Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NZ Outfit Dumps Open Office For MS Office

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the pull-of-the-dark-side dept.

Microsoft 581

(Score.5, Interestin writes "The NZ Automobile Association has just announced that it is dropping Open Office and switching back to MS Office. According to their CIO, 'Microsoft Office is not any cheaper, but it was almost impossible to work out what open-source was actually costing because of issues such as incompatibility and training.' In addition, 'you have no idea where open-source products are going, whereas vendors like Microsoft provide a roadmap for the future.'" About 500 seats are involved. MS conceded to letting Office users run the software at home as well.

cancel ×

581 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Sniff, sniff... (2, Informative)

RiffRafff (234408) | about 7 years ago | (#19891699)

Maybe I'm just cynical, but I thought I just caught a whiff of kickback...

Re:Sniff, sniff... (5, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 7 years ago | (#19891783)

Why? Because someone couldn't make open source work for them? I think they provided a fair assessment of some of the major obstacles to open source. The school district I work for is clamoring for a switch to MSO from Star Office 8. Why? Because we can't find people to train employees in SO8, which means our training funds from the state are wasted and because we are completely unsupported.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (2, Insightful)

RiffRafff (234408) | about 7 years ago | (#19891873)

I dunno...when everything is said and done, it's just a word processor. And one that isn't all that dissimilar to Word. "Training" issues often seem to be overblown, in my experience. Personal likes and dislikes, however, are another story. As is resistance to change, which can be almost insurmountable.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (5, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 7 years ago | (#19891975)

Excel, Access, FrontPage, PowerPoint, and Publisher are all just word processors? What about all the back-end collaboration tools?

If you think MSO and OO.o are "just word processors", just stick with Wordpad. It came with Windows.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (4, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | about 7 years ago | (#19892091)

"it's just a word processor"

So, in other words, you've never worked inside a modern corporate office.

Users use of the suite of applications that come in Microsoft Office to do complex things, from presentations, to databases, to collaboration, to complex spreadsheets, etc etc. There's a *lot* of functionality present in OO or MS Office and it's not all trivial to use.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (0, Flamebait)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 7 years ago | (#19891929)

Hey ass wipe. Microsoft threw in home usage rights for free! They don't do that. You don't buy software for work and then get to use it at home for free. You'd have to buy it for home use as well. And how many Microsoft Office certified employees does your school district have? I'd be zero. You're just expecting to get free support from people who have used the product before. FYI Office 2007 is nothing like Office 2003. Major learning curve.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 7 years ago | (#19892013)

Yes, and OO.o/SO8 is nothing like either. Major learning curve there, too.

We can use the state funds we are provided and hire trainers to show our technophobic teachers how to use Microsoft Office. We've tried for two years and can't locate anyone who will provide the same level of training for an open-source solution.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (1)

Crimsonjade (1011329) | about 7 years ago | (#19892089)

Market niche?

Re:Sniff, sniff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19892139)

Microsoft has two enterprise programs that provide extra benefits to the users. One of those is that they can pay a $10 fee to use any software their organization uses at their homes. The other is the employee purchase program which typically puts the pricing for MS software about 60% off.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (4, Insightful)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 7 years ago | (#19891945)

Why? Because someone couldn't make open source work for them?

No, because TFA specifically said that MS "conceded" to letting their users run office at home.

I'm not saying the points for switching back to MSO aren't potentially valid but this story reminds me of a lot of recent trends. Companies/governments only have to mention the word "Linux" or "Open Source" around MS these days and suddenly they are falling over backward to give a better deal, concede on a license issue and in general make people feel like their getting a better deal then the rest of the world. It's a great new procurement strategy:

1. "Evaluate" open source for next upgrade cycle
2. Negotiate with MS for lower license fees
3. Cite training/hidden costs as reason for giving up on Open Source

Again, not saying that some reasons for sticking with MS aren't valid but some of this is just plain gaming the system.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (4, Insightful)

clodney (778910) | about 7 years ago | (#19892177)

When I bought my last car they dealer conceded to selling it for a price lower than what was shown on the sticker.

How is MS offering a discount/incentive/license concession any different? Some MS sales rep had a potential sale of 500 seats, and had to sweeten the deal to get a sale. Purchasing people are always pushing for a better deal, and threatening to take their business elsewhere if they don't get it.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 years ago | (#19891863)

No you are just an OSS Zealot. Blind to the fact that a lot os OSS software is seriously lacking espectially in end-user applications. Microsft isn't always the evil bubling company it appears to be. Sometimes people use their product because it is better or at least on par then the rest.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 years ago | (#19891865)

That's not just a whiff (notice the summary which mentions that MS lets the users take the license home with 'em?)

That said, I find it kind of funny that a roadmap is suddenly invoked. Not that it isn't a valid point, but since when has there ever been a roadmap w/ MS Office - or rather, one that didn't include lots of potholes (e.g. incompatibilities w/ earlier versions of the same product, a HUGE spike-strip between the MS Office and MS Works lanes, etc).

Given the context, that part sounded far, far too weak to me.

IMHO: I think what happened is that the CIO/IT dep't wound up screwing the pooch w/ migrations (either by poor planning or poor execution), and cried "Uncle Microsoft to the rescue!" to save his butt from getting sacked outright.

/P

Re:Sniff, sniff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891933)

Exactly. Here's your phantom mod point.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (5, Informative)

Nibbler999 (1101055) | about 7 years ago | (#19891951)

Seems likely, seeing as this CIO used to work for Microsoft. http://www.microsoft.com/nz/presscentre/articles/2 004/feb_04_wilson.mspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Sniff, sniff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19892051)

Then he wouldnt have considered OSS In the first place you dumbass.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (1)

nyet (19118) | about 7 years ago | (#19892127)

It's a *new position*, genius.

Re:Sniff, sniff... (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | about 7 years ago | (#19892083)

It's interesting to see the use of language after the summary:

MS conceded to letting Office users run the software at home as well.
There's nothing in the article to indicate this was anything other than a normal business deal, but that sentence makes it sound as if Microsoft were making concessions to avoid a 'defeat'.

Stand ready... (0, Offtopic)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | about 7 years ago | (#19891703)

for the flame war

wait wait (5, Insightful)

stim (732091) | about 7 years ago | (#19891711)

Now before we all agree that they suck and start the conspiracy of how much MS paid them to switch back... Perhaps they have some valid points here. What can the Linux movement do to curb the switchbacks, and address some of these concerns?

Re:wait wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891785)

Sounds like they experienced bugs or problems with OpenOffice and were unable to get any answer as to when or even if those problems would be resolved.

Re:wait wait (2, Insightful)

orasio (188021) | about 7 years ago | (#19891809)

Linux has nothing to do with OpenOffice.

Re:wait wait (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 7 years ago | (#19891981)

What can the *Open Source* movement do to curb the switchbacks, and address some of these concerns?

There. Feel better?

Re:wait wait (1)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#19891999)

Your right. But if they couldn't get OO to work for them, what do you think the chances are of them ever considering moving to Linux? Installing OO on a few boxes is putting your toe in the water, installing Linux as an end-user environment, relatively speaking, is swimming with sharks. Or penguins, what have you.

Re:wait wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891897)

Perhapse they can make Open Office free? Oh wait...

Re:wait wait (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 years ago | (#19891901)

The AA's agreement with Microsoft, for around 500 seats, includes home-usage rights, so staff can use the software at home.
It's pretty obvious how much MS 'paid' them
They gave the company another 500 seats for free

Though I wonder just what this company is thinking if their idea of "maintaining" a website involves only Office and Word.

Re:wait wait (1)

cdrguru (88047) | about 7 years ago | (#19892001)

I've not heard of a volume license agreement from Microsoft that didn't include "home" copies for Office applications.

Re:wait wait (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 7 years ago | (#19891913)

Well for one it has little to nothing to do with Linux.
They have a few valid points but they are hard to work around.
1. OpenOffice will never be as compatible with Office as Office is.
2. If you know Office you must learn OpenOffice. Office is taught in every school I know of.
3. I still don't think Calc is even as good as Excel in Office 2000 but then I haven't really used it a lot in a long time.
4. Outlooks+Exchange are a better Enterprise calendering system than anything I have seen from FOSS.
5. Sharepoint. I haven't seen anything as easy to use from the FOSS community.

Microsoft had done some good things, give the devil his due.

Re:wait wait (1)

krlynch (158571) | about 7 years ago | (#19892007)

Don't forget motion paths in Presenter! A feature that used to be available in OOo1.1, but was lost in OOo2 ... and despite years and YEARS of complaints from users, major and minor, still hasn't made a comeback. This missing feature alone makes OOo a very very tough sell to my colleagues.

Re:wait wait (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 7 years ago | (#19892087)

I don't produce presentations anymore thank goodness but I will take your word for it.

Re:wait wait (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | about 7 years ago | (#19892121)

As you say, this article has basically nothing to do with Linux - bizarrely though, the first tag that this story currently shows is 'linux'.

Some valid points. (5, Informative)

neoshroom (324937) | about 7 years ago | (#19891931)

Some valid points:

Doug Wilson is the Chief Information Officer, The New Zealand Automobile Association Incorporated

Since then he has been the CEO of a PC company (Gateway) and APL+, a software development company that was a Provenco subsidiary. He has also had senior roles at Microsoft [tuanz.org.nz] and EDS.

Doug is currently the CIO of the NZ Automobile Association, a new role that was created last year.

Re:Some valid points. (1)

Shaman (1148) | about 7 years ago | (#19892167)

This is why I love the Internet. Right here.

Re:Some valid points. (2, Funny)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | about 7 years ago | (#19892173)

Well I guess that ansswers that, so now MS just has to find a former employee to fill every CIO seat in the world and they are all set...

Re:wait wait (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891985)

The Linux community is doing what they do best at these times, whining to everyone who already agrees with them on Slashdot. I can't wait until more slashbots read this story and start their rants about forcing governments to adopt open source solutions for everything, those are my favorites.

Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891715)

We also trialled OpenOffice here at my workplace as an alternative. The incompatibility issues were the real killer. Microsoft Office is the de facto standard, so any deviations away from that are going to be difficult. In the end we too settled on Microsoft. It's just the logical choice.

Re:Not surprising (1)

itwerx (165526) | about 7 years ago | (#19891791)

In the end we too settled on Microsoft. It's just the logical choice.

Says the AC... :)

Re:Not surprising (2, Interesting)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 7 years ago | (#19891819)

My biggest hang-up is with Excel versus Calc. Excel makes some operations very easy that are time-consuming with Calc because it won't let you do things like perform operations on multiple separated cells. Also, the behavior of some keys (tab and enter) vary from Excel and make data entry more difficult than it could be.

Re:Not surprising (2, Informative)

Himring (646324) | about 7 years ago | (#19891889)

Exactly. We did the same, and had a rather large project in the works to switch all users to OO. Pilots showed that users trouble with the small differences was enough to stop it. Support calls were too much. That, and it ran slower. In the end, the project was beached and we stayed with MS. Sad, but true....

Hail Microsoft! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891719)

Hail Microsoft!

Linux? (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | about 7 years ago | (#19891725)

What does Linux have to do with this story?

Anyway, I don't see what the big deal is. Perhaps the folks that make OO.o can learn something from this and give potential customers some kind of assurance that their product will still be around/supported/updated for the foreseeable future.

Re:Linux? (1)

Quixadhal (45024) | about 7 years ago | (#19891773)

What does Open Office have to do with this story?

Anyway, I don't see what the big deal is. Perhaps the folks that make any given Linux distribution can learn something from this and give potential customers some kind of assurance that their product will still be around/supported/updated for the foreseeable future.

Re:Linux? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891983)

GPL and similar licenses are better assurance than any publicly traded closed-source vendor can possibly offer.

Roadmap to the future? (2, Funny)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | about 7 years ago | (#19891727)

All roads lead to $$$$$

Re:Roadmap to the future? (1)

goldspider (445116) | about 7 years ago | (#19891817)

Wow, business decisions are motivated by profit?

That was both witty and insightful, my friend!!

Re:Roadmap to the future? (1)

obergfellja (947995) | about 7 years ago | (#19892029)

the roadmap includes the big $$? sure, we can see a roadmap with M$FT but because they stand to make the big $, but OO.o, what do they stand to gain? Trust? Security? Brotherly love? lol... I see it as, either make money or make friends. In the end, when you are on your death bed, what are you going to look back on and cherish? Those bills won't share moments with you, but the people will. We need to learn to learn from eachother and share information.

Meet the customer's needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19892111)

For some customers, it's important to know how much they're paying, even if not knowing would save them money.

Training for word processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891733)

'..but it was almost impossible to work out what open-source was actually costing because of issues such as incompatibility and training.'
If you need training in either of these word processing programs then you're sort of a blockhead. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

Re:Training for word processors (1)

winkydink (650484) | about 7 years ago | (#19891861)

That would explain the abundance of books and training courses available for Word. Sure, any average person can compose a basic document. That covers maybe 10% of the application's functionality. Numbered lists, Tables of Content, custom paragraph styles, mail merges? I'm betting your average /.'er can't do it without some RTFM'ing.

Re:Training for word processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891935)

I stand corrected. Yes there are a lot of functions that are not intuitive.

Re:Training for word processors (1)

ericrost (1049312) | about 7 years ago | (#19892105)

"Numbered lists"

1.

"Tables of Content"

Insert -> Table of Contents

"custom paragraph styles"

Format -> Paragraph

"mail merges"

Tools -> Letters and Mailings -> Mail Merge

What the hell are you smoking?

IT team can't handle metrics? (4, Insightful)

itwerx (165526) | about 7 years ago | (#19891745)

it was almost impossible to work out what open-source was actually costing

Sounds like there's a disconnect between the IT staff and the business side of the house. Any CIO worth their salt would have had before-and-after metrics to compare.

Re:IT team can't handle metrics? (2, Insightful)

orasio (188021) | about 7 years ago | (#19891917)

it was almost impossible to work out what open-source was actually costing

Sounds like there's a disconnect between the IT staff and the business side of the house. Any CIO worth their salt would have had before-and-after metrics to compare.
I think that should not be overlooked.
If it was almost impossible to work out the cost, it can't be a problem with the software, but with their metrics.
And it isn't a real reason to change their packages. The issue is orthogonal to the products used.
Just because msoffice has a licensing cost, (OO does, too, zero), it doesn't mean the other costs are more easily accounted for.

Of course, in any office package change, there should be more money devoted to support, but with OO it could be easier due to licensing costs saved.

I think they probably didn't buy support from the beginning, and thought that OO had free (as in beer) support. That is not true, of course. And probably that is why they can't measure the costs.

no roadmap? (5, Informative)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 7 years ago | (#19891751)

"'you have no idea where open-source products are going, whereas vendors like Microsoft provide a roadmap for the future.'"

Perhaps someone should send them this: Open Office Roadmap [openoffice.org]

I don't think it could be any more clear or easier to find....

Re:no roadmap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891807)

And we all know that the MS roadmaps are not that accurate. Vista anyone?

Re:no roadmap? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#19891961)

Microsoft's roadmaps aren't exactly credible, either. Remember WinFS? Cairo?

With a Free Software project, anyone with some money can set part of the roadmap. Need a feature? Pay one of the developers to implement it. With a proprietary product, you need to be one of the biggest customers to have any input into the roadmap, and 500 seats doesn't cut it. Assuming they are paying $100/seat (they must be getting a fairly sizeable discount), that's $50,000, which buys a fair amount of developer time on something like OpenOffice.org.

Re:no roadmap? (2, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | about 7 years ago | (#19892005)

I wouldn't really call that terribly clear. They're only adding in 4 features in the next year? Support for Office 2007 maybe next september? I'm all for OOo, and I use it daily, but I've seen far more detailed and spelled out schedules. Take the FF3 [wiki.mozilla.org] schedule for instance. Detail, exact dates, feature lists, etc.

Re:no roadmap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19892049)

Maybe somebody should fire the CIO that seemingly cannot put Open Office roadmap into Google and click the first link that comes up.

Re:no roadmap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19892131)

"'you have no idea where open-source products are going, whereas vendors like Microsoft provide a roadmap for the future.'"

Perhaps someone should send them this: OpenOffice Road map [openoffice.org]

Hey, take it easy on these guys, they're an automotive association, not computer wizards. You can't expect them to know where to look for road maps...

... oh, wait...

Buy a Honda and a Garmin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891753)

And you won't need some retro auto club that uses retro OS's like windows or apple.

Re:Buy a Honda and a Garmin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891823)

Apple's not an OS it's a company.

Isn't obvious where MS is going though? (3, Insightful)

$1uck (710826) | about 7 years ago | (#19891755)

Expensive upgrades shoved down your throat by forced upgrades due to designed incompatibilities with previous versions? Why can't newer versions of office access all the older versions?

Re:Isn't obvious where MS is going though? (1)

Yehtmae (704201) | about 7 years ago | (#19891827)

Why can't newer versions of office access all the older versions? Really? Care to name an example?

Re:Isn't obvious where MS is going though? (1)

$1uck (710826) | about 7 years ago | (#19891989)

I've tried opening old Ms Doc files in new versions of Word, going from windows 98 to XP. I honestly can't recall the particular versions of office in use. I'm going to guess word 98 and word 2000 though. I've also seen major headaches with incompatibilities between different versions of Access (or trying use a db created in an older version of Access with new version) although I didn't deal with that directly.

Re:Isn't obvious where MS is going though? (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | about 7 years ago | (#19892093)

Why can't newer versions of office access all the older versions?
Really? Care to name an example?

Maybe "access" is the wrong word here. A better phrase would be "provide the same formatting".

Word 97 REALLY screwed up Word 95 formatting, as I remember.

Re:Isn't obvious where MS is going though? (1)

romrunning (963198) | about 7 years ago | (#19891905)

I actually appreciate that they are going to an XML-based format versus the binary format. That should actually help OpenOffice when converting documents versus the weird problems that occur with tables, fonts, placement, etc. I also don't have any problems opening older versions of documents. Perhaps you meant opening newer versions of documents with an older version of Office (for which MS has converters available). Finally, upgrades aren't forced down your throat - you have to buy them. Many people still run quite well with Office 97 today (like I do at home).

Where it 's heading (4, Insightful)

Tribbin (565963) | about 7 years ago | (#19891763)

"In addition, you have no idea where open-source products are going, whereas vendors like Microsoft provide a roadmap for the future."

Why do I think the exact opposite? I have more faith in ODF being supported by multiple apps, say, twenty years from now.

roadmap?? (2, Insightful)

donnyspi (701349) | about 7 years ago | (#19891765)

"A roadmap for the future" ??? You're just as much at the mercy of M$ as you to the OO.o developers. What kind of security can one kind in M$'s supposed "roadmap for the future". Bah!

Re:roadmap?? (4, Funny)

orasio (188021) | about 7 years ago | (#19892015)

"A roadmap for the future" ??? You're just as much at the mercy of M$ as you to the OO.o developers. What kind of security can one kind in M$'s supposed "roadmap for the future". Bah!
That is measurable.
You can look into previous roadmaps, and measure how much they have come through in the past.
You can do the same with open source, and free software projects.

OO didn't have any issues coming through with planned features in the past.

I don't think MS had any issues with roadmaps, my Longhorn Tablet PC works great with WinFS right now.

No roadmap? (1)

RiffRafff (234408) | about 7 years ago | (#19891767)

What, then, might this page be about?

http://development.openoffice.org/releases/ [openoffice.org]

Re:No roadmap? (1)

jonnythan (79727) | about 7 years ago | (#19891869)

Wow, that was last updated 10 months ago and forecasts development all the way through... uh...

"* date for creating a new code line SRC690
is not available yet (2007 ?)
* OOo 3.0 in 2007 ?"

That's what a manager loves to see.

The reality is that they have a point.

I mentioned this last time... (4, Informative)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 7 years ago | (#19891777)

But OpenOffice has a long, long way to go. The fit and finish, polish and performance of Microsoft Office to this point, is unparalleled. I'm not a Microsoft fanboy, but I'm not a Microsoft hater either. I'm just a realist.

When OpenOffice can step up its interface, design, compatibility, and market share, then we might have something to talk about. But as we sit right now, Microsoft Office is the only game in town that does what it does.

It only helps Microsoft to build products on top of Office, like Sharepoint, Project, etc... because they leverage an already existing knowledge of the UI and functionality. Office 2007 is a drastic departure from prior versions, but as I have been using it since the RTM date, it's been rock solid and I'm exceptionally pleased at how much more intelligent it has gotten, in particular with Excel and figuring out what I want to do, or in Word with how I'm formatting a document.

I still am hoping for a kickass version of OpenOffice though, just so that Microsoft doesn't rest on its laurels. Office 2007 indicates that they did anything but, and the polish of that product is something that I'm very surprised by, especially by Microsoft. Kudos to them for this round.

Re:I mentioned this last time... (1)

swimmar132 (302744) | about 7 years ago | (#19891843)

Yes, Office 2003 and 2007 are pretty darned excellent products, as far as general polish and usability.

I say this, as a open source nerd.

Re:I mentioned this last time... (1)

bigtangringo (800328) | about 7 years ago | (#19891883)

Up until OO 2 I was mostly with you. IMHO, the latest versions of OO are pretty damn good, and certainly a suitable replacement.

Re:I mentioned this last time... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 7 years ago | (#19892033)

I think OO is a pretty good product, but given the choice of using Office 2007 or OpenOffice, I chose the former. My work pays for it and it's better anyway. Free is free, right? :)

Re:I mentioned this last time... (1)

leather_helmet (887398) | about 7 years ago | (#19891991)

Totally agreed - I had given OpenOffice a try (still have it installed) but as you mention, it is not as polished and as a user I have built quite a bit of knowledge around using the Office products. A good example of this is when I had one of our office mates give OpenOffice a try. She used it to put together a simple proposal document and then never used it again, mentioning a lot of the points the parent post made.

I found this type of user behavior to be rather interesting, even after installing and giving it a spin, my coworker and I dropped OpenOffice rather quickly and never used it again

Re:I mentioned this last time... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19892053)

...because they leverage an already existing knowledge of the UI and functionality.
Like taking "File" off of the main toolbar and getting rid of "Save as" as a default menu option? I realize the UI is pretty looking, but I don't find it to be terribly intuitive. I shouldn't have to manually add a "Save as" icon because the new default file format is incompatible with all previous versions...

Re:I mentioned this last time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19892133)

Office 2007 is a drastic departure from prior versions

Yeah not only are they altering the format of the files, they're also trying to get their proprietary half baked format considered a standard so they can shove it down our throats and which they will likely tweak later on to make incompatible down the road when ODF is a real threat to their business.

Costs of open source not known? (1)

gethoht (757871) | about 7 years ago | (#19891781)

Sounds like someone got lazy. Plus MS pretty much threw in 500 licenses for free (for home use).

I didn't know that such deals could be made. Sounds like it's time to talk to my software rep and renegotiate our licensing scheme.(citing this article of course).

Re:Costs of open source not known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891927)

That sort of deal happens alot in .edu environments. Adobe isn't as easy to convince of that though. And users are supposed to uninstall Office once they quit the org.

What exactly were they expecting??? (2, Insightful)

Dusty00 (1106595) | about 7 years ago | (#19891813)

From the sounds of it the company seemed to be expecting to basically have MS Office for free. Whenever you switch to a new platform of any sort there's some initial cost of training and converting old documents (macros are the only thing I can think of they'd have to actually convert). I think they're looking at short term cost and ignoring the long term payback.

MS Roadmap (2, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 7 years ago | (#19891821)

1. We're going to fix some bugs. If we feel like it.
2. The next version is going to be much more colorful, but will need 4x the memory and CPU power. We're also planning to make a 3D graphics card mandatory.
3. Just when you got comfortable with the present version, we'll stop supporting it. We'd also deactivate it over the internet if we could get away with it.

open file formats are more important (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891833)

ODF is more important than OpenOffice. If ODF was enforced, then it wouldn't matter what Word Processor that you used.

No one is suddenly going to put all images in an MS only format, they choose more open formats like TIFF/JPG/PNG etc.

Just becasue it's free... (5, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | about 7 years ago | (#19891837)

...doesn't mean it's cheaper. I am kind of a open-source fanboy myself, but when it came time to either buy Photoshop or spend valuable hours learning to use Gimp, I also opted for the cash-heavy/time-light option.

My employer pays something like $40/hr (I think..I'm salary). So if I spent even 10 hours getting as good with Gimp as I already am with Photoshop, then the closed-source product is cheaper. But I do use all open source at home when time is less important than money.

Re:Just becasue it's free... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 years ago | (#19891959)

My employer pays something like $40/hr (I think..I'm salary). So if I spent even 10 hours getting as good with Gimp as I already am with Photoshop, then the closed-source product is cheaper.

It would be... until CS4 comes out.

Both Photoshop and GIMP's next respective iterations will likely cost just as much as the current ones. In P-Shop's case, it may be more.

/P

You mean MS Office is generally better than OO? (4, Informative)

Bandman (86149) | about 7 years ago | (#19891841)

Well, duh?

I like Openoffice, and I appreciate everything they're doing.

On the other hand, if I could buy MS Office for Linux, I would. It really is just better.

For all that OO tries, it just isn't as compatible with MS Office formats as it needs to be for me to use it. I always have formatting errors with word documents, sometimes I have entire excel spreadsheets that are useless, and I just can't have that.

I have MS office on my powerbook, and I use that for the documents that OO can't handle. I produce the vast majority of documents on there too. If I had Office on Linux, I would use it instead, but I don't.

no idea where open-source products are going... (4, Insightful)

oatec (1127701) | about 7 years ago | (#19891859)

Yea, those word processors and spreadsheet programs need a good roadmap. Think of how much they have changed since Office 97.

Road Map (-1, Flamebait)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | about 7 years ago | (#19891867)

you have no idea where open-source products are going, whereas vendors like Microsoft provide a roadmap for the future.

Anything that a corporation says about the future of its products is either lies or wishful thinking. At least you know that popular FOSS will improve and respond to user needs.

May I point out (5, Funny)

also-rr (980579) | about 7 years ago | (#19891885)

That it's office productivity software. You can generate your own road map.

*Version +1. Just like the current version, but with slightly more features and shiny icons!
*As above.

What are they worried about? That the OpenOffice roadmap might include:

*Given up on office suite. This version is a badger tracking application. Enjoy!

Re:May I point out (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19892123)

Badgers?! Badgers?! We don't need no stinkin' badgers!

Roadmap... (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | about 7 years ago | (#19891893)

When I look at a map, and see that the destination is me getting screwed, I don't feel any better about having said map...

Familarity... (1)

DrRobert (179090) | about 7 years ago | (#19891919)

People would always rather do the familiar than what is good for them, even if the familiar is unpleasant. Sort of like how abused children frequently seek out spouses later in life who will likely abuse them.

Not a coincidence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891957)

that Slashdot worked "Dumps" in with a Microsoft story. Was it hard to work in "load, deuce, loaf, turd, crap, poo?"

This guy used to work for Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19891969)

Read his Bio, this is not a suprise, I would wager that this switch has more to do about him and his beliefs than the technology and its benefits and cons involved.

Different/Better/Worse? (2, Insightful)

FreudianNightmare (1106709) | about 7 years ago | (#19892021)

I'm struck by the number of people posting things along the lines of:

Open Office isn't as good because it doesn't do [something] the way MS Office does it

or

OO isn't as good because it won't render MS Office stuff properly.

Now, I have no real preference for either (I have both on my Machine, since the other half needs MS Office to be compatible with a course she's doing, and I had OO originally cause it was free...)
But why are these things that make *Open Office* 'worse'?

Why are there never winges about 'MS Office just doesn't render Open Office format docs properly' or 'MS is rubbish because the tab key behaves differently to OO'?

A lot of people, including AANZ, seem to be confusing familiarity with quality, when it ain't necessarily so...

This is what you get for hasty migration (1)

temcat (873475) | about 7 years ago | (#19892071)

Apparently they didn't think over the feasibility of their initial migration to OpenOffice.org. Hopefully this taught them the lesson that free as in beer and free as in speech may not be enough.

I hate to say it, but for an awful lot of people not dealing with the simplest documents OOo is still far from being viable. Moreover, MS compatibility is only a part of the problem, and probably even not the largest one. For example, a good list of what a professional such as a technical writer or translator misses in OOo Writer can be found here:

http://osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=17593&comm ent_id=226219 [osnews.com]
http://osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=17593&comm ent_id=226313 [osnews.com]
http://osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=17593&comm ent_id=226315 [osnews.com]

Brilliant! (3, Insightful)

aaronl (43811) | about 7 years ago | (#19892081)

After actually reading the article, the reasons they switched to MS Office are:

*They weren't sure if it was cheaper or not, so they bought MS Office (again), which guarantees that OOo was cheaper.

*MS told them some stories about future plans that MS may or may not do with MS Office, and OOo didn't.

*Someone wanted to use Word and Sharepoint as a CMS for their website.

*They didn't actually switch 100% to OOo, so there were occasional internal compatibility issues between OOo users and MS Office users. It would also seem that some employees were sending ODF docs to the outside world, and people didn't know what they were.

So, basically, this organization switched back to MS Office because of some formatting issues with MS' undocumented file formats, some features that aren't actually available yet in MS Office looked interesting, and improper use of OOo by employees.

I've heard a lot of reasons to use MS Office instead of OOo, but this looks to be a pretty sorry collection of excuses. So far, the only two that come up in my line of work are lack of training, and poor VBA support. There isn't really any way around the VBA problems at the moment, either.

fud (0, Troll)

SolusSD (680489) | about 7 years ago | (#19892119)

not only is this article plain and simply fud (you could argue *any* piece of software requires training-- and honestly, if you are so *stupid* you can't figure out a word processor, maybe you aren't qualified for the job) it also shouldn't be news every time some company switches to or from MS Office.

Honestly, Both of Them Kind of Suck (2, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | about 7 years ago | (#19892125)

IMO both OpenOffice and MS Office kind of suck. I don't think either of them are particularly essential to the running of a business. For one thing if your IT department is to be believed, you can't safely open a document you receive in E-Mail anyway. Even if you could it's probably some nimrod using a spreadsheet as a work scheduling tool. Nothing good ever comes of it.

Important data tends to be stored in other systems anyway. You probably have a financial system where stuff like payroll data gets stored. I'm seeing more use of wikis for shared documents and that sucks a lot less than passing a word document around like a bong. The MS Office calendar and sending meeting invites is perhaps its strongest capability but even that isn't anything that a company like Google couldn't duplicate easily enough. Perhaps they'd find they'd get more work done if they jettisoned both MS Office AND Open Office and rolled some of their own well integrated tools if there were any gaps left (I doubt there would be, though.)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>