John Dvorak: OpenOffice Gets IBM Boost

Here’s the link to the full essay.  The key section is this:

“Oracle, who owned OpenOffice as part of the Sun takeover, wasn’t interested in maintaining what is essentially a labor of love, so it gave the whole thing to the Apache Foundation. Then this week IBM decided it wanted OpenOffice to stick around, so it handed over its entire Lotus Symphony Suite to the group and told them to use whatever they wanted.

The way I see it: Within the next 12 months, OpenOffice should be every bit as good as Microsoft Office and cost nothing to download and implement.

While I doubt that OpenOffice will ever get better than Microsoft Office, I cannot imagine OpenOffice not being at the top of the list for consideration within cash-strapped government agencies and corporations looking to save money.

I think it is going to be difficult for agencies that are spending a fortune to use Microsoft Office to forever rationalize spending any money at all for a word processor or spreadsheet program.”

I agree.  Microsoft’s products have compatibility problems between their own recent versions; so document compatibility is not an issue.

Spreadsheets, word processors, and presentation software are pretty much mature.  There are many features in proprietary office software (Microsoft) that most users don’t even know about, much less use.

The conclusion: download OpenOffice right now and cancel your Microsoft Office licenses.  You can forget about paying for upgrades and version incompatibility.

Update: OpenOffice is now an Apache Software Foundation project as opposed to LibreOffice which is a fork.

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