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Office Packages

Users usually know the "Microsoft Office" with MS Word, MS Excel, Powerpoint (depending on the version), etc. as the "Office Package". However, the term "Office" rather expresses the functionality (word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, database,...), so that Office products of other companies or "Open Source" versions are also available. 

While MS Office is widely used, but can be purchased as a software product (discounted to Select conditions) e.g. in the university's software shop, OpenOffice/LibreOffice can be downloaded free of charge from the Internet. 

The other Office products are only used by the university in individual cases. 


With regard to MS Office, there are now more and more offers that update themselves via the MS Cloud or function as a pure online office (cf. description of MS Office). This product family, which is known as "Office 365", is viewed critically by the university. The close connection to Microsoft's servers (located in Dublin and Amsterdam) undermines the user's control over his data. The Office 365 services offered to the general public are fully monitored, scanned and evaluated by Microsoft. This is not compatible with data protection in NRW, Germany and the EU!

To the best of our knowledge, Microsoft has only one variant in which (presumably) data protection can be complied with in accordance with the law, but this requires the complete management of the Office 365 (for Business) instance by the University of Bonn. However, there are no resources available for this management in the HRZ and it is not foreseeable whether the university management will approve the corresponding resources.

Most universities that have ventured into the Office365 cloud offer to use it for private purposes only. For legal reasons, use for official purposes is currently completely rejected. 

In general: the research data of a university should by no means be stored on uncontrollable servers! But where is the line between "uncritical" use and critical use? Who thinks of the fact that one letter may be uncritical, but in the next text online information comes close to revealing secrets? Our recommendation: Avoid - as long as possible - the use of online services and online storage space, for all your documents! the same applies to all other services, such as Dropbox, etc.!


Find out which Office package (in which version) is used in your environment and for your contacts with whom you have to work on shared documents. Sometimes it is important to be able to ask for help and exchange files. Conversions between different versions and products are usually a problem. 

And for reasons of data protection, among other things, do not use the "Online Office" offers of the various companies. Because then your data (with possibly sensitive information) will be somewhere on the Internet without control. 



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