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Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/25/2016 8:59 PM

I entered college in the early nineties and have spent much of my adult life criticizing Microsoft. However, since Satya Nadella took over as CEO, I've increasingly noticed a disturbing pattern where I'm pleasantly surprised by Microsoft products.

For instance, I pay 10 dollars a month for Office 360, which I share with my wife. I love it. It's great to have the newest version without thinking about it. I know technically I'm paying more, but it doesn't feel that way.

Another example is I recently updated to Windows 10 and really like it. Keep in mind I thought Windows 8 was about as big of a software disaster as any I've ever seen, yet somehow they completely fixed things in 10 and yet kept things from 8 that worked and incorporated them in a way that isn't so bad.

Skype is pretty cool too if you've ever used it (owned by Microsoft now).

Anyway, I find my burgeoning respect for Microsoft products unsettling and was wondering if anyone else was noticing this improvement at Microsoft.

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#1

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/25/2016 10:05 PM

When I was young, we got a telephone. Shared it with 7 other families.

But, you could talk to anybody in the world who had a phone, if you were willing to pay some awful long distance fees.

I don't remember what the monthly cost was, probably $10.00 a month.

Now, My wife and I pay $300.00/month for three cell phones.

We can still talk to anybody in the world who has a phone.

Bill Gates changed the face of business by claiming that he should be paid for every copy of his DOS sold. He also assured a never ending revenue stream for his company by making it just good enough to assure that as gaming/business progressed he could sell a "new, improved version" for more money.

Now, that's not good enough.

Adobe, et al has now developed a new way to extract money from users by renting the OS and holding us all hostage for using it.

Bill Microsoft has jumped onto the "hold 'em hostage" bandwagon and we have let them do it.

I HATE Outlook 360, because it is not as useful as 2010 and is also completely alien when trying to use it. Backup your PC? No. It's nowhere to be found. It's slow! The cloud is a license to steal, but so is W 10 which steals ALL your personal information and uses it to exploit you. I'd have no problems if it had been made better, but it's just been reshuffled by hiding the known features deep inside.

Having to re-learn the same old system, and paying for it is not progress to this old man.

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#11
In reply to #1

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 9:03 AM

Take some comfort in knowing that Apple is going has gone the same way.

It's now no better than Microsoft where just a few years ago it was light years ahead of MS.

I have an 11 year old Mac that still runs like a Swiss watch, never crashes, does exactly what it said when I bought it.

Here's what it said on the box: Take your Mac out the box, plug it in and use it.

It's done exactly that for 11 good years, every day without fail.

Because my old Mac was being abandoned by asshole software makers like Adobe et al I was forced to buy a newer Mac 3 years ago and, trust me, it's worse than any Windows machine I ever owned.

They force me to take OS upgrades by chopping support for the old versions then the "upgrades" just make it worse every time.

I now have to restart it ten times a day when it just freezes for no identifiable reason but if I revert to an older, better OS the support for that version has gone so I'm caught in their 'upgrade or die' trap, exactly the same way MS operates.

Nothing good lasts forever I guess.

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#12
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 9:05 AM

I don't remember what the monthly cost was, probably $10.00 a month

Okay, so, we have inflation correction of $8.86/dollar and that phone line would be $88.60 today. But you couldn't take that with you, others in the same house had no problem listening in, and if like ours, the operator could as well as neighbors on the same party line, and as you mentioned, the long distance charges were horrendous. Do you remember being charged exorbitant fees for a long distance call with crackling and hissing almost louder than the party on the other end? Kind of makes that $300 bill actually sound reasonable. Let me see here, that would be only $33.88 back then. Wouldn't someone have considered paying that for portability, lack of static noise, and privacy?

Sorry. You can complain about Bill's policies, but not about the great improvement in phone service for what is actually a reasonable charge.

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#13
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 9:32 AM

The 2 biggest problems I have are the fact that you can no longer 'buy' the software. The executive board wants stable income so they rent you the software. The excuse is you get upgrades free but that is mis-information. You used to get upgrades really for free...remember when xp sp2 came out? Did you have to pay for it? This is as stupid as renting a router or cable box when you could just pay for it with the yearly rental fee. Consumers wind up paying rental fees well over the cost of the product's value...if you think renting windows is any different I have a bridge to sell you.

The second problem is in the TOS that you have to agree to. Every time I click agree to a TOS in for something I regret that I am living in America. The corporate lobbiests have bribed the government to give them access to all the data they want while fooling the sheeple with the illusion of privacy. The funniest thing is conspiracy theorists are screaming about the govt spying on them while clicking away their privacy to corporate america.

I wish Ayn Rand were alive today to write a remake of Atlas Shrugged.

Drew K

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#16
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 10:07 AM

And that reply has what to do with phone service? Lyn and many of us are getting on in years and tend to think the past was all rosey, so he got us off on another track complaining about cell phone charges, and while I agree with the software / Microsoft and so on issues, I stopped and thought about what we actually get and how it was when Ma Bell was a monopoly in phone service, and despite what seems like horrible costs for cell phone service and rotten billing tricks, they really aren't. You do get what you pay for when you look back to the 1950's telephone deals. I might like cars/schooling/food/restaurants/and on and on from back then, but the phone costs are really not so swell back then, considering what you got.

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#17
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 10:14 AM

Rosey was right....

back in the landlines, what other item or thing would interrupt your supper where you'd drop everything to address it, (answer the damn phone).

Back then, it was only when you're home, Now, no matter where your are, or what your doing its the cell phone will interrupt you (actually most people) where you drop everything 24/7 to answer the damn phone.

I have to agree about todays phone, my biggest plus for the cell phone, is GPS. Otherwise, they can either leave a message or I'll call them back later.

But we've strayed far enough from the topic.

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#18
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 10:27 AM

back in the landlines, what other item or thing would interrupt your supper where you'd drop everything to address it, (answer the damn phone).

Well, if you were a bit late starting supper, the $64000 Question game show was a drop everything / must watch TV show, with even the President hooked on it, and we see how that turned out. Manipulation to give greater returns is nothing new.

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#23
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 3:41 PM

And just how many of the whiz-bang features of your new phart smone, that you pay for, do you really use.

Back to MS 365.

My Office 365 has 17 "features" that I'm sure my company pays for. I use the Outlook and the calendar.

On very rare occasions Excel.

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#25
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 4:07 PM

Really? I don't know how many, but the ones I use are necessary, now. I am not sure how I got along without it for so long. I just got it a year ago when my daughter got stuck by her ex with a 2 phone contract. I didn't touch it for 3 months, except as an emergency device when riding bike in the woods, then I realized it was a mobile internet browsing machine. Hot Dog. No more running back to the desk in the office when I want the manual for an instrument on a skid on the production floor. No more waiting for a 6 minute boot up when I need to know how to repair a bicycle part at my house. Same thing with that DCC train decoder trouble shooting guide - right there on my phone. Not quite sure where that bicycle shop is located in Buffalo - bingo - map in front of me. Need a camera on the floor at work - bingo - it is in my pocket.Throw out the home PC. Throw out the GPS device in the car that really never was very good. Forget taking my own $500 camera to work to take pix of skid wiring, or trying to cart it along in a bicycle bag. Oh, my bill is around $70/month - this is an out dated phone and I NEVER use more than 0.01 Gb as WiFi abounds where I use it, so no gross data charges. A bit more than a simple cell phone, which I paid $20/month for and NEVER used, and it does so many other tasks for me. No comparison to a landline/party phone, for less inflation corrected money.

Office - yes - Excel / Word / Outlook / Power Point - the first 3 every darn day at work, and the other occasionally.

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#26
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 7:07 PM

I wouldn't worry too much about it, because it really amounts to nothing more than...

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#30
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 8:19 AM

Can't really do that - he only has 3 years on me. I'm an old man too, and I yell at the TV a whole lot these days.

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#31
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 9:39 AM

never stopped me...

I had a pretty good friend that I grew up with, who was about 8 months older then I was... she always tease me that she was always older then me.... and probably a lot more mature too...

She brought it up I when I turned 22, so on her next birthday, I'd sent her a "Happy Birthday Grandma" card with a child who likes to do tumbling tricks for her.

That stopped the teasing...

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#15
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 10:01 AM

As long as the market can bear it, the price reminds high.

BTW, were you shared the line with 7 other families, you forgot to mention that was also the earliest form of social media. We had on our party line a social media network called 'Grandma Anderson'.

She listened in to all the conversations and made it her duty to spread the word.

As far as the original post, when I went to college (80's), we had no IMB computers to work on. There were all Apple (that I knew of). And this is where Apple could have excelled more market share if they could have been more open with 3rd party software development.

The downside, Apple would have had more viruses sooner.

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#2

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/25/2016 10:05 PM

The bigger question is would you trust them with the security and confidentiality of your online data?

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#3

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/25/2016 11:01 PM

I bought a computer with windows 10 on it, and put in the end room, where I played with it to become familiar with it. I think some of the programmes are childish. May be aiming at a younger generation?

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#4
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 12:02 AM

Don't forget that it records and stores every keystroke you make, every spoken word you utter and all your passwords, bank account information and any pirate software you may have on your machine, and reserves the right to use, sell or otherwise exploit that information any way it pleases.

It also can highjack your computer for any reason it wants, in the name of automatic, non-negotiable "updates".

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#5
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 12:43 AM

Yes I respect what you say, I still use windows 7 on the internet.

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#6

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 5:17 AM

It is getting better.....more user friendly...still room for improvement...

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#7

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 7:07 AM

I personally don't like rented software, especially software such as Word, Excel, and even operating systems. I buy a computer and software. They are tools. I want to have control over when I upgrade them and I will upgrade them based on what the replacement tool has to offer that I may want. I prefer not to let the seller of that tool decide when and what upgrade I'm going to get.

The company I work for does a large amount of business with the US military. We create documentation and deliver it with our products. If in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, we need to access files to update those documents, we may be out of luck because the current version of Word doesn't recognize them. You may be saying, but you can open and save Word and Excel documents in the older formats. While that's true, it's only true for now. Wait until the majority of MS products are just rented.

Besides, I don't want to have to be connected to the internet 100% of the time when doing my work, whether it's work at work or working at home on my own personal work.

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#8

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 7:30 AM

Just a quick correction...I called it Office 360, but it's Office 365, which I suppose makes more sense in this context (365 days in a year not 360 degrees in a circle).

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#29
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 4:37 AM

Sometimes the name does actually indicate the function.

Take for instance IRS form 1040.

There are 2080 hours in a work year,based on an 8 hour day,40 hour week, 52 week year.

1040 is exactly half of that amount,which is what they used to be striving for,in the amount of tax levied on employees.

They have now surpassed their original goal,and still going.

It won't stop till they release form 2080.Then they may be satisfied.

Maybe...

Insofar as things getting better with communication, yes,things are faster,but not necessarily better.

I remember the old 10 party telephone lines,and there was no real privacy,and there was always the local gossip that was on the phone 24/7 and had to be forced off when you needed to use the phone,usually by someone going to her home with a shotgun fired into the air outside of her window to get her attention.

But the privacy breach was local only,not global,and not to mass marketers.

The old DOS systems required a certain amount of knowledge to operate,and I think that was a good thing.

Now,computers are designed by geniuses to be operated by idiots.

More consumers good=Good!

Gotta keep the herd contented.

A contented cow gives more milk.

Consume,consume,consume!

We are all cattle in a sense,being managed by a small group of planetary wranglers.

I have an unhackable means of sending written text,at least at the present time.

The technology is there to read un-openend mail,but I have not heard of it being implemented on any postal processing machines,(yet) (according to an inside source that is not authorized to speak of such things,and therefor prefers to remain anonymous).

But you know if they have the capability,eventually they will use it.

Just to make sure,I wrap all internal letters with aluminum foil,and put on my tin foil cap,and adjust my dual miniature parabolic "rabbit ears" for null signal while facing the G5 satellite,at precisely .0001 seconds before sunrise and sunset.

Here is a picture of my internet hack proof printing hardware.

Software for running the machine are (safe?) inside my head.

Only inconvenience is I remove and burn the used portion of the ink ribbon every day to prevent harvesting of data from the ribbon.

Note my light source (I live off the grid mostly).

Note that this model has the most recent upgrade: A ribbon select key,which allows printing in your choice of colors,either red or black,and a later option, which added an erase ribbon for simple error correction.No CRC required here.

(Note in the pic above that no ribbon is showing for security reasons.)

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#35
In reply to #29

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 3:29 PM

I have a couple of Underwoods and a Royal sitting around. Sometimes I'll use them to give my fingers a "workout". Or when I want my poetry to look old fashioned.

I would buy these black and white cancelling ribbons so I could flip the lever and erase my mistakes.

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#40
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/28/2016 9:57 AM

Underwood was the name I was trying to remember! I know it from Steven King books, I think he always referred to it in an evil context.

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#9

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 8:50 AM

Gotta hand to Microsoft with the Xbox 1. I'm not a huge gamer, though I do play. But it has displaced the need for any cable box or media player in my living room.

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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 9:00 AM

It's good to hear that somebody likes Microbloat. Win10 may be a good operating system once installed but I had nothing but a nightmare trying to migrate from Win7 to Win10 on an old laptop. It technically worked but since the video card driver was not compatible the main CPU had to crunch all numbers and almost overheated.

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#14

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 9:59 AM

Having worked as a Software Engineer and taught technical SW courses at a college, (40years in the industry) I find most PC SW that's written today to be abysmal. It's inefficient, takes too much room, has bugs when released, and is not secure. Having said that, I have 2 machines running XP SP3 that are running just fine thank you very much. Since there are no updates available, it never crashes because of some dumb patch mistake. I've been toying with moving to Linux for some time now, but have yet to do that just because I don't like to change. (works, don't fix it). If MS could release SW that I could own, much like I own XP, and it was efficient, didn't have security holes built in, etc., etc., I might buy it. Instead of taking what they have, adding band-aids, changing the interface to something that the "engineers" think is nice, they should start over with some "old engineers", build it from the ground up at the "assembly code" level. I don't think they even know what assembly code is!

end rant...

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#20
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 1:48 PM

It is really troublesome to me, having bought a laptop with something like 20 GB of memory, and all the crappy Microsoft stuff in Windoze 10 uses up so much of the machine, that there is no room to load my game on it.

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#21
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 1:58 PM

I remember when 20 MB was a big hard drive.

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#22
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 3:16 PM

remember when 1 meg of RAM was more then enough RAM and at $500.00 a meg. Yaaa.... that was Awesome....

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#27
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 8:19 PM

1 Meg of RAM?!?!? Holy smokes, I could only afford to upgrade from 256K to 512K with my 386SX-16 and the optional math co-processor. And that's when DOS would boot in about 8 seconds. When Windows 3.0 came out, I was in heaven. I bought MS Word for Windows 2.0 and MathCAD 4.0. With Windows I no longer needed Norton's Commander file manager.

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#28
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 8:45 PM

386-33 baby... I was just going to buy it, but could get a hold of the guy, it was just before Christmas... I was a little disappoint. The following Monday, I finally got a hold of him, and he informed me that memory just dropped in price... from $500.00 to $100.00 a meg. I loaded it up with 4 meg... unfortunately, I only got a 40 meg hard drive. He said I'd be disappointed with it and should up grade that to 80 meg and yes, eventually I was.

and just a few years prior, Some commodore owners thought that 16k was fantastic.

i purchase my mathcad I beleive it was 3.something. I had some of norton tools that I used 10 years after that.... the sweep.com was great. It even found things in hidden directories. No one could figure out how I did it.

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#38
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 9:13 PM

Now that you mention it, I think I bought 3.0 initially and then MathCAD came along and offered upgrade disks to 4.0 for pittance. I still have the disks. I wonder if it would run on XP?

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#39
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/28/2016 7:57 AM

I think I bought 3.0 initially and then MathCAD came along and offered upgrade disks to 4.0 for pittance. I still have the disks.

Well, I wouldn't hold that against you...... this time.

I wonder if it would run on XP?

Unlikely, but that never stopped you before.

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#41
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Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/28/2016 12:31 PM

You're on. I'll let you know how it goes. I still know how to get a command prompt.

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#19

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 12:19 PM

When you rent the software, is there any motivation for Microsoft to make it any better?

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#24

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/26/2016 3:45 PM

Is it good? No! Just somewhat LESS bad than before...IMHO!

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#32

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 10:36 AM

First thing I do when I buy a new computer is uninstall Office and install Open Office. It works quite well and is compatible with Office and other products. http://www.openoffice.org/

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 2:50 PM

You are aware that after Apache bought OpenOffice from Sun Microsystems, they basically fired everyone who was working on it and hired a new staff.

The former developers of OpenOffice created a new 'fork,' continuing what they were doing best with the software. This new fork is called LibreOffice. www.libreoffice.org

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 3:03 PM

I have heard nothing of this and will check out the new system. In any event there are very competitive options to MS Office available for free.

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#37
In reply to #33

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 3:44 PM

I tried Libre a while back.

I didn't like it as well as OpenOffice. I think it was slower than OO, but for whatever reason I went back to OO.

It may be better on his machine, I don't know.

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#36

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/27/2016 3:31 PM

I wouldn't know. I'm still plugging along with XP and Office 2000 on a used HP office computer upgraded to the max.

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#42

Re: Is...Is Microsoft Actually Good Now?

10/28/2016 3:41 PM

Crappy W8, 8.1 and the threat of W10 caused me to reconsider Unix/Linux/Ubuntu and I switched about 2 years ago...installed it on all my systems and have never looked back, the software that came with the package, all works well and the Draftsite package I added runs seamlessly, I've been pleased with all. It's well supported, I have the option of 'cloud' storage (opted out), and I've added thing I like to 'play' with, my only expense being a very small learning curve. (expletive) Bill Gates and Microsoft. As far as the phart smones my 5 year old LG and Net10 provide excellent service for appx. $15/mo. (I don't spend much time on the phone). If an EMP takes out the towers, I have a Kenwood general coverage transceiver for backup that can be setup in short order, and AARL has the ability to transfer info around the world. Meanwhile Ubuntu provides me with an operating system and NO aggravation.

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