Another Racket Run By M$

Oh dear! The city of Arnhem, the place with the Bridge Too Far, where paratroopers died because of the folly of higher ranks, is now involved in another less costly but egregious disaster.“To compensate for not having adequately licensed the software used by the town’s civil servant’s who were working from home, Arnhem has paid 600,000 euro for new licences. These allow the use of the ubiquitous proprietary office software for the next three years, says the city’s CIO, Simon Does.
“It makes no sense not to use these licences, so we’ve stopped looking for alternatives”, the CIO told the European Commission’s Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR). Possible alternatives would have been LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice, two closely related open source office suites.”
The city was caught using unlicensed copies of M$’s office suite…

The folly? Instead of beating a path to LibreOffice ASAP, they meekly paid for a new set of licences thus increasing their lock-in and delaying progress. This still exposes them to further audits, further rounds of licence-upgrading, and the longer they use M$’s stuff the harder it will become to escape. Already it’s tough because many of their other applications depend on M$’s office suite. You don’t solve a problem you created by continuing to make the same mistakes. They do have the future possibility of migrating to FLOSS like LibreOffice in the future but this is a missed opportunity and will raise the cost of future migrations to FLOSS.

Shortsighted IT makes Arnhem part of its own problems with M$. If they’d gone to openoffice.org and LibreOffice years ago, none of this would have happened. Want to bet the cost of migration would have been less than the cost of the “fine” many years ago?

See Licence fine forces town to drop move to alternative office tools.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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68 Responses to Another Racket Run By M$

  1. DrLoser says:

    I did not mention the actual employer.

    Oh well, that’s all right then. There must be dozens of possible employers in the Easterville school system.

    And I’m sure there are dozens of possible employers in Saudi for nuclear physicists/engineers.

    Boast away with impunity!

    Your argument here is clearly specious, Robert. Stop it right now, and if you have to man up to olderman, man up to olderman.

    Don’t be naughty and spread irrelevant personal details all over the Internet, please.

  2. DrLoser says:

    Not necessarily. Their value is essentially zero once they are bought. That is they allow you to do no more than what a $0 licence from LibreOffice will do. Further, they may facilitate digging a deeper hole into lock-in. Even for folks with a paid-up licence, I recommend migrating to LibreOffice, the sooner the better.

    1) When is the last time you made this extraordinarily unhelpful suggestion, Robert?
    2) I am going to have to trust you on this (I require no cite), but did somebody in this position — say, with a paid-up license for Office 98, to suggest the most basic of bases — take you up on it?

    I’m seeing a ratio of (1)/(2) being NaN here.

  3. DrLoser wrote, of Easterville.

    I did not mention the actual employer. I worked as a teacher paid by the Federal Government through the local educational authority and I worked as a contractor installing the IT paid by the Federal Government through the local education authority. That reference was made in 2009, several years after I left that employment on my own choosing, for reasons not related to IT or my teaching. Management had serious budgetary issues homegrown despite having a $28million school newly commissioned. Think pencils, paper, and books in short supply or arriving late as the tip of an iceberg. Think funds ear-marked for education being side-tracked for housing, leaving a miniscule operating budget.

    I moved to and from many such small isolated communities in the north. I saw much of Canada. I taught some really fine children and young adults. I went wherever I was needed, did my best and moved on when I found the local management were not interested in keeping young people safe and educated. e.g. at one school, kids were hanging on the bumper of the buses as they left the bus-loop. Teachers could not prevent this because teachers were out-numbered. A simple solution was found, spread gravel on the icy loop to make sliding inconvenient. The word from on high was that it could not be done. This was after one kid had his shoulder and chest crushed but miraculously lived. Teachers suffered PTSD working at that school or drugged themselves into oblivion. I left. I could tell you similar horror stories about every place I left but it would do no good. You have to be there to understand why kids kill themselves rather than get an education and make a living for themselves. Despite the horror, I worked hard and made a difference for some kids up there. That makes it all worthwhile whatever detractors think/write/say. Besides the basics of reading/writing/’rithmetic I passed on useful information about acquiring, maintaining and using IT in a very cost-effective way, doing my part to bridge the Digital Divide. Many teachers, students and parents thanked me for my work.

  4. DrLoser wrote, of licences for M$’s office suite, “the sensible thing is to use the damn things.”

    Not necessarily. Their value is essentially zero once they are bought. That is they allow you to do no more than what a $0 licence from LibreOffice will do. Further, they may facilitate digging a deeper hole into lock-in. Even for folks with a paid-up licence, I recommend migrating to LibreOffice, the sooner the better. In some cases, it may be possible to sell the licences to someone else to recoup the cost. I’m sure M$ wouldn’t mind. After all they are just a normal business seeking income, right?

  5. DrLoser says:

    Could you please be so good as to provide the cite for it? [” boasting” about his place of employment]

    Nonsense, olderman. Robert hardly needs to do any such thing.

    Remember, this is a man who has “peer reviewed” himself on Wikipedia by quoting not one, but five separate cites to his own website.

    Fair or not? Place Bet Now!

  6. DrLoser says:

    Anyway, back to Arnhem.

    If you’ve belatedly caught up with the payments for the licenses, I’d assume that the sensible thing is to use the damn things.

    Generally speaking, Robert, there is no good reason for Governments to “stick it to the Man.”

    If only because they are the Man.

  7. DrLoser says:

    What a lot of piffle, Robert.

    Since, for no good reason, you appear to have a fixation on NYU, here’s the basics. Feel free to have a go at NYU whenever you need to scratch an itch. (“Triffically expensive. Also, they have an outward-facing FTP server, which proves my point, doesn’t it? Probably a triffically expensive one.)

    Seriously, Robert, you’re crawling around in the mud here.

    Here’s a boast, a modest one, but still a boast:“Not in my shop it isn’t. The different on campus administrators in my place of employ can manage centrally their pieces of an active directory forest that encompasses some 11,000 users (and growing) and which spans globally.”

    Sounds like evidence to me. Albeit anecdotal, and it would therefore not be remotely relevant, except that for some silly reason, possibly envy or spite, you chose to bring it up, Robert.

    Certainly olderman did not so choose. He has better things to do, such as to enjoy coffee breaks at the expense of New York State taxpayers …

    Did you really say that?

    Wow, what a doofus.

    Anyway, those prior career citations that you claimed you had never mentioned?

    1) Easterville.
    2) Some sort of cyclotron establishment in Saudi Arabia.

    You also claim two prior careers, which you have wisely hidden from public view.

    And none of this is at all relevant.

    Is there any good reason for you to reply to a perfectly good argument, propounded by Person X, by spitefully replying “Oh yes, you would say that, Person X. Because you work for [insert any random but obviously not based on personal information here]”

    Garbage, Robert. Garbage.

    Have a go at me. I worked for Bing. Presumably there is nothing worse in your tiny emaciated little mental universe than working for Bing.

    Go ahead, pick on the real threat to your nauseous little dreams of World Domination.

  8. olderman wrote, about his place of employment, “Could you please be so good as to provide the cite for it?”

    Here’s a boast, a modest one, but still a boast:“Not in my shop it is’nt. The different on campus administrators in my place of employ can manage centrally their pieces of an active directory forest that encompasses some 11,000 users (and growing) and which spans globally.”

    and here, he describe it as a university:“My place of business has been a peoplesoft user since 1997. The microsoft Office integration is heavily used by those in the business end of the university who rely on the system transacting university business.”

    Here he describes his position, “Actually that’s MR. Senior Systems Architect weenie to you sir! “

    The earliest mention of NYU in this blog that Google finds is in a comment by oiaohm:“Sorry oldman no one on staff at http://www.nyu.edu/ has the qualification set required todo my job legally. So its not a case that you could pull it together. After extra 18 months(that is for the highest I could see there) of training if that person pass could even attempt part of my job. Still would be lack many minor skill sets.”

    To which oldman replied, “You have no idea who is on staff at http://www.nyu.edu You have no idea what they have to do. You just IMHO arrogantly assume that nobody else could ever have your skills et unless they work as you do, Hamster.”

    Later, oldman replied to K, “Once again oldman, your ego speaks for the World. No, NYU is not a pattern for the World’s IT.”
    Think again Mr. K. My organization is on the cutting edge of educational IT. We are doing more than many other universities, and we are globe spanning. “

    So, it’s hard to tell who let the cat out of the bag, but it’s out, and been out for a long time.

  9. DrLoser says:

    Incidentally, I had no intention of bringing up either Easterville or your Saudi nuclear connections, Robert.

    If there’s any relevant individual detail back there, I might mention it. But there’s no reason at all to bang on about the particular position of employment you might have had.

    I therefore assume that the only retort you have against a comment by olderman is …

    … But, but, you work for Initech, don’t you?

    Or M$. Or some other heretical organisation.

    But it’s a completely piss-poor argument, isn’t it? Even oiaohm has never stooped this low.

    Is there a reason why you currently stoop, Robert?

  10. DrLoser says:

    I don’t think I’ve listed any of mine.

    Does Easterville ring a bell, Robert?

    I’m leaving out the Saudi nuclear thing. You didn’t specify the exact employer, who of course would have nothing at all to do with the Sauds as a royal family.

    My employers got a bargain with me.

    Believe me, Robert. This is never the way you want to go on an interview. Because the obvious question is, “Why did you leave?”

    They didn’t need to hire an IT guy and stuff worked very well.

    We seem to go back and forth on this fifteen years’ worth of “stuff” working “very well.”

    The single word that strikes me here, Robert, and quite frankly it is a worry, is the word “stuff.”

    Let us explore the wonders of Websters 1913!

    Stuff (?), n. [OF. estoffe, F. étoffe; of uncertain origin, perhaps of Teutonic origin and akin to E. stop, v.t. Cf. Stuff, v. t.]

    1. Material which is to be worked up in any process of manufacture.

    For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much. Ex. xxxvi. 7.

    Ambitions should be made of sterner stuff. Shak.

    The workman on his stuff his skill doth show, And yet the stuff gives not the man his skill. Sir J. Davies.

    2. The fundamental material of which anything is made up; elemental part; essence.

    Yet do I hold it very stuff o’ the conscience To do no contrived murder. Shak.

    3. Woven material not made into garments; fabric of any kind; specifically, any one of various fabrics of wool or worsted; sometimes, worsted fiber.

    What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? Shak.

    It [the arras] was of stuff and silk mixed, though, superior kinds were of silk exclusively. F. G. Lee.

    4. Furniture; goods; domestic vessels or utensils.

    He took away locks, and gave away the king’s stuff. Hayward.

    5. A medicine or mixture; a potion. Shak.

    6. Refuse or worthless matter; hence, also, foolish or irrational language; nonsense; trash.

    Anger would indite Such woeful stuff as I or Shadwell write. Dryden.

    7. (Naut.) A melted mass of turpentine, tallow, etc., with which the masts, sides, and bottom of a ship are smeared for lubrication. Ham. Nav. Encyc.

    8. Paper stock ground ready for use. &hand; When partly ground, called half stuff. Knight. Clear stuff. See under Clear. — Small stuff (Naut.), all kinds of small cordage. Ham. Nav. Encyc. — Stuff gown, the distinctive garb of a junior barrister; hence, a junior barrister himself. See Silk gown, under Silk.<– stuff and nonsense. (See def. 6 for stuff) balderdash, twaddle, nonsense, foolishness.

    One of the more interesting bits of those several definitions, Robert, is the association between “stuff” and “nonsense.”

    I maintain that your fifteen years of educational experience lean very much to the “nonsense” end of that association.

  11. DrLoser says:

    I think the “real” education these days is realizing that going into debt for a degree, is not everything it is chalked up to be, as total college debt now exceeds total credit card debt.

    This is going to surprise you, Dougie. I completely agree with every word you say.

    Here’s a link to John Oliver on the subject.

    I know it’s not especially friendly to point out to a mate that this is hardly relevant to some worthless rip-off Linux Foundation course … but, hey, Dougie, I’m not in the mood to be particularly friendly right now.

    Oh, and you’re still a useless snake-oil selling bum who should go out there and get some proper qualifications.

    Have you considered the Linux Foundation Diploma?

  12. dougman says:

    I think the “real” education these days is realizing that going into debt for a degree, is not everything it is chalked up to be, as total college debt now exceeds total credit card debt.

    A college degree is way overpriced. Students (parents) pay way too much money. Students spend way too much time in class — time that is far better spent in reading and writing and then they pay room and board on top of it, but I digress.

    The real scam is reliance on M$ products:

    http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2014-6352

    ..allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted OLE object, as exploited in the wild in October 2014 with a crafted PowerPoint document.

    Its endless patches for you!!

  13. olderman says:

    “As I recall, olderman, himself boasted about his place of employment. ”

    By name Robert Pogson? I am having a senior moment on exactly when that could have been?

    Could you please be so good as to provide the cite for it?

  14. olderman wrote, “the government of Canada paid for your Jihad against Microsoft software while you taught natives in the far north, Robert Pogson.
    BTW, I look forward to your sharing of private information about he other posters on your site. You seem to be particularly free with mine.”

    As I recall, olderman, himself boasted about his place of employment. I don’t think I’ve listed any of mine. My employers got a bargain with me. They didn’t need to hire an IT guy and stuff worked very well.

  15. DrLoser says:

    I do no such thing.

    The evidence clearly suggests that you do. This is at least the second time in the last month that you have referred to that institution; possibly the third.

    Considering that you could more profitably pick, say, Princeton or the University of Oxford or indeed just about any other institution you care to name, I’m afraid you are talking porkies here, Robert.

    By all reports it’s a fine institution just very expensive.

    Apparently in your next life you are going to be reincarnated as a weasel, Robert.

    That wasn’t your imputation at all, was it?

  16. DrLoser says:

    Speaking of outward facing FTP sites, Robert, I’ve found a service that will gladden your heart! Here it is:

    Government FTP Hosting!

    This site has it all! It’s been around since 2008, which means it almost certainly is not hosted in South Sudan! (Note to Ed: large, oil-rich, up-and-coming country in the Third World. Get subs to check NetStats.)

    What Linux Devotee can fail to fawn over the word government? Who could possibly refuse a hosting environment? Why, it’s almost certain to be hosted in a Linux server data centre!

    And, in their own words:

    At Government FTP Hosting we know how important security is to you. That’s why we provide you with a high level of security when transferring and sharing your files through FTP.

    Finally, Robert, a high-visibility FTP opportunity for every last government on Earth to sign on to!

    What could possibly go wrong?

  17. DrLoser wrote, “Isn’t it about time you stopped your quasi-ad hominem attacks on olderman’s place of work”.

    I do no such thing. By all reports it’s a fine institution just very expensive. I value economy. Some people don’t.

  18. DrLoser says:

    So, then. Your definition of “academic excellence” is “the student finished the course,” Robert?

    I guess that’s fifteen years’ of being a renowned educator down the professional tubes, then.

  19. DrLoser says:

    Isn’t it about time you stopped your quasi-ad hominem attacks on olderman’s place of work, Robert? It’s hardly relevant; it certainly isn’t necessary, or even illuminating. Although the extremely silly cite of an academic HTTP server with an outward facing FTP connection was, I admit, hilarious.

    Students weren’t finishing the course, unlike the Linux course.

    Well, even the Linux Foundation course takes between 40 and 60 hours to complete, Robert. Here, I can beat that. The Patented Dr Loser Linux MOOC:

    1) Install a Distro. Might as well be Debian, unless you have pretensions to a commercially viable alternative like CentOS.
    2) Download the source to the latest Linux kernel.
    3) Configure, make, and make install that kernel, or the moral equivalent of those actions.
    4) Reboot your machine. (This will be the last time you will ever need to reboot your Linux machine*.)
    5) That’s it! You are now a Fully Qualified, Certified Linux Genius!

    I estimate the entire course will take a student five, maybe six hours. Snacks and soft drinks are not provided by the Dr Loser Institution of Linux Excellence.

    I’ll even supply a certificate to anybody who provides conclusive proof (an email, say) that they have completed this course. The high-paid employment opportunities will just roll in! (I’ll also guarantee to forward the newly-qualified DrL FQCLG’s resume to all the usual places. Craigslist sounds like a good place to start.)

    This thing could go viral, Robert, viral I tell you! All I need is for Dougie to sign on as a salesman, and there are absolutely no limits to how many millions of Trained Linux -Monkeys- Specialists we can inspire!

    * (Mostly because after this experience 99% of computer users have sworn never to touch Linux again.)

  20. olderman says:

    “It just occurred to me that those students/parents/tax-payers are paying for olderman’s break…”

    And the government of Canada paid for your Jihad against Microsoft software while you taught natives in the far north, Robert Pogson.

    BTW, I look forward to your sharing of private information about he other posters on your site. You seem to be particularly free with mine.

  21. olderman says:

    ” I once gave an assignment to students to use five different word-processors (including M$’s) to produce a letter.”

    Of course, anyone can play the least common denominator task game. That is of course not the point here. The point was, that from the viewpoint of my personal assessment of my own productivity based on my knowledge of how I work, the transition from using a full dedicated copy of Office that I upgrade every 5 years or so, to a cloud version that I rent on a yearly basis, the costs seem to work out the same.

    My continued use of commercial software from microsoft and others is no more negotiable than your use of FOSS is for you.

  22. olderman wrote, “I need to take breaks from what I am doing.”

    As chance would have it, olderman’s place of employment was mentioned on CNN last night, in a spot about the state of university education in USA. The gist was that universities keep competing with each other to attract more/better students and spending tons of money to do it. Some have multiple swimming pools, spas, architecturally wonderful buildings,… and it’s all paid by the USAian government’s student loan programme that’s accumulated a $trillion of student-debt. There are universities running huge debts with as few as ~1K students with the CEO/president paid ~$1M per annum. There are universities that require students to learn almost nothing over 4 years while accumulating up to about $200K debt. Many university-graduates in USA remain unemployed upon graduation and their debts actually grow further. It just occurred to me that those students/parents/tax-payers are paying for olderman’s break…

    Interestingly, the same programme mentioned the same outfit that supplied the Introduction to Linux MOOC. They tried to help a university in California improve performance/$ and flubbed. Students weren’t finishing the course, unlike the Linux course.

  23. olderman says:

    “Due note, that whenever anyone insists that there is only one proper way to do something, you can be sure that he’s an advocate (propagandist) rather than an objective commentator.”

    Cut the BS Dougie! there is no such thing as objectivity in this discussion. We are ALL advocates of our positions.

    “Obviously it is not, or you would not have be here.”

    Dougie, Dougie, Dougie.

    I need to take breaks from what I am doing. Sometimes I choose to spend that time here answering ignoramuses like you.

    Nothing magical in that.

  24. dougman wrote, “Obviously it is not, or you would not have be here.”

    Touche! Also, tests of productivity with LibreOffice and that other office suite are mixed. Some users don’t even notice any difference if they are used to older versions of that other office suite (pre-ribbon, say). Some find fewer features get in the way of the features they need/use most often with LibreOffice/OpenOffice.org. That was my experience in schools. I once gave an assignment to students to use five different word-processors (including M$’s) to produce a letter. Students essentially observed there was no particular difference in the process. Informed that M$ charges $100+ for what people can get for $0, students were surprised. It made no sense to them, which was the point of the lesson, that Free Software works for them. Not one asked why LibreOffice costs so little. They accepted that proposition just as the Internet and web services cost very little compared to their value/benefit. M$’s office suite is like a dinosaur, a massive burden if you have it, of no value if you don’t.

  25. dougman says:

    “In comparison, every form of Open or Libre office that I have used impeded my productivity in some way or another.

    Care to cite some specif examples? Otherwise you are just full of stale air and BS. Due note, that whenever anyone insists that there is only one proper way to do something, you can be sure that he’s an advocate (propagandist) rather than an objective commentator.

    “…my time is worth money.”

    Obviously it is not, or you would not have be here.

  26. lpbbear says:

    “People do not flock to LO, and the reason is not that they are uneducated, or stupid.”

    The reason is much more basic. Many are unaware it exists. I have pointed many users towards LibreOffice and Open Office. Most go with it unless they have some very specific reason to have to use MS Office. Gradually, over time, some of the users I have turned on to LibreOffice run into other potential users and they in turn make those folks aware of LibreOffice as well.

    It took Microsoft decades and billions of dollars to corner the office productivity market. Its not going to take decades for us to erode their hold on that market.

  27. Deaf Spy wrote, “People do not flock to LO, and the reason is not that they are uneducated, or stupid.”

    LibreOffice has >100 millions of users, real people.

    see also, FLOSS Works – Now It Has Salesmen

  28. Deaf Spy says:

    You notion that LO = MSO is false, Mr. Pogson. Want proof? Just check the sales of Office and Office 365. People do not flock to LO, and the reason is not that they are uneducated, or stupid.

  29. olderman and others hold that, “Olderman knows that taken over time having to pay even $100.00 per year is peanuts given the functionality and the productivity that it has given me over all these years of use.”

    This is a false economy. If your budget for productivity software has a balance of $100, are you better off buying a licence for M$’s office suite and nothing else, or getting LibreOffice for $0, Gimp for $0, Inkscape for $0, Audacity for $0, etc. and having the $100 left over for something else, say a couple of hard drives, a bunch of RAM, or a case of USB drives? The answer is rather obvious for me. I’ve been making the latter choice for 15 years now and never regretted it. My time is valuable too. So’s my budget.

    The idea that choosing some particular piece of software optimizes your productivity may be valid but when you consider the whole working/playing environment it is not. You can’t, for instance, use more than two or three such applications at a time. The rest is a waste. Munich found that out with most such applications disposable with no impact on the overall productivity. Most larger organizations actually find they are not even using all the software that they have. FLOSS is the right way to do IT when you consider price/performance properly. Many large organizations with proper IT find the cost of the IT system is half or less using FLOSS and GNU/Linux and the performance may actually be higher than with that other OS etc. considering malware, re-re-reboots/downtime, zero-day exploits forcing upgrades, etc.

  30. DrLoser says:

    And remember dougie, unlike yourself my time is worth money.

    You are forgetting, olderman: Dougie is a salesman. Albeit on a pathetically small scale.

    He’ll sell useless broken crap to other people, but there’s no reason for him to use useless broken crap.

    And if, for example, he has the opportunity to make a sale for (say) $5,000, and it requires him to stump up $99 for a Windows Office license in the cloudz …

    Why, I imagine that Dougie would gladly stump up that $99.

    After all, he’s simply an uneducated buffoon. He’s not stupid.

  31. olderman says:

    “OLDman agrees with being raked over the coals yearly to create documents; he surely is an old clod that needs to be tilled into the ground.”

    Unlike dougie who thinks that he can get something for nothing in life, Olderman knows that taken over time having to pay even $100.00 per year is peanuts given the functionality and the productivity that it has given me over all these years of use.

    In comparison, every form of Open or Libre office that I have used impeded my productivity in some way or another. And remember dougie, unlike yourself my time is worth money.

    Have a nice Day!

  32. dougman says:

    OLDman agrees with being raked over the coals yearly to create documents; he surely is an old clod that needs to be tilled into the ground.

    Soon M$ will do the same with Win-Dohs, you would pay M$ annually for access to your Windows 365 cloud OS service.

  33. olderman says:

    “olderman writes about five years but a lot of PCs are kept 6-8 years.”

    It makes no difference how long a PC is kept as the upgrade schedule of an application is in my experience generally independent of any PC replacement schedule.

    “It’s good in that M$ is actually competing on price/performance and that the price is in the face of the consumer. ”

    Robert Pogson, we are talking about the desktop application microsoft Office, not the OS. Any user who needs an application is well aware of its cost – price is not hidden.

    ” I think many legitimate businesses should now shrink-wrap CDs of LibreOffice and sell them for ~$10 or so.”

    Any user who is willingly going to pay for Microsoft office is not going to be taken in by some fly by night offering possibly “stale” shrink wrapped copies of LibreOffice for any price.

    And there is the

  34. dougman wrote, “Why pay hundreds one time, when M$ can get you to pay $99/year ad-infinitum.”

    Clearly, as the desktop monopoly decays, M$ is diversifying to “services”. They are good salesmen and can justify this one way or another. Compared to LibreOffice, this makes no sense for most of us. olderman writes about five years but a lot of PCs are kept 6-8 years. Clearly $99/annum is better for M$ than the usual retail price. It’s good in that M$ is actually competing on price/performance and that the price is in the face of the consumer. That is a big improvement over fooling people that M$’s stuff is “free”. I think many legitimate businesses should now shrink-wrap CDs of LibreOffice and sell them for ~$10 or so. Consumers will be happy for a bargain and M$ will lose more share of the pie. OEMs should include LibreOffice with PCs too.

  35. olderman says:

    “By what version of OOXML …”

    Lil’ Hammie, I believe I made myself quite clear already. I will not entertain your participation of a proven liar and fraud like yourself in any conversation that I am in.
    You have zero credibility until you provide verifiable proof that you actually know how to work with an IBM SAN Volume Controller as you have claimed. No excuses (like how off topic it is) will be acceptable.

    Provide what is required of you or piss off!

  36. olderman says:

    “Why pay hundreds one time, when M$ can get you to pay $99/year ad-infinitum.”

    Why not? If you work out the ongoing cost of an initial investment in Office followed by periodic upgrades say every 5 years or so, the actual cost may even be cheaper over time. It can certainly be less of a headache.

    The real issue with cloud based service vs. standalone app is going to be the capability of the cloud based app vs. the standalone. If Microsoft can bring enough of the standalone office functions into office 360 and set an attractive price, then things could get interesting.

  37. dougman says:

    M$ Office is the old way, the new way is M$ Office 365, the SERVICE. M$ is very clearly heading towards driving every consumer towards the Office 365 option that they can, in the hopes of a subscription, whereby you pay more in long-run. Why pay hundreds one time, when M$ can get you to pay $99/year ad-infinitum.

  38. lpbbear says:

    “Open/Libre is generally considered to be a worthless piece of hacked-together random junk.”

    By who? You? That’s really funny………

  39. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser to be sad the smaller ODF document is more descriptive of what application must do than the larger OOXML document.

    Part of the reason why ODF specification get to be so small is lack insanity. A really old version of Excel could not calculate leap years correctly. OOXML still supports this.

    Large percentage of OOXML is a list of bugs that must be implemented.

    ODF standards have taken the point of view that is safer to deprecate/decertify the clients with defective functionality.

    olderman
    Office 2013 has both read and write compatibility with both strict and transitional OOXML
    By what version of OOXML is 2013 strict. That is right latest. Nice to be fun Microsoft changed the XML doctype that marks what a strict document is. Yes early versions of the OOXML standard state what it going to be then Microsoft when they make 2013 go o well lets just change the standard instead of fixing client to follow standard.

    This is the problem instead of MS Office following OOXML standard. Microsoft makes OOXML standard follow what ever bad and nasty behaviors MS Office does.

    Libreoffice and OpenOffice have both had to alter processing of ODF when other implemented proved that the standard said X and they were doing Y. ODF the standard document is king. Result is a lot cleaner standard.

  40. DrLoser wrote, “Robert’s experience with Linux is entirely based on supreme control of his own household and on a short number of years in the Canadian Outback”.

    15 years’ experience is not much of a limitation. In that time, I did a lot with clients, servers, networking and databases. What else is there? Further, I was a teacher in that time and I used IT to get real work done. That’s what IT is all about, you know, not pissing contests. I retired because I was tired not because I couldn’t do stuff. Experienced IT people with lots of credentials were amazed by our setups in the North. They had not seen anything like that in other schools limited by M$’s EULA and tight budgets. We had no trouble getting a fair bit of equipment for $0 or sometimes the freight and with GNU/Linux we made it sing a pretty song.

  41. DrLoser says:

    ODF spec is one-tenth the size of the OOXML spec and the software is not controlled by M$ in LibreOffice.

    Yes, well, that’s very interesting, Robert.

    But, generally speaking, if I want to implement a particular feature of something (say, an Office document or a Spreadsheet or whatever), I’m not normally disposed to consider an absence of information as a positive thing.

    In fact, I’d prefer a precise, specific, and possibly extensive explanation of what is going on.

    This might explain why Microsoft Office is so popular amongst even developers (like me — I’ve written programs against it) and Open/Libre is generally considered to be a worthless piece of hacked-together random junk.

  42. DrLoser says:

    Oh dear, luvr. I’m sure you can construct an elegant and persuasive argument; but the following isn’t any such thing.

    From experience, perhaps?

    Robert’s experience with Linux is entirely based on supreme control of his own household and on a short number of years in the Canadian Outback where he was allowed to run rampant and do his own thing with little or no supervision.

    That’s not really “experience” as, say, the head of a medium-sized IT department with responsibility for, say, two mail servers, three file servers, five web servers and a hundred desktop seats, every last one of the latter having to pay its way commercially, is it?

    How do you know that it isn’t?

    Oh, just random guesswork. Also by listening to Robert bigging up his completely worthless “experience.”

    And also by this simple thought experiment:

    If I (Robert) was in possession of this very desirable congeries of various bits of IT “experience” (being able to source, provision, and administer an IT department of, say, 100 folk), then I (Robert) would not have retired at the age of 60 or whatever.

    I (Robert), and I would obviously have a golden resume with five years’ experience of building an IT architecture up from scratch, would have cashed in my experience and made a mint as a consultant.

    Thought experiment over. Robert didn’t do that. Ergo, no useful experience.

  43. luvr says:

    “And how do you know that it is both “simpler” and “more reliable”, Robert Pogson?”
    From experience, perhaps?
    How do you know that it isn’t?

  44. olderman wrote, “Just who are those “others” Robert Pogson? “

    Last time I checked, M$ had its office suite on only a fraction of legacy PCs. It’s a lot but LibreOffice/OpenOffice.org and others have quite a share these days.

  45. olderman wrote, “how do you know that it is both “simpler” and “more reliable””

    ODF spec is one-tenth the size of the OOXML spec and the software is not controlled by M$ in LibreOffice.

  46. olderman says:

    “If we want an open standard it won’t be OOXML but ODF simply because it’s a simpler and more reliable standard.”

    And how do you know that it is both “simpler” and “more reliable”, Robert Pogson?

  47. olderman says:

    “For me and many others that counts for nothing as we don’t run that software.”

    Just who are those “others” Robert Pogson? Perhaps they are the same ca. 2% that chooses to run a linux desktop and hates Microsoft? Perhaps the fact that OOXML is now read and written by the microsoft office suite means nothing to you, but it will mean a great deal to any company that has to deal with the exceptional document from a non microsoft office suite. So long as the non microsoft Office suite supports OOXML, document sharing should be good enough that bothe open and closed applications can coexist.

    But of course, that’s not what you want, is it Robert Pogson.

    If we want an open standard it won’t be OOXML but ODF simply because it’s a simpler and more reliable standard.”

  48. olderman wrote, “What counts is that the office suite from 2013 on has full OOXML conformance.”

    For me and many others that counts for nothing as we don’t run that software. If we want an open standard it won’t be OOXML but ODF simply because it’s a simpler and more reliable standard.

  49. lpbbear says:

    “Then why did you bother posting this?”

    Because .docx was first used in 2007. It was NOT backward compatible with previous versions of MS Office. The “Compatibility Pack” was released in 2010….3 FULL YEARS afterwards leaving users of previous versions of MS Office in the lurch when exchanging files with users of the newer version. Even now many users are unaware there is any such thing as a “Compatibility Pack”. It wasn’t like it was sent out in the mail to paying customers or registered users or anything.

    It was not only a “broken protocol” for users of older versions of MS Office, it was also a blatant attempt at lock in and was used as leverage to force users of older versions of MS Office to (cough cough) upgrade.

  50. olderman says:

    “This was M$’s own standard that it did horrible things to force people to approve back in 2008. It was very M$-centric with references to specific products of M$.”

    Robert Pogson, conformance takes time to add to an existing product, especially when you have to avoid breaking backwards compatibility for your paying customers. What you cite is old news. What counts is that the office suite from 2013 on has full OOXML conformance.

  51. olderman wrote, “Office 2013 has both read and write compatibility with both strict and transitional OOXML.”

    Wikipedia: “due to the changes introduced in the Office Open XML standard, Office 2007 is not entirely in compliance with ISO/IEC 29500:2008. Microsoft Office 2010 includes support for the ISO/IEC 29500:2008 compliant version of Office Open XML, but it can only save documents conforming to the transitional schemas of the specification, not the strict schemas.”

    This was M$’s own standard that it did horrible things to force people to approve back in 2008. It was very M$-centric with references to specific products of M$.

  52. olderman says:

    “(Yes, I am aware Microsoft released a “Office Compatibility Pack”)”

    Then why did you bother posting this?

  53. olderman says:

    “How about it being unable to conform to its own open standard OOXML that M$ foisted on the world?”

    Office 2013 has both read and write compatibility with both strict and transitional OOXML.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML

  54. Deaf Spy says:

    How about it being unable to conform to its own open standard OOXML that M$ foisted on the world

    May we have a reference, please? For the academic sake of the discussion.

  55. DrLoser wrote, of M$’s office suite, “Care to instance a single “broken protocol?””

    How about it being unable to conform to its own open standard OOXML that M$ foisted on the world?

  56. oiaohm says:

    The marginal benefit accrued from fighting against some broken bit of $0 junk like either LibreOffice or OpenOffice (the outside world view the two as the same, it’s basically a Proton vs a Yugo), and splurging $100 on an office suite that works is …
    http://caolanm.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/libreoffice-coverity-defect-density-002.html
    DrLoser I would be very careful about calling Libreoffice junk or the same as OpenOffice. Why Libreoffice 1 has more features OpenOffice 2 has a low density than most software in existence include Openoffice yes the difference between Libreoffice and OpenOffice is a factor of at least 20 in defect density.

    Basically Libreoffice is a under-functional Office Suite built with the ideas of higher security in mind. Its the old you can have feature or security you cannot have both. Libreoffice has a lower CVE count than per year than OpenOffice as well. Yes the yearly CVE count numbers are diverging.

    DrLoser please catch up on your history.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarOffice
    First Linux release from Libreoffice/openOffice tree is StarOffice 3.1 or 1996. Even so I had a staroffice 3.0 for dos that run in dosemu just fine.

    So before 1 May 2002 Staroffice. Early adopter 1996 not 2002. The OpenOffice 1.0 was basically a source code release of the prior tried and tested StarOffice. So 6 years of settling in was already complete.

    Lot of ways the openoffice project needs to be stopped on to get a more formal security team hunting down hunting down automated detected flaws like Libreoffice has.

    You know OpenOffice/Libreoffice graphical toolkit (VCL) has a test suite??
    https://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/2014-11-10-opengl.html
    Guess what it has not worked for over 11 years. Last time it was reported working was OpenOffice 1.0 release.

    DrLoser there is a reason why OpenOffice has been buggy. QA went out the window under Sun Microsystems control. Since Libreoffice project has started work Item after Item of the old StarOffice QA framework has been made work again.

    Pre Sun StarOffice was known for its stability. Yes top of the line QA control. Big problem all the instructions todo the QA were written in German and most of the New Sun developers and open source community people did not not read German at all.

    OpenOffice is a funny/sad example how a documented and designed QA process can completely collapse.

  57. lpbbear says:

    “Care to instance a single “broken protocol?””

    Uhhhh, ok…….Office 2000 can’t read .docx.

    Ok, there’s one.

    (Yes, I am aware Microsoft released a “Office Compatibility Pack”)

  58. DrLoser wrote, “The marginal benefit accrued from fighting against some broken bit of $0 junk like either LibreOffice or OpenOffice (the outside world view the two as the same, it’s basically a Proton vs a Yugo), and splurging $100 on an office suite that works is …”

    Uh-uh. It may be possible to buy a cheap licence for $100 but a lot of organizations pay M$ much, much more. $519.00 for “pro” (from their site), or $10/mo for the cloudy version, which could amount to ~$1000 eventually. Now there may be “deals” or “discounts” but that’s like a highway robber negotiating how much he will take away from you…

  59. DrLoser says:

    Nope. They were using the software that was the best for the job at the time. Whatever it may be now. at the time by most peoples estimates, neither Openoffice nor Staroffice were even close to getting the job done the way the Office could.

    That is, in fact, an interesting question for Robert to answer.

    My understanding is that OpenOffice came to Linux on 1 May 2002. I’m assuming, Robert, that you were an “early adopter” of version 1.0.

    So, two questions, really.

    1) What was it like, wrestling with the 1.0 release?
    2) What did you use before 1 May 2002?

  60. DrLoser says:

    You don’t drive a a Lamborghini, because you could drive faster/accelerate harder do you?

    Actually that is definitely one reason why you drive a Lamborghini (also it doesn’t crash because of a trivial OpenSSL bug).

    Image? Well, that’s another thing. I’d rather drive a Maserati, but only the previous generation Maserati, because that one was designed by Pininfarini and not in-house.

    The reason I don’t drive either is more or less because I have better things to do with the $100,000 that I don’t have in my back pocket.

    So, why do that for an office suite?

    Because the marginal benefit accrued from trading my $1000 V6 Ford junker with a Jaguar engine and leather seats to a $100,000 Italian Beast is neither within my pocket-book nor really very sensible.

    The marginal benefit accrued from fighting against some broken bit of $0 junk like either LibreOffice or OpenOffice (the outside world view the two as the same, it’s basically a Proton vs a Yugo), and splurging $100 on an office suite that works is …

    Obvious to roughly 1,000,000,000 people.

    Very few of whom will ever be faced with the existential choice involved in buying a Ferrari.

  61. DrLoser says:

    How many “features”/lock-ins did M$ add from 2003 to 2014? How many file-format changes? How many broken protocols? I would bet in all those years Arnhem’s IT and many users were digging a deeper hole.

    Well, we’re starting from the obvious base of absolutely none whatsoever, Robert.

    And considering that the Arnhem licenses were apparently back-dated to 2001, which is the “locked in” version they are presently using, it’s hard to see how this is remotely relevant.

    But yes, this is a fascinating subject.

    Care to instance a single one of those “lock-in” features from “2003-2014?”

    Care to instance a single “broken protocol?”

    (Your absurd and completely undocumented example elsewhere of “third party FTP” does not count in this case, I believe.)

  62. olderman wrote, “by most peoples estimates, neither Openoffice nor Staroffice were even close to getting the job done the way the Office could.”

    Those two were in several schools before I arrived. Folks found them quite adequate. In fact, I met many people who didn’t know the difference. I just pointed them at an office suite and they did their thing. In fact, I’ve met many people who preferred OpenOffice.org after that “ribbon” thing came to be. Tests of folks using both in the same workflow often show that OpenOffice.org is competitive. The difference, if any, isn’t anywhere near the difference in price. You can pay infinitely more money for a marginal improvement in performance if you wish but that’s silly. You don’t drive a a Lamborghini, because you could drive faster/accelerate harder do you? So, why do that for an office suite?

  63. olderman says:

    “How many “features”/lock-ins did M$ add from 2003 to 2014? How many file-format changes? How many broken protocols? I would bet in all those years Arnhem’s IT and many users were digging a deeper hole.”

    Nope. They were using the software that was the best for the job at the time. Whatever it may be now. at the time by most peoples estimates, neither Openoffice nor Staroffice were even close to getting the job done the way the Office could.

  64. olderman wrote, “The IT didn’t keep up their own part of a contract voluntarily entered into. They were caught and they got to pay up.”

    It’s not clear from the story what IT did or did not do. Employees were working at home. Did they steal a copy from work or was it given to them? The story doesn’t say. Did the government believe they had a licence to do that? The story doesn’t say. The complexity of the EULA is something I like to avoid. With GPL et al there’s no doubt what the licence says and there’s no contract required. Accepting M$’s EULA is accepting a liability that keeps biting.

    olderman also wrote, “you keep making the erroneous assumption that that office suite would have both met the needs AND fit into the workflows of the organization.”

    It’s pretty clear from TFA that the government built its workflows around M$’s office suite. They could just as well have done that much earlier on with LibreOffice/OpenOffice.org. As M$ added “features” the task of escaping from M$’s way of doing things became more difficult. I think the mistake Arnhem made was not switching to StarOffice when SUN had it or OpenOffice.org way back in 2001 or a bit later when OpenOffice.org quit crashing. That’s what I did and I never regretted the move. How many “features”/lock-ins did M$ add from 2003 to 2014? How many file-format changes? How many broken protocols? I would bet in all those years Arnhem’s IT and many users were digging a deeper hole.

  65. olderman says:

    “The 600K euro could have been saved by switching to LibreOffice and used to upgrade its templates, training materials, few Linux servers and Chromebooks. But eh, that makes too much sense and as we all know government folk are generally lazy.”

    Dougie, Dougie, Dougie…

    Unless you done a systems analysis for these people such a statement is speculative at best.

  66. dougman says:

    EULA = Contract….Agreed, and with such come limitations and restrictions. Licenses also beget what normally would be illegal as well, but I digress.

    More then likely, someone reported them to the BSA in hopes of a monetary reward, jokes on them as the BSA never pays out.

    The 600K euro could have been saved by switching to LibreOffice and used to upgrade its templates, training materials, few Linux servers and Chromebooks. But eh, that makes too much sense and as we all know government folk are generally lazy.

  67. dougman says:

    Its like M$ has monopoly on paper!

  68. olderman says:

    “Shortsighted IT makes Arnhem part of its own problems with M$.”
    Nope. The IT didn’t keep up their own part of a contract voluntarily entered into. They were caught and they got to pay up.

    End of story

    As far as the entire question of Libre/Openoffice is conerned you keep making the erroneous assumption that that office suite would have both met the needs AND fit into the workflows of the organization. The fact remains that you do NOT know how Arnheim uses its office suite.

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