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OpenOffice Vs. Google Apps

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the google-apps-works-pretty-well-for-me dept.

Software 336

jammag writes "Both OpenOffice and Google Apps are free, so the choice is purely down to which is better. Bruce Byfield, after looking at both, concluded, 'comparing Google Apps to OpenOffice.org is like clubbing a staked-out bunny — Google Apps is so far behind that the whole exercise seems like an exercise in pointless cruelty.' Ouch, that hurts."

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Depends.. (5, Insightful)

Medieval (41719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722465)

Google Apps gives me what I want: A browser-based place to write stuff and make spreadsheets and store the documents where I can access them whenever I like.

Thus, Google Apps is fine for me.

Re:Depends.. (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722575)

I think the last missing link in OOo's suite of tools is an answer to MS Office's SharePoint server.

A good implementation of collaborative document editing would complete OOo's competition with MS Office as well as remove one of the big drawcards that Google apps has.

Personally, I don't use Google apps, as a JavaScript implementation of notepad.exe doesn't come close to satisfying my document management needs, and I can't imagine any serious business would disagree.

Given the extremely rudimentary functionality of Google Apps, I can't for the life of me figure out how there's even a discussion around it's potential use in business.

To the OOo team: Give us an answer to SharePoint! (Please).

Re:Depends.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25723033)

http://www.alfresco.com/

An answer to SharePoint! (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723093)

Why spend resources on that when there are far too many other CMS systems out there already.

Re:Depends.. (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723115)

In a good world, Google Apps would collaborate with OOo, and we'd get OOo with use anywhere functionality. You can use it stand alone, or when away from the office/home/computer you can use your data via web based tools. IMO, that is the best possible outcome, what I would like to see. For now, I use a USB drive to port things around where I need them because Google apps doesn't quite get me what I want and need.

We use it all the time (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723127)

Given the extremely rudimentary functionality of Google Apps, I can't for the life of me figure out how there's even a discussion around it's potential use in business.

We use it all the time. Not for polished docs we're going to hand off to a client, but certainly for internal stuff. We share out docs with staff so application testers can submit comments, saves us writing a custom app to track change requests. For developing content quickly and gathering input from multiple users, it's really nice.

No, the formatting options may not be particularly deep, but I can dash off a quick letter and it looks fine. And that's particularly helpful when I'm starting it here and finishing at home. Saves me an rsync operation and version problems.

If there are cheaper, easier and more convenient ways to solve these problems I haven't found them. GoogleApps works for us.

Re:Depends.. (1)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723139)

I would say a good F/OSS alternative to SharePoint would be great, but that would be a fairly sizable undertaking (though certainly feasible imho). What Google Docs does have that I haven't encountered with OOo or MS Office is the ability to collaborate on the document in nearly-real-time without something like VNC or Live Meeting, respectively. If there is way to do this in OOo or MS Office, someone please tell me how! ^_^

Re:Depends.. (2, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723147)

I think the last missing link in OOo's suite of tools is an answer to MS Office's SharePoint server.

I know people who use Wiki specifically for the reason.

It has lots of unexpected features for collaboration e.g. RSS feeds for new pages and category updates.

P.S.

Personally, I don't use Google apps, as a JavaScript implementation of notepad.exe doesn't come close to satisfying my document management needs, and I can't imagine any serious business would disagree.

Well, I can't believe that somebody was fooled by Google's pitch.

Google Doc thingy is fine for simple documents but falls flat for any serious purposes like e.g. specification or protocol.

To the OOo team: Give us an answer to SharePoint! (Please).

For that, I would expect sooner KOffice/Kolab integration, rather than something from OO.o.

On other side, Sun is still backs StarOffice, so they as server company might introduce another Java monstrosity as SharePoint analogue.

Re:Depends.. (1)

dannys42 (61725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723327)

The problem I have with MSWord style version tracking is that it's a bit incongruent with my software version tracking. What I'd like to see is a way for OOo to have maybe some type of plugin support for third party version tracking, so that I can tie into subversion for example. Then all we need is a generic OOo diff'ing mechanism and we're done.

ie. I'd like to be able to do a diff between two documents and see things in a similar fashion to the unix diff command. This is something I can't easily do with MSWord documents either, although the way I see most people save multiple copies of their documents, it'd probably be invaluable. (Though I believe there are 3rd party apps for MSWord to do that).

Granted, I do understand that storing editing changes within the document itself is perhaps solving a different problem and has it's own uses.

Re:Depends.. (5, Funny)

Kjuib (584451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722599)

but... what if you need help typing a letter? Google Apps provides no such paper clip to help... you are screwed.

Re:Depends.. (3, Insightful)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722683)

I think it a little strange that you or anyone else believe locking your own data in some remove server in some proprietary format is fine, and having to work on your files through a slow internet link and browser, and paying for use on a per-hour basis is a good idea.

But what I'll never understand is that anybody would deem Google worthy of trust as far as data privacy is concerned.

This web-app business is another web-two-oh fad that will never work because nobody want the concept of it. Software company would love it though, and if it ever gets forced upon users, it'll be a sad day in computing.

Re:Depends.. (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723087)

Oh no! It's Roland!

Google Apps lets you share documents across diverse locations in realtime and includes the ability to collaboratively edit documents simultaneously. Internet connections are NOT slow. Google Apps loads faster then Word does. Lastly you CAN save the documents off of Google Apps and keep them on your hard drive. Stop living in the past.

Re:Depends.. (3, Interesting)

zarlino (985890) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722773)

The day Google Apps will be full of ads or will ask you for a subscription fee, I'll pay for a video of you trying to export your documents one by one after the announce that the export feature will be removed in 24 hours.

Re:Depends.. (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722837)

Google Apps gives me what I want: A browser-based place to write stuff and make spreadsheets and store the documents where I can access them whenever I like.

..until your internet access goes down.

How about Portable ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722857)

I keep Open Office on a USB Thumb Drive and I can use Open Office anywhere I like and work with my documents anywhere I like and I do not need network connectivity and bandwidth to do it.

Re:Depends.. (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723009)

"documents where I can access them whenever I like."

except for when you dont have internet connectivity, then you cant get them even if your life depended on it.

Re:Depends.. (3, Interesting)

RiffRafff (234408) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723249)

True enough. I can't access Google Docs from work, for instance:
Your request was denied because of its content categorization: "Personal Network Storage;Interactive Web Applications"

Re:Depends.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25723331)

Yep, because Google Gears does not exist!

Re:Depends.. (1)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723117)

Adobe Buzzword is a lot more interesting than Google Apps, in my opinion.

Give Google Apps some time. (5, Funny)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722471)

After all, they are still in Beta. :)

Re:Give Google Apps some time. (1)

williamhb (758070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723023)

After all, they are still in Beta. :)

Sure, but Google reckons that in the global economy, that makes them world-betas. (say it aloud). I'm here all week...

Fight each other. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25723141)

After all, they are still in Beta. :)

Yea, I noticed that. Whenever I have more than one app open [wikipedia.org] , they will fight until one of them dies. It really sucks because it'll take my machine down with them.

Accessibility (5, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722475)

I use OpenOffice at home for documents I want to keep secure (for the most part, I detest cloud computing) but for documents that can be out in the open, I prefer GoogleDocs simply because I can access them from any computer available to me and make a quick change.

Convenience (2, Funny)

Sagara Sozou (726002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722481)

Google Apps are a new paradigm in software, having commonly used applications entirely on a server so that multiple users can use them. I think we'll see this on par with Open Office when it becomes more popular.

Re:Convenience (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722795)

"Google Apps are a new paradigm in software, having commonly used applications entirely on a server so that multiple users can use them."
You are being funny right?
This is the very old way of doing things. Anybody that worked on a PDP-11, Vax, 360/370, Model 38, AS400, or any number of other mini or mainframes would tell you the same thing.

Google Apps are really a great example of. Good enough.
They are good enough for most people.
As to Convenience. No network no programs, no data as well.
The internet isn't everywhere yet so if anything Google Apps are less convenient than carrying you data on a USB drive.

Re:Convenience (5, Insightful)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722853)

Some new paradigm indeed. What you describe is how computing was done before (servers and terminals) before PCs got powerful enough for software to become decentralized, which until recently, was viewed as a major advance in computing.

Nowadays, people seem to think it's such a great idea to go back to the past, but I suspect it's a concerted effort by software companies to go back to the days where they could control everything and charge everybody anything they please through centralized server.

Re:Convenience (3, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722961)

"The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know."

-Harry S Truman

Sounds familar.... (1, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722483)

...like clubbing a staked-out bunny...

Reminds me of the hideous section from Stephen King's 'The Dark Half' where he [King]recounts the sadistic sexual farmer who shoots his [the farmer's] horse while he [the farmer] masturbates to orgasm.

(Posting as AC for obviuos reasons...)

=Smidge=

Re:Sounds familar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722535)

(Posting as AC for obviuos reasons...)

FAIL.

Re:Sounds familar.... (1)

stocke2 (600251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722541)

funny, the first thing that comes to mind for me is monty python.

"clubbing a staked-out bunny"? (5, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722487)

I eagerly followed the link in summary hoping to see some good bunny staking pictures or even bunnies clubbing a steak (for tenderness?), but NOOOO, I get some article about Google and OpenOffice. Seriously, who came up with the term "clubbing a staked-out bunny"? Who EVER says that?
Is this a reference to some Simpson's episode (w. Natalie Portman doing voice overs) that I missed?

Re:"clubbing a staked-out bunny"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722703)

No idea where that came from.

But in Soviet Russia, stake-out bunnies club you.

Re:"clubbing a staked-out bunny"? (2, Informative)

Daffy Duck (17350) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722873)

Go back further, young whippersnapper. "Upper Class Twit of the Year Show."

Re:"clubbing a staked-out bunny"? (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723199)

I nearly won Twitter of the Year award too, once.

Wait a minute...

This is pointless (5, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722497)

Does anyone expect a web app to come close to a heavy hitter like Open Office? It serves a different purpose; it will edit documents from any decent web browser at any location. The computer doesn't need access to my files as long as Google has them and it doesn't need any special software, either.

Google docs isn't special because it's a great office suite; it's special because it's convenient.

Re:This is pointless (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722577)

I wouldn't necessarily say that. And what's more, I would like to see tests like how it handles very large files.

Frankly, what I would like to see is "OpenOffice.org-server" that will host those apps on a network server... preferably one under user/admin control and doesn't require live internet.

Re:This is pointless (1)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723211)

I wouldn't necessarily say that. And what's more, I would like to see tests like how it handles very large files.

I actually tried this a couple of years ago; it was slow on large files, but if the formatting gets messed up (say, unclosed tags, things pasted in from Word, or the like), it became unusable on a large file if there are multiple people editing at once; there were edit conflicts every few seconds. In the end we split it into something like 5 or 6 subdocuments, and I spent a few hours with Tidy and emacs sorting all the markup out. For all I know, though, Google's fixed this since.

Re:This is pointless (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722885)

The very good point that you make is that comparisons should be made apples-against-apples. Form, fit, function and context should be considered when judging effectiveness and suitability for purpose. I still use plain the old hex/text editor for certain things, and it's perfectly fit for that specific purpose. I then use Oo.org and MS Office (when compelled by a low threshold intolerance to interoperability degradation) for other tasks. That said, I find Oo.org 3.0 such an excellent product that even if were not FOSS, I'd still prefer it and would pay a competitive price over the latest MS Office. Out of shear curiosity, does anyone know what advantages Star Offices brings over Oo.org?

Why the Vs? (5, Interesting)

BrotherJustin (1135421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722505)

Is there something wrong with using both? If I have net connection, it's Google. If I'm offline, it's OpenOffice.

Mod parent up for common sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722569)

nt

blah blah blah

Re:Why the Vs? (5, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722637)

Is there something wrong with using both?

If I have net connection, it's Google.
If I'm offline, it's OpenOffice.

We live in a time of extreme opinions. Ever tried expressing a liking for two supposedly opposing products in a room full of geeks, or here? I have, it ain't pretty.

I use OpenOffice, MSOffice 2003, and Google docs. I think MSOffice is better, but I like OpenOffice for my Linux laptop, and Google docs when I'm away from my main machine.

I also like and routinely use both Windows and Linux. I'm an open source developer of six years standing, coding for both platforms, and I STILL get blasted by clueless f**ks who think that just because they've commented on a slashdot story they are fully able to preach 'though must prefer open source and hate Microsoft' to me.

It does grate some times, I have to say.

Re:Why the Vs? (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723041)

"think MSOffice is better,"

upgrade to Office 2007, that will change your mind.

The BEST office suite ever made was office 2000. I wish that OO.o would strive for speed and performance instead of ooooh shiney like everyone else does.

Re:Why the Vs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25723053)

Thou must prefer open source and hate Microsoft!

Re:Why the Vs? (5, Funny)

heritage727 (693099) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723151)

We live in a time of extreme opinions.

If you believe that you're the stupidest person in the history of the universe.

Re:Why the Vs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25723263)

Ommygod, this luser likes more than one product that does more or less the same! Get 'em, boys!!

Re:Why the Vs? (1)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723319)

Ever tried expressing a liking for two supposedly opposing products in a room full of geeks, or here? I have, it ain't pretty.

I'm sure it's not as bad as all that. Incidentally, I happen to be equally fond of both emacs and vi. (Ducks)

Re:Why the Vs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25723175)

No. We're at war. Pick a side and bludgeon the other to death.

Example in your case: If you have a net connection, FUCK YOU AND YOUR FUCKING GOOGLE you're so fucking stupid and fucking lame, fucker OpenOffice will stomp over Google and then come anD EAT YOU, FUKCING HERETIC

See? It's much easier!

Re:Why the Vs? (1)

harrypelles (872287) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723325)

wow.

What needs to be discussed? (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722521)

Open Office kicks seven kinds of Hell out of Google Apps in terms of functionality. Google docs offers online sharing of documents / collaborative working. You know what Open Office is doing with your data (f' all) and you don't know what Google is doing with it. Choose a product according to your requirements. Simple enough.

Comparing Tulips to Oranges, are we ? (3, Insightful)

choas (102419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722545)

Because that's what it is, right ?

A locall?y running suite to an online suite...

I mean, I'm all for opensource and stuff, but this...

Let's compare my wallet to my bankaccount...

Wallet wins hands down because I can pay a cabfare with it...

Re:Comparing Tulips to Oranges, are we ? (1)

choas (102419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722567)

I should've thrown a WTF in there, somewhere

Re:Comparing Tulips to Oranges, are we ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722743)

A woman will appreciate some tulips if you give them to her.
But she will hit you over the head if you give her a bag of oranges.
But you can eat the oranges or make juice with them.
You can't do that with tulips. The only thing they're good for is giving them to women.
Ergo, women make no sense.

Why even bother comparing them (1)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722571)

It's a bit of a non-article really. In other news, a Hummer mk.1 is less fuel efficient than a Prius. They've both got 4 wheels, so it's writing an article comparing them.

Re:Why even bother comparing them (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722627)

While we're on car analogies, I like to think about it as using one's own vehicle(OO) vs. using public transportation(Docs).

Re:Why even bother comparing them (1)

stocke2 (600251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722641)

and the hummer definitely wins cause it could roll over top of a prius without slowing down.
it could also go into areas a prius would just be stuck
of course if you need to get through a space less than like 10 feet wide the hummer is straight out.

This is a false comparison because the apps were meant for different things, and don't really compete, well at least not in my opinion. I have used both, and for different reasons/projects.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722591)

google sucks

Re:first post (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722785)

Oh, you almost got it!

Re:first post (1)

spivster (1136769) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723063)

He must have been using Google Chrome.

I don't generally use Google Docs, because... (2, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722611)

It doesn't do what I need it to do, primarily support for plugins and extensions. There are a couple of important add-ons I use in OO.o that just aren't available in GDocs.

Well, also, I use a translation suite (Heartsome) that can't deal with any online docs. The document has to be reformatted to XLF format for use in the suite. Once complete, I convert it back to either ODF or doc format, and then I suppose I could use GDocs as storage. But there are a million online storage options out there now, some offering dav access.

Apples and Oranges, people... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722613)

Apples and Oranges, people...

GoogleDocs, for example, is merely a quick, easily accessible and SHARABLE online tool.

OpenOffice is a full suite of office software with an actual footprint on a single existing computer.

Not even worth comparing at this point. Not until we get more into a blur of web-based software and installed software.

It's a web app! (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722621)

Google Apps is right there in my browser and doesn't take a minute to start.

Also, unlike OpenOrifice.org, actually using Google Apps isn't like eating a bowl of sawdust with milk on for breakfast every morning.

Re:It's a web app! (1)

stocke2 (600251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722691)

sometimes its like eating a bowl of sawdust without the milk.

I have had problems with it when it didn't like my browser, and like right now, I have a bad cable splitter in my attic that I have to get to this afternoon so I have no internet at home because of low signal and bad noise.

Re:It's a web app! (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722879)

There is that. But FF3 is reasonably reliable for it.

Does Google Apps work offline with Google Gears? (Haven't tried it.)

When I really can't be bothered starting the two-ton OpenOrifice, KWrite does just fine.

It takes time to connect to the Internet first (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722815)

Google Apps is right there in my browser and doesn't take a minute to start.

Unless your browser takes a minute to start. This can happen in a lot of cases: your dial-up or ISDN Internet access takes a minute to start, or your laptop's 3G card takes a minute to start, or it takes a minute to read the privacy policy that a Wi-Fi hotspot's captive portal presents and put in your credit card number.

Re:It takes time to connect to the Internet first (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722971)

There is that :-) My usual use case is a file emailed to me. I live in my Gmail.

Re:It's a web app! (1)

Conor Turton (639827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722931)

Google Apps is right there in my browser and doesn't take a minute to start.

How well does it start when your internet access isn't available?

Re:It's a web app! (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723055)

Usual use case is reading docs sent to me in email.

When I can't be arsed with the two-ton OOo, KWrite does fine much faster.

O Rly? (4, Insightful)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722629)

This is one of those articles that probably started out as an interesting idea, but then immediately was like 'oh, a bit of a waste of time'. I suppose the idea is that they are both popular and free to use, and thus was born the idea.

As everyone has (and will) pointed out, they serve different purposes. It's like comparing the OS on my phone to the OS on my laptop, and then saying 'wow, you can do so much more with the laptop OS'. Duh, mofo.. shortage of article ideas this month?

And don't mean to sound so harsh, just too much coffee I'm thinking.

Nobody I know uses open office (1)

1155 (538047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722631)

Nobody I know uses open office, however a lot of people I know will can and do use google's applications. There is something to be said for simple/easy to use.

Plus, oo requires me to install something, why do I want to go through all of that headache?

This article reads like a fanboy post to be quite honest.

Re:Nobody I know uses open office (1)

stocke2 (600251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722761)

in other news I know a bunch of people who eat living scorpions for breakfast, they must therefore be much better than captain crunch.

Just because people you know use google docs instead for open office doesn't mean that it is better or more used.

If you are in the apple store and say every computer I see is a mac, would you say noone must use windows anymore?

Re:Nobody I know uses open office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722817)

OpenOffice requires you to install something? You're kidding right? You are honestly that helpless?

I pity you.

When you're without Internet access (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722939)

Plus, oo requires me to install something, why do I want to go through all of that headache?

On the other hand, google apps require me to install something that costs money per month [att.com] , why do I want to go through all of that headache?

Maybe they do... (1)

dorfsmay (566262) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723081)

Maybe people you know do use OpenOffice.Org, but they know that you use MS office, and convert their files before sending them to you.

People who don't know me, regularly send me PowerPoint and Word documents, and if you were to ask them, they'd probably tell you that I do use MS Office.

Tune in next week... (5, Funny)

famebait (450028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722633)

-when we'll be comparing novels to text messaging.

While on the subject (0, Offtopic)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722649)

Speaking of collaborative tools, anyone know of a good, free shared white board? I was searching for such an animal recently, and the results were disappointing, to say the least. There were only a couple of players, and the functionality was pretty bad.

Buzzword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722653)

I'm surprised no one ever mentions Buzzword. I prefer it to Google Docs by far. It's sharing features far surpass Docs.

Seriously, if you want a free online word processor, Buzzword is the way to go.

Hosting your own Google apps.. (1)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722661)

Since Google sells Indexing appliances, wouldn't it be cool for them to sell a version that also has Gmail and Google apps?

That way, a company could use these in their own "cloud" (hate that word) , and users would get a user interface that they are used to, available from anywhere. Google could also compete heavily with sharepoint and Exchange in the enterprise that way..

Office apts of declining importance? (4, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722667)

Is it just me or are office apps becoming increasingly unimportant.

Ten years ago I spent most of my computing time in some kind of office app. Now I rarely use them. And I receive fewer office documents via email.

Perhaps the office app is just dying? Are they just transition applications between a paper based office and a paperless one anyway?

Re:Office apts of declining importance? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722861)

Is it just me or are office apps becoming increasingly unimportant.

Ten years ago I spent most of my computing time in some kind of office app. Now I rarely use them. And I receive fewer office documents via email.

Sorry that you lost your job...I'm sure you'll find another once the recession is done.

I'll still use MS Office (0)

greymond (539980) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722669)

Cause it's what my work uses and the install disks get passed around our office as well as it's free from the interwebz

Freedom matters. (4, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722717)

Both OpenOffice and Google Apps are free, so the choice is purely down to which is better.

Ummm... no. One is free of charge only, the other is both free of charge and free as in freedom. One stores your data on computers you have no control over and leaves you at the whim of unexpected feature changes [slashdot.org] by a publically-traded company whose customers are their advertisers and whose product is your eyeballs; the other leaves you firmly in control over your own data and your own software. These are serious considerations.

confidentiality (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722733)

The question is not so much functionality or reliability. This will eventually converge. The main difference is confidentiality. Are the data on google docs treated correctly? Is it possible to access them for other purposes? It is convenient for example for schools to collect grades on a google spreadsheet. Are these data kept away from third eyes? Are students with good scores for example being targeted suddenly by job hunters? I'm not aware of any case, where data has leaked, but we put a lot of trust in companies offering online applications.

openoffice is opensource googleapps is "shareware" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722805)

Open office, as it is open source, is free now and free for indefinite period of time in the future. You have the source, you can recompile it for any future device.

Google apps, OTOH, only lives as long as Googles current business model lives.

Possibly, web apps are worst than shareware in this way.

Open Office Headless (1)

slummy (887268) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722889)

Why doesn't Google run a headless version of OOo? That way they can convert documents on the fly (as they are already doing, poorly) more efficiently. This would also eliminate the need for competition. Both companies would be working together to make their products better.

Not apple to apple (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722927)

It's like using the the online banking interface to management my wealth in the bank [GoogleApps], and using quicken/spreadsheet to management my wealth that I manage (like Stock, Cash...) [OpenOffice]

or a better example: Gmail versus [insert your favorite email client]. No matter how sophisticated the gmail is, there are always some non-replacable reason that I want to keep my email client. It might looks stupid 20 years later why I still keep that (if we are moving everything to the cloud) but at this moment, I love my Thunderbird and Outlook.

Not to mention that the maturity and in feature-wise, GoogleApps is far behind from the gmail than their offline alternatives...I don't think we could many any sensible comparison here.

Biased agenda. (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722947)

I think this says it all.
"But if Stallman's observations aren't enough to stop you from using network apps, a comparison of a leading example like Google Apps with free and open source software (FOSS) such as OpenOffice.org should be."

I really like OpenOffice. Version 3 is very good but this is clearly based on an agenda.
Google Docs are.
1. Good enough for most people. Guess what folks if a program does what you need it too any other features are meaningless.
2. Stores your data online. Great for anything that isn't extremely private. Even better because Google will probably do a better job of backing it up than you will.
3. It works most every where. No need to install it or keep it updated.
4. Works with many common file formats just like OO.org.

If you need OO.org than Google docs will not work for you. But then if you need a feature in Microsoft Office that OO.org doesn't support then you need Office.
But for a lot of people Google Docs are great.
But since both are free as in beer. You might as well use both.

Like comparing a Model T to a Corvette (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723003)

This article is really quite pathetic. Google Apps is barely out of beta. OpenOffice is based on StarOffice which has been around for over 10 years now. Isn't it kind of silly to expect a first generation product to have all the features of something that is in release 8?

I knew this article would be a steaming pile of manure in the first two paragraphs. The writer acts as though Stallman's opinion is the truth from on high. I know very few people who care if they have access to source code, especially source code to a web site or web application. I only care about ownership of and access to my documents. After all, it is not like I am installing the software on my computer, now is it?

The article is just a "me too" from a Stallman fanboy trying to add and justify to the pronouncements of the Grand Poobah of FLOSS .

Collaborative editing (5, Insightful)

Hierarch (466609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723047)

I haven't seen anybody hit my own personal reason to use Google's applications: collaborative editing. If I'm working on my own document, I want it right here under my control, so I'll use OpenOffice. (Actually, I'm more likely to use vi and latex.) But if I'm working with someone, who may not even be in the same country as I am, I'm going to go to Google. My alternatives are to email copies back and forth and manually deal with merges, or to set up a revision control repository of whatever flavor I like. That's more of a pain in my work day than I like.

This also isn't something where OpenOffice can improve. It requires having the infrastructure in place to conveniently share documents, and that's just not part of the OO paradigm. Sure, a repository makes it possible, but I don't want to run a repo, I want to work on documents! Google can do it "out of the box."

Apples and Rocks (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723061)

This is like comparing a Ferrari to a vintage model T.

Give it time to mature before you compare it to anything that has had decades to advance.

like clubbing a staked-out bunny... (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723067)

...but not as fun.

"Powerpoint" (0, Offtopic)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723075)

I'm happy, generally, with open office, with the exception of Impress. I am NOT happy with Impress. It's very slow (and I'm running on some pretty fast computers), even slide transitions get bogged down. It is not at all on par with Powerpoint.

How lame... (3, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723079)

What a lame comparison. Open Office is a huge (as in bloated) and slow software suite that makes me cry when I have to use it for something serious. I prefer to use Koffice even though it lacks some features I'd like. The fact that using MS Excel on a VM on my linux machine is several orders more productive than running OO natively, should be a good indication. Notice I did not mention MS Word and "productive" in the same sentence, for Word processing I resort to Abiword (or Kword if I want more DTP style).
So, in summary, OO compares (IMO) badly to its real competitors. Google Apps are a whole different paradigm, targeting completely different usage scenarios. It is not either Google or OO (or Koffice etc). You first decide if your needs require web or local applications and then you decide among the available software for the platform. The web apps will probably never have the same feature set as the local apps for probably good reasons.
Lame, lame article.
Next week on /.: PS3 vs MAME, MS Flight Simulator vs Hot air Balloons, Mars Rover vs RAV4.

Next comparison (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723089)

Computing site shocked to discover that FlickR performs poorly in comparison to photos stored on hard drive. FlickR declared backwards-ass waste of time.

Compare apples with apples (1)

alegrepublic (83799) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723097)

Comparing OO to Google apps may make more sense if we try to look at their features in a more abstract setup: type of storage, type of UI, ease of use, functionality, freedom and openess. Let us say we compare Google apps with storing OO documents in the cloud. Then, the main advantage of Google docs goes away and we are left with an application that runs only on a Web interface, whose code is not accessible to the user and that uses a closed format for documents versus an application that runs only on a classical interface, whose code is fully accessible to the user and that uses a fully documented and standards-approved format. Then, they only thing Google could claim in their favor is maybe ease of use. Is that enough? Not for me or for anyone who values freedom.

Content (1)

ndberry (1369409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723105)

I have more MS office keys floating around than I know what to do with so I just go with that. If I had to use one it would be open office.

Re:Content (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723223)

I have an idea of what you could do with one of them ;)

Google integration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25723111)

Why not combine the two? There must be some way to give it functionality to "Save to Google Docs." That would be very useful.

Context, please (3, Insightful)

blophyus (1166871) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723173)

From the article:

Which leads to one simple question: With all these politically free, feature-rich alternatives available for the download, why would anyone choose to work with Google Apps?

Because it's online. I work with people across the country and across the world. For many of these people, attaching a document to an email is asking a lot. Not to mention the version control headaches (documentA.doc, documentA2.doc, etc) that inevitably arise in document-sharing situations. Google Docs stops this kind of suffering. I've used it with technologically illiterate people to great effect.

In a quantitative comparison of features, yeah, OO has more. Clearly. *cough*. I don't think that was ever a question. If you're a power user, or you're trying to write complex documentation or something, then yeah, you probably need OO. But for sharing simple docs across geographically dispersed people, Google Docs wins hands down.

The question isn't proprietary vs FOSS vs web-based vs desktop. It's "what do you want to use it for". A Blackberry isn't a replacement for a laptop, but if all you want is mobile email, it's probably fine.

funny, but not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25723237)

It's funny, but invariably I uninstall openOffice within hours of installing it, but I've been happily using g'Apps for months now. Maybe it's because I use MSOffice 2k and openOffice is just similar enough that I expect it to be exactly the same. G'apps are small enough that I'm OK learning them anew.

It's a no brainer... (3, Insightful)

jonnyj (1011131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25723299)

...for any kind of regulated business unless you plan to do due diligence on the security, confidentiality and availability of data held by Google.

Can you guarantee that Google won't pass your customers' personal data to a backup site that's not in your home country? Can you be certain that no Google admin will pass your confidential downsizing proposals to the media? Does Google offer guarantees that important correspondence is available within the timescales required by a regulator? Does Google guarantee to delete obsolete data in accordance with local data protection laws? Is the answer to these questions supported by an enforceable contract?

Google apps has its place for personal correspondence. But if your using the cloud to store corporate or customer data without answering questions like these, you're professionally negligent.

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