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posted by martyb on Saturday May 03 2014, @05:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the most-employees-are-not-in-Office-most-of-the-day dept.

A recent article in PCWorld reveals that many companies are simply throwing money away:

Organisations are wasting money licensing Microsoft Office applications that the majority of employees barely use, a study released this week by application analytics startup SoftWatch has found. Conclusion: many users could easly be migrated to far cheaper cloud applications such as Google Apps.

The firm carried out a 3-month analysis of Office suite use in 51 global firms representing 148,500 employees, revealing that seven out of ten employees weren't using any single application heavily, launching them only for viewing or light editing.

The average employee spent only 48 minutes per day using Office, largely the Outlook email client, which consumed about 68 percent of that activity. Excel was in second place with 17 percent, or an average of 8 minutes per day, leaving Word and PowerPoint trailing with only 5 minutes and 2 minutes per day each.

That email is popular and spreadsheets and presentations less so is not a surprise. The latter are occasional applications that non-specialist employees use only when they really have to and their importance can't necessarily be measured in terms of how often they are used so much as the impact that use has.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Nerdfest on Saturday May 03 2014, @07:15PM

    by Nerdfest (80) on Saturday May 03 2014, @07:15PM (#39304)

    My development team has been running Linux (Ubuntu) for the last 3 years now as a pilot project. We do have a Windows VM running the corporate Windows install available, but there's only one application that it's required for, other than IE testing. To my knowledge, nobody has used any Microsoft applications at all. Perhaps professional editors or similar might need some features that LibreOffice doesn't have, but your average (and well above average) office worker is unlikely to need them.

    Personally, I use it for LibreOffice for my own documents (resumes, course papers, etc) with some fairly advanced formatting. I find the editor handles styles and most things at least as well as Word. I don't have daily use for spreadsheets, but the LibreOffice application has done everything I've required of it, and even runs all the Excel macros that I've run across.

    Large organizations should realize that extracting themselves from Microsoft (Office and IE) is the first step is unlocking themselves from Microsoft and allowing then top open up options like Linux or Mac. Until they do it, it will very difficult.

    The sad part is, iOS has even more lock-in because of the hardware lock, and people are eating that up as well. I guess it works up until they do something you don't like (Windows 8), and which point you're screwed. Most people don't think that far ahead though.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03 2014, @09:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03 2014, @09:04PM (#39324)

    even runs all the Excel macros that I've run across

    As news goes, this is pretty old.
    Going back to 2006, Go-oo, Novell's fork of OOo, had good VBA support.
    Noel Powers was the dev who got the most-used stuff working first.

    will any Excel macro work in Calc? []

    'No,' Noel said, 'support for VBA is not complete, but we think we cover a large portion of the common usage patterns.
    Those macros that we've come across mostly use a manageable subset of objects in the Excel API
    (such as the Range, Worksheet, Workbook, etc.).
    We have concentrated on supporting those objects, and the most commonly used method/properties of those objects

    VBA support was folded into the main trunk fairly quickly.

    -- gewg_

  • (Score: 3) by frojack on Saturday May 03 2014, @09:05PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 03 2014, @09:05PM (#39325) Journal

    Pretty much the same here, I've been off of Microsoft Office products for over 10 years now. OO and LO solve every issue.

    I know many of my customers in corporate and government offices and get into Outlook in the morning, and stay there all day. Every document, spreadsheet, email, note, reminder they touch is done directly inside of Outlook. They literally do not know how to do anything on their computers, and are helpless without outlook running.

    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by jim302 on Sunday May 04 2014, @12:22AM

      by jim302 (582) on Sunday May 04 2014, @12:22AM (#39347)

      Speaking of Outlook (and Exchange), these seem to be the biggest barrier to LibreOffice for a lot of companies. I haven't owned a license for Microsoft Office since Office 2000... I switched to so I could have something cross platform when dual booting between Linux and Windows. Over the years, compatibility with Microsoft Office and overall functionality & reliability have improved greatly, especially since the LibreOffice fork. Compatibility with Office isn't perfect, but even Office itself has issues between versions.

      I can get by without Outlook - IMAP and CalDAV clients are good enough for me. However, it is hard to deny that calendar sharing and mobile device synchronization work pretty darn well with Exchange (email is just OK - nothing special there). The desktop version of Outlook is by far the most functional Exchange client. Zimbra is not bad, but has never taken off... the previous Yahoo ownership did not do it any favors (especially when it looked like Microsoft might acquire Yahoo). VMware never really pushed the product. Time will tell what the new owners do with it. It is hard to have a lot of long term confidence in a product that has been passed around between owners like this, so gaining market share will be difficult.

      Better competition with Exchange and Outlook would make open source solutions such as LibreOffice much more practical. While it is possible to get Outlook by itself, most people seem to just buy the whole suite. Exchange isn't perfect but it is easy enough to install and manage, and if it ever has issues, documentation and support are easy to find.