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Microsoft Admits OpenOffice.org Is a Contender

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the first-you-ignore-them dept.

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ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "Microsoft has unwittingly admitted that OpenOffice.org is a rival, by launching a three-minute video of customers explaining why they switched to Microsoft Office from OpenOffice.org. Glyn Moody writes: 'You don't compare a rival's product with your own if it is not comparable. And you don't make this kind of attack video unless you are really, really worried about the growing success of a competitor. [Microsoft] has now clearly announced that OpenOffice.org is a serious rival to Microsoft Office, and should be seriously considered by anyone using the latter.'"

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I predict more are going to jump ship from Microso (5, Interesting)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892170)

There is the price, but then there is the horrible Ribbon interface. I have yet to meet someone IRL who *really* likes it. I recently installed Microsoft Office 2010 to recover emails from a corrupted system (Needed to open PST files, copied the mails to an IMAP server. No more Office needed... That what Trial Versions are great for!). Frankly, it comes over even more toyish, more "Please treat me as a dumb user". It's aggravating.

Interestingly, when installing 2010, it asked me whether I wanted to enable OpenDocument formats. I was torougly surprised by that. That's another admittance of Microsoft that OpenOffice is a treath.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892242)

Interestingly, when installing 2010, it asked me whether I wanted to enable OpenDocument formats. I was torougly surprised by that. That's another admittance of Microsoft that OpenOffice is a treath.

It's better to support the format and keep users on your software than not support it and potentially risk losing them.

One reason I haven't switched is that I hate learning new software (as do most users), and I've never directly paid for an Office license, instead having it pre-installed or received through a MSDNAA.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892282)

Directly paid or indirectly paid, you still paid.

I've never paid for an Office license period thanks to OpenOffice and it's predecessors (StarOffice, etc).

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892830)

Not if your company pays for it or if you write it off as a business expense.

Plus there is one important part of MS Office that neither OpenOffice nor any other software in existence has matched. OneNote. Yes, I've tried stuff like Evernote, but it's all crap compared to OneNote.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892296)

You'll be happy to know then that OO.o is pretty much about as exact a copy you can get of the Office 2003 interface... at least AFAI can tell, never used 2003 much.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (3, Funny)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892392)

you'll be happy to know that riding a motorcycle is about as close as you can come to riding a kids trycicle.. at least AFAI can tell, never had a trycicle as a kid..

but yeah, the step from office 2k/2k3 to OO is much smaller then to the new ribbon shit in 2k7

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892408)

The basic presentation is, though the Tools --> Options screen isn't quite set up the same way. Customizing the toolbars is also kind of a pain compared to the MS product (I thought the add button, move up/down interface had gone away around 2002?).

There's also some minor annoyances with OOo that bug me enough to not really switch from 2003:
* No "draw borders" functionality in the spreadsheet program (and the addon/plugin kinda sucks). Doing cell borders is a pain in OOo but very easy in Excel.
* The big purple lightbulb box that pops up all the time. It's not as bad as Clippy (which is the first thing I disable after turning off "automatically highlight entire word" and enabling "always show full menus"), but still bothersome.
* Asking me every single time whether I want to delete everything in the cell, or just the formula, or the formatting, or...

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892412)

Oh boy could I talk about this, since I'm just finished converting our ODF files to OOXML. A year or so ago I recommended a move to ODF/OpenOffice, being one to generally support open standards and open source, and it seemed like a good fit since we have a multi-platform office.

The problem is, OpenOffice can't even stay consistent with ITSELF between saving a file and opening it on the same machine. Don't even get started into the irritating minor-but-unacceptable differences in a file between going from Mac and PC. The one time we opened and saved a document in Linux OpenOffice it screwed it up so bad that the file was unusable. But even on ONE platform, page breaks would move around, images would move in front of callouts, sometimes callouts would move to the very beginning of the doucment, and, worst of all, occasionally images would go missing from files. These are large files that we frequently send to print. It's completley unacceptable that we check every page before sending it to the printer.

And yet, on the forums that was about the extent of the advice that I got. Instead of help fixing the problem, I got recommendations to change the way the documetns were laid out that would have been impossible with our formatting needs. Any real help I tried to get was shot down by the, "I can't easily recreate it so I'm not going to fix it or try to figure out what's causing the problem for you.

OpenOffice could be a shining beacon for the open source community. But it really just sucks.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892786)

Sounds like astroturfer bullshit to me. I've used complex documents on mac, windows and linux for years with no problems going between them.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (5, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892276)

Funny, I have yet to find anyone (except me...as I just hate it) in my workplace (research institute) who does not like the new ribbon interface.

Frankly, it comes over even more toyish, more "Please treat me as a dumb user". It's aggravating.

Well... that might be for your self aggravating ego; for the majority of users it means an interface that gets out of their way.

quoting from TFA:

After doing a little digging, we found that these quotes are actually from case studies and press articles from the last four years,

What I would really like to hear is equivalent quotes of companies who successfully migrated from MS Office to OO.o. Is there any? (no, not /. pseudonym-"in my office"-anecdotes, but real company names)

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (3, Insightful)

mdda (462765) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892448)

But for a 'Power User' that uses the keyboard shortcuts, one has to remember the 2003 menu layout and type away blindly. The idea that the ribbon makes things easier for hard-core Excel is laughable.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892750)

For the skeptics:

alt d,p,r,f - pivot chart
alt d,p,f - pivot table
alt d,f,a,o,r,t - filter unique, type the top cell to copy to after this sequence and cells must have a header row
alt w,n,w,a - tile two windows of the same workbook (Excel)
alt w,a,t - tile windows
alt o,c,h - hide column
alt o,h,h - hide sheet
alt o,h,u - unhide sheet
alt o,c,u - unhide column (select around the missing column first)

select some text then alt o,p,n,down,down, - change the paragraph format to double spaced (Word)
I've done far too much Office.

btw, Office 2007 breaks some 2003 keyboard shortcuts too - specifically freeze panes takes an extra F.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892476)

Funny, I have yet to find anyone (except me...as I just hate it) in my workplace (research institute) who does not like the new ribbon interface.

Just make sure that the people who say they like ribbon UI actually use MSOffice as anything else but Notepad replacement.

I was totally oblivious to the upgrade of MSO in my company - as I use for my needs OO.o anyway. Even compared to the older versions, for technical documentation latter is superior (after disabling all the annoyances, obviously). When it comes to the official internal documents (and internal Wiki may note be used) I still have to go with MSO.

It pain me every time I sit with others writing/correcting a document to wait for them to walk through the whole ribbon thing to find an option or a button. Before they had to simply move mouse over the toolbar and read the tool-tips.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892288)

OpenDocument !== OpenOffice

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (3, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892304)

I have yet to meet someone IRL who *really* likes it.

Perhaps this is a result of your area of work, or the place work / study etc?

I know some people who don't like the ribbon, the vast majority have a clear preference for it. Obviously neither of our anecdotal observations prove anything on a large scale. I'm surprised that you've managed to avoid fraternising with anyone of a dissenting opinion in, what, 4 years?

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892310)

Yes there is the price and the ribbon, and if anything office 2007 (not sure of 2010) seems to make it harder to do interesting things with my docs. I'd pay $100 for Word/Excel 2003 over OO.org (free), but I'm not sure I'd pay even $0.02 for 2007 or 2010 over OO.org.

Still... In my experience, it beats OO.org. MSO crashes less (I really haven't had it crash on several computers in my normal use, OO crases maybe once every few months - a lot better than it was early in the 2000s, in terms of times of use, I use MSO more). I can't seem to get OO.org to keep margins formatted properly, and I prefer the text rendering on MSO, although fairly recently, OO.org has improved that a lot.

Comparing 2003 to OO.org, since on any machine I can, I don't upgrade to 2007+, I would have to say, I think handling tables in formatted text documents, is quite a bit easier/more intuitive.

My overall view?
Word 2003 > Current OO.org ~= Word 2007

Re: Fixing the False Choice in Ribbon discussions (4, Informative)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892394)

It's worth skipping my mod points for this issue. I'll reply to you out of the 5 possible posts that are relevant.

I hate the Ribbon. But I banked on Rule ____ of the net that says if there's a purpose for someone's potential small project, it has better than even odds of existing.

Classic Menu for Office

http://www.addintools.com/ [addintools.com]

It's a plugin for Office that puts mostly similar menus back.

So the comparison becomes:
A: Office 2007 (or 2010?) with Old Menus
vs
LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org / branding squabbles with Oracle)

Re: Fixing the False Choice in Ribbon discussions (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892480)

Is it possible to open 2 different Powerpoint presentations in two different windows in Office 2007 or 2010?

This is one of my main frustrations in Office 2003.

The other is the stupid Word formatting preventing you to set a paragraph style in the paragraph after a page-break without said page-break having the same style (thus, if want a "Heading" after a page-break I need to leave an extra paragraph mark to prevent the page-break appearing in my Table of Contents).

Of course, the last time I used OpenOffice Org I found a lot of similar (but worse) small details (paper cuts) that prevented me from using it. The only thing I now use is Open Office draw.

Oh and btw I hope that now that they are changin OO.o to LibreOffice they take the time to separate the huge beast into smaller programs (no need to load all the OO shit to use only Impress)

Re: Fixing the False Choice in Ribbon discussions (2, Informative)

gmueckl (950314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892626)

Powerpoint 2007 is horrible WRT having presentations open side-by-side. It's possible, though. The thing is: Unlike the other Office 2007 programs, Powerpoint is still MDI, with the inner window buttons hidden at first. Go to the View ribbon and the look at the "Window" section. These are your standard MDI window commands: arrange, cascade... use them to make the inner windows actually visible as such. Once you do that, you even get inner window buttons in the top right corner of the ribbon once you maximize one of these windows again.

Re: Fixing the False Choice in Ribbon discussions (1)

shadowthunder (1921564) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892766)

Yes, I've opened two different presentations in PowerPoint, spreadsheets in Excel, and documents in Word in multiple windows for viewing side-by-side.

Re: Fixing the False Choice in Ribbon discussions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892514)

That does look great. It's the "classic" option that Microsoft itself should have had included with MS Office 2010.

So, for an extra $45 USD (the price for converting all of MS Office), I can get the standard UI of ... the copy of MS Office 2003 that I already have.

Maybe I'm crazy, but it's a lot cheaper and simpler to: A) not upgrade to the most recent version of MS Office, or B) install OpenOffice and permanently get off the MS Office upgrade merry-go-round.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892440)

Odd - I love the thinking behind the ribbon UI.
It's a modal editor, which makes me feel more at home when I come to it from Vim.
Instead of a monolithic editor with thousands of options across many mindsets at any given time, I have a simplified (yet fully functional) subset, classified by user modes.
I'm hoping some of the OpenOffice mockups I have seen around that utilize this mindset come into fruition as an option.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (5, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892460)

Thanks to the Ribbon interface I spend much more time in the Microsoft Office products. It has never been easier to search for the tools that I've been using for over 10 years thanks to the new Ribbon interface. I just keep selecting tabs until I find the thing I was looking for. And it only took me half an hour to figure out what the Office Button was and that it was hiding operations like save as and print preview.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (2, Interesting)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892556)

I really like the ribbon. It's an improvement over the combination of toolbars and menus. I can seem to be able to find things more quickly. OpenOffice on the other hand looks and feels like Word for Windows 2, with all its problems.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892584)

I like the ribbon interface. It took some time getting used to it, but now I don't want to go back. We've even developed a couple of custom applications at work and used a ribbon interface and the users love it.

Please turn your spellchecker on. ;)

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892692)

I have yet to meet someone IRL who *really* likes it.

Because we all know that your subjective anecdotes comprise the entire userbase of MS Office, right? It's funny that you claim that so many people hate it yet the entire foundation behind the ribbon was based on feedback from users during usability and UI tests.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892702)

Well, the old interface (of Word, specifically) encourages bad usage. People would choose fonts of various sizes instead of using styles, which makes working with the documents in an actual publishing setting a fucking nightmare. The new one is a lot easier to use properly, and it's much more obvious how. Just like OpenOffice, in fact, but it goes one step further and sorts the various features so that they can be readily accessible without making a convoluted and cluttered interface.

Objectively, it's simply better than the old one. If you prefer the old one, well, you were probably not using it correctly anyway.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (1)

jernejk (984031) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892808)

Ribbons look good, but are a pain to use.

Re:I predict more are going to jump ship from Micr (5, Insightful)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892850)

Let's be brutally honest here at the expense of karma. The ribbon was created to accommodate the growing population of MS office users who do not have the mental capacity, focus, or experience to utilize the existing menu structure that has been used on all substantial GUI based computer programs for 15+ years. It was preceded by a toolbox panel in the OS X versions of Office which was actually useful since it allowed quick access to basic formatting options but also kept the pull-down menu interface intact for the more advanced commands. But MS actually decreased their program's functionality and efficiency with the ribbon.

Very few who were actually competent in the advanced Office features prior to the ribbon liked the change, because it meant that they had to go hunt for options that they knew used to exist. People who were never very familiar with Office loved it, because there were no large menus to get lost in. MS is happy because now your grandmother can probably work out how to use Office and you still will (unhappily) pay for it as well.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that MS is willing to whore themselves out to the lowest common denominator. Office is no longer specialized software... it's for the masses. However, if you want to write a 5 page memo without images or plot a few points on a graph, it allows you to do that with little initial setup. But if you want to write a 300 page Ph.D. thesis or work with an array of more than 65K points, you'll need to explore other options... unless you like the M in S&M.

Old Success Stories (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892174)

Since the video is little more than quotes from people heralding the stark beauty of Microsoft products when compared to various open-source (and sometimes generic open-source) products, you might wonder where the quotes come from. They're old success stories, most of which are marketed as "Case Studies" on Microsoft.com.

I looked up the quotes in the video and apparently wasn't the only one to notice [techrights.org] . Taking the first three quotes your years are 2007 [microsoft.com] , 2009 [microsoft.com] and 2006 [microsoft.com] . Some of them are more recent than others but I get the feeling that Microsoft needs to dig further back to find quotes deriding open source. I've used OpenOffice.org for a very long time. In college (~2002) I even used StarOffice on the school's Sun machines. And OpenOffice.org used to have some really really shitty aspects. But a few years back, major revisions have made it a lot better. Enough to cause Microsoft to come up with new ideas for their Office Suite. And I'm forced to use MS Office at work and I'm okay with that. It's becoming a contender. And as "tech debt" or "IT debt" begins to be realized for Microsoft and what it did to our history of proprietary format documents, I think OpenOffice.org is only going to look better and better. Yes, there's some cost with OO.o but there's some cost with MS Office as well.

It doesn't always happen but sometimes open source catches up to and even surpasses proprietary software. I cannot say OO.o will pass MS Office but it has made up a lot of ground in the past 2-3 years. A good example of this is the Linux 2.6 kernel and its steadily growing stability and features compared to Windows that remained largely stagnant while this occurred.

With the serious changes to the interface of MS Office suites (not saying they're bad, they're just some of the most major updates I've seen from MS), I think now is going to be the hardest time for Microsoft to find current quotes from customers criticizing open source. Because flipping from MS Word 2007 to OO.o is probably going to be as difficult for users to adapt to as flipping from MS Word 2007 to MS Word 2010.

Re:Old Success Stories (5, Insightful)

Shoeler (180797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892396)

My problem with the Microsoft Office product line has always been a simple one. I don't want to pay for what they want me to pay for. Let's be honest - office is a VERY mature product line. I.E. there are a very very very tiny set of places that it can be innovated or changed. The recent MS office revisions strike me as revisions to justify the price, rather than revisions people want. The fact of the matter is that MS Office from 8 years ago does exactly what I as a scientific and engineering worker want, and now OO.o does it too - with MS's throwback interface of years ago that I prefer. I still stumble through the stupid ribbons.

TL;DR synopsis: MS changes to justify price. OO.o doesn't have to. Win.

Re:Old Success Stories (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892574)

Why are you upgrading if there is no reason to upgrade? This one still baffles me to no end.

Re:Old Success Stories (1)

scrib (1277042) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892888)

Because, mature as it is, they keep adding bells and whistles. Each new version comes out with some new capability, and some of the new capabilities have exploitable bugs. You have to keep up with the current patch levels to reduce your chances of getting pwned by opening a .DOC file. Eventually, Microsoft stops patching and supporting the old version that did everything you needed, but that old version still has security flaws.

You get stuck in a cycle of updating just so you have a version that is officially supported...

Re:Old Success Stories (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892676)

Microsoft found a way to make people switch to Office 2010: in Europe, they sell Office 2010 at 10 euros to the people working for companies using Office 2010.

This is a clever move to encourage people to switch to their latest products, and as usual, taking the money from companies.

Comparing (1, Insightful)

odies (1869886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892182)

Of course Microsoft knows OpenOffice, or for that matter any competing product is, well, a competing product. How does them releasing a video of their users comparing the products mean they're somehow extremely worried about it, or "losing" how this story makes it sound? Nice way to turn it around.

Re:Comparing (4, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892202)

I think TFS laid it on a bit thick, but it does have a point...if a company doesn't feel that another product similar to their own is a threat, they completely ignore it. Making a video with people talking about why they switched from the competitor's product is hardly the same as ignoring it.

Re:Comparing (3, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892380)

Can I remake this video with the names changed around ....It makes more sense that way

Familiar Interface : Yes OOO has that .. Office 2010 does not
Malformatted documents : Yes OOO to 2010 does that, whereas 2010 to OOO does not
Interoperability : OOO loads more formats the Office 2010
Expensive support : a) what support is needed for either, b) both seem equally expensive to me
etc ...

Re:Comparing (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892648)

Interoperability : OOO loads more formats the Office 2010

Just a little niggle here, but this is the kind of thing that F/OSS advocates bang on about while totally missing the point of the real world.

Nobody cares if OO.o will open ObscureFormat 2.1 (which was only ever used in one product, was last sold in 1992 and never even ran on anything more recent than Windows 3.x).

ObscureFormat 2.1 is the one that gets attention because some developer somewhere discovered some ancient document s/he wanted to open, and so wrote the code to import it. Which is great for that developer, but don't for one minute think of it as a selling point because it isn't.

What people care about is:

  • Does it open documents created in Office with little or no issue?
  • Can I save documents in a format that Fred down the street (who's already bought Office and isn't about to install something else, even if it is free) can open with little or no issue?

If the answer to either of these is no, they'll buy Office and damn the price. This is what helped get Microsoft a monopoly in the office products market, and it's what's kept users on the upgrade treadmill for fifteen years or more.

Re:Comparing (0, Troll)

pyster (670298) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892726)

You could, but then it wouldnt actually hold true. Openoffice is garbage.

LibreOffice (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892194)

Don't forget, guys... it's called LibreOffice now! [slashdot.org]

Re:LibreOffice (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892390)

Si!

License disk? We don't need no steenkeen license disk!

Ciao!

Viva La LibreOffice!!

Re:LibreOffice (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892720)

You can tell the name "LibreOffice" was chosen by several guys who communicated primarily via the internet. In the real world, it's very difficult to say "Libre" correctly without a Spanish accent, and I believe it's only going to continue to hinder the widespread acceptance of OO.o.

Except... (4, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892200)

Except that MS should focus on LibreOffice now... didn't they got the memo?

Or is it because they know Larry Ellison hates Microsoft...

Outlook? (0)

valnar (914809) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892214)

When OpenOffice has an Outlook equivalent, it will be a contender.

Re:Outlook? (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892484)

Outlook? There are tons of email programs, and Outlook is the very worst email client I've ever used. If you'd said PowerPoint or Excel you might have had a valid a point. But Outlook? That's a laugh!

I don't use Powerpoint Or OO's spreadsheet myself (no use for a spreadsheet at home), but I'm not even sure if OO has an equivalent to Powerpoint, and Excel is head and shoulders above Lotus or Quattro (I have to use all 3 spreadsheets at work). If OO has an equivalent to PP, someone please correct me.

Re:Outlook? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892706)

If OO has an equivalent to PP, someone please correct me.

It's called Impress. I've never used it (I don't do presentations), so I don't know how "equivalent" it is, but it is OpenOffice's presentation software.

Re:Outlook? (1)

crumbb (741868) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892820)

If you think Outlook is an email client, that might explain why you have no idea why there is no substitute. I've been waiting for 7 years for an open source replacement for Outlook and nothing has even come close.

Re:Outlook? (1)

valnar (914809) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892840)

Apparently you don't work at a corporation that needs it.

Re:Outlook? (2, Informative)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892568)

When OpenOffice has an Outlook equivalent, it will be a contender.

Outlook. Rivaled only by the PowerPoint in ruining productivity.

Pretty much the best M$Exchange client - and unfortunately pretty much the worst e-mail client. Ever.

Most recent problem I will never see in any other MUA: refusal to search mail box because it is not indexed by the Excahnge and Windows search (oops, why ever) isn't accessible.

Change names just as it's getting popular (4, Insightful)

sa666_666 (924613) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892224)

Of course, now that OpenOffice is finally becoming a contender in mindshare (as well as technically), they go and change the name, and potentially lose all brand recognition.

Re:Change names just as it's getting popular (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892338)

Blame Oracle. There's nothing the actual developers can do about that. Oracle owns the trademark.

Re:Change names just as it's getting popular (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892522)

Sun owned the trademark before, it didn't hinder development then. From what I can see, the LibreOffice movement is a fork by *some* of the OpenOffice.org developers (note the some...) and the Open Document Foundation, its not a rebranding at all, but rather an attempt to wrest control from one entity and place it with another.

Re:Change names just as it's getting popular (5, Interesting)

maztuhblastah (745586) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892690)

Sun owned the trademark before, it didn't hinder development then.

Oh yes, it absolutely did. Sun proved to be a major hinderance to the development process -- so much so, in fact, that a fork was created and actually became the go-to choice for some Linux distributions.

It was called go-oo [go-oo.org] , and if you've installed/used "OpenOffice" in Debian, Ubuntu, or a few other distros, you actually used Go-OO without realizing it.

Re:Change names just as it's getting popular (1)

bigrockpeltr (1752472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892496)

not like they had much of a choice IMO. Either lose reconition which can be fixed with some marketing or lose quality through stagnation which is much harder to fix.
If only they came up with a better name.

Re:Change names just as it's getting popular (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892510)

I don't know if it's going to go anywhere anyway. It seems more often then not, if I hear some random unsolicited comment in real life about OpenOffice, it's a negative one. Not from some form of software partisanship, but frustrations over problems with the software. The new name won't help.

Re:Change names just as it's getting popular (0, Troll)

pyster (670298) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892596)

A contender in it's own mind...

Re:Change names just as it's getting popular (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892852)

Indeed. I'd LOVE to love OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice, but.... they really suck from a UI, performance, and stability perspective. I have used OpenOffice.org every day for more than a year. Formerly, I was using MS Office 2003, and I hate the fact that this archaic version of MS Office is easier to use and more stable than the most recent versions of OOo.

Using OOo to work with files created in MS Office exposes various import problems. Working in OOo with large files is nearly impossible due to performance and stability problems. Doing basic tasks such as working with a document that has chapters and different text styles exposes UI problems and sometimes other issues related to maintaining the table of contents.

I expect/hope things will improve with LibreOffice...

Outlook (2, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892262)

Give me something to replace Outlook and I can start to kick MS Office out of our environment.

P.S: I always use open source whenever it covers most of my needs.

Re:Outlook (2, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892376)

Give me something to replace Outlook and I can start to kick MS Office out of our environment.

P.S: I always use open source whenever it covers most of my needs.

Mozilla Thunderbird. I use it at home and everything I have seen indicates that it will work as a MS Exchange client.

Re:Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892506)

It does, kind of. You can even get the Lightning plugin and get come calender functionality. But it still has no where near the abilities of Outlook when it comes to interfacing with the exchange server, seeing other people's public calendars, dealing with the various types of meeting invites exchange sends, and if you get up over a couple gigs of email Thunderbird starts to die a slow death. It's good for personal use, but for business it's not there yet.

A couple gigs of email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892722)

Good God, man! Ever heard of archiving? When things slow down at the end of December each year, I usually take a couple of hours one day to sort though email. I delete all old personal email that found its way to my work inbox, old mailing list emails, coworker "out sick today" emails, etc. Then, any email from 2 years ago gets sent to a separate folder, archived, and compressed. That way, my email client only has between 1-2 years of email it has to keep track of. If I absolutely need to access an email from more than 2 years ago, I uncompress and unarchive a folder from a previous year. In over 10 years, I've only had to do that once. If you're already archiving old email and you are still dealing with a couple of gigs of email, then you should "train" your coworkers to store large attachments on a server and just send you an email with a link to the file. I absolutely hate receiving a 25MB PowerPoint presentation as an email attachment. Who on Earth does that besides people who are not as familiar as they should be with the IT resources available to them?

Re:Outlook (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892678)

Thunderbird is a replacement for Outlook like Wordpad is a replacement for Microsoft Word.

Re:Outlook (3, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892754)

These days practically any e-mail client with a large user base will do:

Evolution
Kontact
Thunderbird
Apple Mail

Of course a real sysadmin would allow people to also get their mail through an open protocol like IMAP and not only the proprietary IMAP version. Same goes for the proprietary CalDAV and LDAP.

john gotti used to claim there was 'competition' (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892264)

the corepirate nazi holycost is increasing by the minute. you call this 'weather'?

continue to add immeasurable amounts of MISinformation, rhetoric & fluff, & there you have IT? that's US? thou shalt not... oh forget it. fake weather (censored?), fake money, fake god(s), what's next? seeing as we (have been told that) came from monkeys, the only possible clue we would have to anything being out of order, we would get from the weather. that, & all the monkeys tipping over/exploding around US.
the search continues;
google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=weather+manipulation

google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=bush+cheney+wolfowitz+rumsfeld+wmd+oil+freemason+blair+obama+weather+authors

meanwhile (as it may take a while longer to finish wrecking this place); the corepirate nazi illuminati (remember, (we have been told) we came from monkeys, & 'they' believe they DIDN'T), continues to demand that we learn to live on less/nothing while they continue to consume/waste/destroy immeasurable amounts of stuff/life, & feast on nubile virgins while worshipping themselves (& evile in general (baal to be exact)). they're always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their (slippery/slimy) 'platform' now. see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

never a better time to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere/planet (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

all the manuals say we're not to kill each other, & we're mandated to care for/about one another, before any other notion will succeed. one does not need to agree whois 'in charge' to grasp the possibility that there may be some assistance available to us, including from each other. there's also the question of frequent extreme 'distractions' preventing us from following the simple 'directions' we were given, along with everything we needed to accomplish our task. see you there?
boeing, boeing, gone.

Free advertising for OOo (and now LO) (4, Insightful)

inflex (123318) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892266)

For all the people who get exposed to this new video by what ever means, if they never heard of OpenOffice before they sure have now - thanks Microsoft :)

Yea right... (1)

vistapwns (1103935) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892278)

And if MS doesn't respond, it's because they're flustered and incapable of a proper response. If they do respond, they're desperate and scared and see the competitor as a 'threat.' Great is there any option, EVER, except MS is scared and on the run? While making record profits every year...

Oracle (4, Informative)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892280)

Now that OpenOffice is in the hands of a company which isn't being criminally mismanaged and which has a well-known vendetta against Microsoft, maybe this is out of valid fears for real competition. On the other hand, Microsoft has a way of waving Linux and other FLOSS projects around for misdirection whenever they need to conjure a competitor to refute claims of their monopoly. Microsoft "admitting" that OO is a competitor would be like North Korea "admitting" they have nukes in order to try and bum rice off of the west.

Re:Oracle (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892418)

Admitting to being wrong or that you have contenders is a large step to take.

Perhaps with some encouragement MS might be able to admit that Windows and Office are overpriced and a lower price plus opt-in paid-for support might be a better business model. Fewer people will bother with cracking and pirating software if is only costs $30 rather than $300. They could remove features and have different packs such as with Win 7 to create different pricing.

Re:Oracle (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892524)

They already do have different packaging versions of Office for different prices. See here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/buy/office-2010-which-suite-is-right-for-you-FX101825640.aspx [microsoft.com]

Additionally, you can buy Word or Excel individually if you really want just the one product. Many schools buy site licenses and provide full versions of software to their students. I still had my network login after I graduated in 2006, and went back a year or so later to visit some friends. While I was there, I helped myself to a full version of Office 2007 Enterprise Edition ;)

But honestly, price or no price, I feel like a lot of the complaints against OOo in the video are actually valid. I find it incredibly unpleasant to use. Document formatting always gets wonky, and the interface largely tends to be "confusingly similar" to Office to the point where I would look for things where I thought they might be, then find out they were not there but somewhere else. I don't know if this has gotten better recently or not, but it was just not "worth" being free when I already didn't have to pay for Office and didn't really pirate it, either.

I use iWork on my MBP and on my iMac at work (mostly just multiplexing SSH anyway) for when I have to write documentation for our product. I don't like the word processor as much as MS Word, but Keynote and Numbers are pretty sweet.

I actually think iWork is worth a lot more than the $75 or whatever I paid or my home copy, and I like that it's not trying to clone Office. OOo seems to want to be an Office clone and that's the problem. Honestly, that's the problem with a lot of FLOSS software today -- trying to being the cheap/free version of a proprietary product, and thus always living in the shadows.

As Lisa Simpson said on this week's episode, "Anything that's the something of the something isn't the anything of the anything."

Re:Oracle (1)

ospirata (565063) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892530)

As they say: There ain't no bad publicity. Tell bad stuff, but tell about me. Thanks Microsoft.

Or, plug the lesser of two competitors... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892294)

Alternate hypothesis - Microsoft is really worried about the competition that Google docs presents to the casual web-connected user to their own Live offerings; so distract from that threat by hyping the non-contender. Don't get me wrong, I like oOo a lot and have used it extensively, but for enterprises the difference between deploying Office and oOo is like... well, there isn't even effective deployment documentation for oOo.

Re:Or, plug the lesser of two competitors... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892434)

I think that your hypothesis has merit, in the sense that Google Docs is probably a bigger longterm threat(particularly to home user sales: once a corporation buys a bunch of sharepoint licenses, I suspect MS stops worrying); but I'm not sure that releasing this video will be much of a strike against Google Docs.

Google's Docs thrust seems to be coming in two directions: one is the casual user pitch, by subtly linking it to their other offerings("view as HTML" for PDF results in a google search is now called "quick view" and, once clicked, dumps you into Google Docs, rather than the old static HTML version. Similar linkages are to be found in Gmail and so forth). I suspect that this will be fairly effective, particularly since Google Docs(while it doesn't even try to go toe-to-toe with Office's feature list, has a few absolutely killer features for casual users: Anyone who isn't a gearhead or a cube drone with a good IT team has historically been without both document versioning and an offsite backup. Docs gives you both, for free, relatively intuitively). The sort of people who are brought in by this pitch probably won't even see this MS video, or know of its existence. They might be brought into Microsoft's "Live" camp by MS doing similar linking to Hotmail; but that pretty much depends on which email service they've been using for years now. The video might have more value against Google's second pitch direction, the "$COMPANY_AND_OR_STATE_ENTITY Has Gone Google" advertisements, which are explicitly aimed at getting organizations to switch. Here again, Microsoft is probably pretty safe from Google among their giant corporate customers, since(if you buy enough add-ons, server products, and IT support) you can already get all the features of Office, plus things like versioning, backup, and availability on any computer in an enterprise; but any company/organization that was seriously using OpenOffice is much more likely to not be wedded to Microsoft to nearly that extent. They could, easily enough, say "OpenOffice is kind of a hassle; but the sticker shock on a proper Office deployment is killing me. Hey, Google has something that costs about as much, per year, as I spend at starbucks in a month, and nothing to install. Interesting..."

Re:Or, plug the lesser of two competitors... (1)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892620)

This is exactly what I was thinking. Microsoft does this sort of thing all the time. They avoid drawing attention to something when it's "up and comming", and then after the real threat has subsided (MS Office has matured a level, and OO is going downward) they create the strawman.

FTFY (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892806)

... well, there isn't even effective deployment documentation for oOo.

Official OpenOffice Deployment Documentation

If you're using KDE:
'sudo apt-get install openoffice.org-kde'

If you're using Gnome:
'sudo apt-get install openoffice.org-gnome'

Glad I could help.

More videos to come (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892320)

At least:
- Linux
- Firefox and Chrome
- Thunderbird
- Postgresql and MySQL

Re:More videos to come (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892368)

I think the first half of the video was basically talking about how you have to actually pay *nix admins more money because its harder to fake being competent, and that by using MS products and hiring a bunch of mouse-clicking drones, you can pay them less and therefor save money you need to buy MS software. But I may have missed the point.

Re:More videos to come (2, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892518)

Sounds like the standard and ancient Microsoft attack on everything not-Windows. Actually, that is what this whole video sounds like -- a standard tactic that Microsoft has used for over a decade now.

Good. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892350)

This may be a clue to Microsoft that not everybody loves the ribbon. At least not madly enough to pay for it.

What is this Office of which you speak? (4, Interesting)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892406)

I'm not an open source zealot, don't use Linux, have no particular dislike for Microsoft, but Office hasn't really been on my radar for a long time. I used Word for years, but when I got a new computer a few years ago it didn't come with Office installed so I downloaded OpenOffice to see what it was like. Never went back -- there didn't seem to be any point. I'm sure there are many, many things that Microsoft Word, Excel etc can do that OpenOffice Writer, Calc etc can't do, but personally I've never hit that hurdle. Office may still be required for some business tasks, but for my own business and personal use, OpenOffice will do me fine. Thank you to the wonderful people that made it and released it for free!

90% of the people don't use 90% of the features (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892424)

Any coder who has profiled his/her code knows that a few lines, a few functions use most of the CPU time. Same way of all the features you find in an office suite, some 10% of it gets used very very heavily and another 20% of it would play spoiler in interoperability. Rest of the features are essentially bells and whistles meant to be used as bullet points in presentations made to top clients by the salesmen.

Typically Microsoft would keep messing with file formats, binary blobs dumped into the files, fonts/menus etc in every release to keep increasing the "spoiler" features and increase costs to OpenOffice and other competitors who are trying to keep up with the interoperability.

I have not seen any new feature in the last 5 years in MsOffice that is a must have feature or a killer feature. And most of the core functionality that could be saved and restored in Office97 format cleanly in MsOffice is done equally well in OpenOffice. Though it won the battle in getting OOXML certified as another "standard" format, the battle raised the visibility of interoperability issues and a few customers started actually separating "microsoft compatibility" from "interoperability". So they are setting the default save format is Office97 even on newer versions to keep their escape avenue open.

Another important strategic mistake it made was ignoring the web based office tools. Microsoft knew there were millions of pirated copies of MsOffice is being used everywhere. It turned a blind eye to it thinking, "these guys would never actually pay for an office suite. If we crackdown they might go to OpenOffice. So let us keep them in the tent, as a way to deny market share to the competition". When the web based office tools started coming out, they saw it as a pathetic little pipsqueak not comparable to the full power of a desktop Office tool. But it siphoned off a large portion of the bootleg users who were looking for a legal option to do simple editing without having to pay for a full price MsOffice suite. Now compatibility and interoperability with these web office tools is an issue and it is tying down Microsoft. It is not able to play the usual, "make enough changes to the file formats and the api and the look and feel and leave enough bugs in there to make everybody look bad compared to the defacto standard microsoft ".

Finally the software costs have soared. It used to cost 50$ for MsWord and 1900$ for a desk top in 1995. Now it is 100$ for a decent desktop and 300$ for MsOffice (more if you want these ultimate, professional versions). The hardware has become very powerful and a virtual machine running an WinXP 2005 image in a protected sandbox actually runs faster than the original machine it shipped with. People are recyling their old Microsoft Windows licenses and Office licenses using VMware.

I think Microsoft will still milk a few more billions of dollars from MsOffice. But it is not going to grow as fast as it did. If they suspend all new development on it and just milk it for profits, they might actually make more money than trying to add more bells whistles and hidden mines and bombs to thwart interoperability.

*creating* competition as risk control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892428)

Let's say we were M$, and we have over the years been beaten for holding monopolies. Let's say we had some inkling that a suite of M$Office monopoly were coming because a little birdy told us so. Mayhaps we should start painting OpenOffice as a contender so we can say use that to disprove M$Office as holding undue sway in the market place?

Has anyone noticed? Microsoft is dying (4, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892438)

Microsoft can be really proud of XBbx. It is a real success. But everything else they are doing is crumbling like a sinkhole under them.

Windows: Macs just climbed to 10% of US sales. That's a huge event, considering that no software vendor can consider losing one in ten of every sale. It means that even despite Windows still near-dominence, Macs are in some ways on equal footing with them. And then of course there's Linux, which continues to grow in mindshare and has the price that can't be beat. Not to mention the security compared to Windows. Plus the libre vs. dracon mindset.

IE: Internet Explorer is now losing ground like crazy to Firefox, not to mention Safari and Chrome. And it's no wonder. Anyone who ever used IE and then *anything else* would find that *anything else* is better in every way except for compatibility with retarded websites that never bothered to program for anything except IE. And have you noticed that those retarded websites have gone from very prevalent to almost nonexistent?

Office: See above story. Then there are things like iWork for the iPad which costs $10 per app. MS doesn't even comprehend that space.

Windows phones and tablets: Well, they're just coming out with these, so its hard to draw conclusions yet, but... they're just coming out with these?? Usually when Microsoft releases something because everyone else is doing it, they have a really hard time doing it at all well. May I draw your attention to the Zune?

Bing: How many of you use Bing? How many of you use Google? 'Nuff said.

IIS: Still nothing compared to Apache.

Exchange server: Still a contender, but the open source tools are very robust now, and the licensing for Exchange is punishingly expensive. If enterprise still wants to buy commercial products, then solutions like OS X Server cost a tiny fraction of Exchange for most of the functionality.

Then you may notice that we see story after story of Microsoft closing down projects which were going to take over the world and which seem to have died a slow and long-overdue death. Again... you gotta wonder how much longer they're going to wait before they give up on the Zune. I'll bet they are losing tons of money on it, but keep it alive just so they don't have to face the humiliation of shutting it down.

So what does Microsoft have going for them? Yeah, Xbox. And while PS3 has at least jumped on the Wii-controller bandwagon, XB seems to still be missing the boat. But maybe they'll catch up here. If I were MS, I would want to spin off Xbox as the one branch of the company that might survive.

Don't get me wrong. They're still a huge and very powerful company. But it seems like they can do no right anymore. How much longer can they keep investors interested in holding their stock?

Re:Has anyone noticed? Microsoft is dying (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892462)

Maybe they can do no right in your eyes but you refuse to look at the numbers anywhere it doesn't fit your cause. You're not doing a real analysis of what's going on in the market... you're just nit picking to make things look worse than what they are.

You should try politics. You'd fit in well there.

Small disagreement (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892592)

IE: Internet Explorer is now losing ground like crazy to Firefox, not to mention Safari and Chrome. And it's no wonder. Anyone who ever used IE and then *anything else* would find that *anything else* is better in every way except for compatibility with retarded websites that never bothered to program for anything except IE. And have you noticed that those retarded websites have gone from very prevalent to almost nonexistent?'

one serious notable exception-

Government websites: It's not worth the risk of using
  government websites designed to take end user information and file it with anything but IE

Re:Has anyone noticed? Microsoft is dying (2, Insightful)

InterGuru (50986) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892636)

  How much longer can they keep investors interested in holding their stock?

Not too much longer. Goldman has downgraded [theregister.co.uk] Microsoft's stock to neutral. From the article

Goldman said it now expected Redmond’s core business to be affected by a longer PC refresh cycle. The sting in the tail being that Microsoft, as Ballmer has recently – finally – acknowledged, can no longer rely on those products alone. Diversify or die is, perhaps, the simplistic message.

Having tried to use OpenOffice... (3, Informative)

mongoose(!no) (719125) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892452)

I've tried OpenOffice* several times. I'm still running MS Office 2004 on my Mac, and I've used MS Office 2007 at work. While Outlook has some stability issues, and people really need to learn that Excel isn't a substitute for a well programmed GUI when it comes to FORTRAN frontends, Microsoft Office still beats the pants off of OpenOffice. Being cheap and trying to be legal, I decided to install Open Office rather than upgrade my copy at home. It's just not the same. Open Office feels clunky. I know they can't copy the look and feel of MS Office, but that's not an excuse for not making things intuitive. On top of that, the compatibility with MS Office documents is really bad if you try any sort of formatting. In a world where MS Office is still king, that's just not acceptable. On it's own OpenOffice is alright, but in an environment where people are switching between MS Office and OpenOffice or working with people who use MS Office, it's just not good enough. I've mostly switched to TeX for typed documents and but I still open Excel 2004 at home when I need a spread sheet program, not OpenOffice. Maybe this video mean's MS is scared of OpenOffice, but MS Office still has the momentum to keep the lead for a long time.

*I'm going to keep calling it that, as that's the name on the splash screen when I load it.

What about Abiword, Gnumeric, etc? (1)

polemon (743631) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892454)

I remember what I've gone through, when working with documents, where compatibility to Microsoft Office is needed.
OO.o was not really an alternative, I've had the best results with Abiword, when using Word documents.

Is it realistic to search for a complete office suite like MS Office? Wouldn't it make more sense to collect different applications that perform in their task the best?
Like, Abiword is a contender to Word, Gnumeric to Excell, etc...

Re:What about Abiword, Gnumeric, etc? (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892564)

Is it realistic to search for a complete office suite like MS Office? Wouldn't it make more sense to collect different applications that perform in their task the best? Like, Abiword is a contender to Word, Gnumeric to Excell, etc...

Abiword and Gnumeric are jokes compared to their competition provided by the office suite previously known as OpenOffice. They both had great potential 5-10 years ago, too bad they haven't changed much since then.

Re:What about Abiword, Gnumeric, etc? (1)

realcoolguy425 (587426) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892758)

Abiword is seriously my default text editor of choice? WHY?
1. It's been around since I was in the later part of k-12, so I am used to it
2. It's saved my ass when I was stuck on the north shore and needed to write a paper (and I could only borrow a hotel computer with VERY slow dialup, the small download size seriously saved me)
3. It does not auto-number, auto-indent, auto-number bullets, or try to auto-help me constantly like the other office suites. --This is the big one for me.
4. Still has spell check and that's all eye want! (yes a joke there...)
5. Import/export filters are just as good as other programs.

Sure if the job calls for another tool I will switch, but 99.9% of .doc submitted files I write are made in Abiword.

Misleading (-1, Troll)

pyster (670298) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892482)

Um, MS is not saying openoffice is a contender; they are pointing out the reality that openoffice is complete garbage compared to MS office. I use open office at home for personal stuff, word processing and simple spreadsheets. It's slow, lacks features, and there is zero way anyone could exist in the 'real world' with it. And now the project has forked. As soon as I can get a sweet discount on the latest version of office i am going to convert everything over and not look back. The project had so much ope, but in the end they just produced something only an asshat could love.

The problem I have with this video is that it does not only attack openoffice, but open source as a whole. This was a mistake all around and will just piss some people off, while not causing FUD. There are plenty of open source projects that are great replacements for commercial software.

Microsoft DOES have a good point here.... (3, Interesting)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892504)

Look at the comments on the site where the video was linked to. Most of the comments were negative toward OO. However it seems that the biggest issues are compatibility (with M$), ease of use (complaints from people who had learned WP and SS apps on M$ Office), speed and support. Since the 'world standard' for WP files seems to be M$.doc format and this is always a moving target the compatibility complaint is real. Ease of use is an issue, and OO does need to improve in this area. Having more 'training' documentation, perhaps some YouTube videos for this would help. I don't know how much of OO is still built on java, but getting rid of this layer and re-writing EVERYTHING in some good HL language (C, C++, etc) would help with the speed issue. I'm guessing that the Java runtime layer is taking a godawfull time to initialize and suck up all the resources it needs. Finally there is support. There is decent on-line support for OO, but it's all over the place. You might have to google all afternoon to find the right URL to find answers to your questions. I don't know if you can buy OO support from Conical (Ubuntu), but there is an oportunitiy there for them to fill.

I use OO writer at home to write documents, and their spredsheet mostly to view excel files (which it does rather well, once I allow it to convert them to native format). I've had tons of problems with fixing format of documents imported from M$ word however. Once I get the format right on the screen it doesn't always print the same way. It's a WYSIAWYG problem. (What you see is ALMOST what you get). Mind you, OO (OK from now on LO) has promise and maybe now that it's been forked from Scum/Oriface it may improve as a true open source project. Gnu Cash took a while to get as good as it is, now it rivals the commerical product. Hopefully LO will improve to this point.

My biggest issue ... (2, Informative)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892774)

Is when I open and change an Office doc (Office XP) in OO and try to save it, I get the error message that I need to save in the OO format because I can't save the formatting in the original MS format.

OO must be able to save documents back into the original MS format if it wants to take market share from MS. When you get a document from a client, they want it back in an MS format - they're not going to open it up in OO just because you want to use it.

Macros: OO still has issues with MS' macros.

For my personal analysis, my OO/Linux box is wonderful to produce an end product (printed things or graphics for web pages), but if I have to share stuff with corp America, OO is not an option.

Why compare two products for different markets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892560)

It is a really old problem with this kind of comparisons: MSO aims medium and large size companies primarily, OO.o / LibreOffice targets SOHO. MSO has collaboration tools, OO.o / LO doesn't, so it is absolutely needless to compare these applications. If anybody wants to create a competition, use programs for the same market - in this case MSO and StarOffice. SO has similar functionalities as MSO, so compete MSO against SO, not OO.o / LO.

Need (1)

Iburnaga (1089755) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892586)

It'll be hard for MS Office to come up with something that would make someone want to change over or at least pay full price for MS Office. While I don't know if I could see college campuses and larger business places switching to Open Office I could see many small businesses switch. Even Google Docs is a contender against Microsoft for me personally. I just don't need everything these office suites suggest I need.

Nice Video. In more ways than one. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892608)

The Video itself actually is quite good. It goes head-to-head with OOo and banks on the prime benefits of MSO compared to OOo. Familiarity, existing macros, performance on Windows, wide-spread usage as an advantage in itself, cost of switching, etc. I've seen use cases where current Excel versions beat OOo Calc in terms of features and performance.

That all being said, the main point about MS Office that we all have had in the last 12 years is adressed aswell:
I'm sure nobody in his right mind here would object to using MSO if the reasons are sound. However, we musn't forget that the illegal practices of MS have cause entire generations of users to be brainwashed of the concept of word-processing and spreadsheet tools and instead have used the terms 'Word' and 'Excel' as synonyms for the former without even noticing. OpenOffice *and* this commercial have changed that. And that is a huge step forward in reparing the damage that was done by MS. Which in itself is a good thing.

All along I too am sure that in the long run open will win - as I've said 5 years ago allready [slashdot.org] . This ad shows we're still headed the right way.

Is OpenOffice.org really ready for the big leagues (1)

Cockatrice_hunter (1777856) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892684)

While I am a happy user of Openoffice.org and do recommend it for home users, I question whether or not it is ready for corporate deployment. The video, while obviously biased (and sort of unprofessional [slamming other products to make your own look good, really?]) does make some good points. Like it or not, the vast majority of people have grown up with Microsoft Office and any switch will incur efficiency costs due to the learning curve. In my view, OpenOffice.org was designed to be a 'home' alternative for Microsoft Office. For most users at home, especially those who use Microsoft Office almost exclusively for Word, OpenOffice.org is more than adequate. Excel, OneNote, and Access users might will usually find difficulties due to differences in equation writing etc.. Perhaps the ideal users for OpenOffice.org is the primary school, early secondary school students, whose main usage of Office suites are limited to document creation (eg, essays, papers, reports etc.). Those who dislike the compatibility issues may not realize that while Microsoft Office is the dominant software, this will always be an issue. Whenever a competitor comes close to realizing full compatibility they will introduce another 'upgraded' version of their document format. This will keep all others one step behind. Personally I believe that documents should be saved as HTML, but I don't really know what the real advantages of the .doc/.docx/.odt formats offer.

We already knew this before Microsoft said it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892718)

Personally I've seen many people migrate from M$ Office over to OpenOffice. Why? Cost alone is one huge factor. Microsoft Office IS good software, I admit. Well, except for Outlook that is. But OpenOffice offers a LOT and it's a free and straightforward suite of applications. Good good stuff here.

Oracle (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 4 years ago | (#33892792)

Obviously: when the oracle starts to offer total solutions form the database servers over the Fileservers to thin clients, all based on their own/former suns products an a little bit of open source, and support from one hand - hmmm what could possibly go wrong for MS?

But of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33892798)

I've wondered who at Microsoft has allowed some of the recent changes in their products. From moving the buttons around in IE, to removing the menus in Office. I just don't appreciate unnecessary change, especially when it decreases my productivity. We've had word processors and spreadsheets for decades. Why would I want to spend > $100 for a new word processor every couple of years? OO does what I need it to, although it has some limitations (ever try to use Calc with a large sheet?). For the majority of the things that I would need OO for, it does the job well.
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