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Microsoft tries to deflect attention away from OpenOffice.org

Microsoft is doing its best to drum up business for its upcoming Office 2007 productivity suite. Office 2007 promises to be a major money maker for the company and the company is trying its best to draw down attention to its free rival.

"The truth is though that Open Office.org is really designed to solve the problems that Microsoft focused on 10 years ago when the model was an individual user working at their individual PC. The world and Microsoft software has grown way beyond that to make it very easy to do what used to be very hard things...Essentially, Open Office is fine if you have very limited needs because it was really designed around what Microsoft Office products were designed around 10 years ago,” said Alan Yates, business strategy general manager for the Information Worker Group at Microsoft.

Microsoft is right that the market has moved on in the past 10 years. For many businesses, Microsoft Office remains the best option out there and Office 2007 will likely offer vast improvements in manageability and productivity. But for many users out there that just want to create a document or spreadsheet and be done with it, OpenOffice.org is hard to pass up.





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Yadda yadda
By Merglet on 3/6/2006 8:02:11 AM , Rating: 1
"The truth is though that Open Office.org is really designed to solve the problems that Microsoft focused on 10 years ago ... " Do they mean crashing in the middle of typing somthing? Because last I checked, Office still liked to crash sometimes, and openoffice *never* has for me. I guess MS is still working on that. Boolsheet I say.




RE: Yadda yadda
By TomZ on 3/6/2006 8:31:19 AM , Rating: 5
Good luck getting anywhere with the argument that Office is too buggy to be usable, and that one has to use OpenOffice to get real work done. That argument just doesn't hold any weight. There are 400 million Office users around the world, many in the business world, and they seem to be successful using Office.

People see what they want to see. If you don't like Office or Microsoft, and prefer OpenOffice, that is fine. But if you are convinced that OpenOffice is less buggy than Office, then you are just fooling yourself.


RE: Yadda yadda
By Merry on 3/6/2006 9:25:19 AM , Rating: 1
i have used openoffice 1 and version 2, it has never crashed. I recently had to install access xp, it crashes all the time. Where does that put your arguement that office is much more stable than openoffice then?


RE: Yadda yadda
By masher2 on 3/6/06, Rating: 0
RE: Yadda yadda
By Merry on 3/6/2006 10:41:12 AM , Rating: 2
no i'm not exaggerating, thats what it does. I m perfectly capable of installing and using access xp. The fact you compared me to a 10 year old is insulting in the extreme. The fact is I have used both open office and office and i find openoffice to be better.


RE: Yadda yadda
By masher2 on 3/6/06, Rating: 0
RE: Yadda yadda
By Bonrock on 3/6/2006 11:33:20 AM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised that there are still people out there who try to make the "Windows and Office suck because they crash all the time" argument. That might have held some water 10 years ago, but it's just a bunch of crap now. The fact is, if Windows 2000/XP or any recent version of Office is crashing on a regular basis, there is almost certainly something wrong with your hardware and/or drivers. Stop blaming Microsoft because you installed a new video card while your computer was plugged in and fried your motherboard in the process.


RE: Yadda yadda
By Merry on 3/6/2006 1:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fact is, if Windows 2000/XP or any recent version of Office is crashing on a regular basis, there is almost certainly something wrong with your hardware and/or drivers. Stop blaming Microsoft because you installed a new video card while your computer was plugged in and fried your motherboard in the process.


i suggest you dont comment on what you dont know

1) it is installed on a brand new laptop, barely 3 months old and it does crash fairly regualarly. i have looked for any reported issues and there arent any.
2)The next version of office is going to cost far beyond what i can afford. Its £50 over here for the latest ms word and to be honest I'd be hard pushed to find any difference between that version and the 2000 version, or probably openoffice.


RE: Yadda yadda
By masher2 on 3/6/2006 2:02:52 PM , Rating: 3
> "I'd be hard pushed to find any difference between that version and the 2000 version, or probably openoffice."

With a ridiculous comment like this, you just lost what little credibility you had remaining. Begone troll!


RE: Yadda yadda
By Merry on 3/6/2006 7:23:10 PM , Rating: 2
no, i just dont use all of the 'new' features on office or have the need too, dumbass


RE: Yadda yadda
By masher2 on 3/7/06, Rating: 0
RE: Yadda yadda
By da561 on 3/6/2006 9:47:22 AM , Rating: 2
c'mon I'm -not- a big fan of access xp, but it does not crash at all.


It's interesting
By Snuffalufagus on 3/6/2006 8:46:53 PM , Rating: 3
that everyone who posted here think's they are in the target market. It seems like there are also a lot of students here, and they are not in the target market. If the $10 cost for a student edition of any MS software is too much they need to rethink their current employment choice.

And until Oo has any sort of online collaborative capabilities it can't even be considered a competitor to Office, it's an electronic typewriter, much as WordPerfect was. A better comparison would be Notepad or WordPad as they would work equally as well for the needs of most people who are happy with Oo.




RE: It's interesting
By mindless1 on 3/6/2006 11:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, yes we ARE the target market. We, the technically inclined, are without question the larger % of the decision making process, not the end-users.


RE: It's interesting
By Snuffalufagus on 3/7/2006 1:17:02 AM , Rating: 2
Being so technically minded don't you find yourself most often using a compiler, doing your server admin work, or dropping cable rather than you sitting in front of a word processing app or spreadsheet?

Granted the tools are used, but far more often by the PMs, marketing groups, HR, and finance groups.


RE: It's interesting
By masher2 on 3/7/2006 8:28:38 AM , Rating: 2
> "Actually, yes we ARE the target market. We, the technically inclined, are without question the larger % of the decision making process, not the end-users. "

Rofl, go back and read what the original poster said. Then rethink your reply....you're embarrassing yourself.


RE: It's interesting
By wallijonn on 3/7/2006 3:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
[quote=Snuffalufugus]it's an electronic typewriter, much as WordPerfect was.[/quote]

Some of us die-hard Word Perfect devotees still think that WordPerfect was superior to MSWord. I can remember moving one character .5 to the side so that it printed correctly. (I consider WP to have been a type-setting type of software.)

At work we use MSO2003. (Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, or just "MOPE".) I had a few problems working with it since I was an MSO2000 user for the logest time. So any program that comes out, whether it be OO or MSO2003, chances are that the end user will end up having to learn all the intricacies involved.



RE: It's interesting
By Snuffalufagus on 3/7/2006 6:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with the older version of Word not being as good as WP when they were both the current offerings. I was being a bit sarcastic as I can hardly believe anyone other than a Linux fanboy would actually argue Oo is better than Office, but then it is likely that is all we have going on here.

I'm not positive that this is a point you were making, but new versions can definately be a pain to come up to speed with, but in the long run it is often worth it. I'm one of the worst with apps like Project and Access, I had to use them back in school, but the new versions have me a bit lost as I have not touched them in years. But for apps I use in my daily work I do take the time to investigate them and experiment with new features to see what can help me work more efficiently.

FWIW - Way way back in the day it sometimes took longer to set up a printer and deal with the file size limitations than it was to just use an electronic type-writer that was capable of corrections.


party like it's 1996
By Saist on 3/6/2006 5:56:57 PM , Rating: 1
All I can think of when I read Microsoft's side of the story is this : What are you smoking, and in how many countries is it illegal.

Let me see if I can explain this out... Lets take WordPerfect for DOS as an example. Despite being made for a late 80's operating system I used it to write school reports and documents all the way up till 2002. I actually hauled my old 386 laptop into class to show the teachers, then professors, exactly what it was I used to type with. Care to guess what many of them asked? Almost all of them asked how I could do formatting in something that old.

The fact is, the average user can only do so much with a word processor, and once you get to a certain point, all of the extra tools and utilities offered are meaningless to the vast majority of users out there.

That is the problem Microsoft has with comparing Microsoft Office to Open Office. The entire functionality that most people need has been in place for over 2 decades, and all of the whizzy new features Microsoft Offers are going to waste for the vast majority of buyers.

So, as I see it, Microsoft has to justify exactly why we should pay, once again, for 2 decades old technology.

And Microsoft can not do that.

All Microsoft can try to do is make it seem like they can offer something extra, over and beyond what users absolutely need, a value added service. The problem is, Open Office stands toe to toe with all of the extra value added features we may take for granted.

It's only when you get into the extremely high level, .0005% coporate word processing that Microsoft Office may offer functionality that Open Office doesn't have.

And if those people want to buy Microsoft Office, fine. They can pay, once again, for the same old technology.

And yes, if this post looks disjointed, I got called away several times while writing this to deal with Microsoft created problems. So yes, I'm bitter, and very biased.




RE: party like it's 1996
By masher2 on 3/6/2006 6:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
> I actually hauled my old 386 laptop into class to show the teachers,...Almost all of
> them asked how I could do formatting in something that old. ...
> The fact is, the average user can only do so much with a word processor..."


If you think that students typing school reports and other simple documents comprises the "average user" for Office, then we know whose smoking the illegal substances...and its not Microsoft.

Ever use any of the collaboration or coediting features in Office? Even know what they are? I didn't think so.




RE: party like it's 1996
By Merry on 3/6/2006 7:52:46 PM , Rating: 1
i think your on some type of half baked ego trip. The student is right, most people do not need shiny new features, hell if all i did was type notes then all i'd need is a 386 and i most definatly wouldnt need office, as is the case with most people.



RE: party like it's 1996
By masher2 on 3/6/2006 9:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't realize you knew "most" of the people in the world. I certainly don't...but the people I do know use many of the advanced collaboration features of Office.

If all you do is type notes, then yes the 386 and a ten-year old word processor is fine. But don't make the mistake of thinking the entire world has needs no more complex than you own.


RE: party like it's 1996
By mindless1 on 3/6/2006 11:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
Nor should you make the mistake of thinking most use collaboration features. You must not know many people if you have such a false impression of these features' popularity.


RE: party like it's 1996
By masher2 on 3/7/2006 8:27:41 AM , Rating: 2
In the corporate business world, most people use them.

For all the students and home users posting here-- you're not Office's target market.


Interface...
By Patrese on 3/6/2006 7:50:25 AM , Rating: 5
The main issue preventing most users them from using OpenOffice is interface-related, not feature-related. If they manage to create an interface that simulates or betters MS Office, feature wise they'd be just fine. Most people I know have given up OpenOffice beacuse they didn't want to waste time trying to find how to do stuff that can be done, but just not as easily as in MS Office...




RE: Interface...
By Josh7289 on 3/6/2006 7:53:23 AM , Rating: 3
You're exactly right. Even I have trouble sometimes trying to do something in OpenOffice.org that could be a bit easier in MS Office, but at the same time, I'm saving hundreds of dollars, so in the end, OpenOffice.org is a much better deal for me.


The quote from Microsoft's rep...
By SoylentG on 3/6/2006 9:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, so this guy who's representing Microsoft actually said "The world and Microsoft software has grown way beyond that to make it very easy to do what used to be very hard things..."

Am I the only one who read this and thought it was written by a 3rd grader? How about...

Our end-users' needs have shifted beyond basic features, and have begun focusing on simplification of complex tasks.

Maybe then we won't see that you got the job because your 2nd cousin is the VP of another department or something similar. I'm no writing ace, but I know bad writing when I see it...




By Griswold on 3/6/2006 10:00:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's called the language of FUD. The land of FUD is inhabited by such illustrious companies like Intel, Apple, Sony, Nvidia/ATi and of course Microsoft.


By lemonadesoda on 3/6/2006 12:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
You are missing the point.

The quote from the Microsoft representative is not directed to people like you or me who frequent these pages, know how to do web research, join bulletin boards, etc.

The comments are directed at Mrs Bloggs, who, while buying a PC for the first time at the department store, or while negotiating with her manager to "upgrade" her wordprocessor, will receive this sound-byte and will say to herself, "ooh, i heard about free software, but what will people think if they knew i was 10 years out of date!? Better buy it, and better dig my heels in about this one!"

You gotta remember, most marketing is NOT DIRECTED AT YOU, but at the consumer majority.

I personally think it is a very good, very clever, and well thought our marketing strategy.... PROOF, can you think of a better line - in plain english that doesnt require any technical knowledge of PCs - that would have a more emotive effect?


Features
By reiters on 3/7/2006 2:33:02 AM , Rating: 2
I feel that 90% of the bloat of almost all of MS products is due to the lack of new inovation. MS simply can't "live" on the money from the last version forever. They MUST release new versions so people have a reason to spend more money. I think they are scraping for any little feature they can come up with to call it a new version.

Biggest example: Windows ME
This total peice of crap should have been recalled. They added a VERY limited set of new feature and added TONS of bugs to the old Windows 98 and sold it to all the OEM for new system installs. I can't even imagine what the OEMs spent on support staff while that product was alive and kickin.

New Features = New Product Name
New Product Name = New Income

Simple as that. The new features don't have to be good or even work correctly...after all, they can fix them and call it a new vesion.

I am not a MS hater as a lot of techies are. I do however have many frustrations with much of their software. I have switched my company over to Linux about 80%. Linux is not without it's own frustrations, but at least when I figure out how to do something, it usually works without fail.




RE: Features
By kmmatney on 3/7/2006 2:44:21 AM , Rating: 2
I tried OpenOffice, but I had a hard time trying to do a simple things, like footnotes. The spreadsheet program did not seem to have a feature that is the equivalent to "text to Columns". I'd put Microsoft Office 97 (9 years old)ahead of OpenOffice at the moment.


RE: Features
By lemonadesoda on 3/8/2006 9:13:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think MS would say that was 10 years, not 9! LOL


The truth
By Griswold on 3/6/2006 8:53:16 AM , Rating: 3
You dont hunt sparrows with artillery. I dont even need most of what MS office offers, so why pay for stuff I dont need? Open Office is perfect for me.

Of course there are also people who need more and MS Office is for them as it is clearly the most feature rich office application suite in existence.




RE: The truth
By Pythias on 3/6/2006 9:21:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You dont hunt sparrows with artillery. I dont even need most of what MS office offers, so why pay for stuff I dont need? Open Office is perfect for me.


Exactly. Use the software thats right for you. Its a matter of personal choice and does not reflect on the character of the end user. What the hell is wrong with people today?





OOo - The students choice.
By MMilitia on 3/6/2006 11:35:50 AM , Rating: 1
As a student I use OOo on my laptop for taking notes in lectures and also writing up assignmnets. I used a whole range of Office versions before OOo and I honestly do not miss anything about Office. Well, one thing but i'll come to that later.

Probably the best thing about OOo (IMO) is the autocomplete functionality. Its allowed me to keep up with lecturer's terribly cluttered slide shows on many an occasion. Also the most obvious point; it's free. As I can barely afford food right now, free software is always welcome. Especially when it is as good as OOo.
However, it should be mentioned that Ms have a sceme which allows students to have free software, including XP Pro, Office, VB.NET and a few others. The one problem being, not a single person who signed up for these have recieved anything... yet(since the start of the acedemic year).

As I mentioned earlier, the one thing which I have yet to find in OOo is an automatic contents page feature like the one in Office. I'm sure its there somewhere but in a slighy more complicated form than "make contents page" or whatever the Office version is called.

Anywho back to the article; I don't think it is very professional of Ms to publically rubbish rival software and I always get annoyed at the tone of these things. They could
just as easily have said "While OOo is a feasable solution for some people, here at Ms we have been developing X etc "

The people they are really making the money from; large businesses, universities, schools, who are buying thousands of licences at a time are not going to be reading these things and saying to themselves "haha 10 years oh we are totally sticking with our good buddy Ms".




RE: OOo - The students choice.
By masher2 on 3/6/06, Rating: 0
RE: OOo - The students choice.
By bobsmith1492 on 3/6/2006 11:55:50 AM , Rating: 2
"Ms have a sceme which allows students to have free software, including XP Pro, Office, VB.NET and a few others. The one problem being, not a single person who signed up for these have recieved anything... yet(since the start of the acedemic year)."

Sorry, I downloaded several titles from MS and am planning on using the student exchange for a copy of XP Pro for my next computer (if and when...) - the program does work, and works great, no hassle or anything. You cannot download office, however.


RE: OOo - The students choice.
By MMilitia on 3/6/2006 12:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yah I never said I didn't work - just that it hasn't worked yet. Might be something to do with me living in England. :/


Why does Microsoft even bother?
By Kishkumen on 3/6/2006 1:24:34 PM , Rating: 3
It's a sad commentary on the state of affairs in the computer software industry when Microsoft has so thoroughly obliterated it's competition that it's primary rivals consist mainly of free software developed by volunteers . It's even more pathetic when, possibly out of sheer boredom, Microsoft has to descend from above to whip and belittle the smallest microbe that might offer any sort of alternative.




RE: Why does Microsoft even bother?
By TomZ on 3/6/2006 5:36:47 PM , Rating: 2
You're looking at this all wrong. Microsoft's goal is not to eliminate the work of these volunteers, or other volunteers. Microsoft's goal is to not lose current and future sales of its Office products.

Unfortunately, these offerings are competitive, and it is somewhat zero sum, and no win-win. But that's life.


Funny Story
By Spinne on 3/6/2006 9:46:02 AM , Rating: 2
The other night, my apartment mate and I had to print out small cheap labels for all our homebrew bottles. Now our label paper had 85 labels per page, but we have only 30-40 bottles of each type of homebrew. So we were trying to get Office to print out just the exact number of labels to save money (each sheet is a buck!!). Well, Office can't print out a certain number of labels. It does either the whole page or just one label.
Guess what we ended up using to print the labels.




RE: Funny Story
By ElFenix on 3/6/2006 9:54:04 AM , Rating: 2
i've managed to print half a sheet of labels before using word....


RE: Funny Story
By masher2 on 3/6/06, Rating: 0
MS is more or less right
By obeseotron on 3/6/2006 10:26:42 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using office for 15 years on pcs and macs, and other than MS Word 5.1 for the Mac, I can't recall an office-related crash. OpenOffice is wonderful for the price, it would even be worth it if they charged $50 or $70, but it really doesn't hold a candle to MS Office. OO.org doesn't have the fanciest corporate features of MS Office, doesn't always work with complicated MS Office documents used in many corporations, and takes longer to do simple things like start, open and save documents. For a home user or a very small business, OO.org is perfect because of the cost, but don't kid yourself into thinking it's actually better than MS Office.




RE: MS is more or less right
By mechBgon on 3/6/2006 10:35:57 AM , Rating: 2
And for the home user, Microsoft Works Suite is about $80, or you can get it OEM for a one-shot, one-computer use for under $50. Comes with Word 2002, spreadsheet, database, basic image editing, Encarta encyclopedia, Streets & Trips and I forget what else.


Microsoft and OpenOffice both have it wrong
By adammthompson on 3/6/2006 10:55:28 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft thinks that the more features they cram into a piece of software, the better, especially if they're useless, annoying features that are enabled by default and a hassle to disable. And OpenOffice is basically trying to copy Microsoft's approach but do it for free. I don’t want millions of features in an application, the vast majority of which I’ll never use. One of the few pieces of software I like is Firefox. It comes from the factory with almost no features, but there are gobs of extensions so you can give it just the features you want. If someone made a word processor and a spreadsheet like that, I’d pay money for them. As it is, I wouldn't pay a penny for MS Office, and I use OpenOffice because it’s free.




By mforce2 on 3/6/2006 8:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
I strongly recommend AbiWord , another Open Source word processor for Linux but which also works on Windows . I't got a more back to basics approach and I simply love it . It's not bloated like OO or M$ Office .


MSO2007
By wallijonn on 3/6/2006 1:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
Many people are living in the world of 1996 - MSOffice97. So while many businesses do have need for Acess, Powerpoint, Excel and the Front Page, if Microsoft really did care about the end user, as they seem to imply, then Microsoft Office 97, or at least MSWord97, should be included as part of the basic Winodws OS package, because many people have need of more than a basic word professor (WordPad, Notepad).

If MSO can be written so that MSWord97 is a basic package, then add on modules can be written for the Retail and Upgrade versions, since some of the compatibilitiy issues seem to stem from using MSO97 or MSO2000, which was probably written for W98 or W2K, running under WXP.

One would think that MSO2007 has a lot of DRM media protected plugins, whereby multi-media could be created by the end user. That may be a problem for users who will not upgrade to Vista. Conversely, there may be compatibility issues with older MSO versions which cannot take advantage of all the Vista fwatures.




RE: MSO2007
By masher2 on 3/6/2006 1:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
> " if Microsoft really did care about the end user, as they seem to imply, then Microsoft Office 97, or at least MSWord97, should be included as part of the basic Winodws OS package"

If Microsoft did that, they'd instantly be slapped with antitrust suits around the world, under the guise of "protecting the consumer".


By smitty3268 on 3/6/2006 2:23:28 PM , Rating: 4
I'd agree OOo is about equivalent to Office 2000. But what truly revolutionary features has MS added to Office since then, exactly? Sure, they've polished it a bit more every time they release it, but I don't see any truly compelling reason to upgrade.

It will be interesting to see what happens when 2007 comes out. Will all the people who don't like the different interface of OOo actually change to a completely new one from MS? Or will they decide they like the old one and try to stay with it in OOo if possible?




Why even bother?
By breethon on 3/6/2006 7:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
$5xx.00 vs. Free? Come on...no brainer unless you are slick willy gates with all that PHAT ca$h. Come on. To the average user, open office is a NO BRAINER. I wish I would have switched long before I did. I am now a OOo prophet, and I have converted my family. Wake up M$...I would rather buy an x1900xt radeon card and use Open office, than to feel like I just torched 5 big ones.




RE: Why even bother?
By Snuffalufagus on 3/7/2006 2:47:20 AM , Rating: 2
Free is great and all, but it is amazing how much people bitch about buying software apps or OSes but they have no problem buying an over-priced peice of hardware they can barely utilize. $500 video cards to run their free Oo or a $1200 SLI setup to run a game at faster fps than their eye can decern.


<----- Still using Office 97 on Windows 2000 Pro
By BadAcid on 3/6/2006 8:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
Guess what, thanks for making Age of Empires III not work online on Windows 2000 Pro, you just lost all future MS Games sales from me :/
I still use Office 97, and with the exception of a very small number of actually useful tweaks, there's nothing wrong with it. Everything on Office XP that's different just seems like bells and whistles. Windows XP was more convenient than Windows 2000, but again, I can do with 100-200$ in my pocket over a slightly less convenient interface.




By lemonadesoda on 3/8/2006 9:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
I thought all enthusiasts chose "classic desktop" in XP and Server 2003.

And you got that with win2K :-)

The only thing missing is the nice, cleaner, desktop icons. But you can change those too


changes?
By bxp24 on 3/7/2006 3:48:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm curious, what exactly are the changes over the past 10 years that Mr. Yates is referring to? I'd guess that the predominant Office scenario still involves individuals at individual workstations. Besides, a lot of users are probably running Office XP, which came out how many years ago? Anyone want to enlighten me?




RE: changes?
By lemonadesoda on 3/8/2006 9:19:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it all comes down to Outlook and OneNote.

Word and Excel have not really developed much. Maybe a few new WIZARDS and other bloat. But I can build any business spreadsheet under 97, and write any pretty letter or presentation under 97.

However, Outlook has really got a lot lot better. You cannot compare Outlook 2003 with Outlook 97 or 2000.

And given that business is about communication, then I think this counts.

The $500 is a lot of money for the private user. But for the corporation, its mot much for the productivity gains. Remember, $500 is less than the average weekly pay for office workers.

And that's probably how they come up with the price for a box of cardboard containing a CD.

I think M$ made a mistake with the new office and the "ribbons" unless there is also a classic view. Although possible "intuitive", it hogs more screen real estate, and makes the toolbar look a ral mess. It will take a lot of getting used to (lost productivity) and is certainly counter culture... I thought that "less was more" and that design focus is going the way of Apple ipods and not some overly messy and complex control system.


Open Office is not for me...
By stupid on 3/6/2006 11:02:11 AM , Rating: 2
I like the idea of a free or inexpensive office software package. But for me I prefer to stick with MS Office because I am currently trying to learn VBA for Excel. However, for most individual users, OO should be fine, unless you take home complex Excel spreadsheets from work.
A coule of friends thanked me a while ago for introducing this free package since they don't use any fancy Excel features.

Medium sized and large sized companies can ignore OO. For the typical individual OO is hard to beat.




Thanks MS. It's nice to know that...
By CZroe on 3/6/2006 11:39:23 AM , Rating: 1
Thanks Microsoft. It's nice to know that OOo is focsed on me and not some office cultures focus on collaboration. Did they forget that the majority of Office users are students and home users working on solo projects?

I've been using OOo all throughout school and though there are many frustrations regarding it's half-baked nature, MS just made me feel a whole lot better about it. At least they are focusing on me. :)




By masher2 on 3/6/2006 11:41:49 AM , Rating: 1
> "Did they forget that the majority of Office users are students and home users "

Quite probably because it isn't true. The vast majority of Office sales are to corporate users.


By tjr508 on 3/6/2006 1:22:18 PM , Rating: 2
Basically they are admiting that for 95% of computer users, openoffice is the best choice. And for the five percent that need more to buy their product.

I'd figure they should stick with keeping openoffice a secret instead of telling everyone that it is just fine for just about anything.

I was under the impression that about 90% of the people that purchased MS office didn't really know that any true alternative existed and simply purchased it because everyone else had it. Of couse some buy it for features, but even in the business world, i wouldn't think this would be a high number as most businesses aren't computer firms.




By mforce2 on 3/6/2006 9:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about colaboratice issues and such but I for one only really need a better WordPad . I think it's stupid to compare OO to Notepad or Wordpad , it's much more than that . Then again all I need is a software that can justify my text and that's about it . I also need it to work in Linux because I don't hang out is M$ Windows a lot.
I find OpenOffice and M$ Office are too bloated and have too many features which are totally useless for me .
I just use Abiword in Arch Linux and I'm happy with it . I sometimes use OpenOffice to open an excel table or a doc that doesn't work too well in AbiWord but that's about it .
But hey , everybody uses what works for them so if you like M$ stuff I'm happy for you just don't expect me to congratulate you guys for your choice .




By lemonadesoda on 3/29/2006 12:49:52 PM , Rating: 2
If OpenOffice.org was a non-contender, then Microsoft would feel the need to slag of the competition.

While perhaps not as good, M$ are obviously feeling the heat if they find it necesary to use these sorts of tactics.

Perhaps OpenOffice v2.0 is worth a revisit after all.

OpenOffice v2.0 + Outlook 2003, would probably suit our office needs 100%. And save a pretty penny.




Microsoft's selective memory
By javel on 3/6/2006 5:30:06 PM , Rating: 1
Was there an established worldwide standard for XML by 1996?
It's obvious micro$oft has a memory problem.

Another thing I've seen is employees aged 40+ touching a
keyboard for the first time, and they're introduced
to microsoft products by default. That's a good reason
why MS products lead the corporate market.
Actually, those employees are not given any alternatives.
And the learning curve for OO.org could be better imho.




Nice try, no cigar.
By mindless1 on 3/6/2006 6:37:28 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry MS, but we're not puppets anymore. You had your chance, and another, and another, and, well when you asked us where we wanted to go today then decided for us, it wasn't a wise move!

Enough with the nonsense. MS Office is ridiculously priced, ridiculously bloated, and is becoming a liability for businesses, one that MS should be PAYING them to use rather than the other way around.

There was a time back 5-10 years ago when everyone was tricked into thinking newer was better (largely due to you, MS, releasing so much buggy software), but there came a time where we realized that pumping more $$$$ into you wasn't doing any good, you were still deciding for us what we "get". Lucky you to have had such a market. Take the profits and invest elsewhere because MS Office is a dead-end if it's not rethunk.




They missed one thing.....
By Fenixgoon on 3/6/06, Rating: 0
first posts.
By sieistganzfett on 3/6/06, Rating: -1
RE: first posts.
By DigitalFreak on 3/6/06, Rating: 0
RE: first posts.
By HWAddict77 on 3/6/06, Rating: -1
RE: first posts.
By retrospooty on 3/6/2006 9:37:17 AM , Rating: 4
If MS Office is crashing on your PC, there is something wrong with your PC, or your Windows install.


RE: first posts.
By scabby on 3/6/2006 11:32:03 AM , Rating: 2
That's a fairly carte blanche statement. So, anyone having problems with Microsoft Office has a corrupt OS install? I think we have a Microsoft rep in our midst!

As a tech writer, I used Office exclusively to create and modify literally thousands of pages. Some features in Office were buggy or prone to error. Some features would crash, outright. One example of this was "File" -> "Open".

I had a file, created in Word, as a deliverable for a very large and embarrisingly important meeting. Any time I would attempt to open the file in Office, the application would crash. I was in front of an increasingly large group of people, on a projector, when I decided to give OOo one last try.

This is not a paid endorsement; I'm not entirely enamored with "free software" (that typically comes with significant costs measured in learning curve time). I literally switched from Office to OOo (openoffice.org) when that file opened up perfectly in OpenOffice, saved back to MS Word .DOC flawlessly, and allowed myself and others in the room to open the file in Word. My main document creation laptop does not even have Office on it anymore, simply because I don't need it. OOo can create smaller, more easily designed and integrated files in the native .ODT format than Word could in .DOC.

(Note: I was using Office 2000, so...)


RE: first posts.
By masher2 on 3/6/06, Rating: -1
RE: first posts.
By scabby on 3/6/2006 2:42:13 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe I should have [sarcasm][/sarcasm] blocked it. Regardless... it was a joke. And "discrediting" myself or doing myself credit is just about impossible on a forum where peoples' only recourse to a real-life story and a joke is to moderate down.

> Obviously you were able to open it at some point to create it, so at some point either the document or your install of Office got corrupted.

I don't, for a second, disagree with the document getting corrupted. Not a single person in the meeting could open the file, with Office 2003, 2000, and 97 being represented. It was, in fact, so corrupt that only OpenOffice was able to open it, which it did flawlessly.

Never in my post did I say that Office "crashe[d] all the time," nor would I suggest it, except possibly tongue-in-cheek. The fact remains though: in a large-scale collaborative document where many people touch the content, you must spend as much time pruning and preening the Word .DOC as you do on the content itself. And please, try putting out a hundred+ page document to the FDA several times a month or some other monumental task in your Office "pocket" before commenting otherwise. (Book reports don't apply, thanks.)

And as far as red-herrings go, all you did in your post: a) suggest it's my fault, b) suggest it's a corrupt install or OS, and c) distract from my point, which was to say that in my case, OOo works better for me when I interface with my primary clients (3 several-billion dollar companies).


RE: first posts.
By masher2 on 3/6/2006 3:24:47 PM , Rating: 1
> "It was, in fact, so corrupt that only OpenOffice was able to open it"

And this in some way proves the superiority of OpenOffice? It supports fewer advanced formatting and embedding features, therefore document corruption involving one of these features would obviously not impact it.

> "Never in my post did I say that Office "crashe[d] all the time,"

Others here, however, have said it.

> " And please, try putting out a hundred+ page document to the FDA several times a month or some other monumental task"

In my lab, large Office documents are routinely routed through a workflow process that forces them to be updated by over a hundred people. I haven't seen a one get corrupted yet...though of course the possibility exists.

> "all you did in your post: a) suggest it's my fault, b) suggest it's a corrupt install or OS, and c) distract from my point"

And all you've done is try to apply a blanket generalization to a product used daily by hundreds of millions of people...all based on a single example. A shoddy attempt at logic, at best.


RE: first posts.
By scabby on 3/6/2006 3:50:45 PM , Rating: 3
If you could, for a moment, point out the blanket statement that so offends. In both of my posts, I pointed out that I had problems with Office, and none with OpenOffice. And, as far as logic goes, if you weren't taking offense at my well-reasoned dislike of Office, you'd have seen that fact.

In all of my major accounts, with people running Office 2000 (on their computers) and Office 2003 (on servers), the general concensus was that the Office suite was a major pain in the rump, but one to be sullenly borne simply because of the lack of similarly full-figured suites. While I do not argue that point, for document creation, OOo works better for me and mine.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads










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