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M$ Office versus OpenOffice.org

Heise wrote: "Microsoft vergleicht MS Office mit OpenOffice", which is translated "Microsoft compares MS Office to OpenOffice".

Ideed, they brought out a leaflet for their sales partners to give them some pros for their product. I want to list up a few arguments/statements and comment them:

Customer: OpenOffice.org is free. M$: OpenOffice.org is not free. - Installation and deployment. Sorry, Microsoft, but it mostly offers the same installation features your office offers. And beside that, every large company has it's own, customized installation and deployment infrastructure established. So, why should OOo not fit into that?

  • OpenOffice.org does not have an email client.

    Pretty correct, but is that a disadvantage? IMHO an email client has nothing to do inside an offica package. On the other hand most companies have established email solutions and if they don't, there are tons of stable open source email clients out there.

Customer: I only need basic features, so OpenOffice.org is good enough. M$: But Business needs to...

  • ...exchange business transaction information externally with customers and vendors.

    Can anyone explain to me, what exactly "business transaction information" are? Ok, I guess they want to say "exchange documents". Where is the problem? OOo can read and write M$ Office documents. And if they did not realize it yet, most document exchange with external companies take place in Adobe PDF format, what OOo supports to export naturally since version 1.1. Isn't that a cost benefit if you do not have to buy an external PDF writer?

  • ...ensure that their mission-critical information is adequatly protected from virus attacks.

    Let me just think a moment... Wasn't their another office suite which opens a wide barn door for viruses in office macro languages...? Mhhh... maybe I missed something...

  • ... create marketing material that portrays the business in a professional manner.

    Creator information from the source PDF of the statement: QuarkXPress(tm) 4.11, Acrobat Distiller 4.05 for Macintosh.

Customer: OpenOffice.org is an open source alternative. M$: OpenOffice.org does not have a dedicated development or support rteam.

Correct. They do not have. But indeed their are companies which offer proffessional support for OpenOffice.org. And even SUN (Star Office) brings back every bug fix to the community. Beside that, M$ has (I guess) not more than 1000 people working and supporting M$ Office, but OOo has about 10000 developers and a hughe support machinery (mailinglists, forums,...).

Ok, I admit, that M$ Office has still a huge variaty of features (who uses them?) which OpenOffice.org does not have. I also admit, that it looks a bit nicer and includes more programs (uuhhh... Outlook and Access are my favorites! LOL!). But indeed, OpenOffice gets more and more a pretty good alternativen and personally I use it for a long time now as my standard office suite.

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