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DTMark

MS Office vs Thunderbird/Apache

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Anyone moved from a Microsoft Office 365 setup to an Apache Office + Mozilla Thunderbird one?

IIRC Office 365 is about £8 a month - but it's not about the money, it's about the fact that I can never know from one day to the next whether Office apps will work properly. I've done everything that I can to scupper automatic updates of Office and Windows 10 yet the wretched things still manage to break themselves occasionally. I do not have the time to keep regressing and reinstalling things.

I do need MS Exchange support because I'm not sure there is an equivalent with cross-device calendaring, email and notes (I'm not going anywhere near Google's offerings), and the ability to edit Word and Excel documents without any significant compromise as I have to exchange those with clients regularly.

Apart from only occasionally creating graphs I don't think I ever use any of the advanced features of Excel, so really just sheets of numbers and sums. Word activity is restricted to basic documents.

Will I notice much if any difference?

 

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2 minutes ago, DTMark said:

Anyone moved from a Microsoft Office 365 setup to an Apache Office + Mozilla Thunderbird one?

IIRC Office 365 is about £8 a month - but it's not about the money, it's about the fact that I can never know from one day to the next whether Office apps will work properly. I've done everything that I can to scupper automatic updates of Office and Windows 10 yet the wretched things still manage to break themselves occasionally. I do not have the time to keep regressing and reinstalling things.

I do need MS Exchange support because I'm not sure there is an equivalent with cross-device calendaring, email and notes (I'm not going anywhere near Google's offerings), and the ability to edit Word and Excel documents without any significant compromise as I have to exchange those with clients regularly.

Apart from only occasionally creating graphs I don't think I ever use any of the advanced features of Excel, so really just sheets of numbers and sums. Word activity is restricted to basic documents.

Will I notice much if any difference?

 

Office 365 will be about 40 to 50 quid on Amazon this coming week. Wednesday I think.

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I use on-premises MS Office at work, don't have any choice, but have to admit it works well. Already moves seen towards 365 however and I think it's inevitable. 

Don't use it at home though and realistically I think any home personal user (not home business) can manage well without it. 

My pet annoyance is when people send me email with MS Word attachment because they assume everyone has MS Office. Whether you do or not it's still a real balls ache trying to read it on your phone. 

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3 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Office 365 will be about 40 to 50 quid on Amazon this coming week. Wednesday I think.

Ah, but that won't make it any more reliable :(

As I sit here, all devices are connecting to my Exchange account just fine. On the same internet connection. The issue is not at the server end.

Except Outlook on this PC. It restarted itself an hour ago and hasn't connected since. I suppose it may fix itself. If it doesn't then I'll have to revert to the webmail interface or try typing emails on my mobile.

All updates are disabled (Windows and Office). As far as possible. But you can never stop them completely.

I don't want an "Office experience", I want a program that reliably sends and receives email. Today, and tomorrow.

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2 minutes ago, DTMark said:

Ah, but that won't make it any more reliable :(

As I sit here, all devices are connecting to my Exchange account just fine. On the same internet connection. The issue is not at the server end.

Except Outlook on this PC. It restarted itself an hour ago and hasn't connected since. I suppose it may fix itself. If it doesn't then I'll have to revert to the webmail interface or try typing emails on my mobile.

All updates are disabled (Windows and Office). As far as possible. But you can never stop them completely.

I don't want an "Office experience", I want a program that reliably sends and receives email. Today, and tomorrow.

I know. But when it is that cheap I kinda shrug, buy 2 or 3 years subscription and then get on with my life. But then I wonder why it constantly asks me to download updates that never seem to update. I am Bill Gates' gimp.

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iirc Thunderbird dosn't work with office365 as MS dropped support for imap. However there is a 3rd party plugin to add ews support, but that's now unsupported or something. You'll need to investigate :)

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1 minute ago, snaga said:

iirc Thunderbird dosn't work with office365 as MS dropped support for imap. However there is a 3rd party plugin to add ews support, but that's now unsupported or something. You'll need to investigate :)

That's what I feared.

AFAIK the only email app that works flawlessly with MS Exchange is Apple's one, or "Nine" on Android, but there isn't a Windows version of that.

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8 minutes ago, DTMark said:

That's what I feared.

AFAIK the only email app that works flawlessly with MS Exchange is Apple's one, or "Nine" on Android, but there isn't a Windows version of that.

after a quick google, it may not be that MS dropped imap, but corporations are disabling it.

Edited by snaga

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Gave up on MS Office when spreadsheets I'd made a decade earlier became irrevocably broken due to security 'issues'...

Same sheets still work fine in Libre Office.

Is it true that MS abandoned Outlook Express as an email client because it actually worked?

 

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2 minutes ago, unregistered_guest said:

Gave up on MS Office when spreadsheets I'd made a decade earlier became irrevocably broken due to security 'issues'...

Same sheets still work fine in Libre Office.

Is it true that MS abandoned Outlook Express as an email client because it actually worked?

 

Nah, because it was free initially and they wanted people to move to a paid email client. Outlook has features that I suspect 99% of which are never used by the average user.

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50 minutes ago, DTMark said:

Regressing Office back to a version from 2016 now. I only went back to Feb 2018 before. We'll see if that fixes it for the moment.

Right, regressed back to 2016 and restarted the machine.

Had to put the password in again.

And now it's working.

Until next time.

I absolutely must find a new email program at the very least. That's around £150 Microsoft have cost me in lost time in one month.

Downloading 'emClient' to try.

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29 minutes ago, DTMark said:

Right, regressed back to 2016 and restarted the machine.

Had to put the password in again.

And now it's working.

Until next time.

I absolutely must find a new email program at the very least. That's around £150 Microsoft have cost me in lost time in one month.

Downloading 'emClient' to try.

The old Windows Mail client - an after-thought for Windows 7 when MS removed OE from 7 - is still findable online to download. Good basic email client. Works.

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I use Evolution, but...

I do have two MS systems that I used for compatibility reasons.  Both are Surface (one Pro, the other not-Pro).  They are both fairly 'neat', ie, don't have non-MS software on them (Both do Office; the pro also runs Visual Studio).  The logic behind this is fuelled by your sort of problems -- I'm of the opinion that MS will work hard to ensure that Surface of all generations will continue to work with their own software.

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5 hours ago, DTMark said:

Anyone moved from a Microsoft Office 365 setup to an Apache Office + Mozilla Thunderbird one?

IIRC Office 365 is about £8 a month - but it's not about the money, it's about the fact that I can never know from one day to the next whether Office apps will work properly. I've done everything that I can to scupper automatic updates of Office and Windows 10 yet the wretched things still manage to break themselves occasionally. I do not have the time to keep regressing and reinstalling things.

I do need MS Exchange support because I'm not sure there is an equivalent with cross-device calendaring, email and notes (I'm not going anywhere near Google's offerings), and the ability to edit Word and Excel documents without any significant compromise as I have to exchange those with clients regularly.

Apart from only occasionally creating graphs I don't think I ever use any of the advanced features of Excel, so really just sheets of numbers and sums. Word activity is restricted to basic documents.

Will I notice much if any difference?

 

Im stuck with Office.

Enail servers are v important.

I dont think the rest of the stuff should be bundled in.

O365 drives me fucking nuts. Terrible design. Stuff dissappears.

Last person eho i knew at ms worked on exchange server. It was a fucking monster 10 years ago - the tails id heard. Friend quit when it got  to a 2 dvd distribution.

I avoid MS. Not for yhe ususl reasons but because if stuffs broke itll stay broke as they dont have enough people.

Edited by spygirl

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I have office 365 but I use office 2010 and 2013 versions of the programs, the 365 licence seems to allow this so I installed it then installed the older versions from a cd and don't allow version updates.

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29 minutes ago, Roger_Mellie said:

I guess you must have to get balls deep into this kind of stuff to really see issues?

I've got 365 at home and at work. Love it. 

The last time I had to regress Office was one morning when an update broke the delete key and focus.

So if you had the focus in the editor pane and tapped the delete key to remove one character, the email was deleted and vanished.

Worked fine the previous day. Next day it's unusable. An hour wasted just getting it back where it was.

Once I have fixed this I need to spend time working out why my laptop won't connect to any wireless networks when the last time I used it, it was fine. I think I shall leave Microsoft to fix that.

Later I have to reset my Android phone and deny it access to the internet until I can enable developer mode so it no longer looks for updates so it stops nagging about updating it. Oreo is no update.

This is all a shambles.

Automatic updates enable rapid bug fixes. Because of this, software is no longer tested. Because it can always be updated again.

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2 hours ago, spygirl said:

 

Last person eho i knew at ms worked on exchange server. It was a fucking monster 10 years ago - the tails id heard. Friend quit when it got  to a 2 dvd distribution.

 

I've built several exchange server organisations from scratch, the last one I built in 2010, it's still running, only ever down for planned maintenance, and that's only due to MS lack of implementation for clustering the CAS role. (Exchange 2010)

However, I've seen some appauling installations, and had to use exchnage servers where outages were part and parcel of MS infrastructure. Truth is, the systems were build by idiots on a shoestring budget. done right, Exchange is extremely reliable.

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4 minutes ago, snaga said:

I've built several exchange server organisations from scratch, the last one I built in 2010, it's still running, only ever down for planned maintenance, and that's only due to MS lack of implementation for clustering the CAS role. (Exchange 2010)

However, I've seen some appauling installations, and had to use exchnage servers where outages were part and parcel of MS infrastructure. Truth is, the systems were build by idiots on a shoestring budget. done right, Exchange is extremely reliable.

Maybe.

Exchange has been aquiring complexity at a rapid clip.

Emailserver-ldap-calendar etc etc.

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14 minutes ago, spygirl said:

Maybe.

Exchange has been aquiring complexity at a rapid clip.

Emailserver-ldap-calendar etc etc.

I'm not familiar with versions past 2010, but I've built 5.5 > 2003 > 2007 & 2010 and every version has been better than the previous, 2010 is a fantastic version, introduced mailstore db's and db replication (DAGs)  a massive performance boost on previous versions, and far less need for storage IO.

AD integration & calandering are good things :)

Edited by snaga

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Just to update this..

I spent an hour at the weekend fixing the laptop by installing a new network card driver.

And then another hour working out how to completely disable the automated Windows 10 updates, resulting in the shutdown of the "Windows Update" service and the complete removal of two pieces of malware, "Windows 10 Update Facilitation Service" and "Windows Update Medic Service" both of which will re-enable Windows Update.

This requires a little bit of knowledge, the malware is very persistent and reinstalls itself on each restart until you employ a little brute-force and cunning :)

So now that should be stable. I've also migrated to LibreOffice and emClient - it's surprisingly easy.

And to finish off, migrated from Microsoft Edge to Firefox on all devices. That also seems to work really nicely and has some decent features that MS Edge doesn't have. And the sync bookmarks thing even works across devices.

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