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Support for Office 2003 ends April 8 along with Windows XP

Microsoft has stepped up its efforts in recent months to kill off Windows XP for good, and those efforts are now extending to Office 2003. Office 2003 has been around for over a decade and Microsoft wants users to switch to Office 365.
 
Microsoft wrote in a blog post, "Office 2003 no longer meets the needs of the way we work, play and live today. For this reason, it is time to say farewell to Office 2003 and embrace the productivity solution of today – Office 365."
 

Microsoft wants users to ditch Office 2003

Many people have been using Office 2003 for years simply because it does all they need and it's paid for. Office 365 requires a subscription and you will need to continue paying to keep it active.
 
Microsoft says that support for Office 2003 will end on April 8.
 
We already knew that support for Windows XP would also end on April 8, and Microsoft has resorted to pop ups to tell XP users the end is here. Microsoft also offers a $100 discount to get XP users to upgrade to Windows 8. 

Source: Office





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RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By cditty on 3/25/2014 9:41:56 AM , Rating: 5
You can still buy Office 2013 outright. You don't HAVE to do 365. For a family, 365 is a pretty good deal. Especially if you use multiple device types (PC, tablet, etc...). Since they are announcing Office for iPad in two days, that device would just count towards your five device limit.

I don't need the multiple device approach, so I just bought 2013. To each their own, but they are not forcing anyone to subscribe... Yet.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By 91TTZ on 3/25/14, Rating: -1
RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By StraightCashHomey on 3/25/2014 11:11:24 AM , Rating: 3
Just curious, but do you work for an IT Consulting Company? I do, and I work in a medium-sized city (200,000) and it's VERY rare that I see an environment that does not have Active Directory and Office.

Google is the largest competitor and/or threat to Microsoft, NOT open source. Really the only places that use Google Apps en mass are K-12 institutions. Microsoft needs to do a better job penetrating that sector, because these kids are going to grow up using Google Apps instead of Office, and those kids are going to grow in Tech Directors who are really going to push that initiative.

With that said, Office 365 is really an amazing suite. I highly recommend it.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By 91TTZ on 3/25/2014 1:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
I currently work for a datacenter and I've been in IT since 1996. I've never been at a place that didn't use Microsoft Office and everyone has used Windows Server. But my perception is biased since I'm a Windows guy and I wouldn't be hired at a place that doesn't use a Microsoft environment.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By inighthawki on 3/25/2014 11:13:16 AM , Rating: 4
Sounds like the ramblings of a standard open source nut. "Big business is just keeping us down by censoring the greatness of open source software!"

Ever consider that a lot of it just kind of sucks?


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By BRB29 on 3/25/2014 11:51:20 AM , Rating: 2
For professional use, there's nothing better than Office. Believe me, I tried doing case studies and complex graphs iWork, Google and OpenOffice.

I would say use the Google Suite as a student or the Apple Suite. If you got a job, get Office. It's really not expensive anymore especially when you buy it through your job or student discounts.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Solandri on 3/25/2014 12:34:45 PM , Rating: 4
A lot of companies, schools, and organizations which buy site licenses for Office also allow employees to buy a copy for home use for $9.95. I'd check that out first. Most people don't know this program even exists.

http://www.microsofthup.com/hupus/chooser.aspx?cul...

I got my copy through Technet so I'm not sure what HUP actually gives you. But I've seen people recommend you spend the extra $14 to get a DVD copy for future installations.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By marvdmartian on 3/25/2014 1:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
MS Home Use Program, for Office 2010, gave me a download for $9.95. If I wanted it on a disk, it cost extra (though I don't recall how much).

As long as that's available to me, I'll utilize it. Not really a huge fan of the whole online/cloud thing yet, as I doubt that security and my privacy are their biggest concerns.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By marvdmartian on 3/25/2014 1:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
MS Home Use Program, for Office 2010, gave me a download for $9.95. If I wanted it on a disk, it cost extra (though I don't recall how much).

As long as that's available to me, I'll utilize it. Not really a huge fan of the whole online/cloud thing yet, as I doubt that security and my privacy are their biggest concerns.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By drlumen on 3/25/2014 12:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
There is no similarity between Linux and Windows. Apple is a branch of a Linux flavor so if anyone were to be sued it would be Apple. SCO tried to sue Linux users for, supposedly, impeding on UNIX code and they crash and burned.

Never heard of SCO? Get my point?


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By 91TTZ on 3/25/2014 1:19:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying that they'd have a strong legal case against a well-funded company, I'm saying that you have a few immense companies that have the cash to harass a small community to death.

If I was rich enough I could sue you into oblivion and never win a case against you. I don't need to make a good enough argument to win the case, I only need to make a good enough argument to have the judge agree to let the case proceed to court and not make me pay your legal bills. By making you spend money to defend yourself you'd go broke.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Stephen! on 3/25/2014 3:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple is a branch of a Linux flavor


Apple is using BSD, a Unix derivative.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By mellomonk on 3/25/2014 3:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is no similarity between Linux and Windows. Apple is a branch of a Linux flavor so if anyone were to be sued it would be Apple. SCO tried to sue Linux users for, supposedly, impeding on UNIX code and they crash and burned. Never heard of SCO? Get my point?

MacOS X and iOs are based on Darwin. Which in turn is based on FreeBSD, not Linux. Completely different kernel, though both are Unix-like operating systems. Apple's involvement in the open source communities is controversial for some because so much of what they do is proprietary. But they have contributed back code to FreeBSD and open source in general. For example the Webkit technologies.

SCO Group sued Unix and Linux distributors and corporate users, primarily IBM and Novell. Linux would not have been involved at all except that SCO asserted that IBM contributed back some of the code in question to the Linux kernel. Ultimately Novell prevailed in it's case dealing a huge blow to SCOs assertions. SCO still exists and is still in court with IBM.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By NellyFromMA on 3/25/2014 1:31:59 PM , Rating: 3
I can't help but look at it as a tale of theory vs implementation in a given moment (which so far is virtually all of tech history).

Open-source is great, in theory. You don't have to pay which is GREAT for consumers, don't get me wrong.

However, there is a whole tried-and-true-for-decades reality that people WILL PAY for QUALITY which open-source is nearly always inferior to a proper paid product.

This is especially true for businesses as we require reliability over cost-reduction... To an extent, of course. But that extent has more or less been figured out by Microsoft and other paid-product corps for quite some time hence their business financial health.

You could actually argue that BECAUSE of open-source initiatives making in-roads into MS coveted business-market that MS and many other corporations are trying to sweep us into service-based offerings as a result.

Open-source offerings simply need to meet the quality of paid products to replace them for business purposes. The only offset to this that comes to mind is hiring IT or other specialists to deal with the issues that inevitably arise from open-source implementations which easily can offset the licensing / subscription costs of a paid product.

Of course everyone awaits the day we can have paid-quality at no-cost. The likelihood, however... well, theory vs implementation it seems.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Solandri on 3/25/2014 2:32:21 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Open-source is great, in theory. You don't have to pay which is GREAT for consumers, don't get me wrong.

However, there is a whole tried-and-true-for-decades reality that people WILL PAY for QUALITY which open-source is nearly always inferior to a proper paid product.

Open source software is great. The problem is the developers.

In paid software, the customer is king. If a large number of the customers want a feature, it doesn't matter what the developer wants, the customer will eventually prevail. See Microsoft backtracking on Win 8 for a great example.

In open source software, the developer is king. The customers can all want a feature, but if the developer doesn't want to implement it (or for larger projects, the codebase maintainer doesn't want to include it in the main codebase), the customers are SOL. Sure they could fork it and start up their own version, but that still leaves the new developers in control. The only thing a pure-user customer can do is bow and lick the feet of the developers.

In theory, the open source developers are altruistic saints who listen to everyone's requests and fairly allocate development time to what's most needed.

In practice, the developers are like regular people - once they get a taste of the power that comes with controlling something, they frequently turn into selfish pricks who consider themselves to be a different and superior caste. They work on what they want, and not only ignore what those of the lower caste (users) need or request, they mock them for their inability to write code.

That's why so much open source software is difficult to use. Ease of use is considered a waste of time because it helps the incapable user, rather than empowering the programmer. For the same reason, the best open source software products are the ones the user never sees. Most routers run open source software. The router developers acts as the middleman. They present a competent face to the OSS developers so get the changes they want. They sell a product so they make the effort to do what the OSS developers consider to be beneath them - make the software easy to use.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By NellyFromMA on 3/25/2014 3:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
Excellent points all around. Well put.

Of course, in the end, open-source software is virtually always developed by volunteers, so I can't really dislike it for what it is.. but, you as the user have to really understand the nature of that choice in order to evaluate whether or not a paid product is worthwhile in the face of an open-source alternative.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By bsd228 on 3/25/2014 5:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote: Open-source is great, in theory. You don't have to pay which is GREAT for consumers, don't get me wrong. However, there is a whole tried-and-true-for-decades reality that people WILL PAY for QUALITY which open-source is nearly always inferior to a proper paid product.

Open source software is great. The problem is the developers. In paid software, the customer is king. If a large number of the customers want a feature, it doesn't matter what the developer wants, the customer will eventually prevail. See Microsoft backtracking on Win 8 for a great example. In open source software, the developer is king. The customers can all want a feature, but if the developer doesn't want to implement it (or for larger projects, the codebase maintainer doesn't want to include it in the main codebase), the customers are SOL. Sure they could fork it and start up their own version, but that still leaves the new developers in control. The only thing a pure-user customer can do is bow and lick the feet of the developers.


Is it really any different for Adobe users right now? Or Office 2003 users for that matter? In each case, the company is dictating to the users that if they want updates, it will be by subscription only. If you're committed to Photoshop, you don't really have a choice in the matter. Professionally speaking, the alternatives are weak. It still is a showdown in progress - Adobe keeps offering cheaper and cheaper subscription plans to those of us who bought CS6 and said "no mas." Eventually, I think they will have to offer a CC/CS7 license.

Unfortunately for MS, few people actually need the 5% premium offered by Office products. Most would do just fine with GoogleDocs or the various OpenOffice variants.

As for the easily mockable claim by the prior poster than open source is always inferior - just look at how much open source product MS has adopted as its own. Or compare the number of Exchange servers to sendmail/postfix ones out there (or the number of MSCEs it takes to keep that turkey running).

Open Source developers are trying to solve a problem. If it's their own problem, then yes, they're going to set the agenda. They're putting it out on SourceForge to let others benefit from it and yes, offer updates via pull requests. If they don't accept them, then you do have the option of forking it, or offering them money to meet your needs.

OTOH, when people put stuff out there to solve a broader problem, they are in fact interested in your needs, and are generally inclined to work thru them, based on resource and priority. Which is also exactly how commercial software is developed.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By bsd228 on 3/25/2014 5:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote: Open-source is great, in theory. You don't have to pay which is GREAT for consumers, don't get me wrong. However, there is a whole tried-and-true-for-decades reality that people WILL PAY for QUALITY which open-source is nearly always inferior to a proper paid product.

Open source software is great. The problem is the developers. In paid software, the customer is king. If a large number of the customers want a feature, it doesn't matter what the developer wants, the customer will eventually prevail. See Microsoft backtracking on Win 8 for a great example. In open source software, the developer is king. The customers can all want a feature, but if the developer doesn't want to implement it (or for larger projects, the codebase maintainer doesn't want to include it in the main codebase), the customers are SOL. Sure they could fork it and start up their own version, but that still leaves the new developers in control. The only thing a pure-user customer can do is bow and lick the feet of the developers.


Is it really any different for Adobe users right now? Or Office 2003 users for that matter? In each case, the company is dictating to the users that if they want updates, it will be by subscription only. If you're committed to Photoshop, you don't really have a choice in the matter. Professionally speaking, the alternatives are weak. It still is a showdown in progress - Adobe keeps offering cheaper and cheaper subscription plans to those of us who bought CS6 and said "no mas." Eventually, I think they will have to offer a CC/CS7 license.

Unfortunately for MS, few people actually need the 5% premium offered by Office products. Most would do just fine with GoogleDocs or the various OpenOffice variants.

As for the easily mockable claim by the prior poster than open source is always inferior - just look at how much open source product MS has adopted as its own. Or compare the number of Exchange servers to sendmail/postfix ones out there (or the number of MSCEs it takes to keep that turkey running).

Open Source developers are trying to solve a problem. If it's their own problem, then yes, they're going to set the agenda. They're putting it out on SourceForge to let others benefit from it and yes, offer updates via pull requests. If they don't accept them, then you do have the option of forking it, or offering them money to meet your needs.

OTOH, when people put stuff out there to solve a broader problem, they are in fact interested in your needs, and are generally inclined to work thru them, based on resource and priority. Which is also exactly how commercial software is developed.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By GTVic on 3/25/2014 1:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
The main issue with color is that you can't tell when the window is active but I wouldn't use that as the major point to a discussion about subscription software.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By inperfectdarkness on 3/25/2014 12:08:27 PM , Rating: 3
I'm used to Office 2010 and .docx files and the like. This is mostly due to the PC's where I work being upgraded & also because I qualify for MS discount on Office software. I don't have a huge issue with the migration from the "ease of use" standpoint.

What I do dislike is "change for the sake of change". I get XP going away. The longer an OS is in the tooth, the more and more exploits are found for it. Eventually, like an old car, you end up with so many "fixes" that it's time to start over with something new.

Office isn't like that. Not even close. To me, the forced Office upgrades are unnecessary. A money grab at best. Between all of the added features, MS could potentially justify ONE upgrade to office since 2003, but not a handful.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By DT_Reader on 3/25/2014 12:29:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can still buy Office 2013 outright.

Or you can continue to use Office 2003, which still runs on Windows 7 (I can't speak for Windows 8). No support after April? So what - I haven't had any real support from Microsoft for years. Any questions are answered on blogs, not official Microsoft support sites.

And there are several very good free alternatives to Office 2003. If Office 2003 does all you need, you'll be very happy with Libre Office or Apache Open Office or Kingsoft Office.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Murloc on 3/25/2014 2:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
1. Office 2007 onwards offers a real productivity increase.
Really, it was like day and night. After that, it was just nice but incremental upgrades again.
2. Open source office suits from a user point of view are just ugly and cluttered.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By smilingcrow on 3/25/2014 6:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
"If Office 2003 does all you need, you'll be very happy with Libre Office"

Even a 10 year old version of MS Office has more features and is much faster than the current version of Libre Office.
If you are happy with Libre then you never needed MS Office in the first place which is true for many home users.
For myself the lack of an email client is a limitation as well.


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