SHCC WYSIWYG Article from December 2016

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the December 2016 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Microsoft Office 2016 is the Future Cloudy?

by Don VanSyckel

The company I work at uses Microsoft Office and recently upgraded the Office Suite to MS Office 2013. MS changed a lot of things and not for the better. Maybe it's because I don't like change or maybe MS actually made it harder to use. I find the new interface is intrusive and non-productive.

I don't like change in the tools I use; yes, I consider Office a collection of tools, I never turn on the PC to have fun writing a new spreadsheet or word document. I only use Office to accomplish some task, such as writing this column, doing a budget, tracking movies, etc. When doing a task I want to do it as quickly and efficiently as I can; this is why I settle on a set of tools and use those tools over and over again. The more I use them the better (more efficient and more features used) I get at using them. Now enter MS who changes the user interface every time the Office Suite is issued. I don't look at it as a change; I see it as MS hid all the controls and option from me and I have to go on a treasure hunt to go find them. This is NOT the way I want to send my time and I resent the intrusion on my productivity the Office Suite upgrades force on me.

So I'm stuck with using MS Office 2013 at work. Then a short while ago an email was issued informing the company employees that because the company used MS Office the employees where eligible to purchase MS Office 2016 to use at home for $10. The suite was to be downloaded and a DVD could be purchase for an additional $15. I wanted an updated version of MS Access (database) so I bit. I bought the download, well I was lied to. Office was not download, it was installed from the web, huge difference. Downloaded, I could re-install the product if it became necessary, even if I was "up North" with no internet access. Installed from the web, the product could only be re-installed if I have internet access, the install from site is still available (the site was not a MS site) both working and still in business, and MS has not changed their rules about installing; for instance you installed this on PC X before and you can't install it on your new replacement PC Y, your company no longer uses MS Office so you can't reload, or you no longer work for that company so you can't reload.

So when I figured out the product was web installed versus downloaded, I ordered the DVD. I still considered this a deal, $25 for MS Office 2016, the current version, not a crippled want-a-be. Then I started trying to use it and ran head long into the questions about the cloud and how data would go to the cloud. I searched for ways to turn off the cloud and could not find any way in MS Office 2016 to turn off cloud access. I knew one sure way to stop MS Office 2016 from sending my data to the cloud, I uninstalled it totally from the PC. My data is my data to be stored on my PC and backed up on my backups with no access to anyone else except by my express permission. You've heard about hackers breaking into various companies. What happens when hackers break into the cloud server where all you personal files are stored and they steal all you information. For instance, I have all my passwords stored on the PC but the data is on an encrypted drive so even if the PC or laptop is comprised, no one can get to the data and it's not MS encryption with their built in backdoor. Also I have backups.

I was talking with someone about this and they reminded me of MS Office 365 which is in between MS Office 2013 and MS Office 2016. MS Office 365 is cloud based and MS attempted to lease the suite to people for $10 a month. You don't hear about MS Office 365 now do you. I guess MS didn't get the message or thought they could skirt around it in the new office suite.

So no cloud for me, no MS Office 2016 for me, no $25 for me. The old adage stands "Buyer Beware".

End of Article

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