I’m not posting all of the leaked screenshots from Office 14, basically because I don’t know if anyone cares about anything but Excel and Word.
In an effort to combat piracy, Microsoft has finally begun doing something that will actually help. Instead of putting more and more anti-piracy measures in Office they have lowered the price to the equivalent of $29.
Microsoft has tried similar tactics in the past, like when they sold Office to college students at a drastically reduced price. What’s surprising (to me at least) is that this seems to be working. retailers have stocked up on inventory for the new promotion and they have been selling incredibly well.
Many would argue that piracy is the reason for raising prices on software but with all of the figuring I’ve done it seems that if you lower the price piracy will practically go away.
But, this will hopefully show Microsoft that they can make as much, if not more money from their products if they lower the price rather than keeping it high and trying to put more and more restrictions on the software.
I talked about the “Ultimate Steal” last September, the Ultimate Steal is an offer to college students with a valid .edu email address and a course load of at least 0.5 credits (although I’m not sure if they would actually be able to check how many classes you are taking, the .edu email address may be enough) for Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate (which retails for $680) for $59.95, that’s about a 91% discount off of the retail price.
Well I am just reminding all of you about this because the promotion is going to end on May 16.
This is a tremendous deal especially if you are one of those who NEEDS to use Office and one of those alternatives (OpenOffice) isn’t good enough for you, I understand how you feel, I would rather not be the weird one who used that OTHER program but unfortunately I don’t really want to spend any money on my word processor. But, if you want to pick it up head on over here, and again, valid .edu email address and 0.5 credit course load.
Microsoft has begun offering a free advertising supported version of Microsoft Works, you know that not as good as Microsoft Office suite of applications that seems to be pre-installed on nearly every computer from major manufacturers because it only costs like $1.00 for the manufacturer to add it in, yea, that one.
Currently this brand new Microsoft Works SE (Sponsored Edition) doesn’t seem to be available to just anyone but is only available to PC manufacturers who want to install it on systems that they sell.
This version of works runs just as well as the full version but users will see an advertisement in the program window. I don’t really know why manufacturers would want to use this program instead of something like OpenOffice, except maybe if they think that Microsoft has the kind of name brand that would make people spring for a computer because it has a not so wonderful Office suite installed on it, but none the less if you want to purchase a computer with Microsoft Works SE pre-installed it is showing up on a handful of models being sold by manufacturers in the US, Canada, and a few European countries.
Google Gears has been around for a while now and it has been one of my favorite features of Google Reader. But now Google has added similar functionality to Google Docs allowing users to edit and view there documents offline, just as they would if they were online, and when they reconnect the Google Gears plugin will resync all of your changes back up to Google’s servers.
This is the next step in trying to take some of the office application market from Microsoft and I think Google did it right. I would still love to see more features added to Google Docs but for now I think they’re doing just fine.
Video After the jump
According to Excel 2007, any equation that should result in 65,535 Excel 2007 will tell you that the answer is 100,000.
I actually prefer 100,000 to 65,535, its an even number, it is easily divisible by 10, its a lot larger then 65,535. But, when I’m building complicated spreadsheets (which I don’t do) I think I would rather have the application compute my equations correctly.
Microsoft is working on a fix to the bug but until then why not build some spreadsheets with equations such as:
Next September OpenOffice.org will be releasing its version 3.0 of the software which will finally give native support to OS X without having to install X11 beforehand. In case you Apple guys didn’t realize, you can already do this with a port of OpenOffice called NeoOffice that I have been using for months now.
NeoOffice isn’t affiliated with OpenOffice at all, other then they use a lot of OpenOffice’s source code, NeoOffice has been out of beta for a few months and runs very smoothly.
“The latest version 2.2.1 of NeoOffice includes support for Mac OS X Spellchecker and Address Book, and experimental support for opening Open XML files created by Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007. It was released late last month and is downloadable from neooffice.org.” –ComputerWorld
It is interesting that if you want to have support for opening OpenXML files with OpenOffice.org you will have to wait until version 3.0 of the software next year. That is one of the reasons that I hate using open source software that is backed by a lot of money, Firefox has similar problems, just because it is free and is doing better then a lot of its competitors it doesn’t mean that you should take soooo long to add new features that people need. Firefox crashes all of the time and OpenOffice can’t get the key features in, but I don’t want to go on a rant about open source software because all of you will think I don’t like it, I love open source software, but when you start giving these coders money they quit doing it for the love of it and start doing it for the money (not to say that there is much money in open source software but you get the idea).
I’m excited for OpenOffice.org 3.0 and I really hope that updating the UI is on there to do list because lets be honest, OpenOffice.org is looking a bit stale compared to Microsoft Office (you couldn’t say that just a year or so ago, but now it is easily apparent).
If you want to download the latest build of the aqua version of OpenOffice.org you can do so here.
Google today announced that there will be an addition of a presentation app to the Google Docs suite. This is what everyone has been waiting for, the last piece of the puzzle, now if they would just improve it and add some features it would be a real competitor. At its current feature set it can’t compete with Microsoft office but for those who don’t need all of those features it is a great option.
Here is a paragraph from the Official Google Blog talking about some of the features of the collaborative features in the presentation app:
“Starting today, presentations — whether imported from existing files or created using the new slide editor — are listed alongside documents and spreadsheets in the Google Docs document list. They can be edited, shared, and published using the familiar Google Docs interface, with several collaborators working on a slide deck simultaneously, in real time. When it’s time to present, participants can simply click a link to follow along as the presenter takes the audience through the slideshow. Participants are connected through Google Talk and can chat about the presentation as they’re watching. Not wanting anyone to feel left out, we’ve made the presentation feature available in 25 languages; Google Apps customers can also access it as part of Google Docs.”
Here is a video presenting the new presentation app.
Microsoft has started “The Ultimate Steal” which is a way for students to get Microsoft Office on the cheap, $59.95 for Office Ultimate 2007 to be exact.
This is a really smart idea, especially since most students will resort to piracy to get the software, but at $59.95 I think that they would be willing to pay. If you go to The Ultimate Steal homepage, you will see a countdown and a box to input your email address, then Microsoft will let you know when the offer is available.
I have gone to the website a few times yesterday and the countdown seems to keep resetting, when I first went there the timer was set at 54 minutes or so but looking at it now it says over 13 hours. This may be a limited offer and that could be why this is happening but, what the heck?
I’m really glad that Microsoft has finally realized that lowering prices is the best way to combat piracy, compete with it don’t try to kill it with legal action.
The offer ends on April 30, 2008 so you don’t need to rush but I would suggest that every student that can muster up $60 should jump on this opportunity.
Recently there was a buzz around the blogosphere about Google adding StarOffice being added to the Google Pack.
My question is: Who Cares?
I don’t know anyone who downloads the Google pack and I don’t know why anyone would. Out of the 12 programs in the Google pack I would only suggest people use 4 of them, Google Earth, Firefox, Skype, and Picasa. Why wouldn’t you just download them separately? Alright maybe if you have a family member who isn’t so tech savvy you can just tell them to download the Google pack but who actively goes out and downloads it?
Ok so let’s get to StarOffice, StarOffice is basically OpenOffice.org with some proprietary stuff in it. So why wouldn’t you get OpenOffice? OpenOffice is actually my favorite office suite out there, I like Microsoft Office 2007 but I hate the price.
So I guess my major issue with this news is, who downloads the Google pack?
Microsoft will make Works available free with an ad-supported model. This is interesting to me, I think it is smart but I think they would be better off just giving it away for free without ads. Giving it away ad-supported isn’t a bad idea, it will probably keep people away from using wordpad which for a lot of the people that I have met in high school was the word processor of choice (not exactly, they couldn’t pay for office and didn’t know of any alternatives).
This will help fight off some of the competition that they are getting from online options such as Google docs. I don’t know what they will do with Works, whether or not it will end up being bundled for free with future versions of Windows or if it will be a download on their website.
OpenOffice is being ported to aqua so that Mac users can run OpenOffice without haveing to run X11.
The latest release is an alpha version and according to the download page:
“THIS SOFTWARE MAY CRASH AND MAY DESTROY YOUR DATA DO NOT USE THIS SOFTWARE FOR REAL WORK IN A PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT.”
That is a pretty serious warning. and not only that but there are many known bugs:
- You cannot print
- PDF export does not properly work as thetext won’t show on the page right
- Starting OpenOffice.org from a shared folder does not work
- Copy and paste does not fully work
- OpenOffice.org will crash after quitting
- Some text is not drawn in places like Impress
- Impress will not recognize multiple monitors
There are more bugs and you can read them at the download page.