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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: 365 :(
By jardows on 3/25/2014 11:00:17 AM , Rating: 5
And you get a product that is inferior in every way. Mind you, not terribly inferior, but still inferior. I have used Open/Libre Office at home for years, and just in the last three years started using MS Office again at work. I am amazed at the functionality I have been missing at home. MS Office just works better. It does word processing better, spreadsheets better, presentations better, simple database MUCH better, etc.

For the average person who wants to just write letters, homework assignments, and keep track of their checkbook, the OSS products work fine. When you want to do real work, spending the money on MS Office is money well spent. I won't comment on the functionality of the subscription based offering, but the locally installed version of MS Office is certainly superior to the OSS products.

RE: 365 :(
By lagomorpha on 3/25/2014 11:54:34 AM , Rating: 2
I have used Open/Libre Office at home for years, and just in the last three years started using MS Office again at work.

Have you continued using Libre Office at home? Some big improvements were made in 2013.

RE: 365 :(
By jardows on 3/25/2014 1:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
I primarily use OpenOffice at home. Something about the whole "Libre" thing that annoys me, though I have used it some. Anyway, for the vast majority of things I do at home, it is great, and probably more than I need. But I have tried to replicate some of the similar things we do at work in OpenOffice, and it just won't do it.

One thing I really miss about MS Office at home is the pressing tab to autocomplete a cell in the spreadsheet. Maybe there is a setting for that, but I haven't found it yet.

RE: 365 :(
By althaz on 3/25/2014 8:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
IMO LibreOffice is way better than OpenOffice - but still quite shit compared to even seven-year-old Office 2007.

RE: 365 :(
By Darnell021 on 3/27/2014 11:24:18 AM , Rating: 2
OpenOffice is a joke. All the developers working on OpenOffice back when Oracle purchased Sun jumped ship to start The Document Foundation which represents LibreOffice.

RE: 365 :(
By dgingerich on 3/26/2014 3:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
I tried that program once to write a resume. It supposedly saved to MS Office format. When I sent it to someone, thankfully just a recruiter and not directly to an employer, the formatting came out horribly and the person couldn't read it. I ended up having to take LibreOffice, save it to Rich Text format, then open it in OpenOffice as a MS Office file, and save it as a Rich Text format, and then change the extension to .doc so MS Office would open it as an Office 97 format file. It was either that or buy MS Office and redo the entire document. I'm not going through that again. I'm not trying and free office program again. They not only can't seem to get the MS Office formats right, but can't even get the supposedly standard Rich Test Format right.

Office 365 isn't a bad deal at all, considering what you get. Sure, you pay $99/year (if you watch for coupons and specials, you can by like me and pay $80/year,) but you always get the most updated version. So, when Office 2015 comes out, you can upgrade to it without spending any extra.

Also, if your company does things right with their MS licensing, employees can get Office Home Use, which means they can spend $20 to get MS Office at home. (I've known too many employers who just wouldn't set up the proper MS licensing scheme with Software Assurance, which comes with the Home Use Program for free, and wound up paying a ton more than they had to for software when it came time to update to the new one. Many accountants don't seem to realize that Software Assurance is a money saver every time, unless you aren't planning on being in business in five years.)

RE: 365 :(
By Yorgos on 3/25/2014 12:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well you get a certain amount of functionality for 0 $, which is huge considering the $ someone has to pay. Again 0 $.

On the other hand if we all contribute once a fair amount of money then the free/opensource s/w will get better and better. I won't instantly match the features of MS office but it will catch up within a year or so.

To predict the results of our contributions is easy, it depends on us, if we can live a little bit longer with the current features/version.

RE: 365 :(
By jardows on 3/25/2014 2:14:09 PM , Rating: 5
Not arguing against the value of Open/Libre Office. But in a business environment, time is money. If I need the functionality and integration of MS Office now, I cannot wait an indefinite period of time hoping that the open source alternative will have it. If I can do the same thing, but it takes longer to set up my spreadsheet/database/WP application in the open source version, the additional cost of MS Office will become negligible.

Predicting the results of contributing to an OSS project is not easy. LibreOffice is a fork from OpenOffice. When will there be a major fork of LibreOffice, dividing the development community once again, and slowing implementation of new features? How can we be certain that the features may people find attractive about MS Office are even on the schedule from the OSS project managers? Being a user and not a programmer, I am at the mercy of those who do program.

There are companies that spend tremendous amounts of money for support contracts that are never used, just to have the assurance that *if* something goes wrong, there is a trained professional who will help fix things quickly. This is how companies like RedHat and Canonical make money. With MS Office, the support if bundled with the upfront cost of the product, or with the subscription for 365.

The value proposition is one to be considered, and a blanket recommendation to switch to an OSS alternative will likely not work for the majority of people who make a living using MS Office.

RE: 365 :(
By phatboye on 3/26/2014 1:45:38 AM , Rating: 2
How can we be certain that the features may people find attractive about MS Office are even on the schedule from the OSS project managers? Being a user and not a programmer, I am at the mercy of those who do program.
The same can be said about MS's products since you do not work for MS what is to say that you are not at the mercy of MS i.e. should they decide to force you into a subscription based model?

So long as you do not own the source code you will be at someones mercy at least with OSS i can change the code myself or hire a programmer to add in any desired feature that I may want. With MS you can only do as you are told.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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