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OpenOffice Five Times As Popular As Google Docs 207

Posted by kdawson
from the still-small-potatoes dept.
CWmike writes "Confirming recent comments by Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, an independent report released Friday found that OpenOffice.org's free office suite is five times more popular than Google Docs. This was according to a survey of 2,400 adult Internet users conducted between May and November. Microsoft's share was 10 times that of OpenOffice.org. Microsoft hopes to cement that lead with its upcoming Office Web, as well as online versions of its Exchange and SharePoint products to be announced on Monday. OpenOffice.org may provide some resistance, however. The latest version, OpenOffice.org 3.0, had a strong first week in October, with more than 3 million downloads. After one month, OpenOffice.org 3.0 had been downloaded 10 million times." And reader Peter Toi informs us of the open source release of yet another office suite, Softmaker Office. Its claimed advantages are its compactness and speed (making it suitable for netbooks), its excellent MS Office filters, and the fact that it can be installed to USB flash drives.
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OpenOffice Five Times As Popular As Google Docs

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  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) * on Saturday November 15, 2008 @08:54PM (#25773577) Journal
    Just what I need after the news that OOo may get ads.
    As soon as it has full ODF support.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I get a good chuckle out of the folks who say OO is to slow as if they're using it to build an embedded real-time OS.

      "Oh noes! it takes 20 seconds to boot!" // as if those nerds have anything better to do with their precious time
      • Re:Just in time (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ushering05401 (1086795) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @10:00PM (#25773927) Journal

        "Oh noes! it takes 20 seconds to boot!" // as if those nerds have anything better to do with their precious time

        The problem is not the nerd's time, but the perception of the MS users to whom said nerds show the suite. Startup time for OpenOffice programs directly conflicts with the assertion that wins OSS converts, that OSS software will better utilize existing hardware.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Daengbo (523424)
          I don't get this. My co-worker recently got MS Office 2007 and it takes almost a minute to start up. 2003 was fast. She doesn't have OO.o, so I can't compare on the same machine, but 2007 seems to take forever.
        • The problem is not the nerd's time, but the perception of the MS users to whom said nerds show the suite. Startup time for OpenOffice programs directly conflicts with the assertion that wins OSS converts, that OSS software will better utilize existing hardware.

          So.. My copy of Open Office starting in just over 4 seconds (timed Writer opening with my stopwatch just now) would be impressive I take it..
          Not a particularly fast machine either. A 4 Ghz Athlon AM2 single core with 2 gig of memory running Fedora 9. I do use preload, so perhaps my doing what Microsoft do with Office and Explorer might be regarded as cheating in some sense.

          No idea of how fast it starts on Windows, so it may be much slower there.

          • by Joebert (946227)
            My copy starts just as fast.
            I'm on a 64-bit Athlon 3000+ @ 2ghz and 1GB of RAM running Ubuntu 8.10
            Though I just tried to export the email address column of a Paypal history TSV and it cried about JAVA not being availible, so it might not be loading everything.
        • by Haeleth (414428)

          Startup time for OpenOffice programs directly conflicts with the assertion that wins OSS converts, that OSS software will better utilize existing hardware.

          Who makes this assertion? Only ignorance or stupidity could lead someone to claim that OSS is inherently faster simply by virtue of being open source.

          The only vaguely similar claim I've ever heard is that certain specific OSS programs better utilize existing hardware than certain specific proprietary software; for example, a suitably minimalist Linux con

      • Re:Just in time (Score:4, Informative)

        by techno-vampire (666512) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:06PM (#25774247) Homepage
        One of the reasons MSOffice loads so quickly is that it adds a "quick launch" app to Windows Startup. Part of the code loads every time you boot (adding to boot time and sucking up system resources) so that Office can load quicker. Nice, if you're constantly using Office, opening, editing, saving and closing. Not so nice if you only use it once or twice a week, and you're wondering why your computer takes so long to boot. Of course, the installer doesn't mention it's doing this unless you do a custom install and decide not to load that module. Take out Quick Load, and I'll bet the load time for Office is just about the same as for OpenOffice.
        • See above. [slashdot.org]

          First Principles.
        • by nabsltd (1313397)

          One of the reasons MSOffice loads so quickly is that it adds a "quick launch" app to Windows Startup. Part of the code loads every time you boot (adding to boot time and sucking up system resources) so that Office can load quicker.

          Despite that fact that I use the MS Office applications a lot, I delete the shortcut to the quick load app because all it seems to do is slow down boot time without speeding up the loading of any Office apps.

          Of course, since most of the apps load in less than 2 seconds on my moderately modern hardware (2.8GHz dual core, 3GB RAM), I'm not sure how you could speed it up.

        • Re:Just in time (Score:4, Interesting)

          by skaet (841938) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:56PM (#25774501) Homepage

          Take out Quick Load, and I'll bet the load time for Office is just about the same as for OpenOffice.

          It doesn't. I've always disabled programs from pre-loading at bootup (for ongoing performance issues, not just initial boot times) and Word 2007 opens a fresh document in 3 seconds (no previously opened documents or Office apps). After closing Word and re-opening, it loads a fresh document in 1 second.

          Comparing this to OOo 3 and it takes 7 seconds for initial launch and 4 seconds for subsequent launches. To me, this is pretty conclusive that Quick Load isn't the reason MS Office loads faster but probably speaks for the MS Office team doing a better job writing optimised, modular code. These test results are of course subjective depending on the hardware you have but it's the kind of thing people notice when trying to convert them away from MS Office.

          It's been said before but OO's problem is the monolithic and legacy nature of the code causing it to bloat. I imagine if OO developers completely rewrote the code, stripped out all the shit and didn't use Java then they could compete with MS Office for performance. Maybe, just maybe...

      • by bcrowell (177657)

        I get a good chuckle out of the folks who say OO is to slow as if they're using it to build an embedded real-time OS. "Oh noes! it takes 20 seconds to boot!"

        This attitude amazes me. In 1980 I ran a word processor called Electric Pencil on a machine whose clock speed was in the low MHz range. If I recall correctly, it only took a few seconds to start. I can't imagine why anyone would tolerate a word processor that took 20 seconds to start on a machine a thousand times faster than the one I used back then.

      • by Fred_A (10934)

        20 seconds ? You have to be kidding !

        fred@neverwhere:~$ times oowriter
        0m0.008s 0m0.028s
        0m1.108s 0m0.052s
        fred@neverwhere:~$

        ;)

        (the trick is left as an exercise to the reader)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dwedit (232252)

      If it gets ads, someone will fork it to remove them.

      • Re:Just in time (Score:5, Informative)

        by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:04PM (#25774239) Homepage Journal

        I recommend to everyone to use Novell's fork/not-fork located at go-oo.org as it is. It uses less memory, provides more features, runs faster, etc. Yes, Novell signed a deal with the devil, but they're putting out a good product for free, so using it isn't supporting Novell. It is just using the superior product.

        • And if, for whatever reason, you prefer a Novell-branded version, you can download it for free from Novell [novell.com] (Registration required, windows only -- they figure if you want the Linux version you'll spring for SUSE Enterprise Desktop; it's not even available in OpenSUSE.)

          You can also download the deal-with-the-devil MS-OOXML file format translator, if you need to save in the .docx etc formats. Again, it's Windows or SUSE only. It works pretty well with Word stuff; haven't tried any of the others.

    • From Jonathan Schwartz's Blog [sun.com]:

      "An auction's afoot (no pun intended) to see who we'll be partnering with us to integrate their businesses and brands into our binary product distribution - the possibilities are limitless: people tend to print those documents, fax them, copy them, project them (and I know this annoys my friends in the free software community, but branding allows us to invest more in OO.o community and features, from which everyone benefits)."

      Does this mean Sun intends to place ads on the docum

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Machtyn (759119)
        It really will be. Nothing causes a flock away from a product than ads. It's the same as raising a price. The more you raise, the less people purchase, the more you may end up losing. The price in this case are the ads.
  • not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siddesu (698447) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @08:56PM (#25773585)

    having used all three, i find the oo (especially the last version) to have the features, availability and deployment options i need and a price i don't disagree with.

  • Softmaker Office (Score:5, Informative)

    by dnwq (910646) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @08:58PM (#25773593)
    Softmaker Office looks like a freeasinbeer release of the 2006 version to promote sales of the 2008 version. There's no link to sources on the site, anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gyrogeerloose (849181)
      Also, it's Windows-only.
      • Re:Softmaker Office (Score:5, Informative)

        by spandex_panda (1168381) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @09:13PM (#25773689)
        its not windows only, there are .debs and .rpm and tar archive. But the full version is $80 USD. I haven't used softmaker but I know that abiword and gnumeric are lightweight, full featured and free as in speach so why this limited free software?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          Try loading a 100 page document under abiword. AFAIK, abiword starts becoming pretty unresponsive after ~20 pages. While 100 page documents might not be commonly used, it's pretty ridiculous for a word processor to choke. That's the main reason I tend to avoid abiword. So, any other suggestions on lightweight, full-featured word processing free software?

          • I hear KOffice is coming along nicely.
            • KOffice (Score:3, Informative)

              by Enderandrew (866215)

              I'm a big fan of KDE and their products, but KOffice is a very different beast than MS Office and OOo. To some that is a very good thing, but it isn't going to replace OOo for me, despite being lean and mean. I'm not entirely sure it is meant to compete in the same arena.

              However, run it for yourself and make your own determinations. Pull the packages in your distro if you're on Linux, or grab them here on Windows.

              http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/KDE_on_Windows/Installation [kde.org]

              There should be native packages

          • So, any other suggestions on lightweight, full-featured word processing free software?

            I'm pretty sure this is one of those "pick any two" scenarios...

            • Lightweight & free: Abiword, KOffice, LyX, Jarte Light
            • Full-featured & free: OpenOffice & cousins, Lotus Symphony
            • Lightweight & full-featured: Hmm, this is a tough pairing, even without the "free". Consider WordPerfect (which stretches the definition of lightweight) and Jarte Plus (which stretches the definition of full-featured.) Apple's Pages may fit the bill, Mac only of course.

            And then there's SoftMaker, mentioned in the sum

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gyrogeerloose (849181)
          Okay, I should have been more specific--the free-as-in-beer version is Windows only.
        • Re:Softmaker Office (Score:4, Interesting)

          by lysergic.acid (845423) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @10:44PM (#25774145) Homepage

          also, the SoftMaker feature comparison (MS Excel 2003, PlanMaker 2008, and Calc from OO.o 2) page is rather deceptive. their screen shots seem to suggest that PlanMaker and Excel support AutoShapes whereas Calc does not, which is patently false. there are also intentionally manufactured discrepancies between the documents displayed in Calc versus those displayed in PlanMaker/Excel--such as using different gradient colors, font sizes, chart & graph styles, etc. to make Calc appear to render documents differently from PlanMaker/Excel.

          i think this kind of intentionally deceptive marketing says a lot about the developers. i wouldn't be surprised if this "Peter Troi" mentioned in the Summary is an astroturfer working for SoftMaker, or that he intentionally lied about its being open source to mislead the editors and get free publicity for their proprietary office suite.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But nothing beats Keynote.

  • Even worse! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Google docs was found to be almost a hundred times less popular than World of Warcraft.

    Whatever will Google do to escape from this calamity?

  • OOO Works on USB too (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gonoff (88518) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @09:01PM (#25773615)

    Perhaps they haven't hear of http://portableapps.com/ [portableapps.com]

    Or, more likely, they have but are just pretending...

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @09:16PM (#25773705)

    It has most of the features of Microsoft Works 97. With less fonts. The UI is clunky and slow. Granted it is great for being web based however compared to Office or Open Office it is way behind. Also I think people like their documents to be on there system and be able to disconnect from the internet all together sometimes just so they get their work done without the internet whispering in your ear "browse me"

    • by Potor (658520) <farker1@gmail. c o m> on Saturday November 15, 2008 @09:42PM (#25773837) Journal

      That's all true, plus no footnotes. Absolute deal-breaker.

      I used it for a while when I was writing short texts that I wanted to access anywhere, but I quickly discovered that this offered no more advantages than writing these texts in emails I sent to myself. The formatting and other capabilities of GDocs are just that bad.

      I also tried using it collaboratively, but I found that the changes I made while simultaneously working on a doc with a colleague were not instant enough to be of any synchronic use - we spent a lot of time discussing (on skype) what changes we did or would make. So again, not much better than asynchronous email.

      • by cmacb (547347) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @10:22PM (#25774057) Homepage Journal

        That's all true, plus no footnotes. Absolute deal-breaker.

        It's had footnotes for a few weeks.

        I had never expected Google Docs to match Office in features. Feature bloat is after all one of the thing I was trying to escape.

        I load e-mail attachments that are in doc format directly into Google Docs and in most cases they come out looking just fine.

        For those that don't I use Open Office, at least long enough to convert it to a simple readable form.

        For those that don't open in Open Office I contact the sender and explain to them how they are idiots for using special fonts that most people don't have, setting margins and table widths outside of page boundaries and using tables for bizarre page placements, often leaving huge numbers of empty cells from hours of tinkering, or worst of all, leaving change tracking on so that I see bits and pieces of every document they have ever created in what should be a one page 20K company newsletter.

        Nevertheless it will be interesting to see the competition that this initiates.

        Microsoft faces a rock and a hard place. If they make the online version too feature rich and also free, they will hurt their own sales. If they don't, Google will continue to grow its user base (and my guess is that Google is content for that base to grow slowly for now).

        Beyond feature competition I think the game is who can most cost effectively do this with a combination of efficient server techniques, advertising, data center placement, etc. It's hard to imagine Microsoft winning such a competition and even if they win they will have significantly reduced their profit margin from what it is now.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jellomizer (103300)

          You do realize that feature bloat isn't that much of an issue for a SaaS solution. As it is not your resources that you are filling up. In theory you have the Web Office Suit take a terabyte of code and it wouldn't effect you. As long as they made the UI clean enough to handle it.

          • by mixmatch (957776)
            Most of the new interactive web stuff is done with client-side javascript or, more rarely, java. In these cases, feature bloat can definitely affect you.
          • by cmacb (547347)

            As long as they made the UI clean enough to handle it.

            Right.



        • I share your enthusiasm for Google Apps. I use them all the time to open silly attachments that people neglected to save as PDF before emailing to me. I also enjoy popping open a spreadsheet in Google Apps to run some numbers on a project without having to fire up a full-blown office suite that crushes my laptop's meager memory.

          If they make the online version too feature rich and also free, they will hurt their own sales.

          The online MS Office offering will only be available to holders of MS Office license

        • For those that don't open in Open Office I contact the sender and explain to them how they are idiots for using special fonts that most people don't have, setting margins and table widths outside of page boundaries and using tables for bizarre page placements, often leaving huge numbers of empty cells from hours of tinkering, or worst of all, leaving change tracking on so that I see bits and pieces of every document they have ever created in what should be a one page 20K company newsletter.

          You must be a client. You'd find things different if your clients were the ones using the bizarre tables...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 15, 2008 @09:17PM (#25773715)

    The CEO of ClickStream, the independent company that did the research, used to do the exact same market research WHILE HE WAS AT MICROSOFT. Though they claim Microsoft didn't pay for this research study, they do say that Microsoft is a client for other studies...I'd hardly call this independent.

    http://www.clickstreamtech.com/about.html

  • No surprise here (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TFGeditor (737839) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @10:02PM (#25773941) Homepage

    Most people are accustomed to internet outages, whether the fault of their ISP, broken backbone, or individual sites. So, they are naturally reticent to use web-based utilities in favor of applications hosted on their local machine.

    Until the 'net is bulletproof, on-line apps will never usurp local utilites and apps for critical applications--or even "casual" applications.

    • I am as SOL when my internet goes out and I need to use my apps on my computer as when it goes out and I need to use the internet. As apps become more and more intertwined with the net, this will become increasingly true...
      • by TFGeditor (737839)

        As a telecommuter, I, too, am highly dependent on the 'net. However, an ISP outage does not completely shut me down since I can continue to work using machine-local apps. During downtime, I simply produce my work and queue it for later FTP upload. Were my apps 'net dependent, I wold be 100 percent SOL and get so far behind it would be almost impossible to catch up.

        In short: Web based apps suck canal water.

        • Right, but what apps are you using?

          I telecommute also, and have to remote desktop in over a VPN. If my network goes down for any reason I pretty much can't work. Yes I've got my blackberry, but it's not quite the same.

          Hell, even iTunes phones home and will refuse to play anything if it can't find the server. My network goes out and I may lose my music.

          So it all depends on what you're doing. It's possible you do work where you can have the net go out, but it's also possible you need the network t
  • by tyrione (134248) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @10:08PM (#25773977) Homepage

    ... are truly delusional. This notion we all want to put our corporate documents, small business docs and more on Google's dime shows a glaring weakness in Google's strategy.

    With Web Services available for companies to easily develop their own Corporate presences, it makes more sense to have WebDAV services for clients on your own sites, virtually deployed around the nation in various data centers to then route to the closest path possible. Let's not forget that 90% of the Industry doesn't need the "global reach" of Google since most of their clients are local.

    • by Dutch Gun (899105)

      Agreed. I recall Sun talking this way about a decade or so ago, about how everyone is going to be using "thin" client computers in the near future, with no local software or storage... just a connection to the network and running Java, of course.

      It sounds like a corporate wet dream (everything is a service), and a nightmare for consumers, who may like a smattering of control over their documents and data. Maybe some people don't care. But then again, some people are also known to fall for Nigerian money-

  • by Junta (36770) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @10:10PM (#25774003)

    So first off, current incarnations of MS Office are considered the clear market leader. That's a fair observation. A traditionally installed local application manipulating files in a traditional way is popular.

    OpenOffice.org is making inroads as a free alternative. More people are starting to find it a viable alternative for many circumstances, and opt not to explicitly buy MS Office. It behaves fundamentally the same way, and does basically the same stuff. Incidentally, I'm happy as it is a cross-platform application, but I think a greater portion of the userbase doesn't think about the source code or the cross-platform, they just didn't have to give money for it.

    Then Google docs comes along. In terms of a strong brand to back the concept, it doesn't get much better than the word 'Google'. They find that despite the strong name and potential ability to fulfill at least the basic needs, people aren't excited about using it. The reason seems self-evident, people are more comfortable with traditional software models for this task. They feel they 'own' the software and have the most control over it. They may or may not back up to online storage, but they want to use a local application to edit it.

    MS feels this means issuing their own webapp therefore would cement their lead. I think Google's failure indicates that such an offering is moot. People don't want subscription based software if non-subscription software can do the same thing or better. I've seen people throw out how it comes out cheaper in the long haul than buying the software every time, but it ignores the obvious, that people don't buy every iteration. I know people still using their copies of Office97 because they never had a reason to move. MS and many other companies hate this, but it is a simple fact.

    • More people are starting to find it a viable alternative for many circumstances, and opt not to explicitly buy MS Office.

      While OO might not have all the bells an whistles of MSOffice some of the features are vastly superior such as equation editing. OO has a plugin, OOLatex, which lets you use LaTeX syntax to enter and edit equations. This is far, far superior to the MSOffice equation editor for those of us with complex equations to present.

      Even the built in math editor lets you enter equations in text form, although the syntax is irritatingly not LaTeX. I know this is a rather specialized application but, at least in thi

      • by spinkham (56603)
        Compared to MS office, OO Writer is mostly as good as Word, and for me OO Calc is better then Excel, but Impress and Base still suck relative to their MS Office counterparts.

        Impress is far too slow in rendering, to the point that I refuse to use it for any new presentations.
        Instead I've found that LaTex Beamer and keyjnote do everything I want faster and easier.
  • Google announces ad prices for OpenOffice.org have doubled, since it is twice as good.
  • its? (Score:2, Funny)

    by jhp64 (813449)
    I don't understand the summary: it keeps using this word "its", which I don't think I've ever seen on Slashdot before, or really anywhere on the internet. The poster must have meant "it's"...
  • tried it (Score:4, Informative)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @10:49PM (#25774173) Homepage

    I tried it. They have versions for Windows and Linux, apparently not for Mac. It's not open source. They have a trial version that you can download for free and use for 30 days. The trial version is crippled: can't save to any other format besides their own proprietary .tmd format. They also offer a non-crippled 2006 Windows version for free -- but not the 2008 version, and not for Linux. The download page wants your name, country, and email address, and tells you that you'll automatically be subscribed to their email newsletter. It doesn't say that you can opt out of the newsletter. However, down below the form where they ask for this information, it says, in microscopic type, "Leave empty if you do not wish to register." It works if you simply click through to the download without filling anything in. They have the Linux download packaged with installers in rpm, deb, and shell flavors. I downloaded the deb version, but it wouldn't install on my machine, because my machine is x64. I copied the deb to an x86 box, and it installed fine. It made menu entries for itself in the Gnome Applications/Office menu. The first time you run it, it wants to set up a documents folder for you, which defaults to ~/SoftMaker. (I find this kind of thing annoying, and believe that it discourages people from developing good habits for organizing their files.)

    I'm a little bit baffled right now as to why anyone would choose it. They claim "compactness" as an advantage, but the download is 80 MB, which doesn't seem very compact to me. (The 2006 Windows version is smaller.) Their web site says, "The Microsoft Word-compatible word processor that is so easy to use that you will wonder why you bothered with Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org for so long," and then lists some bullet points. One is "Fast, powerful, reliable." Actually it didn't really seem any faster than OOo. On the machine I tried it on, the startup time was basically the same as OOo. "Reads and writes your Word documents seamlessly (Microsoft Word .doc 6.0 to 2007)" AFAICT the only advantage over OOo would be if it can read OOXML. (Although OOo can't write OOXML, I can't see why anyone would care; if you save in an older Word format and give the file to Word 2007 users, they'll still be able to read it.) The price is $80 US. Although that may be a lot less than full retail price for Word, it's a heck of a lot more than OOo. And of course I'd have to live with all the usual hassles of proprietary software. I won't get an x64 version unless they deign to compile one for me at some point in the future. I won't be able to upgrade without paying money. Sorry, I'm just spoiled -- apt-get and OSS work fine for me.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @10:56PM (#25774197) Journal

    I like it, a lot, especially the very fine equation editor - it's top-notch, although I am used to the style in Open/StarOffice.

    However, what I don't like that much is: it does not allow for creating of .pdf files, and it asks me for registration every freaking time I start it. It was supposed to be free as in beer, I thought!? Also, and this is minor, but still: the default document format is proprietary. It does allow you to save in .odf, which I think every non-MS office suite SHOULD do. It just would be nicer if this was their default format. I don't like the idea of yet another proprietary office format around.

  • This is so obviously true, I find it hard to understand why it was published, let alone got to the Slashdot front page. OpenOffice has been out for how many years? Google Apps came out how many months ago? Of course OO.o is more popular; people have had well over ten times as long to adopt it.
    • by Nyeerrmm (940927)

      I'd say even more than the age of the code is that Google Apps is an entirely different model. While OO.o is usage-wise very similar to Word, storing and editing local files, Google Apps are entirely different and not something people are comfortable with.

      I know for my own personal things, I'd much prefer to keep everything local (although I'm a LaTeX man myself), and I dont think Google Apps hosted on their servers will ever take over this functionality. However, as someone involved with a nation-wide no

  • by bensafrickingenius (828123) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @12:06AM (#25774555)
    That Microsoft Office only beats OOo by a factor of 10. I'm not being facetious -- That is a really good chunk for OOo! For the record, I removed MS Office from over 100 lab computers in my organization last year in favor of OOo. I'm also strongly urging staff to use OOo for at least a month. If, after that, they still insist on MS Office, I get it for them. Sadly, most opt for MS. Blows my mind, especially given the fact that the differences between Office 97/2000/xp/2003 and OOo are small compared to the differences between Office 97/2000/xp/2003 and Office 2007.
  • That's a stupid comparison. The two products fill different niches. Both Open Office and Google Docs are standard tools at Google, where I work*, and they're used for different tasks. If I need to do complex editing on a document that nobody else will modify, I use Open Office. If I want to have a shared doc that doesn't require fancy features, I use Google Docs. For other tasks, I use other tools, like emacs. Comparing OO and Google Docs makes no sense. *I do not speak for Google.
  • Kinda obvious. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Steauengeglase (512315) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @02:03AM (#25775245)

    Last week my mom signed up for a gmail account. A few hours later she called me up. "I sent someone an e-mail about about my car and then there were all of these ads for my model of car? Why are they reading my e-mail; I don't like it."

    If someone feels uncomfortable with letting someone lean over their shoulders why they send an e-mail, they are going to feel even more uncomfortable letting them peer at their spreadsheet.

    As a writer over at The Register put it, Google fixes problem no one asked them to fix.

  • If Google want to compete with MS they should really throw some resources behind openoffice, that way they can have a functional online suite which is fully integrated with an offline suite too...

    Google apps provide all the features most non business users would need, most people just create simple spreadsheets and write simple 1-2 page letters and buying expensive software for such simple duties is a horrendous waste of money for them.

    Business users are likely to avoid google apps because of the privacy co

  • How is this measured? I personally both use Google Docs and have OO installed (actually, I have OO installed on my 4 different computers, but only 1 Google Docs account which I use from all of them), but I spend about 90% of my word processing time in Google Docs and about 10% in OO.

A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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