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Forrester Research Shows Steep Decline in Free Office Suite Stats

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the file-formats-rule-the-world dept.

Businesses 337

An anonymous reader writes that although many Linux users (and others) are at home with OpenOffice and LibreOffice, typical organizations are as addicted as ever to MS office formats. In 2011 13% of organizations had OpenOffice variants installed on some computers. Today that number has dipped to 5% according to Forrester Research. ... The poll included [shows totals] over 100% as many organizations have multiple versions of offices installed. Also surprising, Office 2003 is alive kicking and screaming as almost 1/3 of companies and governments still use it even though EOL for Office 2003 ends with XP on the same date! The good news is online cloud-based platforms are gaining traction with Google Docs and Office 365 which are not so tied to Windows on the client."

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337 comments

Office 365 (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#45183873)

So to avoid locking our data into a Windows-only proprietary format, we'll lock it into a Windows-centric Microsoft-owned cloud? Oh yeah, that's going to work much better.

Re:Office 365 (4, Insightful)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 6 months ago | (#45183895)

So to avoid locking our data into a Windows-only proprietary format, we'll lock it into a Windows-centric Microsoft-owned proprietary format cloud? Oh yeah, that's going to work much better.

FTFY

Re:Office 365 (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184029)

Well with 365 at least the Windows tie is broken as any modern browser can be used on any device or platform.

  But one less tie in is better than 2 I guess. I shudder if Mozilla failed then we would have 3 ties as well with IE 6!

Maybe an opensource cloud office suite that anyone can run on any webserver is what geeks should be working on next? The cloud is gaining traction and my fear is if we just sit around with Libreoffice we will miss this and the cloud will have MS lockin all over with skydrive too.

Any ones thoughts?

Re:Office 365 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184143)

What is the benefit of cloud-based office software? I understand it allows the service provider to demand rent indefinitely. What benefit does it provide to the end-user?

Re:Office 365 (5, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184161)

What is the benefit of cloud-based office software? I understand it allows the service provider to demand rent indefinitely. What benefit does it provide to the end-user?

Easy. I can view my docs anywhere. From my phone, home pc, work pc, whatever. Dropbox has some of this but office file compatibility is a problem for example when it comes to spreadsheets.

Second, it is a damn pain in the ass to setup software to be updated and pushed on thousands of PCs in a work envrionment. With this you push a group policy for a hyperlink. Sovled as the website or intranet site takes care of everything. No hunting down damn Outlook archive folders when upgrading a PC. If a company wants something confidential they flag it and it instantly is unavailable elsewhere. On the cloud means it wont leave on flash drivers either.

Re:Office 365 (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 6 months ago | (#45184221)

Some businesses are just switching to thin RDP/Citrix clients like this: http://www.wyse.com/products/cloud-clients/thin-clients/C10LE [wyse.com]

A friend of mine has them at work. Somehow he manages to get stuff done with it.

Re:Office 365 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184285)

Yuck we use them at work and they can become unresponsive even under light loads.

This still requires the thin client to be installed locally which neglects the pros.

Re:Office 365 (2)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 6 months ago | (#45184357)

On the cloud, it doesn't *have* to leave on flash drives, it's already out there.

In no way can you guarantee security of your data when it is on the premises of someone else.

Re:Office 365 (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 6 months ago | (#45184387)

As a compromise, for sensitive documents, Citrix applications seem to work. This allows viewing of docs pretty much anywhere, but the items are stored in a secure area (namely the business's data center) and not stored by a third party who realistically has little to no legal responsibility for the documents getting compromised.

A business pays for the servers, either at their own data center, or at the cloud provider's data center, so might as well keep the data where one physically knows where it is.

Re:Office 365 (2)

chr1st1anSoldier (2598085) | about 6 months ago | (#45184525)

The IT company I work for co-hosted a clinic with Baylor Health, Baylor switched the clinic over to Citrix. I will go along with your statement, "Citrix applications seem to work." The clinic had a lot of problems with Citrix. Personally, one thing that really grinded my gears with citrix is when you added a new printer to the machine. You had to completely exit out of Citrix and then restart it before the printer would appear in a Citrix application for use. Small, I know, but can be a pain when you are replacing a printer with a newer model, different brand, etc.

Re:Office 365 (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 6 months ago | (#45184599)

Citrix can be fiddly, but I've seen pretty decent working setups. It definitely isn't a perfect solution (Citrix servers are another point of failure, and they can go down), but they are sort of a middle ground between all in-house versus all in the cloud.

If it does work, it makes life easy because clients only need a Citrix client as opposed to an office suite.

Another alternative are packaging utilities. A few years ago, there was a program called Thinstall (now bought up by EMC.) I had good success with this program because I could package Office suites and other in-house stuff, host it on a CIFS share, and just push out some shortcuts on client machines. The client machines would cache/stream the package. When it came to update time, I just locate the updated packages in the same directory as the first ones, and the bootstrap application was smart enough to grab those and run it, making updates on the client side just a simple quit/re-run of the program.

There is another program similar, which I eventually want to get around to trying, Evalaze, which offers some more functionality.

The advantage of virtualizing the apps is that nothing has to be installed (via policies or MSI pushes) on the client side. All that is needed is to throw some shortcuts on the client box, and that is done.

Re:Office 365 (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184713)

I just had management freak out over this at my workplace last week. ... even though I am not the damn IT guy at the other company who setup Citrix!...

Anyway you need to set the default printer and then open it Citrix remote desktop. If it is not default then they call you and expect you to fix another company's system that is remote ... and fix the internet while you are at it.

Citrix cost some employees their job as IE pops randomly do not go up when it gets busy and they can't read HIPPA documents to customers on the phone. It freezes up even under a light load where the cpu usage is 15% and ram only 40%.

I hate that thing with a passion and wish VMWare clients were cheaper.

Re:Office 365 (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 6 months ago | (#45184347)

To me, none.

All an attacker has to do is get admin access to the cloud servers, and every single user and company is theirs. With data stored locally, an attacker would have to pick and choose targets by risk/reward value.

Cloud storage has its uses (especially if I do the encryption locally before it is sent up, such as via a TrueCrypt container), but writing documents on a cloud provider can spell out bad news, especially if someone decides to compromise the provider, tar up all the storage directories, and offer it all for download as an anonymous torrent.

Re:Office 365 (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 6 months ago | (#45184485)

In my company we use it for certain documents which must be edited and viewed by multiple people.
Pretty useful, but not critical.

Re:Office 365 (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 6 months ago | (#45184187)

Look at OwnCloud if you want to host your own stuff "in a cloud". But the sales pitch for Office 365 is that they do all the "icky computery" stuff, like backups and upgrades.

Of course the drawbacks of cloud are well known, too: you need to be online, you need to pay them monthly, and it can be read by anyone with a warrant (or not a warrant, if they're the NSA. )

Vendor lock-in changes, too. Sure, you can download an Office 365 document to import into Open Office. Today. And just because the TOS says you can today doesn't mean those terms can't be changed tomorrow.

There's a lot to dislike about cloud solutions. But they sure meet the needs of a lot of people - at least those who don't think about it too much.

Re:Office 365 (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184299)

Look at OwnCloud if you want to host your own stuff "in a cloud". But the sales pitch for Office 365 is that they do all the "icky computery" stuff, like backups and upgrades.

Of course the drawbacks of cloud are well known, too: you need to be online, you need to pay them monthly, and it can be read by anyone with a warrant (or not a warrant, if they're the NSA. )

Vendor lock-in changes, too. Sure, you can download an Office 365 document to import into Open Office. Today. And just because the TOS says you can today doesn't mean those terms can't be changed tomorrow.

There's a lot to dislike about cloud solutions. But they sure meet the needs of a lot of people - at least those who don't think about it too much.

Just throw it on any server at work or on an ISP. This is FOSS like apache where a user can do whatever the hell he or she wants. Office 365 is managed by someone else. This would be managed by you and your ISP backs it up or your IT department, or yourself. This is a we cloud instead of a their cloud.

Re:Office 365 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184031)

There's no lock-in. You can download your documents out of Office365 and into a local .docx/.xlsx/whatever file whenever you want.

Re:Office 365 (4, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | about 6 months ago | (#45184245)

No there isn't any such possibility. You can export your data eg. from Excel as a read-only view but you can't export from Office 365 to anything. Office 2010 "is supported now" but it won't be forever, you can't use OpenOffice or similar to access your O365 content.

Adobe right-out says their cloud solution is not backwards compatible with their desktop products, once you convert you're stuck in it. Microsoft says "Although the full Office applications go into 'reduced-functionality mode,' you can still use them to read and print your Office documents."

Re:Office 365 (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#45184103)

As a practical matter, you are "locked in" to whatever Office program you use - online or otherwise. OpenOffice is free and open source, but unless you use it company-wide, you will have compatibility issues with whatever the next guy uses. For instance, if you bring your presentation to the conference room and they don't have OpenOffice installed, then you will have problems (yes, you can use PDF but that has limitations for presentations). Yes, there is no excuse for not installing a free program - except that you may not have Admin rights on the machine or other IT issues.

At home we tried to use OpenOffice (actually LibreOffice) exclusively. We struggled, mostly with PowerPoint, but also with Word formatting glitches when collaborating. In the end, I sucked it up and loaded MS Office. My wife simply has to be compatible with the rest of the world - same reason I keep one functioning Windows box around. I can RDP into work, so I don't have that need.

Re:Office 365 (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | about 6 months ago | (#45184307)

Yes, there is no excuse for not installing a free program

I don't want to install java on my mac so that is my reason for not installing libreoffice...

Re:Office 365 (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 6 months ago | (#45184425)

I don't want to install java on my mac so that is my reason for not installing libreoffice...

You, uh, do realise that Libreoffice doesn't need Java, right?

No, clearly you don't.

Re:Office 365 (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | about 6 months ago | (#45184449)

Well, maybe you can tell it to stop nagging me about java when I run it every time.

Re:Office 365 (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#45184671)

I'm too lazy to test this, since I'd have to uninstall Java, but I'm pretty sure you can just shut off the Java stuff in Preferences -> LibreOffice -> Advanced -> Use a Java Runtime Environment.

Re:Office 365 (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 6 months ago | (#45184489)

When did you last try out of curiosity?

I had some issues (yes Powerpoint mostly) early on but nothing in the last 2 years or so.
Everything just opens and saves perfectly.

Re:Office 365 (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#45184657)

About a week ago :)

Made sure everything was up to date. Two problems prompted the MS Office install:
1) There was an annoying problem where we would fix the slide formatting, save the file in PPT format, and everything would look fine. Then we would re-open the file from the PPT and the text would all be off the edge of the slide. Saving and loading it in the native format was fine, so I think it was a problem with the PPT exporter. Unfortunately this needed to go on a USB stick for a presentation on a fixed computer in a lecture hall, so PPT export was necessary.
2) The title of a PPT slide would come in left-justified when brought into LibreOffice/OpenOffice, but it was centered in PowerPoint. I think this was a problem with the PPT importer. It was easy to work around, but a bit unnerving since we didn't know what we could trust. It was causing problems with collaboration.

CUZ GNU SUX !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45183891)

Buy pro stuff and not waste time on free crap !!

Good news ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45183921)

how is allowing another company, e.g. Google, access to your documents good news ?

Re:Good news ??? (2)

carlos92 (682924) | about 6 months ago | (#45183971)

A market with two companies is still better than a market with only one. And a market with two products is not as efficient in the short term, but it is healthier in the long run.

Re:Good news ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184053)

If proprietary formats are bad, not even having the data locally at all has got to be at least as bad. Privacy issues aside, this is horrible for competitiveness and openness.

I like my plain text files stored locally thanks. If I want a cloud service, I want content storage separate from application providers (and encrypted). Then if some company goes under (or starts shipping all your data to the NSA), its trivial to migrate.

The whole Open/Libre Office thing hurt (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45183929)

I don't think that's the full reason for the decline, but it didn't help. At first we were pushing Open Office at work, and then one day we had to start pushing Libre Office. So, people would say "What's wrong with Open Office?" and then you say "It's complicated... blah blah blah." And then they say "Okay, we'll just use regular Microsoft Office then."

Re:The whole Open/Libre Office thing hurt (1)

danbuter (2019760) | about 6 months ago | (#45183949)

Yep. Not to mention you also have to define what Libre means in the first place. The idiots who renamed Open Office should all be smacked.

Re:The whole Open/Libre Office thing hurt (3, Informative)

JohnVanVliet (945577) | about 6 months ago | (#45183995)

seeing as Oracle was going to CLOSE SOURCE "OpenOffice" and "make available" a LITE free version

everyone ( almost) at OO quit and moved to LibreOffice

Re:The whole Open/Libre Office thing hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184039)

Hurts less then the "cloud" thingy.

Regarding who deserves a good smacking for be a brat, i think someone else deserves the accolade.

Not going to mention names, but should be Obvious.

Re:The whole Open/Libre Office thing hurt (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 6 months ago | (#45184563)

The idiots who renamed Open Office should all be smacked.

Do you have a better suggestion for a name? I'm sure they all sat around agonizing over what to name the thing when this happened, and LibreOffice was probably the best they could come up with that didn't sound completely stupid.

Re:The whole Open/Libre Office thing hurt (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 6 months ago | (#45184487)

"It's complicated, but if you want, you can just think of it as a name change; under the hood, it's still pretty much the same thing."

Re:The whole Open/Libre Office thing hurt (4, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 6 months ago | (#45184559)

Well you can blame that whole debacle on Oracle. As another responder said, they were going to close-source OpenOffice and only have some shitty "lite" version for Free, and as a result, all the devs quit and forked the project. This isn't a bad thing, it's one of the big strengths of open-source software: if some shithead gets control of the project (e.g., Oracle or David Dawes) and does something unacceptable, other interested parties can fork the code and continue development instead of having to start from scratch. The only downside is they can't forcibly take over the name, so they have to come up with a new name, which may or may not be as catchy or memorable. "LibreOffice" is a little odd-sounding to the ears of an English speaker, but can you come up with anything better?

Nothing worth having is free (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45183975)

Fuck Libre Office
Fuck Linux
Fuck all you goddamn freetards

Re:Nothing worth having is free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184097)

Bitch whore much?

Re:Nothing worth having is free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184127)

Air is pretty good.

155 Forrester Clients (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45183991)

This isn't really a survey of businesses, just people who buy Forrester Research products.. I wouldn't say it's a representative sample of much of anything.

Re:155 Forrester Clients (5, Interesting)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#45184037)

Good point... this is a survey of 155 Forrester clients. People who are Forrester clients are the dinosaurs of the business world. They have to pay Forrester to get a clue. I wouldn't put much stock in these numbers.
(Interesting that the article shows 13% use Google Docs... maybe that's where all the users went.)

Peope use what works (3, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 6 months ago | (#45184013)

Office 2003 is alive kicking and screaming as almost 1/3 of companies and governments still use it

I still use Microsoft Office 2003 and the reasons are simple:

- It works. Creating a document today isn't any different today than it was in 2003 or 1983. You type stuff onto a page. I have yet to encounter a situation where Office 2003 can't do exactly what I need. Newer versions of Office simply add extra bloat.

- Microsoft's god awful "ribbon" which has rendered all newer versions of Office unusable.

- Office 2003 has none of Microsoft's "activation" bullshit.

Re:Peope use what works (4, Insightful)

Goody (23843) | about 6 months ago | (#45184055)

I hated the ribbon at first, but it's actually quite usable once you get accustomed to it. I still think the classic menu is more efficient from a UI standpoint, but saying the ribbon makes Office unusable is unfair.

Re:Peope use what works (5, Insightful)

Morpf (2683099) | about 6 months ago | (#45184123)

You may call me unfair from now on.

Re:Peope use what works (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184225)

I find using Office without the ribbon unusable. I can't find where anything is at now.

Does that mean menus are inferior? No. It means I got used to a different way of doing them.

Now if you want to argue that I am stupid and do not know how to use a menu I would like to point out I have used Office since the 3.1 days and knew it fairly well before 2008 when my brain still reserved these things in memory as it was important to remember. I also remember hating the hiding function in office 2003 where you had to hid the the arrow to get to anything. I always disabled it after a fresh install back then.

But the fact of the matter is I can preview changes, make graphical effects and titles, and get to seldomly used functions in a fraction of the time now! Statistics back me up on this too as 80% of users only used 40% of the functions and kept requesting things Office has already been doing for years.

Do not be offended when I say it is hard to change sometimes, as even people with great computer skills can get stuck with a particular gui like Firefox 3.x for years as it has 100 security exploits at this stage. It took a week for me to get someone productivity with the ribbon. After seeing how I did not need a mouse with the newer keyboard shortcuts which navigate the ribbon with smart tags and I was in bliss.

Today I am happy feel Office 2010 is the best release.

Re:Peope use what works (0, Flamebait)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 6 months ago | (#45184431)

Pull your panties out of your ass crack. It's unusable for him. 2003 does whatever he needs and he has no reason to "upgrade" just for the ribbon.

Jeesus, people take such offense about personal preferences here. It's lame.

Re:Peope use what works (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184633)

Pull your panties out of your ass crack. It's unusable for him. 2003 does whatever he needs and he has no reason to "upgrade" just for the ribbon.

Jeesus, people take such offense about personal preferences here. It's lame.

When he gets 0wn3d because his version no longer recieves updates afte april don't blame me. ... better yet call me and I will clean it off his XP system for $75 an hour :-)

Re:Peope use what works (5, Insightful)

ohieaux (2860669) | about 6 months ago | (#45184707)

I find using Office without the ribbon unusable. I can't find where anything is at now.

Does that mean menus are inferior? No. It means I got used to a different way of doing them.

Sorry, but after 5+ years of dealing with the ribbon I still regularly use Google to find out how to do something I know I could do in Office. Many of the functions in tools like Excel are not easily found behind the limited ribbon.

This whole ribbon thing was the start of a bad trend. From Unity to Metro, this dumbing down of the interface to the 3rd grade level shows how organizations see their customers.

Re:Peope use what works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184175)

Reporting in Excel was easy before 2007; now it is insanely difficult to make simple charts.

Re:Peope use what works (1, Funny)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 6 months ago | (#45184267)

saying the ribbon makes Office unusable is unfair.

This is Slashdot. Just be glad he didn't say "the ribbon caused Hitler".

"Bitching about Microsoft technologies you obviously haven't even used" is basically the default post here.

Re:Peope use what works (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184363)

Don't be silly. The ribbon IS Hitler.

Re:Peope use what works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184581)

Then Windows 8 is the antichrist. Prepare for end-of-times.

Re:Peope use what works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184483)

I agree, I disliked changing to the ribbon ("you must wear the ribbon!") but I adapted. Keystrokes still work OK.

Also, it is difficult to move away from Excel. Given the number of custom functions in VBA, spreadsheets I've built since Excel 5.0, not to mention addins purchased, Excel just works for me. There is really no competition for what I need it to do.

Word, OTOH, I wish would die an ugly death.

Re:Peope use what works (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 6 months ago | (#45184509)

I've never used the ribbon, and have no opinion on it. However, it's my understanding that it takes a fair amount of time to learn how to use it properly. Now in business, time is money and unless you can show that the time spent learning how to use the ribbon is worth what it costs, most companies aren't going to change.

Re:Peope use what works (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184659)

No support is an excellent reason to change.

The ribbon is much easier to use and learn. The issue is why change and a resistence to it because the change came from MS. It is silly.

Having documents not formatted properly in later versions will make customers question the professionalism of your employer. Office 2013 makes .docx that are not compatible with office 2003 right now! Office 2014 will be out next year and the newer versions have cloud services and app stores so employees can work at home with skydrive pro as well as Salesforce app etc.

That is important in business and time has moved on. I might as well say it takes time to learn Windows since dos is what employees are familair with so why change too.

A single excel macro can take down a company after April since MS wont patch it! Can you say code red and you can bet your ass hackers and criminals are stockpilling macros and XP exploits as I type this waiting for April to come by and bring all hell out.

Re:Peope use what works (1)

norite (552330) | about 6 months ago | (#45184729)

That is true. The ribbon is cumbersome and it has certainly slowed me down. The main problem for me is the tools are now hidden behind tabs, so you're constantly click, click clicking your way across to find what you need (apart from web browsers, I really hate tabs). I much prefer to have ALL my toolbars laid out in front of me, and they're static. Add to the fact that there is no standard 'File Edit View' style, then you're stuck with having to try and memorise each ribbon for each different program.

I got round this with excel 2010 by deleting all the ribbon menus bar one and cramming all my tools onto one ribbon. no more click,click, clicking my way to find what I want...I have a static toolbar again (and I hate all this mouse-over preview 'feature'; things jumping around in the background it causes me to lose focus). Surprise, surprise, my use of excel has gone back to previous levels of productivity....It's retarded, there should be an option to have the standard toolbar menu or a ribbon menu; keep us all happy - and it is possible - CAD 2010 has this option.

It's retarded, the

Re:Peope use what works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184453)

Geniune Office 2003 has to be activated. Oh you mean you have the warez version of 2003, ok fair game.
But the warez versions of office 2007 and 2010 also don't need activation. So I don't get your point.
Yeah I do get it, you prefer to use pirate software istead oif paying for Office or using a 0 cost free software.

Re:Peope use what works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184573)

Well that's just to effen bad. I still use Works 4.5 and Money 98 as both of them still fill my modest needs. Hell I'm even happier with Works as it not only includes a Word processor and spreadhseet but a database to boot and although the database isn't as usable as mysql or postgress, it's enough for my simple needs and yes I'm still running WinME (punch the moneky! Win a New iPhone 3G).

In fairness to Microsoft.. (4, Interesting)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 6 months ago | (#45184015)

.. and at risk of being modded a Troll and losing any rep.

Office 365 is a good piece of software. Okay, so it's complete shite to use but it's not just an office suite, it's a platform on which you can run your business. IMO for the first time in 20 years, Microsoft has actually come up with a good piece of software. They've certainly leveraged their proprietary format lockin in order to get businesses to use the platform, but using the platform isn't any particular problem.

The platform itself provides the fundamentals of what businesses need to get up and running. It's pretty stable and not horribly expensive. There are other competing platforms out there (some even much better) but they still don't fully support Microsoft's proprietary format. So Microsoft leverages that format but creates something that not only provides the tools you need, it empowers small business. They've done an excellent job to keep the Office brand running and kudos to them for that.

Any open source competitor will need to be hosted, provide better facilities, have a clear migration path and have format compatibility for any hope in the future.

Re:In fairness to Microsoft.. (0)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#45184033)

Any open source competitor will need to be hosted, provide better facilities, have a clear migration path and have format compatibility for any hope in the future.

Format compatibility is a non-starter. Format compatibility for open source software will always be: Export your Office document to RTF, PDF, or another standard format.

Re:In fairness to Microsoft.. (-1, Troll)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 6 months ago | (#45184065)

..Office 365 is a good piece of software. Okay, so it's complete shite to use.

It's either good or it's shit. It can't be both.

Quite possibly the stupidest thing ever said on the Internet. Congratulations.

Re:In fairness to Microsoft.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184609)

Windows 8 is awfully good at being shitty. Does that meet your criteria?

Re:In fairness to Microsoft.. (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about 6 months ago | (#45184129)

Okay, so it's complete shite to use but it's not just an office suite, it's a platform on which you can run your business.

So they have reinvented Lotus Notes?

Re:In fairness to Microsoft.. (1)

fermion (181285) | about 6 months ago | (#45184547)

If I needed to use MS Office, 365 is not a bad value. I subscribed to it for a couple months because a friend needed to learn it for work.

What this really tells us is that many do not need any of the innovative features developed over the past 10 years, and the use of MS Office is mostly to write memos, which can be done using any software. With 365 the consumer costs are low, but it does allow MS to generate revenue even if consumers do not need new features.

Fortunately for MS people do have a lot of inertia when it comes to learning even marginally different skills, so buying MS provides a greater value than the perceived risk of OSS. I see this everyday, and not just in office suites. I see people buying data analysis suites even though competitive free software is out there. Paying money just provides a level of comfort.

Outlook, combatibility, ribbon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184067)

3 things are working here:

Outlook has an absolute stranglehold on business email. Until that is resolved, M$ Office isn't going away.

Word is still the standard for document creation. The docx format doesn't play nice on LO/OOo.

Excel has a few technical advantages over LO/OOo. Again the file format cross combatibility is an issue too.

The ribbon interface was responsible for the uptick in Lo/OOo Office. People have resigned themselves to the interface despite it's still not liked by a great many users, which is one of the reasons for Office 2003's continued use, that and the upgrade price (or lack of upgrade pricing). M$ also gave away M$ Office Starter edition free for a while, which helped people entrench themselves in the M$ ecosystem.

What's this obession with EOL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184075)

Who cares? The software works, it will keep being used until something better comes along.

Re:What's this obession with EOL. (1)

Morpf (2683099) | about 6 months ago | (#45184153)

Anyone who likes security holes fixed, when they come up, is concerned.

Re:What's this obession with EOL. (3, Interesting)

fellip_nectar (777092) | about 6 months ago | (#45184203)

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Joe Sixpack doesn't give a shit whether his security holes are fixed or not... he just wants to use his software.

It's true that he *should* care - but he doesn't.

Re:What's this obession with EOL. (1)

Morpf (2683099) | about 6 months ago | (#45184293)

The article is about _businesses_. Their IT staff _will_ care at least it should considering whats on the stakes.
It's not about what Joe Sixpack does on his private machine running a "spatial distributed backup" of windows xp without service packs.

Re:What's this obession with EOL. (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 6 months ago | (#45184457)

And the great bulk of businesses in the US are run by Joe Sixpacks and do *not* have IT departments. His argument holds.

Re:What's this obession with EOL. (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 6 months ago | (#45184209)

I used Win2K for years after it was EOL. I had far less problems with security than I now have Windows 7.

IMO: Win2K was best OS Microsoft ever released.

Re:What's this obession with EOL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184243)

Win2k? Crap.

Win3.1 is all you need.

Re:What's this obession with EOL. (1)

Morpf (2683099) | about 6 months ago | (#45184311)

This whole GUI thing is totally bloated. We shouldn't have gone further after DOS 6.0.

Re:What's this obession with EOL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184473)

Win2k? Crap.

Win3.1 is all you need.

Windows 1.0 is all you need. Now get off my lawn.

Re:What's this obession with EOL. (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184685)

I used Win2K for years after it was EOL. I had far less problems with security than I now have Windows 7.

IMO: Win2K was best OS Microsoft ever released.

LOL

I call bs on that one. I hope you did not do any online banking on that machine seriously. DOS was the best ever because I am familiar with it. To hell what imrovements have been made too right?

Windows 7 has kernel level sandboxing, DSLR (ram scrambling), DEP (data execution prevention), no real admin acount but a token broker, seperation or privledges and many many other improvements. Stack smashing, buffer overflows, and inserting data into ram addresses of .dlls are difficult on Windows 7. On XP they can just do it easily if you are admin and go through the front door rather than breaking through the back.

My guess is your Win2k did not have flash, java, or internet access which made it have less vectors. Windows 7 has more security than even Linux at this point with features making it very hard to hack. Most hackers just use flash and PDFs to get around this. However this past 1.5 Adobe now uses Windows Vista/7 kernel leveling sandboxing as well.

Office 2003 (3, Informative)

Knuckx (1127339) | about 6 months ago | (#45184085)

Office 2003 was the last truly good version of Office (in my opinon at least). It worked properly then; without the quirks of Office 2000 (and still works perfectly now, having full compatablity with the new Office file formats via an update), didn't have the deliberately obtuse ribbon user interface - which steals a large chunk of screen space, and if hidden to reclaim that space, requries more clicks than simply having a toolbar did. I fail to see any good reason to switch, as unlike the move from XP to 7, no new features of any consequence have been added, and no (positive) updates in speed or behaviour have been made.

I cannot speak for OpenOffice, as the last time I used it was ~7 years ago - and at the time OpenOffice felt like something from the Windows 3.1 era.
I also cannot speak for LibreOffice, as I have never used it.

Re:Office 2003 (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184261)

Have you tried Office 2010? Try the ribbon for a week? Afterwards you will see you can preview changes with just a mouse hovering over items. Hit the alt key and you have smart tags showing all the shortcuts with it which is nice with a laptop.

Office 2010 is much better. I saw the research back then and was exciting to learn something new as real scientist had data to show it is better and statistics back them up with real usage. It is not Metro by a longshot or pushed by marketing folks unlike Windows 8.

Office 2003 is old and it is a horrible pain in the butt to get to a custom function and will be very insecure after April of next year. I do not want to go back to that release.

Want a reason to switch? How about file compatibility? You think the .docx of 2013 is compatible and a future manager will be able to read your resume in a few years when Office 2014, 2015, come out? Think again.

Good news?! (2)

Morpf (2683099) | about 6 months ago | (#45184109)

The good news is online cloud-based platforms are gaining traction [...]

How is this good news?

Neowin is the anti slashdot (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45184113)

Posting that here is like someone on Moveon.org hyperlinking an article from www.redstateblog.com (or whatever the hell the right wing version is).

I read Neowin as well. I like balance.

I notice they have things like Windows Server 2012 R2 launch details that slashdot feels is not important. But if it is Linux related, I feel a link from there is like reading a link here about a non-baised spin about IE and Windows on slashdot if you know what I mean?

I wonder if those statistics include governments that tried to use it but went back due to users hating change? Or used an ancient version of OpenOffice that was not as compatible as MS Office?

As much as I love free software I admit I paid a lot of money for Office. It is the only thing that I know that works when making critical documents that must look write and be editable. No replacement for Outlook as well sadly (I HATE OUTLOOK). I feel it is kind of like the old Gimp vs Photoshop debate all over every article comes out.

People need a reason for change. Being just as good wont cut it. Better different and better will. Windows CE and blackberry were untouchable in 2007 ... the iphone redefined the standards and crippled both. No one could stop IE. It wasn't until Firefox was freaking fast and secure before anyone wanted to leave though Mozilla did exist prior. I think making a better LibreOffice wont help as clouds and having your documents anytime and anywhere are taking over as evident with Google Docs and Office 365. An open source web based office suite that is cloud based and works anywhere might be where the FOSS can really shine and give somethign different.

Office '97 on XP still work well enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184115)

Office '97 on XP still work well enough. Mostly use only Excel, and haven't yet found one single feature that I might be missing.

20 GB CLOUD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184125)

Are you guys familiar with DROPBOX? And what about COPY . Copy is a new cloud-based service provider like Dropbox but with promising features. You get 15 GB with the sign up ( dropbox 2GB) and each time someone you refer joins copy, you both get 5GB ( 500MB dropbox) . I have already made 1.6 TB by referring my friends. If you want to headstart with 20 GB , follow this link https://copy.com?r=FtoPFt . I bet you will like COPY. This is the best competitor to Dropbox or any other cloud companies

minus0 2, Troll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184147)

Opinion in other AASOCIATION OF

Want to fix it? (3, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | about 6 months ago | (#45184157)

Want to stop the decline? Make a version of LibreOffice or another FOSS odt/odt editor that works on my tablets.

Who paid Forrester Research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184167)

Just who paid Forrester Research for this ..er research?

OpenOffice is forked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184219)

I wonder how much of the decline has to do with the Oracle acquisition of Sun and subsequent forking of Open/LibreOffice. Businesses tend to not like uncertainty; I can speak for a few that were beginning to experiment with OpenOffice in 2008-2012 as the de facto alternative to MS Office... but then the Oracle-induced forking as well as the advent of the tablet and cloud ecosystems all probably led to this effective decline.

The world is windows... (2, Interesting)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 6 months ago | (#45184251)

...and managers don't know any better.

The reason is simple: most managers don't have a clue about IT. To them the financial success of MS and its ubiquitous products mean that they are the best. It also gives them accountability, if something goes wrong. Who do you pass the blame to when something breaks? They love to call vendors or contractors and scream at them to fix something. With OSS there is no one to scream at and who the fuck is the apache foundation anyway, some kinda hippie native american powwow? To them open source is unprofessional because there isn't a guy in a suit with billions in the bank to prove its success. They live in a different world where success is measured by money and status. OSS eschews that mentality and is looked down upon because of it.

My manager once told me that he wished MS made all of the software we needed: ERP, CRM, CAD/CAM etc. He just liked how everything was tied together and interoperated. Another thing that annoyed me was once our router crapped out, a Netgear business router with VPN and dual WAN ports. I quickly hacked together a router using PFsense and a bunch of NIC's in an older P4 desktop which worked out quite nicely. My manager saw the setup and didn't like it. Why? Because how can a computer be a router? He just couldn't get his head around it and called in our IT contractor who installed another shitty Netgear router. Even fucked up my secure automation network that was isolated from the other networks and the separate wifi network. When things broke and he asked me why I told him to call the contractor and complain to them because they broke the system I had installed. Nothing was done because as doing so would admit that he was stupid. Thankfully he no longer works for us and I relieved myself of most IT duties.

Bad stats (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#45184337)

As usual bad stats are meaningless. So they polled how many companies had office installed? 1/3rd of them had office 2003? So that translates into open office failing and MSFT winning? wtf?

Maybe, just maybe, the days of business being done in word documents and spreadsheets are fading and we're now moving towards business getting done in specific applications and instead of documents we're storing things in a database. My current job is maintaining a Database and CRM. We basically get contacted by some department whos business processes are a mess, they've been using Excel and word to do everything for 10 years, and we build them a front end for the companies database. Now records are stored forever, or less, depending on the need. Required fields are actually required. We don't have one off versions of documents stored on someones hard drive only to be lost when they leave the company. We've even done away with most email. Federal regulations that specifically target email are nasty. Simply giving giving employees chat clients let them do their normal human chit-chat without leaving a messy legal trail should a court case arise. Now requests and such are logged IN the CRM. It's clear to the person using it that they shouldn't put their Banana bread recipe in there, so they go to chat.

If anything I'd say the stat regarding people using Office 2003 is very telling. They're only keeping it around for legacy purposes. It's not that open office is dieing, it's the entire concept of "documents as files" that is dieing.

Re:Bad stats (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#45184439)

As usual bad stats are meaningless.

I wont go that far. They mean a lot to the company that paid for the survey, to show what they wanted to show.

No longer about Word (2)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 6 months ago | (#45184379)

That's because people no longer need Word file format capability. The new lingua franca is PowerPoint. And Impress renders PowerPoint files differently enough (and vice versa) that people are back to relying on authentic Microsoft Office again.

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184529)

I don't know why Slashdot is so utterly obsessed with drawing bizarre comparisons between commercial and open-source products.

LibreOffice (I'm just choosing LibreOffice as an example) isn't trying to compete with Microsoft, it's trying to offer an alternative. An alternative for people who either can't, or won't (for reasons beyond money) buy Office 365 or whatever Microsoft is currently offering. This entire discussion seems to hinge on the idea that LibreOffice and similar projects are trying to -destroy- Microsoft, which simply isn't true. If it were, why would they bother implementing import -and- export filters for Microsoft formats and others? They'd have nothing to gain from it, unless the intent is to make open-source software communicate better with closed-source software. That doesn't sound like a competition to me.

The problem is that any big corporation who has bought into the Microsoft solution du jour is kind of stuck with that decision for a while...a few years at the very least. You have to hire people who know how to use the software, for one, or train them in on it...if you have to train them in on it, there are plenty of programs and instructional courses out there that one can buy to help learn how to use Office or whatever. I'm not even sure where I'd -begin- training someone in on LibreOffice or OpenOffice. Look up a wiki page? Youtube videos? That's not the sort of choice that will give a manager much confidence, which is probably why such good, free software doesn't get used more often. Lack of knowledge and employee proficiency in a given product has a lot more to do with why they keep buying Microsoft year after year, it's usually easier than training an entire company in on a new system. If considerations like that were taken away and you could download a better program in 10 minutes for nothing, install it for free, on every system across your entire corporation without licensing costs...why the FUCK would you buy Microsoft? That seems to be the flaw in most Slashdotter's logic...they focus solely on the cost comparison of each product, whereas in reality there are MANY more reasons why a company might not even have the -option- of choosing OSS.

Serious Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184543)

OpenOffice or LibreOffice

I've been using Google Docs for the past 2 years because I can't make up my mind the case was easy when Oracle managed OpenOffice but now Apache does I'm lost.

Someone tell me which one to choose and why.

Slow down, cowboy. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 6 months ago | (#45184595)

I have two big problems with this story.

An anonymous reader writes that although many Linux users are at home with OpenOffice and LibreOffice, typical organizations are as addicted as ever to MS office formats.

To frame the argument this way allows you to ignore the maturity and focus of MS Office apps. Pre-press work can be outsourced to a printer. Everything else moves at the speed of the anonymous clerical worker. Full time staffer. Office temp. Senior volunteer and so on.

The good news is online cloud-based platforms are gaining traction with Google Docs and Office 365 which are not so tied to Windows on the client.

Office 365 includes lightweight web apps.

But the heavy lifting is done using the more familiar, versitile and locally resident MS Office Suite. With full versions of the apps streamed to other PCs or Macs when you need them.

JAVA's fault! (1)

jshipp (2519316) | about 6 months ago | (#45184635)

I ditched OO and LO on about 100 small business networks because I wanted to ditch JAVA.

Re:JAVA's fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45184665)

"Java" isn't an acronym, smart guy.

This is odd because (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 months ago | (#45184751)

I know of several small businesses (under 50 employees) who use libreoffice (and open office before that).

Is forrester focusing on large businesses or is there some kind of unintended filtering effect in play?

Or perhaps large businesses grow into office.

You have to understand... Office is some gaudawful expense like $500 a copy BUT, it costs about $large fee + $10 per copy for an enterprise license.

I own the latest office. It cost me $10 since i worked for a large corporation they let me buy a copy and the license is good regardless of employment status.

I use openoffice. I was going to Libreoffice but they have an issue with printing drawings with transparent layers which i use a lot. It's scheduled for a release but I think it's another year or so.

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