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cptkrf
03-06-2015, 10:20 AM
Can someone explain the fixation on MS Office and the absolute requirement to have it in any business environment? As in “I would love a Mac, but I have to have Office,” or “My boss won’t even consider Apple until it runs Real Office.”

I have never been a desk/computer bound employee, but I have typed a lot of letters and documentation, used a lot of spreadsheets, and have never yet stopped and pushed my chair back with the realization that Open Office, or Libra Office, or (fill-in-name) Office won’t do the job and I have to find the real MS product somewhere.

Anybody?

Raz0rEdge
03-06-2015, 10:56 AM
This is very similar to asking why a lot of big corporations use Exchange and Outlook for mail while there might be other alternatives. These products have been around for a very long time and provide a uniform experience.

While OpenOffice and LibreOffice do a decent job dealing with Word documents, they are not perfect and lose styling or formatting. For that reason alone, from the perspective of companies it's easier for everyone to have Word available.

The second is familiarity, since people have been using this tools for decades, they are proficient in using them and can generate documents quickly.

At my present company, we use GMail for corporate mail because we are a tiny startup and want to save money not having to run Exchange. On my Mac here, I use Mac Mail (recently been using Airmail) or the web interface, but there are few people here who use Outlook with GMail. They just prefer that interface and their familiarity with it..

Are Microsoft products SO much better than others out there, for some sure, for others not so much. But they have become a huge part of the standard arsenal of the corporate workplace that its hard to displace them.

Hell, just getting Macs into the corporate environment that uses Windows domains with ADs and so on is a pain!

pigoo3
03-06-2015, 11:02 AM
Can someone explain the fixation on MS Office and the absolute requirement to have it in any business environment? As in “I would love a Mac, but I have to have Office,” or “My boss won’t even consider Apple until it runs Real Office.”

At least 3 reasons:

- Because Microsoft Office has been around for about 25 years…and there really hasn't been any serious competition.
- 80-90% of computers are Windows based. Windows based = Microsoft products (again…no serious competitors).
- Familiarity

* Nick

XJ-linux
03-06-2015, 11:41 AM
At least in big corporations, the question is generally:

Is there something we can't do now, that we need to do now, and we can't do using the software we have now. If there is, is the cost of the software, the cost of training, the cost of redoing workflows, the cost of reworking integration points, the cost of training or educating vendors, and the cost of hours lost doing all that... is it offset by the new functionality in the short and long term? If all of the above is true, will is be around long enough that we don't need to revisit this again for quite a while?

Most companies are made up of mostly people who don't particularly care about what brand the software is ie: the business and office and specialist people. At big companies you generally have a bunch of people (as a whole) who have been doing what they do for quite a while, and doing it well enough to still be around and making a profit. Most started out, or at least the most senior started out, using Office and they use it to do their actual jobs be it accounting, supply chain management, forecasting, sales, resource management, purchasing, or whatever. They want to do those jobs the easiest way possible and most don't feel like learning new software unless absolutely necessary to get something useful, when they could be doing their actual jobs instead.

Additionally, hiring people or consultants to install, upgrade, manage and distribute MS Office is easier and ultimately cheaper (due to the number of and competition between vendors) than doing something else. Google Docs have made some inroads and I hope they continue to. Google mainly did so due to their Cloud base which saves money on staff and physical infrastructure. Where I work have our own "Cloud" so to speak so we don't even look at this stuff because our cloud has to exist anyway for other things and we piggyback Office on it along with SAP and Oracle and telecom and backups others.

vansmith
03-06-2015, 01:43 PM
Google Docs have made some inroads and I hope they continue to.Google Docs is interesting because it goes after MS's traditional markets by offering huge cost savings and collaboration technologies that are leagues ahead (or at least this is the perception). That said, at an individual level, MS's cloud offerings for document creation, in my experience, are much better (MS's Office Online puts Google Docs to shame). Given that MS is pushing 365 hard in (at least) education, I imagine that MS is going to further its grips on mindshare.

For me, it's all about document fidelity. Why do I use it? Because everyone else does. It's a vicious circle in that I'm helping to re-affirm its dominance out of necessity. Do I mind? Not really because Word/PowerPoint/Excel together with OneDrive are marvellous. The fact that all my important documents are available in OneDrive and thus easily editable from any Office installation anywhere in the world makes it a no-brainer for me as an addition beyond the absolutely crucial aspect of fidelity. When you combine those two -- fidelity and portability across devices -- with the third party support (Mendeley!), it makes consideration of other software nothing more than a fleeting thought.

Pages/Keynote/Numbers could have that if Apple introduced Windows support. Even in post-secondary contexts, where Apple has disproportionate market share, Word/PowerPoint/Excel still dominate without question. The only way that's going to change is if Apple introduces Windows support and works really hard to have perfect compatibility with Office docs.

zewazir
03-06-2015, 01:55 PM
Enterprise is one of the rare instances in which the excuse, "Everyone else is doing it" is fully valid. Open Office and others similar may be OK for creating documents, though if expecting others to read and/or use them who may be (probably are) MS Office users, one needs to make sure they are saved so they can be opened with MS Office.

Conversely, however, there are often problems opening anything other than the most simple of MS Office documents using one of the freebies. If a word document is created using text boxes, text wrap around images, or anything else in the least more complicated than which text is bold, then forget it - the document will open as an unreadable hashed up mess. Excel documents are similar in that only very simple one are easily translated using an open source app. Anything complicated, and it ends up a mess.

Since even a small sized business needs to communicate outside as well as within, the easiest, fastest, and often cheapest (productivity vs. training in different software) solution is to use the application set that falls under the heading "everyone else is using it."

Sawday
03-06-2015, 05:40 PM
Can someone explain the fixation on MS Office and the absolute requirement to have it in any business environment? As in “I would love a Mac, but I have to have Office,” or “My boss won’t even consider Apple until it runs Real Office.”

I have never been a desk/computer bound employee, but I have typed a lot of letters and documentation, used a lot of spreadsheets, and have never yet stopped and pushed my chair back with the realization that Open Office, or Libra Office, or (fill-in-name) Office won’t do the job and I have to find the real MS product somewhere.

Anybody?

Office for Mac is REAL Office. What's the problem?

vansmith
03-06-2015, 06:16 PM
Office for Mac is REAL Office. What's the problem?I think there's a perception that the Mac version is crippled and, if the early reviews of the 2016 preview are anything to go by, so does most of the media.

techiesteve
03-06-2015, 09:20 PM
Pages/Keynote/Numbers could have that if Apple introduced Windows support. Even in post-secondary contexts, where Apple has disproportionate market share, Word/PowerPoint/Excel still dominate without question. The only way that's going to change is if Apple introduces Windows support and works really hard to have perfect compatibility with Office docs.

Apple's only attempt at this long ago was AppleWorks 5.0, for a short time there was also windows version. I remember trying an NFR version. No way would it compete against MS Office.

chas_m
03-07-2015, 03:42 AM
As in “I would love a Mac, but I have to have Office,”

Word and Excel were on the Mac YEARS before they were on Windows -- because there wasn't a Windows for them to be on yet, MS hadn't finished copying Apple's OS yet!

So the next time someone tells you they'd "love a Mac, but have to have Office," tell them that Microsoft Office has been available for the Mac longer than for Windows, and it is still available (and on the iPad, it's free of charge!)

dbm
03-07-2015, 06:27 AM
Pretty much as others have said, MS is ubiquitous and most people know how to use it for their daily productivity needs. It's a bit like the QWERTY keyboard - there are far superior key configurations from a typing speed perspective, but everyone knows QWERTY so we're stuck with it.

An individual can be brave or proactive and switch to another standard, but companies don't ususally have that luxury. They need to cover groups of people with a baseline so they go with the default. And expecting your customer to deal with your choice to be radical is foolish; eventually they will get annoyed or confused with the other types of document formats and that will sour your relationship with them.

For me personally, Word still doesn't cut it for fidelity. I only send Word docs to clients when they need to edit them. Everything else goes as PDFs as there you can absolutely guarantee how the document will look.

TattooedMac
03-07-2015, 06:44 AM
Why in the world then, when I receive my Solicitor documents to sign, when I open them on my Mac in MS Word, I lose formatting, boxes and other things, that make the document, once I print it, unreadable, and not worth the sign and hand back.
I have to import them to OneDrive, open them on Word on my iPad Mini (well now my new iPad Air 2 ) and print them from there, as they loose no formatting OR those special boxes I need to write in, or Checkmark.

Word for Mac, isn't 100% compatible with the Windows version, and that sucks !!!

Sawday
03-07-2015, 08:00 AM
Why in the world then, when I receive my Solicitor documents to sign, when I open them on my Mac in MS Word, I lose formatting, boxes and other things, that make the document, once I print it, unreadable, and not worth the sign and hand back.
I have to import them to OneDrive, open them on Word on my iPad Mini (well now my new iPad Air 2 ) and print them from there, as they loose no formatting OR those special boxes I need to write in, or Checkmark.

Word for Mac, isn't 100% compatible with the Windows version, and that sucks !!!

That's interesting as that's the very reason I switched from OpenOffice to MS Office for Mac. However, I do have one (and only one) client who suffers the problems you describe when accessing documents created by myself. I'm left wondering if it's only certain versions of MS Office (the version running on PCs) that have the problem?

I do have a problem that my .jpg logo incorporated in both .doc and pdf files is often corrupted when clients open the document but I guess that's a problem for another day.

vansmith
03-07-2015, 12:33 PM
Why in the world then, when I receive my Solicitor documents to sign, when I open them on my Mac in MS Word, I lose formatting, boxes and other things, that make the document, once I print it, unreadable, and not worth the sign and hand back.Hmmm, I wonder if they're using some interesting functions/features of Word that are really specific (and not available in the Mac version which doesn't have feature parity). Just as an experiment, have you tried the 2016 preview?

The simple answer here, if this works, is to ask for a PDF and digitally sign it.

cptkrf
03-07-2015, 02:04 PM
Office for Mac is REAL Office. What's the problem?

That I can answer, but not from first hand use - only from users who have fought with it, including one who slung a fairly decent MBP against the wall because of it. Apparently, it is like Quicken for Mac...

Quotes

"Warmed over Win 98 software."
"Half-a**** Notepad for Mac, with two more features."
"Has to be a deliberate attempt by MS to sabotage Apple."
"It can't even produce a BSOD properly."

Anyway, you get the idea. The MBA pro incident was after some conversion that that took unnumbered hours, and not only produced unreadable files, but trashed the originals.

I suspect that if a survey could be taken, 98% of Office users do not go beyond the basic word processing or spreadsheet functions that even low end freebies will do.

Note...

What brought up this original post was a young student with a PC laptop and Win something or other, who will be in student debt for a thousand years or more, and with a serious malware infection that she cannot afford to have removed, and wishes she had a Mac like the other people in the room who are actually getting their work done. To my observation that she has spent far more on her laptop and several trips to Best Buy to get it unhosed than even a new MBA would cost, she answered the question of why she doesn't bite the bullet and get one.

"I have to have Office for my internship."

Why? She uses it to write notes about the troubled students that she monitors.

??????

Slydude
03-07-2015, 02:17 PM
Unless the notes have some complicated formatting Office for Mac should handle the job fine. I use a template for some work reports that seem to translate fine to Office for PC. I suggest she have someone with Office for Mac try the following:

1. From the PC side open a document that she needs and save it to a flash drive. If necessary save a dummy name in place of the client name if there are concerns about confidentiality. Also make note of the font being used on the PC side.. Sometimes differences in document formatting can be resolved by simply making sure the same font is being used.

2. Load the document you just save from the flash drive into word for the Mac and make the kind of changes that would normally be made or create a new document from the "template". If the formatting has been altered set the font name and size to that used on the PC if necessary. Save this to the flash drive with a new name.

3. Test the "new" file on the PC side to see if things transfer OK. I don't think there will be many issues unless the document uses a few specialty features or the correct font is not on the Mac. The font issue is easy to resolve.

EDIT: Also suggest to her that she investigate a program called Malware Bytes for the PC. It's good at removing most malware, easy to run, and might save a few trips to Best Buy. Don't download it from anywhere other than the developer's site. The free version is sufficient for most people's needs.

TattooedMac
03-07-2015, 08:16 PM
Hmmm, I wonder if they're using some interesting functions/features of Word that are really specific (and not available in the Mac version which doesn't have feature parity). Just as an experiment, have you tried the 2016 preview?

The simple answer here, if this works, is to ask for a PDF and digitally sign it.

Considering its only been available for 3 days, no ;) Im downloading it now, and going to open the same documents and see what happens.

The biggest thing I loose on the Doc's are the Comment Boxes they have added, and a line or two of the above question (if I loose the box formation) and check boxes. It really isn't pretty one the whole document is printed out, as everything move up to take the place of the missing elements. . . . Will be back with 2016 answer.

vansmith
03-07-2015, 09:15 PM
Also make note of the font being used on the PC side.. Sometimes differences in document formatting can be resolved by simply making sure the same font is being used.Unless the users is using a non-standard font (maybe 1% of users), I'm not sure if this is the issue. It might very well be but even then, formatting differences shouldn't be drastic.

From the sounds of it, this end user either thinks Office doesn't exist or holds this idea that it just doesn't work anywhere near as well.