My employer, a tertiary academic institution, has short-sightedly thrown its chips in with Microsoft. To request leave via the institution's system, I have to use a Microsoft Live login. I consider it an incredible insult that my employer requires me to accept a dependence on (and sacrifice my data to) that unethical digital colonialist corporation. I have already expressed my disgust to them. They're not informed or principled enough to understand.

This sucks.

At work we use MS Office 365. We save our documents on our local network, but everytime I wanna save a text or table document, Office wants me to save it to their stupid cloud. I have like 3 more clicks to save it in the proper directory.

Lately I've been wondering if anybody would notice if I covertly installed LibreOffice on my PC and used it instead. I have admin privileges on my machine.

@normandc do it. And then, in 6 months time after no one notices, point out that your org could increase your profit by Number of staff * MSFT O365 monthly subscription rate * 12 per year. Wonder if they "get it" then...


Unfortunately, I doubt it would work. We had an MS Exchange server hosted on our network and threw it away for Office 365. Yep, our critical company communications now reside on an outside company's server. At least they failed to make us use Slack a few years ago. Our bosses are great people - they just don't care about such issues, unfortunately. I just hope we don't get bitten in the long run. MS doesn't have the best track record. πŸ™„

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@normandc I'm confident as I can be that such dependence is folly. MSFT are the Get Smart of predatory $ trillion mega corps. Incredibly incompetent.

Oh yes. Worst is, for our use, LibreOffice would definitely do the job. As for the email server, ah well.

Trading privacy and security for convenience and unending monthly payments. What's the worst that could happen, right? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

@normandc but sorry to hear it. I quit the last employer that was going to make me use Windows. My only MSFT dependency now is this stupid leave system.

I don't have this option. We use a parametric MCAD modeller that only runs on Windows. I love FreeCAD (I helped the project in different roles for 9 years) but it is nowhere near the point where it could provide sufficient functionality for us. Besides, we have tens of thousands of legacy files accumulated over 15 years. Vendor lock-in allright. Truth is, I mostly like the software - but I hate the sw maker's business practices (on par with the whole industry).

I should say, there are worse software companies. We were able to renew our perpetual licenses last year. We're renewing the maintenance contract for a year, and then we'll probably keep our version until it no longer installs on whatever Windows version we have to use. Until last year, our CAD software was last certified for Windows Vista! πŸ˜‚

Companies like Autodesk and Adobe now force annual subscriptions on their users.

@normandc the damage they do is to control the platform entirely. They literally hold a kill-switch for every major economy in the world today. For example:

II read your blog post some time ago. Couldn't agree more.

What's ironic, is that the purchasing manager got a directive last week to look for new suppliers for our outsourced components. Our boss wants to end our reliance on China. You may have heard about the 2 Canadians held hostage by the Chinese gvt for over 1000 days over the Huawei/US crisis. This has made an impression on all of us here.

So one case is bad, but the other is fine I guess. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

@normandc Yeah, that's pretty much xenophobic hysteria, I think. People are in the habit of thinking the US is trustworthy and credible, but they're way behind the times.

> Yeah, that's pretty much xenophobic hysteria, I think.

No it's not. Not in our case. We've been doing business with Chinese companies for years. But there is no denying that China is ruled by an autocratic regime that's increasingly imposing its agenda, and no longer caring about keeping up appearances. On a whim they can impose tariffs, jail two foreign citizens for 1000 days as bargaining chips. And we're powerless. This we need to take into consideration.

@normandc my point is that anyone who thinks the US (and any US-owned multinational) is really a better, more trustworthy technical partner (which is the implication), I think they're rather naive.

We're a small manufacturing company, in a market where we are below the radar of the big players (not enough money to be made in our field). We deal with other small companies. But we do have a reliance on Microsoft... Nearly unavoidable for our computers' OSes, but we did double down with Office 365. 🀦

@normandc Ouch. I'd say Microsoft are a very unreliable dependence and an even less desirable partner. They've screwed many small partners in their history, most of which we've never heard of. So yeah, I'd be pretty uncomfortable about that situation. I vaguely remember a couple local Silverlight dev shops who were ruined by that ill-advised dependence.

Thing is, depending on Microsoft products is seen as normal and unavoidable in the business world here. Nearly all IT consulting services only know Windows. When I casually talk to IT guys who come here to do support, nearly all of them have zero experience with Linux, and zero interest in it.

Dare I say that the IT industry is perfectly fine with staying with, and promoting the MS ecosystem? It guarantees them a perpetual, continuous revenue stream! πŸ™„

@normandc Yes, it's true. MSFT's greatest master stroke was creating a profitable 'fringe' market for low-skilled techs, thanks to their high pricing and effective monopoly. These techs are used to a high salary and know they'd have to start from scratch with Linux (because they have little conceptual understanding). So they're desperate to maintain the status quo. Very unfortunate. Eventually, it'll become clear to those paying for them that they're being ripped off.

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