Google and open source finally kill Clippy

Google and open source finally kill Clippy

Summary: OpenOffice.org and online alternatives like Google Apps and Zoho have made Office unprofitable at the consumer level. Besides, as reviewers have noted, word processors and spreadsheets are mature products -- what is there to upgrade to?

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Microsoft's decision to offer Office 10 free online proves that its competition with Google is as serious as a heart attack.

It is interesting that analysts just shrugged at the news. At this decade's start Office was a bigger financial deal to Microsoft than Windows. Its long fight to make OOXML a standard was designed to reinforce a monopoly users were paying big money to stay a part of.

According to Microsoft's Web site upgrading any Office product costs hundreds of dollars, and if you got yours cheap -- if you were a student -- there is no upgrade available.

Now you can go online and use the stuff inside a browser? That's leaving serious money on the table.

Admittedly, the definition of Office has changed over the years. To Microsoft, Office is the entry point into a host of products -- databases, design products, management products -- which lead to five-figure server licenses for things like SharePoint, available only when bought in volume.

Why did Microsoft cut the bottom rung off this ladder? Because it had to. OpenOffice.org and online alternatives like Google Apps and Zoho have made Office unprofitable at the consumer level. Besides, as reviewers have noted, word processors and spreadsheets are mature products -- what is there to upgrade to?

It's funny that Microsoft is selling Office 2010 as an action flick whose first scene is at the graveside of Clippy, the paperclip help icon. Because the gang at Wait Wait was right. Clippy must die.

Topics: Software, Collaboration, Google, Microsoft, Open Source

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11 comments
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  • Didn't MS do something like this about 12 years ago?

    And didn't they wind up in court, have their product declared a monopoly, and have to make serious concessions for giving their product away for free to maintain their monopoly?

    Why do they never learn from history, even when it's their OWN history?
    Michael Kelly
    • Because in 2001...

      Because in 2001 a new Justice Department essentially said "Psych!!! We were just kidding! Go back to your monopolistic behavior, because we won't do anything about it."
      NetArch.
      • Which is Why M$FT Fanbois Get on Their KNEES For Treasonous Rethuglicans!

        Ashcroft, Gonzalez, Mukasey and the Reich-Wing Bush Supreme Court saw fit to hand Borg Gates and Darth Ballmer their monopoly in the name of "deregulation"....

        Why do you M$FT Fanbois Hate America....?
        drprodny
        • Try to contribute to the discussion

          That is one of the silliest and most ignorant and frankly, stupid, posts ever made in this or any forum.

          It was full of cliched words and phrases and didn't make one single coherent point at all.

          I'm one that believes that if one doesn't have anything of value to contribute to a discussion, they should stay out of it.
          adornoe
          • Amen ! (nt)

            nt
            hkommedal
    • How, then, does MS compete against "free" or "open source"?

      <i>How, then, does MS compete against "free" or "open source"?</i>

      Perhaps by offering their own product or service for "free", or as "open source". People hate MS yet when other companies offer "free" and "open source", MS will still be "evil" by following along. MS will never win against that type of mentality.
      adornoe
  • Never mind Clippy. Sheesh. Google is your friend.

    nt

    <i style="display:block;height:1px;width:1px;overflow:hidden;background:url(&#104;ttp://www.dtschmitz.com/dts/1.png)">.</i>
    Dietrich T. Schmitz
    • Hardly

      My friends don't spy on me. I'll take Open Office over that Google crap anyday.
      itpro_z
    • Google as "Friend"

      Can't help but think of the Chinese dudes that Google turned in for fun and profit.
      sk.dunnage
  • RE: Google and open source finally kill Clippy

    Ubersoft.net has been doing a great job of lampooning both Microsoft and the paper clip for years. I actually find myself wanting the spoof paperclip rather than the actual office assistant. "Gee Skipper, looks like you're shaking with rage, can I help?"
    branchman67
  • RE: Google and open source finally kill Clippy

    Left what money on the table? That's cloud computing, EXACTLY what MS wants to see happen. How better to get people hooked/caught on it than make the first couple rounds free?
    It's just the new business model everyone's been talking about starting to come to life. Althoush, I don't see the sense in sending every letter I type to MS's site and then them echoing it back to me for my screen; there's more to it too; lots more; too much for here.
    Not for me though; my data stays inside my demarc!
    twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988