If you’re the type that doesn’t just let Windows Update run amuck on your system, you might want to make sure you pay extra attention this Patch Tuesday, and roll out the fixes to your machines sooner rather than later. According to Microsoft it plans to issue 12 separate patches to address 22 vulnerabilities, 3 of which are rated “critical” which is the most serious rating a fix can carry.
Microsoft said goodbye to its little friend, Office Genuine Advantage (OGA), and quietly shut down the program last Thursday.
What that means for Office users is they're now able to download add-ins and templates without having to jump through any validation hoops to confirm that their copy is legit and not some black-market version or BitTorrent download.
"The Office Genuine Advantage ("OGA") program has been retired. For more information about the benefits of genuine Office, please visit the following website: Benefits of genuine Office," Microsoft wrote in Support Knowledge Base article 917999.
The last few Patch Tuesday’s have been a bit heavier than usual, but December is poised to break the record again with 17 Bulletins being issued addressing 40 separate vulnerabilities. Before you panic however you should know that only two of the vulnerabilities are rated as “critical”, with all but one of the remaining flaws falling into the “important” category. A critical flaw is anything that allows for remote code execution so even one is bad enough, but at least we won’t have to wait too much longer for a fix.
The vulnerabilities are addressing every version of Windows from XP all the way to 7 (including server), as well as all supported versions of Office. A full list of the bulletins can be found on Microsoft TechNet, along with details of a webcast scheduled for Wednesday to address any questions.
Long story short this isn’t a patch Tuesday you would want to skip.
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 is here and the Entourage email client is no longer part of the productivity suite, having been replaced by the all-new Outlook for Mac. Some other notable changes include the introduction of the Ribbon interface, collaborative editing and Office Web Apps.
“As with its predecessors – a big emphasis in developing Office 2011 was listening to and incorporating your feedback,” an admittedly proud Eric Wilfrid, general manager of Office for Mac, wrote in a blog post announcing the launch.
“The team rose to that challenge, and my favorite thing about Office 2011 is just how zippy it is. Whether you are using Office 2011 at work, at school or at home – you’ll notice the improved launch speeds and other performance enhancements as you accomplish your tasks.”
Microsoft is taking another step into the cloud with the new hosted version of Office, Office 365 is going to be aimed at businesses and may be had for as little as $6 per user per month for small businesses. However, that low rate only includes the hosted version of Word. Microsoft beta tested this service with several thousand users, and will be making it available to all early next year.
The cost might be an issue with Google offering their Google Docs service to businesses for $50 per user per year. Large businesses are looking at as much as $27 per month for access to the whole office suite. Microsoft will have to compete on features to keep users. Though, the profits on hosting software for subscription are likely to be higher anyway.
According to Microsoft, Office 2011 for the Mac platform will land on store shelves at the end of October, and while that's a good two months away, Mac users will save a bundle over Office for Mac 2008.
The new version will come in two main flavors, including Office for Mac Home & Student Edition ($119 for a single install, $149 for a three-installation family pack), and Office for Mac Home & Business Edition 2011 ($199 for a single install, $249 for a two-installation multi-pack). By comparison, the latest version for Mac -- Office for Mac 2008 -- runs $149 for the Home Edition and $399 for the Business Edition.
All new versions will include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Messenger for Mac, while the Home & Business and Academic editions will also include Outlook.
For those who just can't wait, Microsoft said that those who purchase a qualifying Office 2008 suite between now and November 30, 2010 will be eligible to download the new version at no cost. See here for terms and conditions.
Microsoft Office: Can’t live with it, can’t live with… ok, so that’s not entirely true. A number of you likely live without the Microsoft Office suite and, for that, I commend you. That’s not because there’s anything wrong with Office per se; it’s a pricing thing. I don’t always have the money to fork out for a new Office license for whatever systems I acquire, especially when compelling freeware alternatives present themselves in an easy-to-use (and easy-to-download) kind of fashion. Same goes for you.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Dave,” you ask, “why not just install OpenOffice.org and be done with it?” That is certainly a solution for your Office woes. However, that doesn’t mean that the OpenOffice.org suite is the end-all be-all alternative to Microsoft Office Insert-Year-Here. From Web apps to downloadable programs, it’s entirely possible to recreate some of the best parts of this paid-for hunk of apps without resorting to the tried-and-true OpenOffice.org open-source bundle.
And guess what? By going the piecemeal route, you’ll be able to find some new features that simply don’t exist in either aforementioned bundle! So, that said, click the jump to check out some of the best freeware and open-source Microsoft Office replacement apps for your system!
A few years back Apple had success with a series of 'switcher" ads where people told their stories about switching to the (supposedly) problem free land of Macintosh. Now Microsoft is trying the same maneuver with businesses and Google Apps. The thing is, they're actually having some success.
The Google Apps online service is a competitor to Microsoft's own Office products. Microsoft's gameplan is to attract companies to their Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), then highlight all these companies in order to attract more. A long time Google Apps customer, Serena Software, was one of the first to make the switch thanks to a sweetheart deal from Microsoft.
Several other big Google customers, like Capgemini and China Navigation have been enticed to join the dark side. Microsoft says companies are willing to make the switch because BPOS offers more advanced features, like Group Policy Management. Even if Microsoft can lure away some Apps customers, we think Google will soldier on.
Won't somebody think of the children? Or the editors?
It seems that mass hysteria is breaking out across the Internet--or Slashdot, the only Internet a geek needs to know--about a new proposed treatment by HP and Yahoo in regards to that whirring hunk of metal and plastic in the corner of your room. I'm not talking about WALL-E, nor Jeffrey, but your printer. You know, that crude device that that basically transforms your hard-earned money into a few pages of text and color?
There are few more toxic battlegrounds than the ol' home printer, the site of a thousand separate arguments over the role a manufacturer can play in shaping your fate with a product post-purchase. It cuts to the very heart of what's an "open" environment-perhaps not in direct function or in one's ability to install Linux on a device, but rather, the concept that what you purchase should be yours to alter and modify as you see fit sans infringement or prevention by others.
According to the Internet hysteria, HP is ready to invade that sense of ownership with unwanted, location-based advertising to accompany your print jobs. But that simple generalization is, thankfully, completely blown out of proportion.
Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet is pleading with readers to do their homework before jumping on the Office 2010 Starter bandwagon, and with good reason. Microsoft's Office 2010 productivity software goes on sale tomorrow and while it's true that the ad-supported Starter edition will be free, you might be getting less than you bargained for.
It's hard to argue with free, but it's worth noting that Microsoft gutted the Starter edition to only include basic document viewing and editing of Word and Excel. The goal is not to give Office away, but to entice users to upgrade, which some point out sounds a lot like trialware.
"Incorrect messaging of Office Starter 2010 may discourage your customers from purchasing a full Office suite and could also lead to customer dissatisfaction and confusion," Microsoft wrote in a note to its OEM partners. "Market research shows that many people confused Office Starter 2010 with a full Office suite, and were then dissatisfied because they believed they had received a full Office suite."