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General Chat Thread, It Says Here: "Microsoft Office Is Obsolete, Or Soon Will Be" in General; Link: Microsoft Office is obsolete, or soon will be | Betanews I think that this might become the case at ...
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    DaveP's Avatar
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    It Says Here: "Microsoft Office Is Obsolete, Or Soon Will Be"

    Link: Microsoft Office is obsolete, or soon will be | Betanews

    I think that this might become the case at sometime in the future but I think that this article is a little premature.

    Perhaps as one comment says after the article the author is being deliberately controversial simply to generate more traffic to the site and get more readers to reply.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I'd agree. We all know it's inevitable. I'm surprised he didn't even mention free alternatives like OpenOffice when there is a requirement for the day to day odds and sods. Plus of course stuff like google documents, sharepoint online and of course the big daddy, the so called "cloud computing".
    In the meantime all it's doing is, as you say, making a bit of a headline to get a bit of reading.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I disagree with the title for a start. Microsoft Office will always be around in some form, but it will certainly be less lucrative than it was in the past.

    Immediate reasons are Microsoft themselves being their worse enemy. For the most part I still use Office 2003, because there isn't anything I cannot achieve from it. Open Office is very good and Google and others are all starting to provide services.

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    Mr.Ben's Avatar
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    I think it will be around for at least 10 years more,

    Webb apps are great, but I work in a School where the LEA provide a 2mb connection, and we are being 'upgraded' this year to 8Mb.

    8Mb between 150 PC's,

    Until the providers and SIMS get there act together there is no chance!

    Oh, and as for the last bit about voice to text - that's crap - whilst things like dragon naturally speaking have come a long way they are still useless for us here in Zumerset

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    Diello's Avatar
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    Office solely as an installed application suite, quite probably in the next few years - Office webapps are a different story, I think they have a future as a corporate alternative to the Googleverse.

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    Voice to text is pointless. How do people in an office do that? 100 people all talking will make for a nice document... Not to mention that many people type faster than they talk... I dislike talking at my computer.

    This article has some value - it rightly points out that Office is not the huge money spinner that it used to be, but to claim it will be obsolete in anything less than a decade would be silly. Just look how fast schools adopt new things. We're still using an OS and office suite that is 7 years old. Not to mention software on that platform that is easily 12 years old or more. Corporations are similar.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    I think that this might become the case at sometime in the future but I think that this article is a little premature.
    This is something I've been thinking about recently, and I'm guessing a number of other schools / businesses in general have too. We, like many places, still run Office 2003. This is now 7 years old, which is getting on a bit. The functionality it contains is fine but is now replicated by many web-based tools, Google Docs being the example that springs to mind, and with added ease of collaboration.

    Upgrading to Office 2010 is going to cost us 10,000 minimum whichever way we go about it - we could make sure all our workstations are capable of running 2010 and run it locally, we could run it over Terminal Services or we could look at using the web-based version. However, if we use the web-based version, why don't we just use Google Docs, or whatever, instead? We'll have to get users to use a different system either way, so why not save money while we're at it?

    We don't have to upgrade, of course, but that then removes one of the main arguments for having MS Office in the first place - the argument that it is "standard" software that we are training our students on. We can't really pretend that a 7-year-old piece of software, two versions behind the current one, is a standard. Many companies are, I imagine, now thinking the exact same thing as us - why bother with Office 2010 when they can just use a web-based service instead? When our pupils leave and head off to university (and it's a fairly good bet that most of ours will), a collaborative editing tool is going to be way more useful, and consistently available, than a stand-alone office package. No university is going to provide Office for all their students, they'll simply provide a web-based system - and indeed, most already do. In the future, our current pupils are more likely to be using a web-based productivity tool to get their work done than anything else.

    With the above reasoning, I figure we'll simply leave off upgrading MS Office and stick with 2003. Pupils will gradually shift to using other systems as they need, and when we come to review the situation in 3 years time or whenever the next version of Office comes out my guess is that we'll be using something else most of the time anyway and we'll wonder what on earth we did in Office all the time.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    powerpoint and excel will be around forever i reckon. They are just too firmly ingrained in business, especially excel.

    but what this means for microsoft's ability to shift new version licenses like before......i don't know
    Last edited by torledo; 24th January 2010 at 11:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Ben View Post
    I think it will be around for at least 10 years more
    Maybe the next 3 to 5 years, but once it goes it might go quite rapidly - once it hits a certain point it won't be any kind of "standard" any more, so people won't be buying it just because other people are.

    Webb apps are great, but I work in a School where the LEA provide a 2mb connection
    Obviously "web based" can mean "runs on a local server and presents a user interface via a web browser", so external connection speed isn't necessarily an issue.

    Oh, and as for the last bit about voice to text - that's crap - whilst things like dragon naturally speaking have come a long way they are still useless for us here in Zumerset
    I would tend to agree, although I have a feeling that at some point someone is going to come along with a suitably advanced new voice recognition method that will actually prove useful. Hardware is needed to both better pick up what is being said (array microphones, maybe) and shield others in your small office from your conversation (fancy noise-cancelling "cones of silence" - possible, but currently expensive).

    Dragon Naturally Speaking is quite probably good for office workers, but I haven't had much success with it for use with pupils - the kind of pupils it would be nice to be able to have not have to type aren't going to want to (or be capable of) sit down and read a bunch of training text and user-specific data is still stored locally on machines, making for a logistics problem in a school or an enormous (and therefore slow) user profile. What's needed is something web-based, available on any machine, probably recording sound via a Flash or Java applet, capable of recognising any speech without having to be trained. I have a feeling that this is the kind of problem that is right up the alley of things like NVidia's Fermi architecture - massively parallel computation on graphics cards. Give it 3 to 5 years and I think we'll see a usable, general, voice-recognition system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    powerpoint and excel will be around forever i reckon. They are just too firmly ingrained in business, especially excel.
    PowerPoint - easily replaceable in business presentations by simple image slideshows or interactive web pages. I liked the example given at the BETT TeachMeet about using LinkBun.ch as a presentation tool - get a bunch of web pages you want to show as your presentation, generate a single URL that open the lot in different tabs in your browser, now anyone can load your presentation with one click.

    Excel - widely blamed for the recent financial crash, and badly taught at enough schools to put many people off it for life.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Voice to text is pointless. How do people in an office do that? 100 people all talking will make for a nice document... Not to mention that many people type faster than they talk... I dislike talking at my computer.

    This article has some value - it rightly points out that Office is not the huge money spinner that it used to be, but to claim it will be obsolete in anything less than a decade would be silly. Just look how fast schools adopt new things. We're still using an OS and office suite that is 7 years old. Not to mention software on that platform that is easily 12 years old or more. Corporations are similar.
    i agree, but if you think how many schools and individuals stick with older versions of software, that non-upgrading isn't good for Microsoft's Office business. Stuff liike the office home and student editions preinstalled can act as a hook, as can the free online versions, but surely they need to convert those into seat purchases don't they ? Obviously there's other ways to monetize the online versions, but would/could it be as lucrative, especially with competition from google and others ?

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    PowerPoint - easily replaceable in business presentations by simple image slideshows or interactive web pages. I liked the example given at the BETT TeachMeet about using LinkBun.ch as a presentation tool - get a bunch of web pages you want to show as your presentation, generate a single URL that open the lot in different tabs in your browser, now anyone can load your presentation with one click.

    Excel - widely blamed for the recent financial crash, and badly taught at enough schools to put many people off it for life.

    --
    David Hicks
    i agree about alternatives to powerpoint, but any other tool is a new tool, and if a vast number of people are comfortable with using powerpoint, then it's an 'if it ain't broke' fixit thing.

    I'm not sure i've read any articles blaming excel squarely for the recent crash, those damn pivot tables .

    but despite other arguably more complex tools, it has huge significance in the financial sector, and again what's the alternative to all those lines of VBA code and that familiarity with the product amongst professionals ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    to claim it will be obsolete in anything less than a decade would be silly
    Agreed, and it was just as silly 10 years ago when many people were bleating about how StarOffice was going to make Microsoft Office obsolete within a decade.

    I'm almost tempted to find out what odds Ladbrookes would offer on Microsoft Office still having greater than 50% market share in 2020.

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    "Microsoft Office Is Obsolete, Or Soon Will Be"

    ... the rise of the Computer means that offices will be paperless

    ... IT Technicians won't be needed in the next 5 years.

    The last 2 were both news storied in the past... I shall file this one in the same place under "Wishful thinking"

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    I can't see it going anywhere fast especially in business but as stated above moving people onto new versions could be tough we still use Office 2003 with the 2007 compatibility pack and don't have any issues I just don't see a good reason to move at the moment.

    It would of course be great if OO gained popularity my life would be much easier if everyone at home used the same product as we use here.

    One of the reasons that I can't see Office going anywhere is A the web versions and B the value MS place on people using their products even if they're free. Look at IE, MS don't make any money on it but they've started to invest in it as it's important that people use and like your software it's important for brand identity and they still control the application. If people move from Office in any numbers expect the home and edu versions to come way down in price (free maybe with the odd ad?), though 69 for 3 licences (before the latest cut) isn't actually bad but it's still too much for me so I use OO at home.

    When you talk to allot of people the whole idea of office packages is tied in with the brand, Word, excel and PP especially people use the product name as though that's the function not the software to perform the task. It will take a long time to change that.

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