Office 365 subscriptions

I saw this the other day. Not sure how come as I don’t think I was looking for Office stuff. Anyway the author is suggesting that Office 365 subscriptions fell off a cliff in 2016.

Obviously I have no idea as I have never used it, I have an old 2010 installation that I use occasionally (and a dusty old Classique on an old machine somewhere) and other than that I am on LibreOffice. Except for the odd Google sheets messaround.

Are any of you using Office 365?

I really hate renting software. really. I bought my house (with a little help from the bank of course – spreadsheeting was never THAT lucrative…), I bought my car, my clothes, my phone, my toys. I don’t like renting. Why would I rent software?

I looked at Adobe creative cloud for photos, even did a trial (they allow 7 days – WOW Adobe Generous – not), in the end I decided it was not worth 8 quid a month. Good call – they just put it up to a tenner a month.

The renters (of Adobe CC) seem to be in two clear camps: those that pay it and think its cheap, especially in relation to the thousands spent on camera equipment, and those that resent the lock-in and are just waiting for some viable buyable alternative.

Who rents Office 365 when they can buy a perpetual licence version? or get a web based office for the price of letting Google snoop through all your stuff to sell you shit?



3 Responses to “Office 365 subscriptions”

  1. jon49 Says:

    Yeah, I’m not a power user for personal stuff. So, 365 is over the top. Work has purchased a copy of MS Office for me. But really. I would be able to survive on Google “Office” pretty easily.

  2. kenpuls Says:

    Hey Simon, my take here is not that subscriptions fell off a cliff, it’s that they aren’t adding new subscribers at the same rate as they were. The numbers are still on the positive side of the chart.

    With regards to why, I can offer one idea here. When I was in charge of corporate IT (I left that company in 2015), we were approached by our software vendor with significant incentives to switch our Office licensing to the O365 platform. Discounts of 50% for 3 years (if I recall correctly), which made it significantly cheaper to be on the O365 plan than to purchase and maintain software renewal for the Office suite.

    Having said that, the real benefit – although there was a price break at the time on the Office suite – was in the bundling of services. Even without the discounts, the O365 E3 product allowed us to dump our on site Exchange server and licensing, saving us a bunch of costs. All that, of course, is the side that the accountants and IT care about that the end users don’t.

    I’ll admit that at the time it was very confusing as to what the benefits of being on subscription were. There were no updates in Office 2013, so it basically looked like a rent vs buy decision. Personally, I don’t feel that is the case any longer.

    The real tipping point for me was when the Office 2016 product moved to releasing monthly updates. New formulas, new charts, etc, on a monthly basis. Yes, I know that not everyone is going to use them, but there are power users in the company who will in order to build a better BI infrastructure.

    But more important to me is knowing that each of my uses is running the latest builds/patches. I also don’t have to worry about “per seat” licensing any more, as they get 5 seats that they can use (even at home if they want.) Finally, I think there is a huge value in the fact that it only needs to be justified to corporate once, versus having to spend days explaining why you need to expend a large capital cost on updating software that is 10 years and 3 versions out of date.

    I long ago reconciled myself to “renting” my antivirus subscription. As the Office suite is the most important productivity tool I have, I’ve come to terms with this as well.

    Hope things are well with you!

  3. Simon Says:

    Hi Ken, all good points, and you are right, its not subs, its additional subs. I haven’t even looked at 2016, not even web summaries, and I’ve never worked anywhere that had invested (properly) in the MS BI stack so no power pivot etc for me either.

    All good here thanks, I hope things are good with you too.

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