My name is Brett, and I am a Microsoft Office holdout.
In fact, I am writing this blog in Word. Last week, I decided to write directly into our blogging system, but flew too close to the sun and lost an hour of work.
I know many people have moved from Office to Google Docs with the promise that the cloud will service all your software needs. And Google Docs gets a lot of things right. My kids rely on it to create reports and presentations. Using a word processor that you must install? That is so 1985.
Much of the work I have performed on my PC over the past 20 years required a program I installed on Windows. Today, most of those programs now run in my browser.
I used to install Quicken to manage my finances. Today, I use Mint.
I used to install Winamp to listen to my MP3 collection. Today, I use Google Play Music.
I used to install VLC Player to watch movies I…created! Today, I use Netflix, Hulu or HBO Go.
I used to install Eudora to manage my email. Today, I use GMAIL.
Several factors such as the spread of high speed internet and the proliferation of large-scale data centers have accelerated the transition from running programs locally to running them in the cloud. Many tasks that required a program running on Windows are now apps on my iPhone.
But that is not the case with PowerPoint, Excel, or Word.
Believe me, I have tried a few commercial and open source competitors. Most handle the basics. But none of them are as powerful or polished as the products from Microsoft.
I say this as someone who spends hours each day writing, analyzing charts and creating presentations. These tools are as important to me as a camera and lens are to a photographer.
Each program has one or two features that make it impossible to consider anything else. Excel still creates the best-looking charts and graphs. Word’s grammar features help me present a professional persona, and PowerPoint makes adding animations as simple as pressing a button. Microsoft has been perfecting these programs for 26 years.
Other programs may have similar features, but none of them are as implemented as well. That could change down the road, but for now, I will continue to pony up $99/year for Microsoft 365 Home.
What tasks do you perform that you refuse to move the cloud?