[NetBehaviour] OpenOffice vs. Microsoft “standards”.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sun Dec 4 23:34:56 CET 2005

OpenOffice vs. Microsoft “standards”

Lately I have been using OpenOffice.org 2.0 for my word processing and 
spreadsheet needs. Initially, I decided to try it to boost my 
self-esteem as a supporter of Open Source, in much the same way I can 
fool myself about the damage my frequent flying does to the environment 
as long as I recycle all my beer bottles. But then I found it to open 
faster and be just as effective as Microsoft Office for my basic 
clerical tasks. It’s not perfect, but I’m sticking to it for now, slowly 
migrating my work flow from MS Office.

Like web browsers and email readers, office software is an important 
test case for Open Source, simply because this is software that most 
people need to use every day. Public and private organizations that have 
tried to migrate to open platforms have frequently been scared off by 
the lack of basic productivity software. Bureaucrats are not geeks. So 
when the French tax agency switches to Linux and OpenOffice.org, it’s 
not because they love Open Source. They do it because it’s cheaper and 
better for them.


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