Monday, March 25, 2013

Killing the Dinosaur- Microsoft Office becomes even more obsolete

Microsoft has decided that they no longer want the one time purchase. They want you to be a Microsoft person for life, whether you like it or not. This is personified in the new deal that everyone now gets when they buy a Microsoft Office Suite. It used to be that you could download it onto a few different computers, so that all the users in your family could use it. Instead they now want only one computer, and one person to use it. Unless you agree to the Microsoft 365 subscription, then you and your family, work unit, life partner can have all the access you want without all those pesky other programs that will only confuse you anyway.

Subscriptions are the integral part of the future, according to the tech industry. Hulu, Netflix, Xbox, and others, all use subscriptions to keep the doors open. So you pay for your Amazon Prime, your Gamefly, etc and get access without being bothered every time there’s an upgrade. Microsoft wants in on this action. They already have successful subscription going with Xbox Live and Music so why not do that with some of their more component software?

The reason is because every is going to hate it. Writing programs are all over, Google Drive,Zoho, and ThinkFree  give you the ability to write and share info. and they are all free. So this puts Microsoft Office at a disadvantage when they are already somewhat behind due to the fact that many of their programs are not available in tablet form other than the Surface. So with these easier and cheaper options it does seem kind of odd that they would take this approach.

Microsoft’s argument has a lot to do with the fear of copyright law, people using it improperly, blah, blah, blah. It’s really comes down to they want to squeeze out the users who only use Microsoft occasionally and have no interest in the 365 system. They are pushing like your annoying neighbor to go their nieces’ piano recital. Because Microsoft is desperate to be Apple.

But here’s the thing. They will never be Apple, Apple is for the hip creative typ ea who have jobs like underground marketing manager, and news aggregation. Microsoft is for the drone, the worker bee who puts in his/her eight hours and then goes home to watch Two and a half men unironically. The thing that they liked about Microsoft is it’s simplicity, that they could go in, get their work done, come out.

It wasn’t a statement about who they were as people. But Microsoft fears that those people aren’t lifelong customers, but their businesses are, so who cares?  But with this blow to the Microsoft Office Suite, businesses who are the core of their buying base are going to go to the free services first and that may hurt Microsoft more than they know. Because businesses are cheap. And Fran down in accounting is going to be pretty quick to look at the numbers and say everyone get on Google Drive.