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office is dead

December 15, 2005

Scoble links over to more insanity on the demise of Microsoft Office from Steve Gillmore. These articles actually make me mad. Why you say? It's not because I loooove Office or because I hate Google or because I have something against Steve Gillmore (never meet him). It's because the article is obviously written by someone who's never, ever, ever been inside a real IT department (or at least not in a looong time). Not some silicon valley venture backed startup IT department. I'm talking about the guys keeping the exchange server running in Boise.

Guess what, the guys in Boise don't give two hoots about an Office Like system that can pulling in graphics from Riya or even Gmail for that matter. They just want to be able to help you when email "doesn't work". Or explain to you what the Big E is (internet explorer).

Hey you know what. Microsoft sold 11 BILLION dollars worth of Office last year. Not bad eh for something that's dead. That's 11 billion dollars worth of users who aren't switching anytime soon just because they might be able to post to their accounts if they use some other startup alternative.

At the end of the day you have to train employees, you have to build systems, you have to build support. These things are simply not possible with Google's solutions (or any other new wave office products I've seen). Gmail doesn't always work, I've gotten errors and I barely use it. But guess what there's nobody to call when it doesn't work. Training? How? Google makes changes on the fly. You can't manage your IT department like that. You're going to come into work one day and have 9000 messages because Google changed a buttons location and now nobody knows what's going on or perhaps they change how archives work and nobody can find their messages.

Everyone isn't tech savvy, heck MOST of the world isn't tech savvy. Who's going to pay for retraining my entire company? Is the benefits of using Gmail and Gcalendar really worth the cost of retraining my entire company?

OK this rants gone out of control. I think you get my point. Perhaps I've just read one to many of these articles. Hey I'm not saying the world isn't changing, but I think we're a long way from Office being dead. They've got time built in because of a huge user base and they've got plenty of $$$ so just because Gmail is snazzy doesn't mean MS is going anywhere. And for everyone out there who writes these types of articles please please please, I don't care about what your friends think and if they're "influential" or not. Take a day and go visit some real IT people in the trenches. I think you'll be glad you did.

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