Print 28 comment(s) - last by maugrimtr.. on Nov 20 at 8:05 AM

Open-source software groups are angry atone German city's claims

The German city of Freiburg has been using OpenOffice 3.2.1, which is an open-source productivity suite that is used as an alternative to Microsoft Office, for the past five years. The city has announced that it plans to ditch the open-source office suite and return to Microsoft Office after running into numerous problems.

Some of the issues cited by the city council include documents that were improperly formatted when opened in another office suite and conversion problems between presentation programs PowerPoint and Impress. The Council also felt that Calc and Impress performed significantly more poorly than Microsoft alternatives.

"The divergence of the development community (LibreOffice on one hand Apache Office on the other) is crippling for the development for OpenOffice," the council wrote.

The Free Software Foundation Europe, the Document Foundation, and the Open Source Business Alliance protested the city Council's findings. The groups said that the city Council was comparing apples to oranges.

"Numerous statements concerning LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice are incorrect or outdated," the groups said in the letter. They also added that the support of LibreOffice and OpenOffice is at a professional level these days. The group continued saying, "The assessment of the evaluation that compatibility to Microsoft Office cannot be reached in the next few years, is also wrong."

It's worth noting that while Microsoft Office 2013 hit RTM status in October, Freiburg will be using a combination of Office 2000 and Office 2010. 


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RE: How cute
By Samus on 11/19/2012 2:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is the retail price of MSO (and Office Live subscriptions) is ridiculous.

The student license is really good, though.

But your average consumer that doesn't purchase it prebundled with a PC (Dell discounts Office Home & Business to $150, opposed to $250 retail) is going to simply pirate it. And with no OGA program, they'll get away with it.

RE: How cute
By Labotomizer on 11/19/2012 3:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
It's not as expensive as you think. It's around $150, so about $50/computer. I'm not sure how that's expensive. Business pays more but they also tend ot overpurchase. "We need Pro" is a common statement yet the user will never launch Access or Publisher. Understanding the right product for the right situation is the key to being a smart consumer, and that goes for everything, not just office.

RE: How cute
By augiem on 11/19/2012 6:04:25 PM , Rating: 2
Couple that with the fact that most people will be using it for at least 5 years and most businesses and schools probably 20 years. Cost over the lifetime is insignificant. People have got to stop having this attitude that software and electronic goods should be next to free. It takes a tremendous amount of work to create these things and the guys who make them deserve to be paid.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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