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Does using OpenOffice lead to bad grades? A new Microsoft attack ad indicates this to be the case.   (Source: East Baton Rough Parish Library)

Apparently some educators refuse to install OpenOffice and will just hand bad grades to students who submit OO documents that poorly convert to Microsoft Office.  (Source: Microsoft)

Open code is bad, according to Microsoft's latest propoganda.
Microsoft attacks OpenOffice (and open-code in general) in a new testimonial-based ad

Microsoft's has unleashed a somewhat surprising attack ad (video) against the popular OpenOffice suite, a free, open-source product from Oracle Corp-subsidiary Sun Microsystems according to a report from Information Week.

The commercial begins with somewhat foreboding music and the text "Considering OpenOffice?  Consider this..."

The video then jumps to select industry sources complaining that OpenOffice increased their support costs and was unreliable, compared to Microsoft's Office suite.  It also complains that OpenOffice is slow, requires additional training, has poor support for macros in its Spreadsheet software, and features poor document conversions to-and-from word.

And the ad also targets a group that frequently makes use of OpenOffice due to budget reasons -- students.  Tisome Nugent, a public school teacher comments, "I've had students that have turned in files that they've converted from OpenOffice with formatting problems that affect their grade negatively."

One commenter even blasts "open-code" in general, while another recalls he and his co-workers breathing a "collective sigh of relief" when his workplace ditched OpenOffice.

The video is quite harsh, but its accuracy is open for debate.  While its true that Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support, the cornerstone for macros, is currently a lesser experience in OpenOffice, it's not non-existent.  In fact macros have been implemented in limited form since OpenOffice 3.0, and there's an ongoing project to provide full VBA implementation on par with Microsoft Office's.

Compatibility remains a problem, but a relative one.  Microsoft released its OOXML (file  type .docx) specification in finalized form in December 2008, after nearly five years of development work.  By contrast, OpenOffice could only work with limited early specifications until last year.  And, of course, compatibility is only a problem if supervisors/co-workers/instructors/etc. (like Ms. Nugent) or their IT staff refuse to install OpenOffice -- which is of course free and will display the documents perfectly without mangling.

As to the additional training, employees incapable of basic self-learning would likely have equal problems switching from Office 2003 to Office 2007 to switching from an Office version to OpenOffice.  Thus, of all the criticisms, this one seems the least valid, even if you were taking Microsoft's side in this debate.

At the end of the day, Microsoft's insistence to compare Office to OpenOffice shows that if feels a bit threatened by the open-source project.  In reality the two products may offer some similar functionality, but they are very different from each other in that Microsoft Office is a commercial product, whereas OpenOffice is a free community based project.  Thus it's hard to judge both suites by the same standards, though that is certainly what Microsoft is trying to do.

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public schools?
By Dug on 10/15/2010 12:45:49 PM , Rating: 5
"And the ad also targets a group that frequently makes use of OpenOffice due to budget reasons -- students. Tisome Nugent, a public school teacher comments, "I've had students that have turned in files that they've converted from OpenOffice that negatively affects their grade"

Why the hell is a public school requiring students to purchase software? If they want it in a specific format they should provide it for the students.

And only an asshole teacher would give a bad grade because
his version of Word can't read the formatting. Or at least tell the student it looks bad and let him try again. Nothing to do with the content, which is what's important. He's probably on Word 2000, which I know a lot of public schools are still using.

RE: public schools?
By Spivonious on 10/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: public schools?
By wordsworm on 10/15/2010 1:06:36 PM , Rating: 5
Coincidentally, I am a teacher. Since docx started running around like a retarded chicken with its head cut off, I've been requiring students to download OO at home or to save in a lower format.

I'm guessing teachers like to have digital files so that they can easily check for plagiarism with their tools and such. For myself, I like to receive the homework ahead of time so that I can figure out what I want to say about the work before the start of a class.

I realize I'm just one teacher, but I'm doing what I can to help students buck MS. OpenOffice is a great cure for MS junk.

RE: public schools?
By Suntan on 10/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: public schools?
By captainobvious on 10/15/2010 1:33:26 PM , Rating: 3


Another teacher that likes to spend their time trying to impress upon students their own personal agenda, even ones that are really rather irrelevant and in fact quite the opposite to what they will encounter once they reach the real world.

<>Johnny gets a job<>

Johnny, "What's this, my teacher told me that Windows is poo, poo."

Boss, "It's the only thing we use, the only thing our venders use, and the only thing our customers use. Figure out how to use it quick or you're fired."

Johnny <>looks down<>, "...Now I realize why everyone is so unhappy about the education system, and how it has let me down..."


Err... that's a little harsh.

I don't buy into the original ops "down with Microsoft, Microsoft is teh cr@p!" attitude, but I also don't buy your argument that one teacher telling students to use OO instead of MSO makes students unable to use Microsoft Office or Windows. In fact, it probably broadens their horizons by teaching them about variety of software out there...

There's plenty of problems with the education system, so I don't see why you need to make up imaginary ones.

And as to original op, I agree that the teacher involved was acting ridiculously. If my child had this happen to them, I would take it before the school board and not stop until that teacher was disciplined. It is unacceptable that a teacher is too lazy/too incompetent to install a free and widely available software product that a student uses to submit their assignment.

I submitted OO PDFs for grad school projects and never once had a single problem. I think Microsoft's claims on this particular topic are tenuous at best, and that the teacher involved (if real) is most certainly one of those "bad teachers" they're always talking about.

MSO is a great product, but it certainly has had its flaws, e.g. the lack of inclusion of easy PDF exporting until MSO 2010. By contrast OO has long supported this feature. For that reason, and the freedom to install it for free on any of my machines, without having to worry about licensing messes, I tend to use both MSO and OO.

I think this is pretty standard -- most OO users also use MSO at home or at work. So I don't get why MSFT has to get all insecure and start mud-slinging.

RE: public schools?
By Fritzr on 10/15/2010 1:49:13 PM , Rating: 5
People like you and the teacher who asks students to use the free office suite are what has Microsoft scared. If students are taught to use OO in school they will have no problem using it at work, it then requires less training and the TCO goes down. Similarly endusers who are told to use OO for schoolwork are not becoming habituated to firing up MS Office for every writing project. The MS version becomes a backup app that is used only by request.

Get enough users out there using OO as their primary office suite and MS Office as a backup to satisfy those who require an oddball MS format and Microsoft no longer has a lock on the market. OO usage will creep up and the need for MS proprietary formats will fall along with installs by people who invest their money in other products instead.

This attack should be taken as a backhanded compliment. Microsoft is saying that OO is a real alternative now to the MS Office :)

The senior managers at Microsoft very likely remember the day when WordPerfect was King.

RE: public schools?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 10/15/2010 2:21:30 PM , Rating: 3
Why rate this guy down? We must have some Microsoft employees out there...

RE: public schools?
By Taft12 on 10/15/2010 3:48:49 PM , Rating: 5
Large companies hire PR firms to steer discussion on popular internet forums, and this is one of those forums.

RE: public schools?
By KoolAidMan1 on 10/15/2010 3:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
This is Microsoft fanboy central, didn't you know?

People downvoting a teacher because they don't like Office is a new low, even for this place. Hilarious.

RE: public schools?
By invidious on 10/15/2010 4:29:50 PM , Rating: 4
He was making a larger statement that professors should not be abusing their position of power by pushing thier personal opinions on impressionable students.

But recognizing that would require you to read his whole post instead of just zeroing in on the company he is talking about and calling him a fanboy of said company.

Also I think pretty much anyone coming to this website uses and likes microsoft products.

RE: public schools?
By christojojo on 10/15/2010 4:45:13 PM , Rating: 5
Actually why don't we broaden the statement that almost everyone in charge pushes their personal agenda. Seriously, if you teach a student to think for themselves that's an agenda. If you teach the kids to follow Christianity that's an obvious agenda. If you teach a student to question authority that's an agenda. If you teach the student to only do "green" activities that's an agenda.

Get real with the declarations. You have something against an institution, or should I say agenda?

RE: public schools?
By vol7ron on 10/16/2010 12:29:00 PM , Rating: 4
I don't get the debate?

OpenOffice is only a simple alternative to MS Office. If you like to do anything more complex, MSO is definitely the first choice.

If all you do is need a better alternative to Word Pad/Notebook, or something to quickly track your budget, then you can use Open Office if you want.

MS's reasons for using MSO as opposed to OO are horrible. Another bad ad, Microsoft flop. Microsoft Office is one of the products that Microsoft has actually done right - I use both, though.

RE: public schools?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 10/15/2010 4:53:46 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, when I posted, this guy was at a '1'. Apparently the Microsoft employees are now outnumbered.

RE: public schools?
By OneArmedScissorB on 10/17/2010 2:35:32 PM , Rating: 5
So what if they'd said they tell all their students to use MS Office?

Lol I love the explanation for the CAPTCHA it just gave me. " In order to maintain the high quality posts that our readers demand , please enter the text in the image below exactly as you see it to continue posting."

High quality posts at Daily Tech...that's rich.

RE: public schools?
By AlexWade on 10/15/2010 9:02:28 PM , Rating: 3
I thought this new open office document standard was going to make a document look the same on every office suite. It was always my opinion that Microsoft strongarmed the open office committee that approved OOXML over ODF so that they could control open office standard and "accidentally" leave out some important requirements. That is only my opinion however. It seems that OOXML is so complex that not even Office 2010 supports it.

Having said all that, Office is still the best office suite on the market. Open Office is good enough, which for most people is more than they'll need. Good enough is not a bad thing.

RE: public schools?
By weskurtz0081 on 10/15/2010 2:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
Just one thing I would like to point out, MS Office 2007 has easy PDF exporting.

Save As<PDF or XPS

Simple as that.

Just wanted to correct that little bit of misinformation.

RE: public schools?
By Spivonious on 10/15/2010 2:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
And prior to that, you can download any of the multitude of free PDF printer drivers that allow you to print to a PDF file from any program that supports printing.

I'm sure MS would have loved to include the export to PDF feature earlier, but Adobe wouldn't let them.

RE: public schools?
By christojojo on 10/15/2010 4:48:24 PM , Rating: 4
Most schools in my area do not allow students or teachers to randomly add programs to the Schools PCs. Even "free: programs need a paperwork and loads of buttocks saluting to get them installed in NY state.

RE: public schools?
By captainobvious on 10/15/2010 2:33:36 PM , Rating: 4
Ah you're right about that... my apologies. My workplace skipped directly to MSO 2010, so I never played with MSO 2007 extensively.

I did use some of those pdf printers back in the day as the above op stated, but they were just more of a hassle than OO.

Just my personal opinion, you are free to disagree.

RE: public schools?
By pequin06 on 10/15/2010 2:41:17 PM , Rating: 4
For the students that have Windows 7, WordPad can save to .docx or .odt

RE: public schools?
By Suntan on 10/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: public schools?
By Suntan on 10/15/2010 3:46:40 PM , Rating: 1
-Edit- "Junk" not "Crap"


RE: public schools?
By christojojo on 10/15/2010 5:04:25 PM , Rating: 5
You never were in a school were you?

Seriously, You think a teacher can get away with what he is saying the he did. No if he truly is a teacher he watches what he says because of over reactionary people that jump at an imperfect human to tear them down. Please, to read so much into his statement and dispense with such bile is ludicrous. The same attitude expressed here and other posts in here really tell me that people in the tech world rather jump to conclusions than see and witness what really is expected of a teacher. It is like a teacher telling an I.T. guy that his/ her life is easy because all they do is play solitaire and eat donuts with the rare day that they have to update the pc by turning them on and off. (Obviously not true).
Politics are nasty inside and out for teachers. I left the public school systems because of that. Parents telling me how to teach and that their perfect princess only gets A's when all she does is text in class. Catch that star running back in the back of the building smoking weed and selling a bag and right away you are labeled a racist. Politicians tell you the only thing that will prove that you can teach is a standardized test. The test is so easy the students get bored and lose interest in science. The tests are dumbed down to make a school and the politicians look great. The education system is turning the kids into commodities and rubber stamps and some trolls here get upset that a teacher has an opinion. Shame on you. What happened to open discussion without slander?

If you want to see how easy it is to pass check out the conversion tables for living environment and what it takes raw score to pass with a 65 %

RE: public schools?
By wordsworm on 10/15/2010 9:07:23 PM , Rating: 5
You know, even fans of MS have said that Office XP/2003 were rather poor. That's when I made the switch. I haven't used subsequent versions of Office, and I've heard that they're much improved. However, I have no reason to go back.

Your hypothesis about how the 'real world' all conforms to MS is mistaken. The real world conforms to what the employer requires of the employee. In the classroom, I am that employer. I give them jobs to do, and I tell them which tools to use to get that job done.

MS Office is expensive. In my opinion, it is cheaper for parents and students to conform to open standards than it is to make them conform to proprietary. I would think that it's better to tell students that they must download a free application suite rather than demand that their parents pay $300 every time MS comes out with a new version of their Office software that has some little quirk which makes the new files illegible to the previous suite.

And... I am offended that MS has attacked OpenOffice like this. That's like McDonalds coming out and attacking churches for giving out free lunches. It's low brow snobbery at its worst. The folks who put out OpenOffice are bringing legal software to millions of people to whom even $100 is a lot of money.

Knowing how to use OpenOffice will help students learn how to use MS Office to a degree. If they're required to use it at a job, then they'll likely rise to the challenge.

RE: public schools?
By zozzlhandler on 10/15/2010 2:41:26 PM , Rating: 2
That may be so for some companies. But one of the most successful (Google) does not use Windows or Office at all (except for some software development).

RE: public schools?
By Taft12 on 10/15/2010 3:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
No Windows on their servers but plenty on the machines of their employees. Did you not notice the late arrivals of software like Google Earth and Chrome for Linux?

RE: public schools?
By zozzlhandler on 10/15/2010 4:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
That may have been true once but for new employees windows is not even a choice for an employee machine.

RE: public schools?
By B3an on 10/15/2010 5:29:03 PM , Rating: 1
Isn't this because of them once having an unpatched and unsecured Windows machine running IE6 of all things that was compromised?

What choices do employees have now? If they actually have OSX as a choice for doing actual work on over the far superior Windows, because of there own stupidity, then that's just ... disgusting.

RE: public schools?
By GSystems on 10/22/2010 2:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
The primary reason for Google doing away with Windows, is because Chrome OS is on its month, from the rumors.

Add to that the fact that Steve Ballmer (Microsoft) has practically declared war on Google, and you might understand why things have changed so rapidly re: MS and maybe not OSX...

Either way, Chrome OS is right around the corner, so I anticipate, with as much as Google's employees collaborate, that that would be the best solution. With its almost instant-on and total reliance on the cloud (where as Google does have the most server farms in the nation, if not the world), Chrome OS is perfect for what they're trying to accomplish... You should notice how all of Google's latest apps have been in the world of collaboration...

So yeah, the IE6 vulnerability (horrid to think of since we're talking about Google here) may have caused a rustle, but in the end, Google's own OS aspirations are what more than likely led to the switch..

RE: public schools?
By invidious on 10/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: public schools?
By Alexstarfire on 10/15/2010 10:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
While others have already addressed this topic it seems to me that the guy was only saying that he uses OO himself and allows people to use it to turn in papers and whatnot. Not that he is telling them to use OO for all of their schoolwork and that he won't allow MSO formats.

I love OO and have never had any problems using it for my schoolwork. That said, I've never turned in a document in OO format, but rather converted to MSO format. I've never seen issues, but I also don't do anything complex. I have seen files that have has issues before and it seems that when there are issues..... it has a big affect on the format of the document. Almost makes them unreadable.

RE: public schools?
By thurston on 10/15/2010 10:41:38 PM , Rating: 1
The switch from OpenOffice to MS Office 2007-10 would be no more difficult to do than switching from MS Office 2003 to MS Office 2007-10. My wife just had a job interview where she had to use 2010 and she didn't have a clue what to do, she was accustomed to 2003. I upgrade many users from Office 2003 to 2010 in my line of work and EVERYONE who sees 2007-10 for the first time are like wtf?.

RE: public schools?
By mcnabney on 10/16/2010 12:52:57 AM , Rating: 5
My company is beginning the switch from 2003 to 2007.

We were told to plan on at least 3 days of training, probably more than a week, and for managers to expect some errors and decreased productivity for a while.

There aren't even any plans or needs for increased functionality. Our license expired and we could only move on to 2007, or bail entirely. I would have voted to bail entirely and save some money. Anyway, here is an estimation of the costs at a minimum:

3 days x 90k employees x $200/day = $54M, plus the license costs and impacts to productivity.
We really should get off of the Microsoft merry-go-round. If it wasn't for so many manager's outright dependence on Outlook (Exchange) we would have made the switch.

RE: public schools?
By Moishe on 10/18/2010 3:23:08 PM , Rating: 3
Either your company is managed by fools or this is an utter BS kind of cost "guesstimate."

Here is why:
* Not everyone needs training, and management would be stupid for forcing training for all employees, especially at that cost.
* Most medium/large companies have their own trainers that are paid a salary whether they are training or not. This doesn't change that. The cost is already paid for. Training cost: fail.
* I work for a large company and there was minimal training needed for the 2003->2007 Office rollout. Training was done in house by pre-existing employees. There was some temporary loss of productivity, but it was not significant. Loss of productivity: minimal.
* Licensing: Maybe your company is the exception, but most large companies that use Microsoft products have an enterprise license. It's much cheaper and prevents the need for a license to be at each workstation. Does the license cost something? Sure, but it's not something you can include in the cost of the switchover because it's a cost of doing business whether you are using a new or old version. Licensing cost: fail.

So what I am saying is that if what you are saying is true, then your management is idiotic. If it's not true, it may be because you just don't understand. Or maybe you have something against Microsoft.

Based on personal experience and 12 years working in IT for a large company, I've never seen or heard of the scenario that you are talking about. Believe me when I say that the employees where I work are not exceptional or in any way more likely to "get it" than any other set of people.

The interface change between Office 2003 and 2007 is significant, but it only takes average users a couple weeks of use to become familiar with it.

RE: public schools?
By GSystems on 10/22/2010 2:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
For the sake of argument:

Even if everything you say is true, your numbers don't make sense.

If you're inferring that all 90,000 employees at your company cost $200/day to train, that's nonsensical. I would be surprised that your huge company couldn't get a bulk deal. Shucks, at 25 people per classroom, that's $5,000 per day, per instructor. These aren't motivational speakers, these are instructors...

If you don't like Microsoft, that's fine; just know that the people who do aren't as idiotic as you have lead yourself to believe.

Office 2010 is wonderful, but Open Office is a nice alternative if you aren't doing anything too professional since most enterprise environments use MS products. I personally don't like Outlook since it had a history of easily corruptible pst files, but I'm using Outlook 2007 right now...why not? They pay me

RE: public schools?
By Ammohunt on 10/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: public schools?
By weskurtz0081 on 10/15/2010 1:32:50 PM , Rating: 1
I would hate to have you as a teacher to be honest. The worst kind of teachers are the ones that try to insert personal opinion into lecture rather than simply stating both sides of the argument in a non-bias manner and letting the students decide for themselves.

If you really want to be a good teacher, then you will do thorough research that support both sides of the argument and let them decide rather than trying to push your own agenda.

RE: public schools?
By Lord 666 on 10/15/2010 2:27:29 PM , Rating: 5
Fully disagreed. I am an adjunct professor in addition to being a CTO. Best practices do not have "both sides" as you state previously. The problem is most professors lack real-world experience to communicate what works "out there" versus on paper in the classroom. MBA classes will teach you (for the last 20 years) that outsourcing is the best thing for businesses. Real world experience would argue differently and even put some of the US's economic blame on brain drain and loss of manufacturing.

What is wrong with academia is the lack of personal life experience that is added to the "classroom." Sure there is the official curriculum, but it is the professors responsibility to augment that material with their own real world experience along with additional assignments.

Never let college get in the way of your education.

RE: public schools?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/15/2010 5:26:56 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed, most teachers/professors have been academics forever and have zero real world "in the trenches" experience. This leads to a massive failure in teaching.

RE: public schools?
By thurston on 10/15/2010 10:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
Then maybe we should pay teachers more. How many people do you know that are going to gain 15-20 years of real world experience, working their way up the ladder in their chosen career just to start over and become teachers making a low wage? Maybe you could lead the way and use the real world experience you have and become an awesome teacher.

RE: public schools?
By Moishe on 10/18/2010 4:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe teachers should be required to step outside of their theoretical world.

The "pay them more" argument is a catch-22. If you raise the pay, then you encourage lifers to stay with the job because it pays well. You also encourage people who can't cut in the real world to fall back to a teaching position where nothing but talk is required.

The real answer is paying teachers a decent rate and requiring them to self-apply what they teach. This would ensure that they are up-to-date on the subject and have at least a basic understanding of what they are asking students to do. Teachers who want to be a writer should actively write and use a computer to do it. I've had teachers who didn't know the first thing about Word or Office, and yet they bitch to me about format and the details that involve the word processor. I think that if they are writing only on paper, they should be forced to get with the times.

I have used OpenOffice for years, and it's good but not great. To get around the "docx" problem, I almost always use RTF format.

RE: public schools?
By thurston on 10/18/2010 10:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
The real answer is paying teachers a decent rate and requiring them to self-apply what they teach.

I don't disagree with you. I don't understand why you have been modded down.

RE: public schools?
By Moishe on 10/19/2010 4:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think it might be because I cursed *gasp* hehe

RE: public schools?
By thurston on 10/19/2010 6:16:55 PM , Rating: 1
That is a stupid reason I didn't even notice the word bitch (female dog). This place is run by a bunch of shit-fucker cockmasters.

RE: public schools?
By straycat74 on 10/18/2010 7:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
Then maybe we should pay teachers more.

There are websites where you can look up teacher salaries, at least in my state. I checked my old H.S. and saw that one of my gym teachers and drivers ed teacher are pulling in over $115,000.00. Same with my speech teacher. I don't really feel too sorry for them.

RE: public schools?
By thurston on 10/18/2010 10:07:14 PM , Rating: 3
I didn't say I felt sorry for them. Maybe you should read my post again. I said how can you expect someone with real world experience who has worked their way up the ladder in their chosen career to start over at the bottom of the ladder and become a teacher.

I think good teachers are very important to our society and should be well rewarded. I don't know if the teachers that you mention are good teachers or not. If they are they deserve to be rewarded if they are not then they shouldn't be.

RE: public schools?
By Kary on 10/15/2010 5:37:55 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is most professors lack real-world experience to communicate what works "out there" versus on paper in the classroom.

I thought the problem was that what works "out there" changes, so better to teach students the pluses AND minuses of the different sides (and the possibility for them to come up with new sides) so they can pick what works for the current situation at the current time and hopefully with an eye towards the future, too.

Personal life experience that worked great 10 years ago may not still be the solution after all (ask AOL).

RE: public schools?
By lecanard on 10/16/2010 3:39:20 PM , Rating: 3
OpenOffice is a great cure for MS junk.

What? OO offers only basic functionality and being free is the only thing it has going for it. It is economical, but no one actually considers it a real competitor feature-wise. It is an inferior but free office suite for people who don't need the superior functionality of real Office. MS Office is not "junk". It is by far the best office suite, as evidenced by the fact that even free software has difficulty competing with it. If OO cost as much as office, no one would use it. But they do use Office even though there is a free alternative. That should tell you something.

RE: public schools?
By Alexvrb on 10/17/2010 10:57:47 AM , Rating: 2
So you're doing the same thing as the teacher in the article above, only in reverse. Your software can't interpret your students files correctly. There is no excuse for the other teacher not installing OpenOffice as a fallback. However, you're a teacher, you can get a copy of Office for dirt cheap, there's really no excuse for you not doing the same thing and using MS Office as a fallback.

Anyway, in both cases, the issue lies within OO's converters. They shouldn't advertise compatibility if it isn't there. Before the downrating commences, I'd like to note that I use OO both at home and work. For most things it is just fine. But don't blame MS on the conversion/formatting issues.

RE: public schools?
By rdeegvainl on 10/17/2010 5:12:47 PM , Rating: 3
Incorrect. One teacher is demanding a format you have to buy software for, the other wants it in a format that you don't have to buy software for. See the difference? If not you are blind.

RE: public schools?
By MozeeToby on 10/15/2010 1:09:33 PM , Rating: 3
I would argue that the correct action isn't to make OO's converter perfect, it is to establish a true universal standard that will correctly display in everything that supports it. One that has the spec published for anyone to implement in their software, rather than the .doc format which has all kinds of quirks and pitfalls, all of which are not openly documented.

OOXML was the first real attempt to create an official, standardized document format, and it can lobbied into oblivion, which is a good indication of just how much MS fears such a standard ever becoming reality. Look at the web, at least as complex as any document and yet you can (finally) write a webpage and be reasonably confident that it will display correctly in 5+ browsers, and where it doesn't display correctly it is because the browser hasn't implemented the standards correctly.

RE: public schools?
By Motley on 10/15/2010 2:39:05 PM , Rating: 3
lol. If you write any sufficiently complex web page, you can be assured that it will NOT display correctly (the same) in all 5+ of the most popular browsers.

RE: public schools?
By B3an on 10/15/2010 5:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
Thats true, i've been creating sites for 10+ years and regardless of how much more browsers are supporting standards, for a lot of things they still decide to render them in there own way. So thing's have not improved much, especially considering how many browsers there are now with each of them doing things different.
It's one of the main reasons i use Flash, apart from it being far more capable and just more fun to work with other HTML, it will always look identical regardless of browser or platform as the plugin renders the content.

RE: public schools?
By sviola on 10/15/2010 3:55:35 PM , Rating: 3
OOXML is an open standard as is ODF. The first was proposed by Microsoft, while the second by others.

By the way, MS Office support all ODF documents and better than Open Office.

RE: public schools?
By Fritzr on 10/15/2010 9:24:08 PM , Rating: 3
Have they resolved the problem with defined support for Microsoft file formats that were so obscure even Microsoft couldn't document some of the formats they wanted included?

Until that is done, I will settle for a universal MS to ODF translator. With such a translator there will be no need for third party support of the Open Standard to wait while Microsoft figures out how to implement the Microsoft file formats that Microsoft wants to include.

Nothing wrong with making their historically proprietary file formats Open. But to attempt to make their portfolio of proprietary formats THE standard when even Microsoft cannot document them is ... well ... stupid.

RE: public schools?
By foolsgambit11 on 10/16/2010 4:43:51 PM , Rating: 3
In that case, what's up with the public school teacher in the article. The student could just submit their work in ODF format, and they could read it in MS Office just fine. Most of the problems MS raises in the ad are non-issues, and the ones that remain are only temporary, if the developers behind OOo do their job right.

That being said, I'm not a huge fan of OpenOffice. I've used it on my computers off and on, but prefer MSO for its refined environment and better suite integration. I did work for a year in an office that was on Solaris boxes, and thus used OpenOffice exclusively. I wrote several moderately complex macros to improve office workflow. While there were some quirks to the process that slowed development a little, it could accomplish what I wanted from it. Poor documentation was the problem - I was on a closed system, and there was no documentation installed (I don't know if it can be or if it is only online). It was an older version of OOo, so that may have had some impact on the experience. VBA on MSO has better documentation installed standard, and better integration for manipulating one Office program from within another. But these are small points, and don't impact most users.

RE: public schools?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 10/15/2010 2:10:56 PM , Rating: 3
I've seen Word not import Word documents properly, in reformatting, renumbering, and deletion of graphics. Microsoft should be careful of who they point fingers at.

RE: public schools?
By Motley on 10/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: public schools?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 10/15/2010 4:16:06 PM , Rating: 2
I have created perhaps 1000 documents of any significance over the years. Trust me, the error rate is more like 1% for intra-Microsoft. Don't just make up statistics without thinking.

RE: public schools?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: public schools?
By mcnabney on 10/18/2010 12:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
You have to scrape pretty low to start blaming AV software and defragmentation for errors like that. I usually blame the software that is responsible for reading/writing to the file and not random background processes. You might as well say that Magic caused the data corruption.

RE: public schools?
By kingmotley on 10/18/2010 10:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
Except that AV software actively and deeply scans (and perhaps modifies) office documents for malicious macros some also try to modify office itself injecting itself into the processes so it can monitor and/or change behaviors.

RE: public schools?
By Wolfpup on 10/15/2010 1:01:21 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, if this "Tisome Nugent" is a real person, she needs corrective action taken against her. If there really is a formatting issue, the solutions are easy-either install the free program yourself, or just be aware that the formating might not be right and don't detract for it.

However I'm very dubious about the claims anyway. I don't do anything super fancy with Word/Writer, but then neither will virtually any high school student. I do use SOME somewhat fancy formating on some forms we have people fill out though, and in my experience, both Office 2007 and OpenOffice 3 render the file identically, and in both cases it's just SLIGHTLY different than how Office 2003 rendered it, and slightly wrong in the exact same way.

Soooo for your normal papers and whatnot, I'd be surprised if you can even tell any difference where it was made, if it's saved out in Office 2003 format or whatever.

Maybe if a student saves it in OpenDocument format, and then the teacher opens it in an Office 2003 there'd be an issue, but then it's user error on the part of the teacher-she needs to either install OpenOffice, buy Office 2007 even, or ask the student to please save in Office 2003 format and show them how if they don't know.

The idea that a student is being force to buy software like that is ludicrous, even more so when in the scenario described, the only reason it wouldn't work even if the student hands in an OpenDoc file is if the teacher won't buy new software (or even install free software).

Personally I've started switching to OpenDocument precisely because I realized I wasn't thrilled about the idea of my documents being tied up forever in a proprietary format.

Anyway, I seriously doubt this event ever happened, and if it did, it's a case of a teacher being ignorant and unreasonable.

RE: public schools?
By augiem on 10/15/2010 3:02:56 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not sure I buy the argument that a student can't be forced to buy software. Schools have labs for those that can't afford software or computers. Can you possibly have a school today that doesn't require you use some kind of computer? Do they require you to buy a computer? Software is a tool. Same can be said for pencils, pens, notebooks, school books, etc. The school can and DOES require that students spend money for the tools required for their education by the curriculum. And tool requirements CAN and are standardized already -- buy book X for class Y.

If the argument is to be made that a school can't require students use commercial software, then 1) Many kinds of potentially useful technology-based classes will be unavailable or seriously dumbed down to use open-source alternatives (Photoshop, 3d animation, game design, video editing, music composition, etc.) Granted some companies like Autodesk are offering free versions of all their software now for students, but until that happens industry-wide, students would be denied access to learning on industry-standard tools simply because they are commercial. 2) Every school would be using Ubuntu or similar. Windows and MacOS are commercial software. If you can't require them to buy it or at least provide it in a lab for a fee, you must then switch school-wide to an open source alternative.

RE: public schools?
By Camikazi on 10/15/2010 4:10:49 PM , Rating: 2

She looks real to me, but I wouldn't be surprised if MS created those too really.

RE: public schools?
By Suntan on 10/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: public schools?
By kb9fcc on 10/15/2010 1:24:58 PM , Rating: 3
The public schools here actually recommend (and teach classes with) OpenOffice as it saves them and the students money. So, of course Microsoft is feeling threatened.

As far as not having perfect converters, whose fault is that? Oh, right, it's Microsoft's for having closed, proprietary file formats and pushing out that "open standard" OOXML that has more references to the old closed formatting methods than you shake a stick at. Meanwhile, there's the completely open ODF file formats that OpenOffice (and others use) that MS can't quite seem to figure out or provide a perfect converter for, even though they have full (and free) access to the standard and the software that implements it if they needed help figuring out how to do it.

RE: public schools?
By philpoe on 10/15/2010 4:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Or the teacher could ask for PDF formatted assignments, which allow for markup. Why not RTF for that matter?

I agree that the teacher/school/district should not be mandating software choices.

RE: public schools?
By Reclaimer77 on 10/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: public schools?
By thurston on 10/15/2010 11:02:11 PM , Rating: 4
Plus if you go to public school, your grades are shit anyway.

The only thing going to shit is you brain.

RE: public schools?
By AnnihilatorX on 10/19/2010 8:40:46 AM , Rating: 2
Convert to PDF is much better when using Open Office

This is Aimed at Business
By MrDiSante on 10/15/2010 12:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine for a second that you're a CTO or CEO or a high-up IT Manager at a reasonably large company. Now imagine that you have no ideological tendencies towards one or the other. Now let's analyze the reality, not from a techy supporting three computers at home perspective, but from the perspective of one of the above people, shall we?

In fact macros have been implemented in limited form since OpenOffice 3.0, and there's an ongoing project to provide full VBA implementation

You don't care. It either works or it doesn't. If it works 90% then it doesn't work and you're losing money.

By contrast, OpenOffice could only work with limited early specifications until last year. And, of course, compatibility is only a problem if supervisors/co-workers/instructors/etc. (like Ms. Nugent) or their IT staff refuse to install OpenOffice

You don't care. It doesn't matter to you if Microsoft hired hitmen to take out the top developers. You can't expect home users and other businesses to adapt to your standards, they'll just stop using your services/products. Then you're losing money.

As to the additional training, employees incapable of basic self-learning would likely have equal problems switching from Office 2003 to Office 2007 to switching from an Office version to OpenOffice.

You only care about the employees switching from 2003. Luckily it's 2010 and everybody has used and has experience with Office 2007. Those few that do need training will catch on a lot easier due to the most lauded feature of Office 2007 : the ribbon.

In reality the two products may offer some similar functionality, but they are very different from each other in that Microsoft Office is a commercial product, whereas OpenOffice is a free community based project.

You don't care. It either works or it doesn't, and it either costs you more or less. If it works, then it costs you less, if it doesn't it costs you more.

Thus it's hard to judge both suites by the same standards, though that is certainly what Microsoft is trying to do.

Once again, aimed at business users, not people with ideologies about open source vs. closed source. To them there is only one standard and that is the ration of cost to measurable benefit (aka how productive the users for a unit of price).

RE: This is Aimed at Business
By MrDiSante on 10/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: This is Aimed at Business
By Shadowmaster625 on 10/15/2010 1:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. Just take the checksum of the post. If the next thing you post has the same checksum, then display a message.

By snakeInTheGrass on 10/15/2010 3:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
Or post using javascript (you know, just like the site already does... javascript:WebForm_DoPostBackWithOptions()) so you can only post if it's enabled, so that... Hey! Now have that Post function disable the Post button once you click it! Now you can't click multiple times and end up with duplicate posts. Just sayin'.

RE: This is Aimed at Business
By kraeper on 10/15/2010 12:57:13 PM , Rating: 5
That's an interesting argument.. but the videos in question are aimed at students. Not 3-letter corporate types.

So imagine for a second that you're replying to the article...

RE: This is Aimed at Business
By MrDiSante on 10/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: This is Aimed at Business
By Denigrate on 10/15/2010 1:56:33 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, the state of affairs around here is pretty sad. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment since I keep coming back for more.

RE: This is Aimed at Business
By kraeper on 10/15/2010 3:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough. I was commenting on the article, you were commenting on the video. Guess that's what I get for reading the article here. Although in my defense, it's not a topic I care about enough to check source material anyway. Plus I tend to comment on the articles themselves. /shrug

RE: This is Aimed at Business
By The Raven on 10/15/2010 4:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
No I haven't seen the ad. Who would be stupid enough to waste their time watching a MS ad? ;-)

But regardless, in your comment YOU use the teacher's story.
Take that out and I'll back you up on this.

Eventhough I support OO I believe MSO is the superior app.
I won't touch it though because it is not free. Even if I got it for free. I wouldn't want to bother getting used to it (we use 2003 at work, so I mean anything newer than that). And besides, I am still trying to understand all of what OO has to offer.

RE: This is Aimed at Business
By Denigrate on 10/15/2010 1:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you missed the part about it costing too much to implement for business?

OO is great for my home use. Wouldn't want it at work in it's current format though.

Support costs
By dgingeri on 10/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: Support costs
By Fritzr on 10/15/2010 2:03:40 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever heard of Fox-It. They are not the only alternative, but they are the best known quiet company with a decent PDF suite :)

I won't address your problems with Unix family vs Windows family OSes ... those problems vary widely according to training and experience with the particular system in use.

RE: Support costs
By lecanard on 10/16/2010 3:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever heard of Fox-It.

I like foxit until I tried to print out the pdfs. It would forget to send half the graphics to the printer and the lecture notes came out unintelligible. Has that been fixed? I haven't tried it since 2008. I hate adobe reader, so maybe I'll try it again.

RE: Support costs
By UNHchabo on 10/15/2010 2:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
I deal with a Linux DNS server at my current job. making a change or adding a system to DNS take about 5 minutes on that thing where it would take me less than 30 seconds to do it in Windows Server.

I would argue that this is because your DNS server is improperly configured. At my last job, it took barely more time to add a DNS entry than it took to type the hostname.

Your complaint sounds about equivalent to someone who claims that they have to download and build the source tarball in order to install Firefox on Ubuntu. Yes, you can technically do it that way, but it doesn't have to be that complicated.

RE: Support costs
By dgingeri on 10/15/2010 5:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
It was set up by my predecessor. I have to log into it through SSH, change directory to the DNS directory, edit the main DNS file with the name and IP address, then edit the reverse DNS file to add the entry backwards, then restart the DNS service. it's a pain in the butt.

in windows, I simply add the proper addon for the mmc to my main console session, then visually go in and add the name and IP address, and it's done. No fuss, no mess, more importantly, very little typing and no service restarts.

RE: Support costs
By MikieTImT on 10/18/2010 12:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
Just because it was setup by your predecessor doesn't mean that you can't further automate it if you have a rudimentary understanding of what's going on. The wonderful thing about administering using commands as opposed to mouse clicks is that it is easier to automate if you go to the trouble of learning shell scripting (csh or bash) or even PERL. Then, you can just type a single command line with the proper arguments, and move on to the next line of business for the day.

RE: Support costs
By Taft12 on 10/15/2010 3:58:59 PM , Rating: 4
You certainly can deny it and your claims are flat-out false. Linux/UNIX staff DO cost more than Windows admins, but are more efficient by a much larger % than the salary difference. Fewer staff at higher salaries is a cost savings.

5 minutes to make an add or change to a DNS server is just indicative of a fear or unfamiliarity with Linux.

Finally, what exactly is crappy about PDF? It has been an open standard for many years which is why xpdf, Foxit and others can display the format as well as Acrobat. Acrobat is not required software (and indeed has been a security nightmare, so much for proprietary software superiority).

You DON'T always get what you pay for in software -- that is the point

RE: Support costs
By raddude9 on 10/16/2010 6:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
What I find funny is that whenever microsoft attack Linux they roll out the old "Look at the total cost of ownership" line, but whenever the attack Apple Macs they ignore that and attack the sticker price.

I already upgraded
By wordsworm on 10/15/2010 12:56:39 PM , Rating: 3
I upgraded from MS Office to Open Office around 2003. Since then, I've exported more docs into pdfs than I care to count, actually laid out a series of teacher's manuals using OOCalc, and have yet to lose a doc because of a crash. All things which were problems for me in MS Office 2003. What's even sweeter is that when I wrote in for a bug to Open Office, the bug was fixed in less than two days. MS has a black hole for customer service.

RE: I already upgraded
By MarcLeFou on 10/15/2010 3:45:14 PM , Rating: 3
And that's why there's still a regression bug on tables corrupting .doc documents since 3.0.1.

I call that a mission critical bug.

And I'm speaking about things I know about. We tried OOo for the last 2 years at our workplace and it was a nightmare. We were ready to tough it out for the first months as we knew the transition wouldn't be easy but the constant need to reformat pages, constant customer complaints that the documents we sent them were corrupted or all screwed up and just the general waste of productivity OOo incured our users made our decision to buy Office 2010 as it came out company-wide an easy one. And I'm just talking about Writer. Calc and Impress are even worse.

I love OOo and still have it at home. But its simply crap in a corporate setting.

RE: I already upgraded
By PolygonUK on 10/17/2010 6:35:10 AM , Rating: 3
I think it's great to have a free alternative to MS Office, especially for many people who just use it for writing essays/reports and creating simple spreadsheets (I have used it myself).

However I am a data analyst by profession, and I use Excel as part of my toolset as a frontend for working with large databases. I produce interactive dashboards with heavy macro automation and I wouldn't go near OO to do this, as the functionality is no where near up to Excel standards at this level.

'Upgrading' to OO is a misnomer for me.

More to the story
By amanojaku on 10/15/2010 12:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
I just got a job at a company with a tight partnership with MS. It turns out that MS makes more money from Office than it does from Windows desktop. No big surprise considering Windows 7 is $150 for a decent version, while Office is $200-400 or so. One of the US government agencies had a Microsoft licensing deal yearly of ~$500M that shrank down to ~$150M this year. What happened? They dropped Office and switched to OpenOffice. Not all companies and agencies can do this, but this is clearly a threat to its government, enterprise and consumer licensing revenue.

I haven't tried OpenOffice in a while due to compatibility and performance issues, but MS must really be threatened to go this far.

RE: More to the story
By KoolAidMan1 on 10/15/2010 3:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
Office and backend enterprise software is Microsoft's bread & butter. They have those markets locked down and the products themselves have insane profit margins, over 90%. If they were to lose those then they wouldn't be able to embark on the other monetary failures in their portfolio.

RE: More to the story
By Taft12 on 10/15/2010 4:03:01 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 makes MS a hell of a lot less than $150 (or even the $100 OEM price) per copy. Most sales of Windows 7 flow through HP, Dell, Acer and make MS much, much less.

I'm not at all surprised to learn Office makes more than Windows. This also supports my assertion that as those gravy trains slow and none of MS new business ventures take off, the company is in deep trouble over the coming couple of decades.

Interesting contrast.
By Exodite on 10/15/2010 12:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
At my university students are very rarely allowed to even do hand-ins in non-standard formats, ie. Microsoft Word.

It's either plain-text or PDF depending on the type of course taken.

Then again the introductory course teaches students to use LaTeX and after that I've never seen any reason to use an office suite for anything but being able to read and cite Microsoft Word files.

And for that OpenOffice, or should I say LibreOffice these days, is perfectly fine.

RE: Interesting contrast.
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/15/2010 5:39:00 PM , Rating: 2
At my university students are very rarely allowed to even do hand-ins in non-standard formats, ie. Microsoft Word.

Funny, I've never found a place outside of academia that allowed you to transmit documents in anything BUT industry standards like Microsoft, Adobe, etc...

Then again the introductory course teaches students to use LaTeX and after that I've never seen any reason to use an office suite for anything but being able to read and cite Microsoft Word files.

LaTex has its uses, however it lacks the robustness of MS Office and makes the job considerably harder for anyone dealing with large volumes of data. It's excellent for typing up a textbook or the general coursework nonsense one would do at a college/university.

RE: Interesting contrast.
By Exodite on 10/17/2010 12:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
Don't confuse 'industry standard' with actual standard. MS Word is propriety, if there was an open and agreed upon standard in the world of office suites that would be the clear winner.

MS Word just isn't a future-proof archiving format, nor is it guaranteed your targeted audience is even able to read the file.

Thus PDF, or plain-text.

LaTeX lacks robustness in comparison to MS Office? o.O

I'll gladly admit that my experience with MS Office involves fairly small projects and like most users I don't use 95% of the features. That said I couldn't possibly see myself trying to manage anything past a couple of pages in a contemporary office suite ever again.

We used to joke about it taking 20 minutes to do a lab, 2 hours to type up the report and 20 hours to get it to format and print correctly in Word.

It still holds true.

The advantage of LaTeX is, to me, that once you've gotten past the typesetting everything just works. Automagically.

No messing with tabs, margin settings, trying to get Word to number the right pages, and only the right pages, and setting up floats nicely and correctly linked.

And lets not even start with references.

Office suites have their uses, certainly, but I imagine that's mainly for the non-technical work where the darks arts of heavily macro-driven Excel sheets is considered the be-all, end-all of things. Ie. economics and administration.

I'm in engineering however so my mileage does indeed vary.

What the frack?
By geddarkstorm on 10/15/2010 2:14:16 PM , Rating: 3
So what, according to Microsoft using open-source is akin to being on meth now? "It's 3am. Do you know what type of code your child is using?"

They are obviously out to protect us poor, innocent people, money and market-share are in no way part of the equation.

RE: What the frack?
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2010 8:07:47 AM , Rating: 2
What the frack?

It's spelled "Frak"...

RE: What the frack?
By FaceMaster on 10/20/2010 4:03:26 PM , Rating: 1
It's spelled "Frak"...

I think you'll find it's "Fuck"

My Issue
By cjohnson2136 on 10/15/2010 1:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
I did try OpenOffice because I needed powerpoint stuff on a virtual machine for a class. I had constant issues because OpenOffice kept crashing. I figured it had soething to do with it being on a vm so I installed it on my desktop and still had it crash after trying to type one word. Maybe I was just the unlucky one but free or not it did me no good. Thankfully my school offers Office 2010 for 15 bucks.

RE: My Issue
By Luticus on 10/15/2010 2:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say you were quite unlucky. I run open office on my virtual linux and on my local linux laptop. I also run open office from a usb thumb drive incase a computer i happen to be on doesn't have office and i require it. I have had no problems what-so-ever with its functionality. it simply isn't as complete, robust, fast, or as good as microsoft office. ms office is second to none.

If all else fails...
By jimhsu on 10/16/2010 5:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
If all else fails, there's the handy "save to PDF" function. Better yet, export your document as a JPG, PNG, or SVG and have people absolutely hate you, but be assured that your content WILL display identically in different systems.

RE: If all else fails...
By jimhsu on 10/16/2010 5:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and teachers -- please don't be stupid and grade students based on formatting, proper double spacing, margins, typography (unless truly horrible), etc. Unless of course you teach a desktop publishing class, in which case the school should be required to provide the appropriate system and software to students as part of tuition.

By symbiosys on 10/17/2010 11:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
I don't usually chime in on DT topics mainly because I'm no fanboy of any company, especially MS. But wow, why is this even an issue! MS are chucking the proverbial brown stuff into the fan.

They know that there are companies out there that are starting to consider free productivity software. But I know as well as the next guy that MS Office IS the best productivity software out there. The range of features and apps is far superior to ANYTHING that is on offer.

I attend university in Australia and the submission guidelines USED to be VERY strict, Office 2003 was all that would be accepted. As of a year ago they changed submission formats! Then now accept ANY format, as long as it STILL full-fills the assignment formatting guidelines!

So that means the teacher is responsible for multiple formats. Fortunately for me it seems VERY reasonable that a teacher of a hundred-or-so students SHOULD have a computer equipped to grade ALL assignments! Obviously all still in the visual format required!

Plus these new rules at my university completely get rid of a teacher (like the one in the first few comments) to push their own crap on influential people!

I use MSO because I know that ALL employers in Australia use it. If my resume said I have advance experience with OpenOffice and not with MS Office, I promise you I wouldn't get the job!

Anyways, that's my rant :)

RE: Mmmmmmm
By symbiosys on 10/18/2010 12:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
By "apps" I meant macros/customization etc...! Too used to Android phones!

Just use a PDF instead!
By Simozene on 10/15/2010 1:25:44 PM , Rating: 3
Who cares what program someone uses to write a paper? Compatibility problems are avoided when students submit their papers as a PDF instead of an editable format. There are tons of free programs that allow people to create PDFs from other formats.

By Luticus on 10/15/2010 1:33:08 PM , Rating: 3
I think this is a pretty shallow move on Microsoft's part. I despise attack ads and feel this is similar to the mac attack ads windows fans are always complaining about. I don't do double standards and feel this sounds like the immature winnings of a 4 year old afraid he won't get his way.

Sell your products based on it's own merit and not on the “short comings” of your competitors. Microsoft office is an amazing piece of software that IS second to none and although i agree with most of what Microsoft is saying here I feel that it's ridiculous that they actually said it.

Microsoft please do not start resorting to the cheap tactics of people like opera, google, and apple and remain above all the whining and squabbling companies.

tell ya what MS, make an office suite for mac and linux that doesn't suck and i'll be happy to be permanently rid of open office.

All these commercials are going to do is give open office attention. all it says to people is that open office is becoming a threat (which they are not).

Big Bad Microsoft
By Logan9773 on 10/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: Big Bad Microsoft
By raumkrieger on 10/15/2010 3:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for free and open software, but people like you give people like me a bad name.

Yes, we know, Microsoft makes lots and lots of money. Using a $ instead of an S or calling them Microsuck or anything like that just displays your immaturity and lack of intelligence.

By littvay on 10/15/2010 1:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
It is all a matter of perspective. Openoffice is much better at adopting to Microsoft's document formats than vice versa. Despite its market share and openoffice's open formats, Microsoft office does not recognize openoffice documents.

Openoffice is good enough for 99% of Office users. If you want to ensure compatibility make your collaborators install it. It is free. Also, best insurance for document dissemination compatibility is making a PDF!! (Openoffice has a nice export button, unlike MS.)

In fact, I am an MS Office user, but I still export to PDFs. Why? Because the damn MS Office is barely compatible with itself. Going from the mac version to win version you are guarantied issues. Going between versions, issues are likely but even going between computers with same version of MS Office I encountered problems. MS should really spend the marketing money on fixing this :)

Submit .doc documents?!?!
By gmljosea on 10/15/2010 3:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever happened to PDFs?

By jimbojimbo on 10/15/2010 5:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
Every reader can process it and every computer can open and edit it. It's completely universal.

Purchase for once a year use!!!????
By noonie on 10/15/2010 5:42:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to purchase an ultimate office suite just to get all the software I might need to use, it's not cost effective. I get the basic Microbloat suite (from 2003 by the way, hey it works better than the carpel tunnel causing version available today!) Then supplement those once a year needs with OpenOffice or a Google app. Microbloat, what a load of used car salesperson horse....

OK, Let's Keep...
By mmatis on 10/15/2010 5:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
this simple. Just EXACTLY what needed functions are MISSING from OpenOffice? NOT the bells and whistles which help you cover up the fact that your document DOESN'T have any content, but functions that ARE ACTUALLY USED by the 95% of people doing the REAL work in ANY organization today?

By djdjohnson on 10/15/2010 9:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
I keep trying OpenOffice because MSO can cost so much. But every time I try it I end up going back to the real thing.

Besides having a GUI that isn't as polished, I have constant issues with file formatting issues. The documents I use regularly just don't come up right in OpenOffice at all. A 4-page document might come up taking 6 pages instead of 4, with table columns having the wrong width, lines not wrapping anywhere near where they should, being just plain unreadable. It's pretty much consistent too. We're not talking about anything too complicated either... a handful of tables, paragraph styles, and that's about it. No images, macros, tables of contents, indicies, or anything of the like. The HTML export from Word looks better (and we know how bad those can be.)

My experience with Linux is similar. In my job I'm in charge of maintaining 120+ OpenSUSE servers and it has been an absolute nightmare. The basic OS is plenty stable, but one of the apps we run (MySQL) is horrible... it crashes multiple times per day on each server, and we see table corruption issues that bring our clients down (or bring performance to a crawl) multiple times per day. And we're kind of stuck on upgrades because we're using a version of OpenSUSE that is no longer updated or supported even though it's only 2 years old. Short of starting from scratch with another distro (or version, or recompiling everything on every box) we're left with 120+ boxes that just plain aren't reliable and are causing our customers a huge amount of frustration. And even if we do start over, who's to say that the version of the distro we select is still going to be supported in a couple of years? The one we've got sure isn't. We're ultimately going to be giving up on it going to Windows and the free version of SQL Server... our SQL Servers have never given us a lick of trouble despite being more heavily utilized. And they're supported for like a decade. When you're dealing with 120+ servers (literally climbing to several thousand in the next few years) little support issues really add up. We can hardly handle the support load now, let alone what happens when our install base is 25 times what it is now. Our Linux servers have been extremely problematic, where our Windows servers have been rock solid. With thousands of installations we need something that is as maintenance free as possible, and abandoned distros make that next to impossible.

Microsoft products aren't perfect, but at least if something goes wrong I know we can get on the phone and get some reliable help. And know that updates will be available for more than 2 years after a product is released.

Sorry, but this is true...
By sleepeeg3 on 10/15/2010 10:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
"[OO] has poor support for macros in its Spreadsheet software, and features poor document conversions to-and-from word."

For an immediate to advanced user, lack of some of the advanced capabilities in the Calc(?) and Base programs are probably its biggest flaws. Although it is free, you can pick up 2003 for very little nowadays. It doesn't make much sense to migrate from MS 2003 when the capability and compatibility is better than OO. I would like to see this improved.

On the flip side, I have zero desire to move to Micro$oft's Office 2007/2010 editions. The ribbon interface is a nasty abomination, the speed benefits aren't there and on top of that is the added cost.

By BSquared on 10/16/2010 12:18:42 AM , Rating: 2
Don't know why someone in this day in age CAN'T submit a document in a word format. That is, Windows Wordpad (since Windows 95) can make .doc files that can be opened in Word, albeit not the other way around. This is fine for the majority of academic papers that need basic formatting (bold, italics, paragraph spacings, footers/headers, page numbering). If one needs tables, expressive coloring, and all sorts of doodads and whizbangs they can just purchase a student copy of MS Office. Some universities actually offer it free to current students.

I happen to know the public schools in NY State have MS Office installed on their machines, from grade school to college level. So asking your students to submit in a preferred format of Word is not much to ask, when I hear many other schools around the country also have these open labs/libraries and facilities available to students. Also, if students are having a hard time having their documents be opened from OO to MSO, maybe they should just choose an agnostic format both suites can open, such as RTF. On the flipside, I also know massive amounts of young students just simply pirate MSO, and in so have no need for OO.

I just think that both suites provide the same functionality. Just the logistics are different. I personally prefer MSO. The new office 2010 opens and loads to a blank document in just a few seconds on my old PoS machine, compared to OO taking several minutes to load, and subsequently looking rather different than the host OS. I also enjoy the built in services in MSO and the integration with fellow office applications, as well as being able to integrate them as objects in my desktop.

In closing, I, like many people just find MSO easier, not to mention if you have an unpirated version, you get free tech support, cant beat that. (No I'm not an MS fanboy or some paid PR whatever, I just simply like fast and easy computing. I've never had a problem with MSO for the uses it was intended for.)

Corrupted Files?
By ChronoMagus on 10/16/2010 12:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see the complete need for office. Correct me if I'm wrong. As far as I'm aware most writing software can save in a rich text format (*.rtf). This format was used by my teachers to prevent any issues with cross platform issues, so why would everyone be having trouble with basic word documents. I understand the create flexibility and power with MS Office, but for most people its a bit over-kill; most just need the basics.

This made me laugh ^^
By Setsunayaki on 10/17/2010 10:47:41 AM , Rating: 2
Using OpenOffice (or LibreOffice) lowers grades of students?

How about all of those endless years of students being FORCED into typing their documents using Microsoft Office? What about teachers and professors who were bribed into not accepting non .doc files and making life harder on students who use .rtf (wordpad) or .txt (notepad) files?

Sorry, but if I was Oracle I would sue microsoft for both, Libel and Slander! They could easily prove the underlining cartel and criminal conspiracy to create software cartels through bribes...

...Just like professors were found guilty for punishing STUDENTS who DID NOT USE APPLE for Art projects years ago to the community of students who would say "I do all my work on Apple" and buy MAC laptops and come to school and when professors are not looking, the students switch to Windows or make their work in their PCs at home.

I remember all the teachers and professors who demanded of me to write everything on microsoft word and did not allow WORD PERFECT or any other editor and came up with enough excuses.

Very easy to find grants to colleges from companies pushing a bias enforced upon students in order to ensure more money comes to those places.

I blame the professors....The many professors who can't stick to the subject or underteach students....who run their mouths and fail or pass students for the most mundain of reasons...

Better yet..lets put the entire American College System on Trial for FAILURE to EDUCATE students as a FAILURE to PROVIDE A STANDARD WARRANTY for EDUCATION.

The lack of scientists, mathematicians and professional knowledge in practically every field shows a lack of teaching and a lack of training.

I am an enthusiast in Computers and Music and its AMAZING to find how many people have Masters Degrees in Music and Computers and all they can do is talk of Computer History or Music History and most cant CODE or PERFORM...

So yes...

I would put Microsoft on Trial along with Colleges on Trial for trying to push laptops to everyone, along with things like iPADS to phase out books...I would sue the state and the nation for trying to consolidate user-choice to corporations for the last 40 years.

Sorry, but such advertisements are baseless at most ans Slander at best.

I have tried OS X, Windows 7 and Linux...and to this date have my own perfect linux build together and OPTIMIZED to my ends...and so far almost every open source program does the majority that commercial programs can do at half to a quarter of the memory and cpu resource costs that Commercial Software Demands...

Think im wrong? Compare Foxit viewer to Acrobat Reader as one tiny example. ^^

macro support removed ?
By tygrus on 10/17/2010 8:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
..poor support for macros in its Spreadsheet software..

Pot calling the kettle black.
I thought Microsoft removed macro support in the xml like formats and pretends to be secure by turning macros off by default in other formats. Having it off allows MS to pass security tests but if you need those macro's you end up turning the annoying protection off which defeats the idea that MS is safe in the first place.

More MS non-sense...
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2010 8:21:19 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using Open Office since 2002ish and see no need to use MS Office. And there are more and more people doing the same. MS is losing sales hand over fist to OO and for good reason. It is, in many ways, superior to MS Office and is at the bare minimum exceptional. I personally have never had any issues converting[importing/exporting] documents of various formats. The suite run fast, stable and smooth. I have great respect for the open-source community.

This is the kind of thing MS is afraid of. I haven't used MS Office since 2003 and likely never will again. I say good riddance. MS should be ashamed of themselves for such blatant deception and misinformation. But then again, it's MS we're talking about[XBOX360 anyone?] and they seem to have no shame...

im with microft here
By OBLAMA2009 on 10/18/2010 4:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
i tried to save a text file in a recent edition of oo. for some reason it couldnt save. i had to save it as a odf, which worked fine. but still, it couldnt do something even that simple. im glad im not a student, i would have flunked using oo

By mer2329 on 10/19/2010 10:05:37 AM , Rating: 2
I find it interesting that they used hot colors (like red and yellow) as the background color for attacks on open office and cool colors for (like blue and green) for supporting MS office

as hot colors are commonly associated with anger or hatred and cool colors are associated with being calm and collected

whom ever they hired for this definitely put a lot of work into it.

What a crock.
By masamasa on 10/15/2010 3:43:02 PM , Rating: 1
Enough said.

This is Aimed at Business
By MrDiSante on 10/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: This is Aimed at Business
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/15/2010 5:44:43 PM , Rating: 1
Absolutely correct on that thought process. The other two major issues would be Support, and the License Agreement. Many Open Source products have licenses that dictate any improvements your company makes are required to be open and freely distributed. Many businesses will not accept that condition as it could be a trade secret or give them a competitive edge. Look no further than Bloomberg for Excel plugins that under OpenOffice they would be required to "freely distrubute". Those same plugins make them a good amount of money by selling it as part of their service to financial institutions.

RE: This is Aimed at Business
By Penti on 10/16/2010 8:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
Huh? Your free to write proprietary OOo plugins or extensions or use it with proprietary systems or even put your own code in there with the LGPL code, or code linked to the LGPL code, your free not to release any code for changes you make (to GPL/LGPL code) as long as you distribute it internally. There's plenty of commercial non-open source plugins and extensions and even commercial variants of OOo where not all the source is disclosed. Your free to sell OOo extensions. And proprietary Add-ons. Why the uninformed FUD?

RE: This is Aimed at Business
By electroju on 10/18/2010 8:05:12 PM , Rating: 1
To add the trolling statements, OpenOffice quality for documents, spreadsheet, and presentations are amateurish. For any business, OpenOffice ruins professionalism of the company.

OpenOffice does not include grammar checkers, so the amount of grammatical errors will be a problem in the company. It is hard to show off professionalism of the company when your employees make grammatical errors. However spell checkers do not count because dictionary still have to be used to check if the word being used is correct for the context.

I disagree that ribbon style GUI is good. I hate it and if I have to work for a company that uses Office 2007, I would just quit. I feel a mess when I am using ribbon style GUI. The ribbon style GUI is the most inefficient way to use a GUI.

There is an Microsoft Office alternative that is better than OpenOffice and it formats Microsoft Office files correctly. It is named SoftMaker Office. It does not have a grammar check and also you have to pay for it, but is the best Microsoft Office alternative that I found.

RE: This is Aimed at Business
By Murst on 10/19/2010 2:18:32 AM , Rating: 2
Its not just for businesses.

I'm pretty familiar with Excel, and I was referred by someone to solve an issue a person was having with their spreadsheet format for their PhD thesis. They needed to present data in a chart in a very specific format (the main issue was proving dates into a chart and plotting many points with the dates being accurately represented on the x axis ).

Well, when they sent me their spreadsheet, it turns out it was made with OO. Prior to receiving their spreadsheet, I did some research and figured out how to do this with Excel - so after I got the file, I went back to searching to see how to do this with OO. It turns out this is a feature that has been requested in OO for a while, but there is no support even in the latest version.

Is this something that many people need to do? Not really, but it really does suck when you commit to a product and it turns out that the features you need, whether for professional or eduacational reasons, aren't included in the product. Prior to running into this issue, I used to mention OO to people as an alternative - now I just tell them to spend some cash and get MS Office.

I'm sure someday OO will catch up to Excel - we're not there yet though.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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