It was a similar story with Word Perfect, their failure to move to a GUI basically handed MS Word market dominance. Their belated port of the DOS UI was very awkward at first, and the move to 32-bit in 95 was the final straw.
The time I saw MS Word deployed on a Xenix box it didn't work terribly well - was fine on the system console but was barely usable on serial terminals as the make of terminals (Wyse something or other) had Alt keys which did nothing. And, as far as I recall, the Alt key was pretty important in Word.
Of course, this wasn't Microsoft's fault - rather the idiotic salesman who had sold all of this without checking with anyone whether it would work or not.
Borland certainly did, but they also had plenty of bad luck.
Just as they were getting close to finishing Quattro Pro, their head offices were hit by the 1989 World Series Earthquake (they were very close to the epicenter).
Apparently, many of their computers survived the earthquake itself but were rained on by the damaged sprinkler system and covered in mushy ceiling tile debris. They commandeered a tennis court to try to dry off, clean and revive as many of the computers as they could
They did end up releasing Quattro Pro, but then were soon sued by Lotus.
Windows Phone leper colony reporting in. I got a bright idea to take a spreadsheet that I use for tracking my workouts and uploading it to skydrive so that I could punch my workout in after I finished. It turns out the mobile version of Excel doesnt support a number of formulas and macros like the desktop version does. I think i read that Excel for Office on RT will have the same limitations. I will probably end up getting the ultrabook version of Surface (sans keyboard) for this reason and for pen input for OneNote.
There are a ton of people out there who used to think they needed office, and have been using iOS happily without it. Microsoft made a huge mistake not releasing Office for iOS as soon as they could -- these people would all have bought it and remained convinced it was indispensable.
Now, most of them won't care (and probably figured out that Office wasn't actually very good at its core functionality, like word-processing and creating presentations, compared to cheaper, easier-to-use alternatives). In any event, the strangehold MS had over the enterprise where even people who didn't want Windows were forced to use it, is broken.
I think the parent commenter was merely stating that a large portion of Office users realize that what they're doing isn't "serious" - despite it being critical to their uses, it's something that doesn't require the full power of a desktop Office suite (and thus can be done without Microsoft).
Fact is, even Surface won't be as mobile as something that fits in your pocket - and I seriously doubt Microsoft can or even wants to make (perhaps a stripped down) Office into a $10 smartphone app.
I don't think MS needs to lower the price that much for businesses, given that a full licence of Office probably costs about that. Checks website, oh it's $499 for 1 user, 2PCs (obviously bulk discounts will be massive, but still).
For most of those people, it's simply the only software they're moderately competent with. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I wonder how much Excel has ended up shaping our world because of the point of view it implies.
I wasn't precise enough, I meant financial departments within companies of all areas. Finance as in banking of course has its special tools - but I would be surprised if Excel is not used for anything quick and dirty.
MS Excel is not precise enough in a lot of areas, you can't compare it to something like SPSS for statistics for example - but it's good enough.
The entire Office suite is a good product with few realistic competitors. For all the criticisms, it does exactly what many businesses need. And the de-facto requirement for good Office compatibility keeps businesses on Windows.
Let's also add that it's very cheap for what it is.
Office 2010 Home and Business 2010 (Outlook, Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint) is £159GBP inc tax. It has a usable life of ~5 years. That's £2.65GBP/month (about the same as two loaves of reasonable quality bread a month)
Reading the info about installs strongly suggests that unless you bought a PC with a preload then you have to buy the "2 install" version at £240 (but it's pretty opaque).
Bread is a very poor comparison as the margin per unit decreases at a far lower rate than that for non-material goods. I'm sure MS would argue they're only licensing use to you too - perhaps "it's not much more than a TV license" would be better?
I'm largely with you WRT philosophy of 'ownership'.
However in the current legal framework this is wrong and I strongly disprove of the thrust by companies to force more sold products to be treated as licensed - thus for example preventing resale, [non-copyright infringing] sharing and the like.
I consume bread I don't give it back in a materially unaltered way.
You don't need to buy hardware with this; the quoted "OEM" price and part number are retail (compare with Amazon, for instance). It is locked to a single PC like traditional OEM products, however, and doesn't include media. The ordinary retail package is transferable, can be installed on two PCs at the same time, and includes a DVD.
On the client side Excel is probably the best they've put out. Overall, I think that ActiveDirectory and the integration they achieved in Windows Server 2000 with the Windows 2000 desktop could be the best thing that Microsoft has ever produced.
After all these years and Word still can't kern worth a darn. Would love to throw away LaTeX for something easier to use, but Word is not it. Excel is special if you need it, PowerPoint is almost as good as Keynote now. Visio seems like it hasn't been updated in 10 years; OmniGraffle is so much better.
Different strokes for different folks. Visio is the one piece of software I miss from Windows. I hate OmniGraffle as its boolean operations are pathetic and it seems to think it knows where to put stuff instead of where you put it. Visio also has so many more shapes.
Using Visio is like stepping back to 1999. They could have at least updated the renderer, added better magnets and auto positioning... It's bizarre looking at a old-style renderer bolted onto a metroish UI in 2013. What are their designers thinking?
Visio was the best diagramming tool in 1999, it's still popular in the enterprise, biz types love it; omnigraffle is more for designers, engineers who use macs, different markets to be sure.
I prefer Pages to Word, and my requirements are far more extreme than most people's. Pages even seamlessly handles Word's change tracking (i.e. you can load a Word doc with change tracking going, make changes, and they will flow back to Word or to other Pages users seamlessly). All this and Pages doesn't waste gobs of screen real estate on "ribbons" and other useless crap.
Word obviously supports Microsoft automation stuff that's unique to its own ecosystem, but aside from that and index generation, Pages is actually ahead of Word. (Not "light years", but heck it's a word-processor.)
I'm quite happy on 500+ page word documents here, tracked across 30 users on SharePoint. I was not happy with Pages a couple of years ago - it did a shitty job of import/export losing styles and even text sometimes.
For anything other than typing up a paper, I hate Word. It is awful with graphics and formatting is a pain in the ass. When it comes to working with images and text in Word, I almost feel like it would be easier (and less of a hassle) to hand code it in HTML with CSS and then print that instead of doing it in Word. The last few months have been torturous because my fiance and I have been using Word to create our wedding invitations. If that is light years ahead of the competition, I seriously think I need to write a word processor and profit!
That makes sense. The problem is that since it is a one off thing the cost of Publisher ($139.99) would've offset the savings of making the invitations at home. But I will keep that in mind for the future.