Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Office 365 Experience

I would like to +1 to anyone that has concerns about Office 365. Some dummy, that would be me, spilled coffee on my Macbook Pro keyboard. I cleaned it up, but no joy, I would hit a “k” on the keyboard and an “X” would appear on the screen. I thought about an external keyboard, but when on travel more stuff to carry gets cumbersome. I headed to the Apple store, bought a new Macbook Pro, (poor, poor me) and a license for Office 365. Oh do I wish I had make them install it at the store, but Rosetta Stone not withstanding, most of the time, software installs. Office 365 did not. It said invalid product key. 

I had purchased Apple care so I called them. They said, “duh, we do not know what you are talking about”, ok, ok, those were not the exact words. After some more research, I found an Apple MS Office support group, called them. They said, “That is a Microsoft problem, you will have to call them”. Called, Microsoft, “That is an Apple problem”. Called Apple back, a lady really tried, she kept me on one phone line as was talking to Microsoft on another. However, all to no avail.

Two days later I was on a plane to spend a little time on Kauai where there is no Apple store or Genius bar. By the time I get back to Seattle, it will be too late to return my clearly defective MS Office 365.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. There I was with no MS Office. People were sending me Word docs, Excel spreadsheets and the like. What the heck, I clicked on the word attachment and this program called Pages came up and it could read the Word document. Even better, when I clicked on a spreadsheet attachment, this thing called Numbers came up. It appears one can function without MS Office. 

My organization's help desk was kind enough to provide me a key for the previous version of Office. Things are looking up. Meanwhile, I have been recording some instrument readings, every event has seven fields, formats include: text, numbers, date time, 100 readings to a sheet. And on the second sheet Excel goes nuts and apparently can’t remember what data type is in a column and my spreadsheet is a mess. I remember my experience with Numbers. I saved the file, closed Excel and opened the file with Numbers, it fixed everything. 

The bottom line, Microsoft has done some incredible things for the consumerization of information technology and I hope they keep employing people in the state of Washington. But there are alternatives to Office that are fairly stable and gaining acceptance. 

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