More M$ Woes…

I have been using office 2007 for awhile now at work so I can support it, and I really like it.  I like it a lot in fact.  Not as much as OpenOffice, but for a M$ product, Office 2007 aint bad.  The trouble with this software really comes along with the Trial Version…

From M$ themselves:

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 Trial Version is the essential software suite for home computer users that enables you to quickly and easily create great-looking documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and organize your information in one place, making it easier for you to get things done. 60-day trial version.

Important Notes:
The Office 2007 trials on this site are available to US residents only.

This is right from their download site.  The only thing listed under important notes is what I supplied.  No information has been removed to make M$ look bad (at least as of 3-13-07 4:00P).  I state this because there is a little known fact about M$ office that has affected quite a few people.

If you do not want to buy the software you had better back up your files or save them as a different format before your trial period ends.  If you do not do this you will not be able to do practically anything with those files once the trial period ends.  The files are essentially locked in Microsoft purgatory in an attempt to force you to buy the software.

This is so blatantly stupid beyond any level of what I have seen from M$ I was tempted to call their support number and scream at them and see what they could offer as I pretend to have a problem with this (I was and still are interested in seeing what their solution is), but I was able to find a couple solutions online that look plausible:

1: Download OpenOffice
2: Move the clock date back to about 2 months ago, or to the date of when you first installed the product
      – Then save all the files as an “.rtf” file
      – This file type will not give Microsoft the chance to take control of it
3: Try uninstalling the trial version from “Add or Remove Programs” then download a Brand New Trial version from Microsoft’s website

I do not know if any of these work for certain, but I will update this post if I come across new information.  I was planning on posting some links with more information, but I could not find any and the solutions are not that complicated.  But if I find anything I will let you all know.

As for now, use OpenOffice and stay away from M$ trial versions…

16 thoughts on “More M$ Woes…

  1. At first The different extension got me also, but I have just been saving into the old 97/2000 file format.

    I believe the reason they changed the default format is because the files are actually XML based. But I cannot be certain.

  2. Is it just the files created by the trial version? If so, I am not surprised (not because it’s MS). Its just a trial version. If you can use the documents after the trial finishes then you are effectively getting access to the trial.  You wouldn’t expect it of a trial of something physical.  The only rider I would put on this is I would expect MS to make it clear that once the 60 days is up, you lose access fullstop, just in case someone decides to create an important document. (why you’d do that with trial software I don’t know)

  3. Ransomware!

    Exactly!

    You wouldn’t expect it of a trial of something physical.  The only rider I would put on this is I would expect MS to make it clear that once the 60 days is up, you lose access fullstop, just in case someone decides to create an important document. (why you’d do that with trial software I don’t know)

    LH: I hear yea brother, and it’s probably the users that are novices that are being screwed the most, but my point was the Microsoft does not specify this problem.  So novice users are getting needlessly fucked.

  4. If OpenOffice weren’t so danged bloated and such a memory hog, I would.

    Then again, if you have a previous version of Office, why get a new one?  I’m still using office XP (2001) at home, and 2003 at work… Outlook has nice upgrades, but I don’t use Outlook at home, so it’s not worth the upgrade.

  5. How clever to keep throwing in the $ over and over and over… dude, if you owned a business, you’d not want your competitors growing, in fact, you’d want them out of business.  And you, yourself would give a shit about pricing and yadda yadda.. somebody made these programs, they deserved to be payed.  Everyone I know who doesn’t own a Mac, uses windows, it’s not essential, but they choose to use it, they bought it.. their decision.  And excuse me if you find this offensive, its true.. If you don’t support Microsoft, use Linux or whatever else OS you can find that is out there.  It’s just stupid to say $-$-$-$-$oft all the damned time…
    You can take any product out there, and almost always theres usually one or two dominant companies.. like Pep$i or $tarbucks or $afeway.. fuckin’ eh!  Fucking annoying shit. Quit bitching!

  6. To me, someone who only needs basic functions the old versions are more than sufficinet, and considerably less demanding on resources. I don’t see much for a novice user like myself in the newer versions that would really change your ability to write your document/spreadsheet – I would like to see a stripped down, bare bones office-like program for older systems + reliability. I cannot understand what makes word processors so much more demanding now than 10 years ago, other than inefficinet programming or deals with hardware suppliers to up the demand on more powerful machines

  7. What does annoy me about Word etc is the ‘new version’ every couple of years, which is close to identicle to the ‘old’ version, yet they still want full whack for it. The Word I have is near identicle to the one at work, despite being older. Why would I cough £80 for a new one. Especially as games are about £30. Are WP’s really twice as resource intensive per sale. Given the number of businesses that use word I doubt it. And why the ‘designed from new’ price tag? Most of the spade work has been done- the rest is bells and whistles.

  8. Its almost like forcing those on permanent licences into leasing via compatibility issues, i would expect M$ to limit universal formats, deliberately leave room for improvement in security/performance for grounds of the next (maybe altenating emphasis), and eventually force subscription

    There seems little else when theyve exhausted

  9. Why spend top dollar when you can get a nearly identical (and perhaps slightly better) program free?

    For me it’s almost a moot point as I use vim and LaTeX for all my typesetting needs. I’m still using OpenOffice for spreadsheets, but I’m going to start using either schooltool’s grades manager or I’ll write my own software. So except for viewing documents other people send me, I’ll have no need for any silly wysiwyg editors.

  10. OpenOffice seems to run faster in Linux than it does in Windows.  Not sure why.

    Problem with the files doesn’t seem to be the .docx format (which is Microsoft’s own, improved version of standard XML) but that they are locked in some way.  I understand locking the software > the trial expiration, but not the user’s own files.

  11. This was actually something I’ve mentioned previously when Microsoft was originally developing the DRM system that was to go into Vista. One of the things they’d like to do is go to a subscription format for Office. So long as you pay your monthly subscription fee you get to use Office, but as soon as you stop paying it locks not only Office, but any files you created with it as well:

    Take for example Microsoft Office. There are a lot of pirated copies of Office installed on a lot of people’s PCs even among people who otherwise buy most of the software that they use. The reason is simple: It’s a $400 package. Microsoft realizes this so they want to be able to “rent” Office to you instead of selling it. This is part of why Microsoft spent so much cash trying to push the roll-out of broadband so there’d be an easy way to deliver it to folks. So, you sign up to rent Office at a cost of, say, $20 a month and one month you forget to pay the rental bill. Not a problem for Microsoft as this new computing environment would allow them to “shut off” your access to Office on your PC. Fair enough, right? They could take it a step further, though, and shut off access to all the files you created with Office as well. That presentation you needed for work the next day? Yeah, well, that’ll be unavailable until you pay your bill even if you take it in and try to use it on your copy of Office at work. Oh, and don’t even think of trying to switch to Corel’s Word Perfect and have it convert the file or, even worse, something like OpenOffice.org.

    Now that’s just one of several—admittedly—worst-case scenarios that may never happen, but the point still stands that it could happen. NGSCB for the first time allows copyright holders to dictate to end users just what they can and can’t do with their programs and files. If Microsoft puts a clause in their End User License Agreement that states they have the right to control your access to files that you create using their software then they could easily and legally do the nightmare scenario presented here. Would they put in such a clause? Would you be surprised if they did?

    I wrote that back in May of 2003. Interesting to see that it has come at least partially to be.

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