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Home » Applications, Featured

Microsoft Launches Office 365. Fails.

Submitted by on June 28, 2011 – 3:47 pm 7 Comments

To much fanfare Microsoft launched its first “cloud” implementation of the Office – the Office 365. Silly name, I know, but I still decided to give it a shot. Call me an optimist, but sometimes I feel there is a chance Microsoft will come out with a product more useful than Xbox 360. For the sake of brevity, let me just say that Office 365 was not that product. I can’t really tell you how good or bad it is, because I never got past the convoluted installation procedure. My many years of experience as a sysadmin did not help.

I am not a Microsoft hater, even though I am a Unix admin. I give credit where credit is due: Xbox 360 is one of my favorite toys. Also, I am running Windows 7 64-bit on one of my laptops and it has been reasonably kind to me. So, knowing how we all hate to read other people’s opinions, here is a series of screenshots documenting my Office 365 experience after I managed to download Microsoft Office at Software Depot. With a few brief comments.

You go to and – after creating an account – the first step is to install something called Microsoft Lync 2010. The Lync 2010 starts automatically after installation. You enter your sign-in address and it tells you to install some “additional software”. You click on that option and the browser hangs. I was using Firefox 5.0, which, according to Microsoft, is fully compatible with Office 365.


The second step is to “Setup and configure your office desktop”. The installer – setup_en.exe – complains that Lync is still running and must be closed before installation can continue. Then why was it started automatically? Clicking on the “X” button in the Lync window does not close the application, just minimizes it. Right-clicking on the Lync icon in the Windows toolbar and clicking “Close window” does not close it either, as you can see from the screenshots below. The only way to get rid of it is to kill it from the task manager. If you have trouble with this step, take a look at the detailed guidelines on:, many users have found troubleshooting with this to be quick and effective.


After I finally killed Lync, the Office 365 setup continued, but in the middle of the installation spit out this error:


I clicked “Cancel” and the setup… continued. There were a couple of interesting conditions in the service agreement. First, the supposedly “cloud” Office 365 is still only being licensed for one computer. Second, Microsoft’s liability for any loss of data or productivity was limited to the cost of Taco Bell’s nachos Bell Grande. And a coke. Understandably, Microsoft is not entirely certain about reliability of their “cloud” service, but limiting liability to five bucks? Although, in rupees this probably looks more impressive.


In the end, only one of four required components of the Office 365 installed successfully: the Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant. At least I could sign in…


Or maybe not…


On the positive note, uninstalling this disaster was easy: just get rid of Lync and the sign-in “assistant”. And, this being Windows and all, a reboot is required.

So there you go: another quality product from the secret labs of Steve Ballmer. I wonder if I could have used Office 365 to send an email to my broker, telling him to buy more Google stock… BTW if you need cheap microsoft office download at SK.

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  • sueska says:

    Sadly my experience was similar to yours, was also using a Win 7 64 bit laptop. I was using IE 9 however. Had to reinstall twice to get it to sort of work. Initially got the same “this program may not have installed correctly” error message that you did.
    It took multiple login attempts (each taking several minutes) to connect to the cloud. Got the same “cannot sign in” error message you did. Having to repeat actions multiple times made me feel like I was stuck in that Bill Murray movie “Ground Hog Day” After several attempts I was able to create a Word document, but could only type one word before the application hung. Was able to open an existing Excel spreadheat using Office 365 without problem, but editing it was extremely slow.
    Uninstall went ok, but I had to also use my restore point to fix a few things left behind.
    Thanks for your good article and for the documentation of your steps.
    I have an AA in Unix Admin, also am not a MS hater but am disappointed in this product so far.

  • The Villain says:

    Microsoft office has gone wrong on my computer and there are some important messages on there that I need before I reinstall the software. I am running Windows XP and would like to know where the messages would be stored on the hard drive.

  • Flash Funk says:

    I need to reinstall windows. The issue is that I want to keep my microsoft word and be able to have it when I reinstall windows. But I do not have my Microsoft word product key on me. Is there a way to view my key through microsoft word itself? My laptop came with a trial version and I got the product key from a friend.

  • Franklin Bluth says:

    How does microsoft help others / Does it give money to cause. If so who and how.

  • veemodz says:

    I am trying to log into my microsoft outlook account on a computer other than where it was created.

  • stephen m says:

    I had a free trial of microsoft expression web 2 for class, but it has expired so now I’m trying to buy the software. I looked on the microsoft website, but I can only find where they’re selling the newest version, microsoft expression web 3. I’m wondering if there’s much of a difference between the two and if I should go ahead and buy the M. E. Web 3.
    Any suggestions?

  • Anny says:

    I have switched carriers from Gateway which Microsoft uses. I’ve e-mailed them but they continue to use Gateway’s system which is corrupt.

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