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#1 2013-02-09 11:00:01

I am Gianluca
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2011-05-22
Posts: 195

MS Office 365

Recent talks about an upcoming version of MS Office suite on Linux get me interested on trying MS Office 365, the online office suite which include among the others Excel.
I'm a regular user of LibreOffice but struggle to fall in love with it comes to share documents with people who are not running Linux. Unfortunately, this happen quite often on my job. So, I'm looking with much interest on Office 365.

I've tried it briefly this morning and even if not completely impressed, it's not that bad.
On my job I use regularly Google Docs, but found it really slow and sufficient just for basic practices.
In comparison Office 365 looks faster and smoother. The user experience in enhanced, at least on my opinion.
I still have some perplexities about make it my default office suite, mainly because it doesn't include advanced features live pivot tables I use quite often. Although, list of formulas seems exhaustive.

What's your relationship with this form of cloud computing? Do you think they are the way to follow?
I read future release of Office 365 will aloud users to work offline on their docs. This could be a substantial improvement over current situation.


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#2 2013-02-09 11:19:53

graysky
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From: /run/user/1000
Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 8,450
Website

Re: MS Office 365

Closed source = not on my machines.  I don't do any real word processing for non-work related reasons though.  We are a windows-based company and as such, use the office line of products.


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#3 2013-02-09 12:19:01

blackout23
Member
Registered: 2011-11-16
Posts: 780

Re: MS Office 365

I share your feelings regarding LO/OO being a pain, when it comes to working together with Windows people. I also like Excel more than Calc when I have to do more complex stuff.

Tried the 30 minutes test in my browser and found it a bit confusing. I was expecting a simple online version of excel, word and powerpoint with familiar look and feel. Instead it seems to be something bigger and geard for small and medium sized businesses. When it advised me to install Microsoft Silverlight for faster and cleaner fontrendering I hit Alt+F4.

I wouldn't mind a native MS Office port for Linux. If there is an equal or even  better (according to my needs) open source alternative I will use that. I'm rather pragmatic.

Just recently found out that the compatiblity between two Office versions is not that great either. Turns out *.docx from Word 2007 is not compatible with Word 2010. It will swallow some space characters randomly and if you now save the document in Word 2010 these missing blanks will also appear in Word 2007.

Last edited by blackout23 (2013-02-09 12:19:22)

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#4 2013-02-09 16:02:14

I am Gianluca
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2011-05-22
Posts: 195

Re: MS Office 365

graysky wrote:

Closed source = not on my machines.  I don't do any real word processing for non-work related reasons though.  We are a windows-based company and as such, use the office line of products.

I know, but sometimes incompatibility problems occur also outside work place. As an example when you are working on a document with a Microsoft user. I had this kind of problems since a while and honestly speaking they have pissed me off.
If there were a MS Office port on Linux, I would buy it immediately. Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents are loaded really badly on open-source office suites.
As everybody here I prefer open-source software, but sometime you have to consider to do an exception. Skype is another great example.


blackout23 wrote:

I share your feelings regarding LO/OO being a pain, when it comes to working together with Windows people. I also like Excel more than Calc when I have to do more complex stuff.

Tried the 30 minutes test in my browser and found it a bit confusing. I was expecting a simple online version of excel, word and powerpoint with familiar look and feel. Instead it seems to be something bigger and geard for small and medium sized businesses. When it advised me to install Microsoft Silverlight for faster and cleaner fontrendering I hit Alt+F4.

I wouldn't mind a native MS Office port for Linux. If there is an equal or even  better (according to my needs) open source alternative I will use that. I'm rather pragmatic.

We are on the same line smile
I would prefer a simple online version of Excel, Word and PowerPoint too rather than the current Office 365 layout. Moreover, the lack of some advanced features on Excel sucks.


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#5 2013-02-09 20:02:56

rlevArch
Member
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 35

Re: MS Office 365

Libreoffice 4.0 was just released a couple days ago and promises lots of improvements. That might worth taking a look at. Still hasn't been updated in the official arch repos, but I'm hopeful that'll happen soon.

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#6 2013-02-09 20:24:13

dag
Member
From: US
Registered: 2013-01-20
Posts: 216

Re: MS Office 365

something I could only do with libreoffice was header front page and header page counting and having some general info on all pages but also name class etc. on the first page took some tweaking but I do not think you can do that on msw within header. when I was in school if I needed to turn in a file I would either use doc(libO does this format quite well the problem was with docx formating being off) or pdf.

excel is much easier to use to in formatting colors graphs and in general looks better.


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#7 2013-02-09 20:34:38

I am Gianluca
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2011-05-22
Posts: 195

Re: MS Office 365

Interesting. I will give it a try.

https://www.libreoffice.org/download/4- … -and-fixes


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#8 2013-02-11 16:16:36

Janarto
Member
From: Paris
Registered: 2008-09-23
Posts: 80

Re: MS Office 365

1/ Libreoffice 4 is a nice improvement in files compatibility
2/ compatibility among different ms office version is VERY bad
3/ long term reliability of microsoft files is very questionnable
4/ Libreoffice can be tweak for performance (check the wifi : more ram allocated for example)

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#9 2013-02-11 22:36:13

I am Gianluca
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2011-05-22
Posts: 195

Re: MS Office 365

Janarto wrote:

1/ Libreoffice 4 is a nice improvement in files compatibility
2/ compatibility among different ms office version is VERY bad
3/ long term reliability of microsoft files is very questionnable
4/ Libreoffice can be tweak for performance (check the wifi : more ram allocated for example)

I'm not saying LibreOffice is a poor software. I'm just saying that if you need PERFECT compatibility with MS Office suite and its document formats LibreOffice is not a good choice.
I give you an example, formatting a document. If I format a document in MS Word and after try to open it in LO Writer the formatting is completely different, and sometimes the number of pages doesn't correspond.
If you don't need PERFECT compatibility with MS standards, LO is a good choice. But if you need to share document and work on them with people who use MS Office, LO could become a worry.
I've been trying for year to live with LO overlooking this weak point, but we can't hide it.
I've never tried LO 4, and genuinely hope it is a massive step forward over those points, but reading some reviews and the LO blogs seems it is not the main point of the release.
Look, I'm not saying guys on LO community are doing a bad job, the opposite. The problem is that at the current state we don't have a 100% compatibility even with .doc format. This is a fact. If I open a random .doc file in MS Word, and later on in LO Writer, formatting isn't the same.
I would continue to use LO and support its community and developers but if I had to share with others documents I would prefer to use MS Office.

If we speak about MS Excel, things change. MS Excel to me is superior to LO Calc, particularly in user friendliness. Create a chart or graph in MS Excel takes on average 3 minutes (for a really well designed one, I'm not speaking about a basic example) and can be created with just 5-7 clicks. In LO Calc things start to be confused. It's not intuitive.
Beside, if you need to use advanced features like Macros, Pivot Tables and so on, MS Excel is a must.
Also in this case, when I don't need to share anything with people outside my family (which runs Linux on different distributions) I prefer to use LO. Instead, if the document need to be shared with somebody else MS Excel is my choice.

I would kindly appreciate if people could be honest on these points. I am the first supporter of LO, I've used it against what my classmates and friends told me for years at the University, but at the end of the day black is black, and white is white. Is not a question of "we can overlook certain problems because are not paramount", instead is a problem of "can LO master COMPLETELY MS Office formats for the time being?". The question to this answer (unfortunately) is "no".

I hope everyone can understand my point. Full support to what LO developers and community are doing. But at the current state .doc format is not fully supported, MS Excel is still superior on certain tasks and have a much more intuitive GUI, .ppt are really bad reproduced particularly if animations are included.
By the way, considering what The Document Foundation has done given the time, I am expecting great news in the next future.

For these reasons I was considering to join MS Office 365. I won't do it because it is not the solution to my needs. So, I will continue to use MS Office on a virtual machine running Windows XP Professional when it is needed. I don't need to tell you how this solution annoys me. An official porting of MS Office to Linux would be a nice surprise for those who need it. No more virtual machines.


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#10 2013-02-11 23:32:46

blackout23
Member
Registered: 2011-11-16
Posts: 780

Re: MS Office 365

Amen.

Last time I checked I couldn't even do =SUM(A:A) to sum everything up in colum A, because Calc doesn't understand A:A which is a comon expression in Excel.  Autocompletion and suggestions for functions is also far nicer in Excel.

Sad truth is that LO will never have 100% support for MS Office. It's like trying to hit a moving target. Yes it would be wonderful if we all would start using and supporting Open Document standards. ust not going to happen.

Last edited by blackout23 (2013-02-11 23:33:00)

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#11 2013-02-12 14:22:19

welpert
Member
From: the Netherlands
Registered: 2011-01-11
Posts: 73

Re: MS Office 365

blackout23 wrote:

Amen.

Last time I checked I couldn't even do =SUM(A:A) to sum everything up in colum A, because Calc doesn't understand A:A which is a comon expression in Excel.  Autocompletion and suggestions for functions is also far nicer in Excel.

Sad truth is that LO will never have 100% support for MS Office. It's like trying to hit a moving target. Yes it would be wonderful if we all would start using and supporting Open Document standards. ust not going to happen.

Libreoffice and family sucks balls. I use AbiWord and Gnumeric. Much faster, no unneeded bells and whistles, but way more logical basic functionality.


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#12 2013-02-12 15:13:31

wleoncio
Member
Registered: 2012-02-25
Posts: 7

Re: MS Office 365

rlevArch wrote:

Libreoffice 4.0 was just released a couple days ago and promises lots of improvements. That might worth taking a look at. Still hasn't been updated in the official arch repos, but I'm hopeful that'll happen soon.

If I'm not mistaken, versions *.0.0 never leave [testing], so we won't be seeing LO 4 on stable Arch before 4.0.1, which is scheduled for the first week of march.

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#13 2013-02-12 15:50:50

skanky
Member
From: WAIS
Registered: 2009-10-23
Posts: 1,838

Re: MS Office 365

I am Gianluca wrote:

I'm not saying LibreOffice is a poor software. I'm just saying that if you need PERFECT compatibility with MS Office suite and its document formats LibreOffice is not a good choice.
I give you an example, formatting a document. If I format a document in MS Word and after try to open it in LO Writer the formatting is completely different, and sometimes the number of pages doesn't correspond.

What was interesting was that, way back in the day when I used MS Office, we used to be able to get the same behaviour between installs of Word (same version). I'm sure that's no longer the case now, though. It meant that whenever we wanted to release anything, we had a "master" PC which was always used to generate the file version before sending it off. Never did resolve that issue.


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#14 2013-02-13 12:08:40

mythus
Member
From: MS Gulf Coast
Registered: 2008-05-15
Posts: 509
Website

Re: MS Office 365

If we speak about MS Excel, things change. MS Excel to me is superior to LO Calc, particularly in user friendliness. Create a chart or graph in MS Excel takes on average 3 minutes (for a really well designed one, I'm not speaking about a basic example) and can be created with just 5-7 clicks. In LO Calc things start to be confused. It's not intuitive.
Beside, if you need to use advanced features like Macros, Pivot Tables and so on, MS Excel is a must.

To each their own I suppose...

However Excell won't read my character sheet spreadsheets (for my tabletop RPG) that I've made in LO Calc, and when I've tried to remake them in MS Excel (2010) I noticed that many of the functions that I used in Calc just didn't exist or work the same in Excel. SO it has become that all my friends who use my character sheet spreadsheet have had to download and use LibreOffice just for it.

Of course this could be because I taught myself spreadsheets on OpenOffice/LibreOffice Calc and thus learned their way to do things instead of Excel's way. But for meand what I use spreadsheets for, I favor Calc.

Calligra Sheets is looking good as well...


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#15 2013-02-13 19:00:31

I am Gianluca
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2011-05-22
Posts: 195

Re: MS Office 365

I am guessing if OpenDocument formats are fully supported by both software. If so, it could be a good solution for working on not advanced spreadsheets or word documents with MS users. I'll give a try tonight.

For documents with multiple Pivot Tables, charts and advanced functions I suppose the only solution is working with the same software.

Could be really the solutions of our problems if also Microsoft would collaborate actively on develop OpenDocument formats, and the choice of which office suite to use won't affect compatibility but just the level of user experience.


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#16 2013-02-13 20:53:45

I am Gianluca
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2011-05-22
Posts: 195

Re: MS Office 365

Unfortunately even if saved with OpenDocument format (.odt) file is not reproduced in the same way using different office suite hmm
That's a shame.


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#17 2013-02-19 16:28:30

andrekp
Member
Registered: 2012-06-07
Posts: 112

Re: MS Office 365

I've said similarly elsewhere, but to repeat and perhaps elaborate here:

We need to recognize that MS Office, for better or worse, is what business uses (quite possibly for no thought-out reason).  Consequently, it is what most people use - because its know, familiar, available, and stock on the same machines.  business sees it as necessary, people then see it as a no-brainer.  That's just how it is.

I also believe that it is MS Office that keeps a lot of businesses (because of Outlook and Excel, primarily) from going more linux.  Think about it, the same companies that have linux servers, are using MS desktops and writing MS compatible software - effectively mandating two very different skill sets to have to hire for and maintain.  Don't you think that the ability to have everyone on linux would be an advantage internally, and once the customer base using linux expands, good externally as well?

My thought, for what it's worth (which is nothing) that that the linux crowd needs to decide whether they want to be in third place forever, or whether they want to strike at MS with the superior possibilities linux offers?  I personally don't see it as a good thing OVERALL that the linux community is so fractured with pet projects and an us & them mentality so far as "average computer users" (i.e. Windows people who don't care about technical things, but just want to use them.)  I think that having so much diversity in linux is GREAT and has been a boon overall, but I think it would be better if that stopped in one area: Office software.

I think it would be beneficial if everyone that currently programs linux versions of (essentially) MS Office programs, all got together on a SINGLE linux office suite, also installable on Windows and Mac) that did two things:
1).  Closed the final compatibility gap between LibreOffice and MS Office.
2).  Filled the major hole of Outlook, which businesses like for scheduling, published calendars, etc.

Then advertise LO like there is no tomorrow.  Make it so that the only choice is whether you want to pay $150/year to MS, or get the same thing for free.

This would, I think, result in:
1). Much happiness for those of us who try to use linux at work, despite being in MS shops. (like me)
2). Businesses would be able to re-evaluate whether they want to keep paying for MS licensing AND having to maintain two different programming shops.
3). People who use LibreOffice at work would be more inclined to use it at home, and thus more open to the idea of using linux at home.
4). PC manufactures would be more inclined to make linux preloaded models.

I would see it as a GOOD thing to have the masses moving more to LO and linux.  I know that's not a universal view in the linux community, which is very proprietary and closed in its own way, but I think the suicidal behavior of MS these days should be taken advantage of while it can be.  We can still be as linux-y as we want in other areas, but I think that so far as office software, we need to drop the idea that we need two full suites and numerous individual programs, when having ONE that actually did what it needed to do would be better for linux.  Let's put differences and philosophy aside for once and kick MS while it is down, instead of handing it a chair to sit on.

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#18 2013-02-19 22:01:30

doorknob60
Member
From: Oregon
Registered: 2008-09-29
Posts: 401

Re: MS Office 365

I'm not sure what features Office 365 has over this, but Skydrive already offers free cloud based simplified Office web apps. It's a good alternative to Google Docs, and should provide best compatibility with the desktop MS Office. https://skydrive.live.com/

Also, maybe MS is trying to be more open friendly? I found this in the Skydrive settings:
vi2tved.png

I feel like not a lot of people know about it, but Skydrive has quite a lot of features, and works fine in any modern browser. At no time has it asked for Silverlight or any crap like that. It's a very good alternative if you don't mind using a cloud service, and want a decent MS Office experience.

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#19 2013-02-19 22:19:30

anonymous_user
Member
Registered: 2009-08-28
Posts: 3,058

Re: MS Office 365

I don't know if SkyDrive's Office apps have necessarily more features than Google Docs though.

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#20 2013-02-19 22:32:45

I am Gianluca
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2011-05-22
Posts: 195

Re: MS Office 365

Anyway, if you try to edit a word document (created with MS Office 2010) with headings in Office 365, the layout is vastly different and headings completely (and their contents) disappear.
I would like to try more in deep Excel on Office 365. It should not have such limitations, but I'm quite sure it doesn't reproduce pivot tables.


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