to run halfway decently. But what do you do with the other three cores?

Re:Too late - the youth have moved on (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621442)

Dude, it's bare bones quad core with DDR3 - faster than your DDR2 32GB machine - the vid card with 1GB is what matters.

I'll buy DDR3 RAM when it's cheap - which will be late Feb 2011.

Re:Too late - the youth have moved on (1)

ljgshkg (1223086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621544)

I do that (use OOo), but that's definitely not the majority. Most people I know don't use OpenOffice even if they don't pay for MSOffice. They'd just use a pirvated version of it. For us who're more technical, they all looks the same for word processing. But for people in school who're not technical, they just worry about this and that, and does not like OOo's look etc. etc. etc.

Let alone sometimes, those business courses etc. need to you use some MSOffice plugins, which can't be run on OOo. Simply put, OOo is an option to us, but not the majority.

Web Office? (1)

Giga-Byter (670519) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621256)

I think it is more about resource optimization than encouraging piracy and fighting OpenOffice. In several years it seems Office suite would move [microsoft.com] to the cloud where is no need for such anti-piracy measures at all.

Where will this end? (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621332)

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

since no one else is being serious here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621376)

ZDNet blogger Ed Bott

So if his family are holding hands, is it a bottnet?

Letter on the mantlepiece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621482)

So much championing of "there was no point" and yet no one is mentioning the obvious.

Office was recently moved to the cloud. Soon, the only way to use Office will be via the cloud. Good luck pirating from the cloud? ;)

I wonder (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621490)

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 OGA system.

Re:I wonder (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621674)

Hooray, more Software That Doesn't Need To Be As A Service As A Service.

I found... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621496)

The only people it bothered were the people who didn't download versions without the genuine advantage tool from software sharing websites.

This may explain it (2)

falken0905 (624713) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621620)

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 to download your transactions from chase.com as a file to import into your Money software. * Any charges you are currently charged by us in order to use Money with Chase Online will end. Please note that if you choose to continue downloading your Chase Online transactions into Personal Financial Management (PFM) software to pay bills or make transfers, you’ll need to switch to another software, such as Quicken® or QuickBooks®. PFM software fees to use other software with Chase Online may still apply.

Uninstall OGA? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621654)

How do we remove OGA installations left behind?

Re:Uninstall OGA? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621822)

Search for OGANotifier.cab, which will be leftover from the installation, extract OGANotifier.msi, right-click it and select uninstall.

FAIlZORS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34621740)

something 3o8e

Bye Microsoft office, Hello Open Office (5, Interesting)

ZappedSparky (1935014) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

I recently had to make a purchase decision... (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622082)

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 just send clients PDF's.
I tried kicking the Office habit before, and ended up buying a copy. This time I've found no instances where I needed it, and I fell that this is it. I'm a typical slashdotter, which means that I'm a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to technology adoption, but this just means that MS's licensing revenue will plummet in the next decade, as an increasing number of people take the same path I did.

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