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OpenOffice Tide Keeps Surging

Continuing its recent momentum of press coverage and mindshare and marketshare growth, a recent Slashdot questioner asks, Is it Time for OpenOffice?

The discussion that follows reveals many small businesses have already implemented OpenOffice, while others are planning to with the impending release of Microsoft’s competing product.

From one responder:

“One thing I know for sure: it’s going to be one cold day in hell before I purchase another MSO:mac license for any of my personal macs. There is no reason for a home user to be shelling out for MSO:mac just to write letters and make spreadsheets when both OOo and NeoOffice are completely capable, easy to use and completely free.”

And another:

“I’m one of a couple of devs in my office using Ubuntu as my desktop. I use OpenOffice and can open all docs that people send to me: Powerpoint, Excel, Word docs. They all work fine. Plus I can export as PDF’s and a variety of other formats. The only time I have run into a problem is when people are saving in a very old format like Word97. But then, even Microsoft Office users have the same problem and do the same thing I do… ask the user to resend in a more recent format.”

A third writes:

“Well, I do use OpenOffice in the workplace for about 60 users. They’re factory users using terminals connecting to MS server 2003 terminal servers. Installing OOo was the cheapest way for the supervisors who needed to modify a couple of excel and word docs to legally do so. We had one file that wouldn’t print correctly, so we installed excel viewer so the user could print that file. Other than that it’s worked pretty well… People working in the offices still have MS Office installed, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.”

Just as PCs slowly infiltrated offices and then suddenly became ubiquitous, it seems that OOo is in the infiltration phase right now. People are using it because it gets an immediate job done. Once this strong foothold in offices is fully developed, the rational move for businesses will be to consolidate on the cheaper, more practical option––and the tipping point will have come.

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