Users fleeing broken Office 365 online system

Users fleeing broken Office 365 online system
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Users fleeing broken Office 365 online system

Microsoft abandon’s quality consumer products for high profits, forcing consumers to insert a blunt intravenous needle into their wallets so Microsoft can suck the money out of their lives. As their greed increases, the quality of their products sink, including with products that you can now only subscribe to (like Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

By Ray Hanania

Windows turned to forcing its customers to shift away from owning their suite of Office products like Word and Excel to leasing the individual system using an annual pay-for-use licensing agreement that began in 2011.

Although at first, the system seemed to work, in the past few months thousands of Word and Excel users have been complaining that their systems are freezing up, crashing and failing.

The problems have pushed Office products like Word back into the stone age. Trying to write using Word through the leased “Office 365” system at $100 a year has become more like a caveman’s effort to chisel symbols into stone.

We were warned about this move by Microsoft many years ago, but what choice did we have? We saw what happened in the demise of WordPerfect, the once popular writing software system that was the industry standard throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.

Microsoft Word is becoming one of the worst software programs for writers. Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Microsoft Word is becoming one of the worst software programs for writers. Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Word by Office challenged WordPerfect, basically helping to push WordPerfect off the radar screen and claiming to be the “better” alternative. Microsoft intentionally assaulted WordPerfect in its design of its Microsoft Operating System for PCs. It essentially made it impossible for a PC owner to run the new WordPerfect software in the 1990s.

But now that Word dominates the market, Microsoft and creator Bill Gates have become greedy. What else is new? You no longer can own a copy of Word, which in the early 2000s costs as much as $450 for a software package and license. Since 2015, you had to go online to Microsoft.com and purchase “Office 365” which includes all of the software options like Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

And that seemed to work for a few years. But now, users are reporting all kinds of problems, including system crashes, their software freezing up. And worse, Microsoft has no human system to respond to the needs of their customers. Once you pay, Microsoft abandons you offering only an inefficient and confusing online “Virtual Agent” who basically can’t answer any important questions except the “concerns” and “questions” devised by the Microsoft staff.

It’s so depressing to have to load my Word program these days. No matter what you are doing, the system will freeze and stay frozen for up to 2 and 3 minutes. When it finally works, you find yourself wondering if you can get your idea from mind to print fast enough, resulting in a deterioration fo the writing product. In a sense, Microsoft Word is now helping to discourage human creativity and is producing garbage.

As I mentioned Microsoft doesn’t waste money on a human-manned help desk. There are no employees you can speak with like at reputable companies like GoDaddy where service is as important as the products. You’re left to an underworld of questionable “virtual” assertions in response to problems, and a constant barrage trying to push you to “pay more.”

I’m experimenting with new word processing systems to replace word. Most of my online writing is done through WordPress, which is good but also has some issues. In the computer industry, money always trumps quality, and the distance that most tekkies have from social skills is reflected in the limitations of today’s software. The truth is the best software isn’t written by nerds who have no idea what real life needs, but rather by virtual reality and fictional forays into the distant future that have nothing to do with today’s world.

The people who designed Word have no idea what real writers need. They think they know. They lack on-the-job experience as journalists and writers, but they know how to slam their index finger and thumbs into a keyboard created nouns, adjectives and verbs with periods, exclamations — usually too many! — and dangling participles.

I’m exploring new writing software options and will be glad to share my experiences below in the Comment section, so stay tuned.

(Ray Hanania is a former Chicago City Hall reporter, columnist and author. He is a syndicated Op-Ed columnist writing for more than a dozen newspapers in the U.S. and in the Middle  East. Reach him at his personal website at www.Hanania.com or by email at rghanania@gmail.com.)

Ray Hanania

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