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Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

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Holman
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Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Holman » Thu May 16, 2019 10:43 am

I've been moving slow on my computer-building project, but I'm just about in a position for the boys and I to assemble our first machine. This one will be for Mother-in-Law (who lives with us), since a simple and basic setup seems the best place to start.

Now I'm turning to software. I know about buying Win10 and putting it on an 8GB stick, etc, but I'm wondering about Microsoft Office...

I'm going to be building four+ machines this year (MIL, spouse, boy 1, boy 2, maybe even one for me), and the cost of MS Office (either by subscription or full-purchase) will be really expensive if they all require a separate license.

Questions:

1) Is there an option to buy a license for older versions of Office, presumably more cheaply? Where?

2) Is it possible to install a single Office license on more than one machine at home? How many?

3) Given the cost, do most of you still use MS Office at all, or do you skip it and just Google Docs and/or something else open source? If so, what? (Thinking Word, Powerpoint, Excel substitutes mostly.)
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu May 16, 2019 10:47 am

See if your work is signed up for the Home Use Program
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by wonderpug » Thu May 16, 2019 11:34 am

Holman wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:43 am
3) Given the cost, do most of you still use MS Office at all, or do you skip it and just Google Docs and/or something else open source? If so, what? (Thinking Word, Powerpoint, Excel substitutes mostly.)
I haven't had Office products on my home computer for a long while. Google Docs/Sheets does what I need 90% of the time, and in the occasional cases I need to do something more complicated I've been able to get it done with Open Office Writer/Calc. Google Sheets in particular has come a long way in the last 5-10 years, and can even do things like pivot tables now.

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Holman » Thu May 16, 2019 11:40 am

Yeah, I'm thinking of going open source. My kids already do most of their writing on Google Docs.

I'll be buying at least one MS Office for my MIL, since she's comfortable with the format. I still wonder if it's possible to get an older version cheaply or if Office 2019 is all that's available.
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Cylus Maxii » Thu May 16, 2019 12:53 pm

Older MS Office versions on the cheap are unlikely since they are unsupported and no patches are available. MS tends to drive them out of legit sales since they won't support them and they represent legal risk.

Another open source option is LibreOffice (current version is 6.2). It is a circa 2010 fork from the OpenOffice code and is actually maintained. OpenOffice was discontinued in 2011.
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by hitbyambulance » Thu May 16, 2019 1:52 pm

i use LibreOffice at home and i'm sure your MIL would eventually be fine with it as well - it does everything you need it to and then some.

there's always the option of transferring the MS Office license from the old machine if you still can get ahold of the install media.

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by gameoverman » Thu May 16, 2019 2:44 pm

The only people I know who use MS Office do so because they require some compatibility with the work other people are doing using MS Office. Unless your MIL fits into this category I think Google's offerings, or other open source software, will do the job fine.

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Kraken » Thu May 16, 2019 3:42 pm

Holman wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:43 am
3) Given the cost, do most of you still use MS Office at all, or do you skip it and just Google Docs and/or something else open source? If so, what? (Thinking Word, Powerpoint, Excel substitutes mostly.)
I have Office 2007 on my work laptop. It works fine. But my copy of Office 2003 did not run fine on my gaming desktop, so I am using Open Office instead. Not thrilled with that, but I do very little writing on this machine so it's OK. I occasionally need to open a doc or spreadsheet, but I never create them on this PC.

At some point I will probably subscribe to Office 365, which I believe allows you 3 devices. I have an .edu address now, so maybe I can get it on the cheap.

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu May 16, 2019 3:47 pm

HUP Pricing if you're eligible:

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu May 16, 2019 3:51 pm

HUP Pricing is also available for Office 19 (1 PC)

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Kraken » Thu May 16, 2019 5:15 pm

The Schools version doesn't include Outlook, which is the main thing I'd want. Have to look into the HUP thing. Wife's employer is almost surely in on that.

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu May 16, 2019 5:26 pm

MIT, right?
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Holman » Thu May 16, 2019 5:55 pm

Thanks for the info, everyone!
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Holman » Thu May 16, 2019 9:17 pm

gameoverman wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:44 pm
The only people I know who use MS Office do so because they require some compatibility with the work other people are doing using MS Office. Unless your MIL fits into this category I think Google's offerings, or other open source software, will do the job fine.
The main thing here is that I don't want to impose an unfamiliar interface on her. She's been using MS Office since the turn of the century. She's pretty good with computers, but she's also 80 years old.
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Blackhawk » Thu May 16, 2019 11:57 pm

I switched to LibreOffice years ago. It's so close that most people can't tell the difference, and it's free. And not bloated. And not Microsoft.
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by MonkeyFinger » Fri May 17, 2019 8:39 am

Holman wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:17 pm
gameoverman wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:44 pm
The only people I know who use MS Office do so because they require some compatibility with the work other people are doing using MS Office. Unless your MIL fits into this category I think Google's offerings, or other open source software, will do the job fine.
The main thing here is that I don't want to impose an unfamiliar interface on her. She's been using MS Office since the turn of the century. She's pretty good with computers, but she's also 80 years old.
This made me LOL. I just took advantage of the HUP program at work (DoD) and upgraded us to Office Pro 2019. We don't require any compatibility or anything of that nature but I guess we fall into the "turn of the century" camp and I didn't want to impose an unfamiliar interface on the wife. :wink:
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Jeff V » Fri May 17, 2019 9:22 am

I think it's 5 devices on Office 365. The only reason we still have it is the Skype minutes that come with the subscription - pretty much pays for itself.

We mostly use Google Docs at home these days. After 9 years of expecting my team to be ambassadors for the Google suite, just yesterday the company announced that Google is the only corporate-sanctioned productivity suite and MS Office will only be approved if there are customer requirements or the need to use plug-ins compatible only with MS Office.

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri May 17, 2019 9:24 am

Jeff V wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:22 am
I think it's 5 devices on Office 365.
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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by hitbyambulance » Fri May 17, 2019 12:27 pm

Jeff V wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:22 am

We mostly use Google Docs at home these days. After 9 years of expecting my team to be ambassadors for the Google suite, just yesterday the company announced that Google is the only corporate-sanctioned productivity suite and MS Office will only be approved if there are customer requirements or the need to use plug-ins compatible only with MS Office.
my previous job made the 'heroic and visionary' decision of dumping Google Suite for ... Microsoft O365.

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Jeff V » Fri May 17, 2019 4:58 pm

We are all-in on Google. At one time anyway (before the company was broken up) we were their largest enterprise customer. For practical purposes, Google is free while Microsoft is not. With the company feverishly seeking to cut expense everywhere they can, this is a rather large one. I do have a lot users, however, that require SAP or Essbase plug-ins (among others) and they can't use Google Docs. I've been using it for years though -- personally and in business. I don't do anything terribly complicated, and therefore don't need to pay for something needlessly.

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Kraken » Sat May 18, 2019 12:04 am

Jeff V wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:58 pm
We are all-in on Google. At one time anyway (before the company was broken up) we were their largest enterprise customer. For practical purposes, Google is free while Microsoft is not.
Does Google claim that the contents of your documents and spreadsheets are private? If I were a large enterprise I would be concerned about what they're collecting.

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by Jeff V » Sat May 18, 2019 9:33 am

Kraken wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 12:04 am
Jeff V wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:58 pm
We are all-in on Google. At one time anyway (before the company was broken up) we were their largest enterprise customer. For practical purposes, Google is free while Microsoft is not.
Does Google claim that the contents of your documents and spreadsheets are private? If I were a large enterprise I would be concerned about what they're collecting.
Since we have an entire department dedicated to security and privacy, I'm pretty sure they worked that out long ago. At the time, our CSO was one of the most eminent in the field (he died suddenly 2 years ago).

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Re: Microsoft Office or Not, and How?

Post by jztemple2 » Sun May 19, 2019 3:43 pm

I'll just put in my two cents. I've used Google Docs for years, but my wife wanted Microsoft Office since she is familiar with it for herself and her organization. Since I'm the tech guy I got the Office 365 subscription a couple of years ago and manage the licenses and machines. So far it's been smooth sailing. My wife is a Word power user and she's very happy with how Office works for her. I use Word and Excel for my activities with her and I'm also set up with OneDrive and OneNote, both of which I use a lot.

I've previously used Open Office and then Libre Office. They were fine, but MS Office products are more familiar to our volunteers so we go with those. Also the Win10 images we have loaded on our laptops have the Office Mobile apps already installed.
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