• eee posted an update 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    Micros**t has really pissed me off.

    I’ve got Home & Student Office 16; i.e. the basic version (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One-note), but I’m doing some professional work producing an Excel “tool” for someone. It’s reasonably complicated and I found the TEXTJOIN function which really helps with what I’m doing.

    I come down this morning to continue development and the TEXTJOIN function has gone – no longer there, the string TEXTJOIN is no longer recognised as a function. Nor is CONCAT (the “replacement” for CONCATENATE).

    I do some web-searching and find that these functions (plus another 4) are only currently available if you’ve got an Office 365 subscription and you’ve updated recently enough. It’s not meant to be rolled out to other versions of Office (yet) unless you pay. Although MS’s documentation doesn’t say that, it’s only if you find the relevant threads that you find out what’s going on.

    Now I’ve no problem with extra features only being available if you’ve got a subscription, but WTF is going on with Microsoft giving me features (either with the original purchase or a subsequent update) and then removing them with a subsequent auto-update.

    It stinks, it feels like they’ve stolen something from me. I am seriously pissed off.

    Rant over.

    Anyone else had similar experiences (keep it to Micros**t please)?

    • Get the entire Office suite; full, professional versions, via their home use programme, for £10…

      https://www.microsofthup.com/hupuk/home.aspx?country_id=GB

    • It’s annoying but it’s reasonably unoriginal “feature advertising”. A bit like how (and I know I am talking about something from 10+ years ago here) you get only five opportunities to play a non-Region-2-encoded DVD on a lot of laptop players/apps (which is five more that you would get on a non-multi-region dedicated DVD player hooked up to your telly!)

      • Thing is it wasn’t advertised, their documentation/help etc just says it’s there, nothing about giving it to you and then taking away.

        I’ve never really like MS, but this is a now low (for me at least).

    • > I’ve got Home & Student Office 16, but I’m doing some professional work

      > It stinks, it feels like I’ve stolen something.

      See what some simple editing has done there?

      • Don’t know whether you’re being funny or serious.

        If funny, then nice one

        If serious, then get real, you’re just playing with semantics. It’s a kosher version of office with a full version of the bits of Office I need. Why would I pay extra for bits I don’t need, just so that it can have a slightly different name?

        • Take a look at the licence agreement. It will say “The software is not licensed for use in any commercial, non-profit, or revenue generating business activities.”, or similar.

    • Have you tried just using “&” it’s a bit of a long shot but it might still be there as in (A2)&(B6) is concatenate, but in shorthand.

      • I’ve got a number of cells with text that I want to concatenate with a delimiter but excluding blank cells. Textjoin does the job with no need for extra logic.

        Eg; an address over several cells converted to a single string with commas.

        Concatenate function is still available.

    • Whatever you’re doing, I’m almost completely sure you don’t want to be doing it in excel.

      Export to .csv and it’ll be a ten minute job in Python.

      I’ve seen many programs written in spreadsheets where there are hard to spot bugs and/or nobody has a clue how they work any more.

      • for client maintainability, I’m trying to do it all with formulas. Although I of course can’t guarantee it to be bug free, I do clearly document what I’ve done so that anyone with reasonable Excel skills could follow what I’ve done.

        I’m sure there are more elegant ways of doing all that I’m providing but not sure that would fit all of the client’s requirements.

    • How many cells are you looking to join?

      a bit of a faff I know but could you do it with an IF and some “,” and &s

      • That’s what I think I’m going to have to do, would have been nice to avoid it though. Becomes rather long because it’s got indirect in it.

    • “WTF is going on with Microsoft giving me features (either with the original purchase or a subsequent update) and then removing them with a subsequent auto-update”

      I sympathize, but you bought a license to use a product, and part of the deal is that Microsoft gets to update that product from time to time. If you’d actually bought the Office product itself then I could understand your complaint, but Microsoft doesn’t sell software, only licenses to use software.

      “only currently available if you’ve got an Office 365 subscription and you’ve updated recently enough”

      So just get an Office 365 Subscription. Its about a tenner a month and you get the full product for use on four PCs plus mobile devices and web apps, and the first month is free. It’s good value. As others have said, you shouldn’t be using a student edition for professional work because (a) its unprofessional and cheap, and (b) it’s not appropriate for the license you bought. I get that MS is big and rolling in money, but they have employees to pay and new products to develop.

      I develop software for a living*. I only get to feed and clothe my children (and go climbing) because people pay for stuff. So I care about things like this. If you want stuff for free then try Libre Office (make a donation) or Google’s ad-supported office products.

      And whats with the “Micros**t” thing? Sticking it to the man?

      (*I don’t work for Microsoft)