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OpenOffice.org V3.0 Sets Download Record, 80% Windows 451

Posted by timothy
from the constant-companion dept.
thefickler writes "The newest version of OpenOffice, version 3.0, has set a download record in its first week of availability. Most surprising is the fact that over 80% of downloads were from Windows users. As one commentator noted, when it comes to a choice between almost identical software (e.g. Microsoft Office and OpenOffice), price is the determining factor."
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OpenOffice.org V3.0 Sets Download Record, 80% Windows

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  • Package Managers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QBasicer (781745) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:35PM (#25519613) Homepage Journal
    The question here is do the download numbers also reflect copies downloaded with package managers such in Linux distros such as Gentoo and Ubuntu, or does it only count people that only actually go to the webpage to download? The way Windows users and Linux users tend to get software these days tends to be a little different, where windows users expect going to the website, downloading, and using an something like Install Shield to install.
    • Re:Package Managers? (Score:5, Informative)

      by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:44PM (#25519717)

      while gentoo may have an openoffice 'overlay'(not a gentoo user so that may be the wrong term) most ubuntu users will have to download the deb manually (either from here [openoffice.org] or a third party repo (cant think of any for ubuntu) or wait for 9.04

      oh and from TFA

      Only 221,000 downloads by Linux users were recorded, leading John McCreesh, head of marketing for OpenOffice.org, to suggest a massive undercount. McCreesh said 90% of Linux users traditionally receive OpenOffice.org updates straight from their Linux distribution's vendor, which would explain the relatively low Linux count.

      but that would still give windows >66% (assuming os x makes up 0%, which is possible due to neo office)

      • Re:Package Managers? (Score:5, Informative)

        by EvilRyry (1025309) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:04PM (#25519877) Journal

        Semi-offical PPA for intrepid: https://launchpad.net/~openoffice-pkgs/+archive [launchpad.net]

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by phantomlord (38815)
        ebuilds are the packages in gentoo, overlays are unofficial repositories of ebuilds.

        That said, the binary ebuild downloads from the gentoo mirrors rather than the official OpenOffice.org web/ftp servers, but the source built version downloads directly from go-oo.org
        • Re:Package Managers? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Rich0 (548339) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @09:18PM (#25522339) Homepage

          Uh, the gentoo ebuilds almost always download from gentoo mirrors. The only common exceptions are:

          1. Non-free software with restrictions on distribution (java used to fall into this category).
          2. Files downloaded REALLY soon after the ebuild is made. The gentoo mirrors are updated automatically but it can take a few hours before they all notice the new package in the portage tree. So, if you fetch the files quickly enough you might beat the mirrors, in which case the ebuild will eventually fall back to the upstream repository.

          Go ahead and try fetching the openoffice source now - you'll find that it uses your gentoo mirrors. The gentoo mirroring system is fairly impressive - as soon as an ebuild goes into the tree the mirrors start noticing and begin retrieving the distribution files. When an ebuild leaves the tree the mirrors notice and purge the distribution files (probably after some delay). The gentoo mirrors also handle files that are manually pushed out.

      • Re:Package Managers? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by De Lemming (227104) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @05:20PM (#25520571) Homepage

        (assuming os x makes up 0%, which is possible due to neo office)

        Now that OpenOffice has native support for OS X, I switched from NeoOffice to OpenOffice 3. I don't see the need anymore for an extra layer above the original software, and releases which lag behind those of OpenOfiice. I suspect a lot of Mac users are doing the same.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by SaDan (81097)

          I replaced Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac with OpenOffice 3.0 for Mac.

          Frees up a license for someone who would prefer Microsoft Office 2008 at work, and we buy one less copy overall. This may enable us to drop MS Office for Mac entirely, which would solve a lot of headaches.

      • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker AT gnu DOT org> on Sunday October 26, 2008 @05:42PM (#25520751) Homepage

        McCreesh said 90% of Linux users traditionally receive OpenOffice.org updates straight from their Linux distribution's vendor

        but that would still give windows >66% (assuming os x makes up 0%, which is possible due to neo office

        Let's do the math. The official site sees (scaled down) 2 linux downloads and 8 windows downloads. For every 1 of these linux downloads, there's 9 downloading from the distro archives instead of the official site.

        That gives us 20 linux downloads, 8 windows downloads. Or just above 25%. How did you come up with 66%?

        Even if it's just 25%, that's a fair slice; this means that the plan of moving people over to open-source apps first and moving the OS out under them later has not been shown to be infeasible: windows users are moving to the open-source apps.

        Only 221,000 downloads by Linux users were recorded

        So just shy of 900,000 windows downloads? That's quite good.

        I won't say "we're winning!!one!11ty", but some cautious optimism is probably in order.

    • Re:Package Managers? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bonch (38532) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:58PM (#25519831)

      Your question is answered in the link, which says the numbers are skewed. Thus, this announcement is a bit of misleading marketing on the part of OpenOffice.

    • BitTorrent? (Score:3, Interesting)

      I would also ask how they accounted for BitTorrent downloads, which are provided on the main OpenOffice.org website (in addition to the normal third-party sites). At first glance, it seems like the most logical interpretation is to count each copy of the .torrent file downloaded from the main website as one full download of the corresponding file. Or are they only counting downloads of the software from their own site?
  • 80% (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:37PM (#25519631)
    Why is 80% surprising? The article makes it sound like that's high, but Windows has more than 80% of the desktop market, so it's still a lower percentage.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Tubal-Cain (1289912)
      I doubt OOo3 was downloaded by the majority of Windows users.
      • Re:80% (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:30PM (#25520101) Journal

        I doubt OOo3 was downloaded by the majority of Windows users.

        And I doubt that it was downloaded by the majority of Linux users also.

        Most Linux users prefer to upgrade software using the channels for their distrobution. None of my 3 systems have been upgraded to OOo3 yet, but they will be, as soon as it shows up in the repos.

    • Re:80% (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:32PM (#25520117) Homepage

      Why is 80% surprising? The article makes it sound like that's high, but Windows has more than 80% of the desktop market, so it's still a lower percentage.

      In fact, I think 80% is surprisingly low.

      First off, we really shouldn't count Macs as part of the equation. I haven't checked recently, but for a long time, OOo's support for MacOS X lagged way, way behind. It was essentially unusable.

      So of OOo's potential audience, I would guess 99% would be Windows users, 1% Linux users. I would therefore expect 99% of OOo downloads to be the Windows version. Not only that, but a lot of Linux users probably aren't going to download it from the OOo web site, they're going to get it when it becomes the default through their distro's packaging infrastructure, and therefore they presumably won't be counted in this statistic. Let's guess (pulling numbers out of my rear end, I admit) that 90% of Linux desktop users won't downloaad directly, and will get it via their distro. So based on these factors, I would have expected the percentages to be more like 99.9% Windows and 0.1% Linux, a ratio of 1000 to 1.

      It's actually pretty darn depressing that the Windows figure is as low as 80%. That's a 4:1 ratio rather than the 1000:1 ratio I would have expected. That suggests that the Windows market for OOo is hundreds of times smaller than it would be based merely on the market share of the operating systems. Some possible interpretations, none of which are pretty:

      1. The Windows users who have never heard of OOo outnumber those who have, by hundreds to one.
      2. For every Windows user who's willing and able to switch, there are hundreds of others who can't, because it's impractical for them. (E.g., they don't get to choose what's on their computer at work, or they have too many documents already in Word format that they're afraid would be a huge hassle to convert 100% correctly.)
      3. For every Windows user who thinks OOo is better than MS Office, there are hundreds who hold the opposite opinion.

      I wouldn't be surprised of #3 captured the essential truth of the situation. OOo is one of the worst pieces of OSS I use. I've searched systematically for something better, and haven't found it. At this point, I feel like OOo was a dead end that had the unfortunate effect of killing off interest in competing OSS office software.

      • Re:80% (Score:5, Informative)

        by Niten (201835) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:49PM (#25520287)

        First off, we really shouldn't count Macs as part of the equation. I haven't checked recently, but for a long time, OOo's support for MacOS X lagged way, way behind. It was essentially unusable.

        No, we have to count Macs. One of the big bullet points on the OpenOffice 3 release notes was its new native Aqua support on OS X.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RudeIota (1131331)

        For every Windows user who's willing and able to switch, there are hundreds of others who can't, because it's impractical for them.

        For many 'professional' users, the lack of an Outlook-ish program is probably a huge deterrent. :(

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blackest_k (761565)

        Or it could be that not everyone who uses a PC knows the release date of the next version of Open Office and is waiting to grab it at the earliest opportunity

        besides which docx support as of a couple of weeks ago still was um rough to say the least. It's far more likely that people will upgrade over a period of months.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        80% isn't that low when you consider that the vast majority of linux users will use OOo because there isn't another great altertnative.
        Now, I'm not saying that MS Office is great, but the VAST majority of windows users are just going to use MS Office because they either aren't aware of OOo, don't care about OOo or have tried it and not liked it.
        Your assumption that 99% of the downloads should be windows because 99% of the market use windows is therefore a bad assumption because on one platform OOo has almo
      • I wouldn't be surprised of #3 captured the essential truth of the situation. OOo is one of the worst pieces of OSS I use. I've searched systematically for something better, and haven't found it. At this point, I feel like OOo was a dead end that had the unfortunate effect of killing off interest in competing OSS office software.

        While I'm inclined to agree that OO is one of the worst pieces of software out there (open source or otherwise), office suites tend to suck period, OO's crapiness reflects that it i

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Pulzar (81031)

          Note that I don't lay this blame on Microsoft (which is strange...) the business world expects a lot of things that are either misplaced, or a waste of time. Database like functions from a spreadsheet, fancy document layout tools (not useless, but not really suitable for a program with the primary purpose of writing letters and memos), powerpoint (the whole thing).

          Those are some pretty big attacks on popular office tools. A word processor is not used primarily to write letters and memos, documentation is mo

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:37PM (#25519639)
    People don't want to spend money on something they can get for free? That's amazing! Seriously, I know I'm not working at the only company that is getting ready to dump Microsoft Office. It's pretty sad when you realize that the vast majority of your workers would be happier going from Office 2003 to OpenOffice than going to Office 2007.
    • by Potor (658520) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `1rekraf'> on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:05PM (#25519881) Journal

      That's EXACTLY why I downloaded OOo 3, and use it at home. I was so pissed off that market dominance made me switch from WP to Word, and that the time I spent learning Word has been wasted, since MS changed almost everything around. My desktop at work still has an older version of Word, but my home machine, a company-supplied laptop, has 2007 installed.

      I know I am preached to the converted, but that was the worst marketing decision they could possibly make, imho.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would guess that a lot of Linux users will wait for OO.o to show up in their distro packaging system, and not download it directly. For the systems that I actually need to use to get work done, I am *very* reluctant to go outside the packaging system, because the many extra hassles are rarely worth it. If I wanted to have to monitor external web sites and manually do unpgrades on all my apps I'd still be using Windows. (OK, no not really, but you get the point.) I use Ubuntu on the desktop because, fo

  • by coryking (104614) * on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:42PM (#25519697) Homepage Journal

    Is that like saying a cordless phone and a cell phone is *almost* identical because they both make phone calls?

    Or did I just get trolled by the summary?

    • by CSMatt (1175471) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:51PM (#25519777)

      You have a point. I would conjecture that the dissimilarities of OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office 2007 are one of the driving factors in OpenOffice.org's adoption.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gilgongo (57446)

        You have a point. I would conjecture that the dissimilarities of OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office 2007 are one of the driving factors in OpenOffice.org's adoption.

        Really? It seems pretty obvious to me that Sun tried hard to mimic almsot every aspect of MSO's UI and feature set for the simple reason that doing so is probably the only way you are going to ensure Joe Sixpack migrates.

        Personally, I was hugely disappointed by OO the first time I used it. Not that it's bad as such, but that it fails to address so many things in MSO that have been crying out for improvement. Thanks to the flatulent Microsoft monopoly that means they don't give a cr*p about quality, MS Word,

      • by westlake (615356) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:23PM (#25521083)
        You have a point. I would conjecture that the dissimilarities of OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office 2007 are one of the driving factors in OpenOffice.org's adoption.
        .

        MS Office 2007 has been doing quite well in the real world:

        The Microsoft business division, which includes the Office suite of software, grew 20% to $4.95 billion. Microsoft's Profit Rises, But Outlook Is Damped [wsj.com] [October 24]

        20% growth in one quarter. If the tech sector as a whole is in the ICU with double pneumonia, Microsoft has a case of the sniffles.

        Microsoft Office 2007/8 holds 4 of top 25 slots in software sales at Amazon.com.

        In the retail market, Microsoft Office is bigger than games.

        It is bigger than anything.

        "Here's the really interesting statistic," said Chris Swenson, NPD's director of Software Industry Analysis. "Over two-thirds of the dollar volume growth in the U.S. retail PC software market in 2007 can be attributed to Microsoft Office. The ratio of Office dollar growth to total PC software growth is 67 percent." The Year of Office 2007 [microsoft-watch.com]

        The geek tends to quote the max price for the retail box that he can find - and it can be useful to insert a correction.

        Office Home & Student is about $100 at Amazon.com, with a three seat license.

        The price of four ink jet cartridges - and if you can't afford the consumables, you can't afford the office suite, at any price.

        The direct sale academic price for Office Ultimate is $60. The Ultimate Steal [microsoft.com] If your employer has a volume licensing agreement with Microsoft, Office for home use is the price of the media plus S&H. Home Use Program [microsoft.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyYar (622222)

      It depends on what you are doing. If you just want to make a phone call, then you don't really care if the phone is cordless or cellular - just so it works.

      Similarly, unless you are using some particular feature found in MS Office but not in OO.org, then you won't really care which one you use.

      If you just want to hammer out a memo or make a crappy-looking presentation, OO.org is just as capable as MS Office.

    • by slittle (4150) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:06PM (#25519885) Homepage

      Or did I just get trolled by the summary?

      "You must be new here."

      For the majority of users, OOo is roughly equivalent to Office. The only cases where I've run into trouble are with funky formatting and hardcore formulas/macros, which is pretty much power user territory. Most people either don't do complex operations, or do them by trial and error which works just as well under OOo as Office.

      Also I suspect that most people still have/use the copy of Works/Office that came with their computer, which is probably also running Windows XP and is up to seven (7) years old. Their choice is: use the same old software, pay to upgrade (a much higher price than the OEM got it), or download free OOo. It might not be as good, but it's new and shiny and they didn't have to pay for it.

      Obsessive compulsive upgrade disorder just bit MS in the arse.

  • by apathy maybe (922212) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:43PM (#25519703) Homepage Journal

    OpenOffice.org 3 sounds like it's going to be great. And I'll start using it as soon as it shows up in the Ubuntu repository and I get prompted to update. Until then, I guess I won't. I guess that a lot of other people are having similar thoughts. (Not to mention, consider the number of MS Windows users compared to all non-MS Windows users, of course the majority of downloads are going to be for MS Windows.)

    As for price, price is not a factor in me not using MS Windows (I just don't like it compared to GNOME, etc.). However, given the choice between MS Office and OpenOffice.org, it is.

    However, it isn't the only thing, I just prefer OOo. I've been using it for a good number of years (and the only thing that used to piss me off was not being able to word count selections, they fixed that), and I've gotten used to the little quirks.

    It also does things simply better! Take creating a business card, MS Word doesn't even come with a template for that job! (Not that OOo makes it easy... Why no bottom and right margin setting?)

  • Almost identical? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:44PM (#25519715)
    I've been scorched before on slashdot for praising MSOffice, but again I beg to disagree that this is a "choice between almost identical software".
    The functionality, features and ease of use of MSOffice (as compared to Open Office) still make it far superior.
    Particularly, the new interface of MSOffice makes it much easier and intuitive to use (for most users) compared to any other office automation software.
    • by CSMatt (1175471) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:57PM (#25519815)

      Unless you are a veteran user of the 97-2003 line who used the suite for basic stuff. Then OpenOffice.org looks far more attractive.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Unless you are a veteran user of the 97-2003 line who used the suite for basic stuff.

        I am.


        Then OpenOffice.org looks far more attractive.

        It doesn't.

        Obviously your and other peoples' mileage does vary.

      • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:55PM (#25520343)

        Exactly. I have used Word and Excel for ~15 years. I'm not what I'd consider a "power user," but I've grown comfortable with the UI and basic features over this time. Since approximately version 2.0 or 2.1, I haven't felt the need to use the real Word or Excel even once. The Oo equivalents have been able to replicate the functionality of Word/Excel without fail to the point that I don't even bother installing Office anymore. I have also switched over various family members and a few small businesses (sub-50 employees) with nary a complain about missing functionality.

        I'm sure there are folks out there that can point to some obscure features of M$ Office products that they rely on, but I think the vast majority of us fit into the mold of users that just use the basic features. I can't imagine needing or wanting to spring for another M$ Office license again.

        Cheers,

        • Excel vs OO.o (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sjbe (173966)

          Exactly. I have used Word and Excel for ~15 years. I'm not what I'd consider a "power user," but I've grown comfortable with the UI and basic features over this time. Since approximately version 2.0 or 2.1, I haven't felt the need to use the real Word or Excel even once.

          Just for comparisons sake, I am a heavy use of Excel (a "power user" if you will) and while I would switch to use OO.o in a heartbeat I simply cannot yet. Why? Two reasons fundamentally. The first is that Excel has a HUGE installed base in the finance world and that isn't going away any time soon. Want to work in finance? Better learn Excel - substitutes need not apply. I don't like it but that's the way it is. Excel is a de-facto monopoly in financial analytics. (disclosure: I'm a certified account

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            And why would the financial world trust Excel at anything statistical?

            One would use a real stat suite, lest you implement the formulas (or MS) wrong.

            There was recently an article stating that Excel stat isnt very accurate. It was rounding errors 10^-2 or -3, which could easily compound if used excessively.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by jimicus (737525)

              And why would the financial world trust Excel at anything statistical?

              One would use a real stat suite, lest you implement the formulas (or MS) wrong.

              There was recently an article stating that Excel stat isnt very accurate. It was rounding errors 10^-2 or -3, which could easily compound if used excessively.

              They shouldn't, and IME if you speak to any experienced accountant who fully understands the limitations of the tools they're working with, they won't.

              However, there are plenty of business people who don't fully understand the limitations of the tools they're working with. They just see Excel (and, for that matter, Access) as a quick, easy way to solve a relatively straightforward problem without having to go through all the hassle of finding an appropriate specialist tool and going through the necessary h

    • Re:Almost identical? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ciggieposeur (715798) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:57PM (#25519827)

      Particularly, the new interface of MSOffice makes it much easier and intuitive to use (for most users) compared to any other office automation software.

      If by "most users" you mean:

      * People who have never used MSOffice sometime in the last 14 years.
      * Excel power-users who have never used the chart wizard.
      * Mac users who have never needed to interoperate with Windows MSOffice users who have VBA macros in their documents/spreadsheets.
      * People who have never gotten used to applications that use menus to organize major features.

      For everyone else, the new MSOffice is very intuitive.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Forbman (794277)

      Sorry, hard to include Office 2007 in that line...

      --another pissed off Office 2007 have-to-user at work.

      Just as an aside...how fast to do paste special in Excel 2007? Hmm... not so easy to find in the new "easy to use" interface...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by heffrey (229704)

        Paste special?! It's on the Home page, in the left most section which is titled Paste. You just click the drop down and there it is.

        So you just open the program and there's this big button called "Paste". How hard can it possibly be to find it.

        Actually I find Office 2003 rather tricky to use now that I've used 2007. It took me around an afternoon to get used to the new interface and I would not want to go back.

    • Re:Almost identical? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rantingkitten (938138) <.kitten. .at. .mirrorshades.org.> on Sunday October 26, 2008 @11:15PM (#25523087) Homepage
      All I ever heard from Windows users, particularly at work, is how they couldn't figure out how to do anything through the "ribbon" or whatever they're calling it these days. Even though OO's menu isn't exactly like Office's, the fact that it has a menu makes it more attractive to people, I think; since every other application they've used in the past ten years has a menu, they know they can find what they're looking for there. The "ribbon" confounds even a veteran like me, though I admit I've only used it a handful of times because I use OO exclusively on all my machines.

      What "functionality and features" are you referring to that MS Office has and OO doesn't? The majority of users just want to write a letter, pretty it up a bit, and send it off. Or make a spreadsheet, add some columns, multiply some others, and be done with it. OO handles all of this and anything else Joe User would ever want to do, as far as I can tell. If you've got counterexamples let's hear 'em, but my guess is you're going to have to dig pretty deep for some obscure stuff that hardly anyone ever needs or wants.

      And, as mentioned above, "ease of use" is pretty subjective. I find Office 2007 to be a horrendous UI disaster, and have heard others voice the same opinion. Other people like it fine, or -- as is usually the case -- just don't care one way or the other.

      As far as users are concerned it IS almost identical software -- it lets them make spreadhseets, type up reports, and make their stupid presentations no one will remember after the meeting is over. 99% of the rest of the "features" are just bloat added in, occasionally used by a few people from time to time, and ignored by everyone else. And odds are OO does most of those "features" just fine.
  • Good News (Score:2, Insightful)

    by phmadore (1391487)
    I've been using it since the .sxw days, and used StarOffice way back when they first released it for free. I find this news heartening given the recent announcements about OSS's supposed impending doom. Give it time; I bet by 4.0, OOo will be as popular as Firefox.
  • by ciggieposeur (715798) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:47PM (#25519745)

    I think a lot of people might be looking at OOo because it is the only still-supported Office workalike that works mostly like MSOffice 97/XP/2003. For those of us forced to use MSOffice 2007 it's a no-brainer. Plus OOo can be installed alongside MSOffice 2007 with no problems.

    • by level_headed_midwest (888889) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:22PM (#25520023)

      That is one big advantage. Being able to export to PDF without spending a buttload of money on Adobe Acrobat or spending a lot of time to find a good Windows freeware print-to-PDF program is another advantage of OOo, and OOo 3.0 can also open and edit PDFs to some degree with the Sun PDF plugin, which is a huge feature. One last thing I have heard quite a few others praise is the ability to open almost any document file type out there right out of the box, now that OOo 3.0 has Office 2007 XML support.

  • From the article (Score:4, Informative)

    by bonch (38532) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:54PM (#25519799)

    While you would think OpenOffice would be most popular among Linux users, the demand for Windows users came as a surprise to many people. The numbers are skewed however, because many Linux users receive their updates from Linux distributors rather than the website. Still, it shows that Microsoft's Office software is slowly loosing its market dominance now that there are suitable alternatives available.

    Most Linux users get their software from their distro, so that's the reason for the predominance of Windows in the downloads. However, the conclusion reached by the author is arbitrary. There is nothing here showing that Office is "loosing" market dominance. All you have are OpenOffice download numbers, which don't prove anything about market dominance. Office isn't even available for Linux, so how is its market dominance changing from what it was before?

  • by RalphBNumbers (655475) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:00PM (#25519841)

    That was quick (especially considering they only support intel based macs).
    Maybe in the future OSS products looking for market share will support official native Mac versions sooner, instead of leaving us with either X11 interfaces or third party ports.

  • ahh (Score:3, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:03PM (#25519863) Homepage
    As one commentator noted, when it comes to a choice between almost identical software (e.g. Microsoft Office and OpenOffice), price is the determining factor.

    And that's why more people use OpenOffice than Microsoft Office...oh wait
  • by ArchieBunker (132337) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:06PM (#25519887) Homepage

    When downloading or updating java from Sun the default is to also install OO. Highly annoying if you ask me.

  • Awesome website (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sentry21 (8183) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:08PM (#25519903) Journal

    I'm not a huge fan of OpenOffice (which I refuse to call 'OpenOffice.org, because it's an office suite, not a webserver), but I'll say one thing - their main page is exactly right.

    Go to www.openoffice.org and take a look. What do you see? A list of things to do, in big text, impossible to miss. I wanted to download. Normally I hunt for a link. Now, it takes me 5 seconds to grab what I want.

    No wonder they got so many downloads - they didn't hide them three pages deep.

  • by wicka (985217) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:16PM (#25519983)
    Unfortunately OpenOffice and Word are not identical pieces of software. Not by a long shot.
    • Meh. (Score:4, Informative)

      by walterbyrd (182728) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:58PM (#25520361)

      If you are a dedicated ms-office user, and you really need 100% of the functionality of ms-office; then get ms-office - don't even think about anything else.

      But, if you are like most of the population, and you just need a good office product, that is basically compatible with standard file formats, then openoffice does the trick.

      JMHO.

  • by CSMatt (1175471) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:36PM (#25520145)

    Not sure why the article sees the need to mention this:

    OpenOffice.org 3.0 eases some adoption concerns. It is able to open all Office-formatted files, including the latest Office Open XML (OOXML) documents (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc.), but it cannot save OOXML files natively.

    Why would you need to save in this format? The existing binary support should be all you need if you need to collaborate with Microsoft Office users. It's their saving in Microsoft Office 2007 format that causes the roadblocks, not OpenOffice.org's lack of exporting to it.

  • by celest (100606) <mekki@mekk i . ca> on Sunday October 26, 2008 @04:37PM (#25520159) Homepage

    when it comes to a choice between almost identical software (e.g. Microsoft Office and OpenOffice), price is the determining factor.

    Actually, I'm currently doing my Master's thesis on this exact topic, namely the switching barriers between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org. I'll post a summary of the full empirically assessed results to Slashdot when the study is complete. Currently, however, it looks like that Apathy is a much stronger factor than price. In fact, the author of the article hints at this:

    In the past, it's always been included on my computers which is fine

    Another important factor which I have hypothesized (and the literature suggests is accurate) trumps price is user inconvenience. Most users will pay to avoid hassle of any sorts. Further, most users will pay to avoid PERCEIVED inconvenience, even if, in reality, there would be no inconvenience. The FEAR of inconvenience is enough to make them continue to pay.

    If you would like more details about my empirical research on this subject, feel free to contact me. A paper on the subject will be published by the Open Source Business Resource [www.osbr.ca] in the spring.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AaronLawrence (600990) *

      This sounds very interesting. One empirical study showing data and conclusions is worth millions of fanatical rants on Slashdot (or in company meetings). I think we in IT feel there are some odd reasons why users won't change, but can't articulate them or say how important they are.

      The other post about MS Office being a standard part of the budget is a very interesting thought - obvious now I see it written down, but I didn't think of it before.

  • by freddy_dreddy (1321567) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @05:08PM (#25520453)
    This bogus statistic keeps resurfacing. Having x downloads doesn't mean you have x users.

    The statistic I'm interested in is the percentage of people that downloaded it and then later updated - that's a much better representation of satisfied customers. The time between update release and downloaded update by a user is correlated to how much that user relies on the software package, especially so for OSS which is typically low in pre-release testing on different boxes compared to commercial software.
  • Insensitive clods (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charles Dodgeson (248492) * <jeffrey@goldmark.org> on Sunday October 26, 2008 @05:17PM (#25520523) Homepage Journal
    I'm an English speaking PPC OS X user, you insensitive clod. I finally gave up waiting and grabbed the Spanish language version. But there still in no English version for OS X on the PowerPC.
  • by nickull (943338) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @05:48PM (#25520809) Homepage Journal
    I work for Adobe on the ODF Technical Committee. ODF made some great decisions that make the format much more admirable over others (use of RelaxNG Schema, open formats wherever possible etc.). I am happy about the growing use of OO. Jon Bosak also has posted some great thoughts on this. Jon's thoughts on ODF, OOXML and PDF [blogspot.com].
  • Spam sites already (Score:4, Informative)

    by matt me (850665) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:09PM (#25520957)

    Check out the number of spam sites already, google for openoffice (http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=openoffice), and you get sponsored links like these -

    # OpenOffice.org 3 www.office-soft.net Get the Free OpenOffice Download the latest Version |
    # OpenOffice 2008 - Free OpenOffice.org-Suite.com OpenOffice Latest Version. Fast & Easy - 100% Guaranteed.

    This one is quite nasty http://www.office-soft.net/uk/ [office-soft.net]
    Click the link "You must accept the terms and conditions to download any program"

    PRELIMINARY WARNING:
    THE COST OF EACH SMS FROM THE USER'S MOBILE PHONE IS 1.5 POUNDS (VAT INCLUDED). UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED, THE DOWNLOAD COST SHALL BE FOUR SMS.
    Please read these USAGE CONDITIONS carefully and, if appropriate, use the download service which shall imply the express and complete acceptance of each and every one of these USAGE CONDITIONS. Otherwise, please close this website.

    ONE. PREMIUM SERVICE DESCRIPTION

    1.1. Through this website (hereinafter the Website), users can download executables that contain the selected computer program from our servers to their hard drive (the SOFTWARE).

    1.2. Netlink Network Corp. offers a PREMIUM high speed download service that is efficient and virus free. In exchange, the user shall first send three SMS under the conditions specified in clause 2.2 that defines the commercial conditions of the service.

    TWO. USE OF THE PREMIUM SERVICE

    2.1. In order to access the PREMIUM service, the user shall first send three SMS to 88889 as per the detailed instructions provided at all times in the download section of the Website.

    2.2. The cost of each SMS sent by the user to said number is 1.50 pounds + VAT; therefore the total cost of access to the PREMIUM service shall be 3.60 Euros + VAT.

    2.3. After sending the three SMS, and always in accordance with the detailed instructions provided in the download section, the user shall receive a code that will enable him to perform the high speed download through the PREMIUM service.

    etc. The others are similar scams, they want you to give your email address, sent them money by credit card, or by SMS, and have bogus stamps of officialdom and verisign secured etc.

    Of course, when the scammers want in, it means the project is a success.

  • by Giometrix (932993) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:27PM (#25521109) Homepage

    ... but not enough to pay $500 for it. I like it better than OOo, but not THAT much better.

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