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Motley Fool: “The Fall of Microsoft Office”

Lots of open source and open standards tech people, including me, have long anticipated this, but now a mainstream financial site, Motley Fool, is predicting “The Fall of Microsoft Office.”

Microsoft has publicly announced it will support ODF in its Office suite. If implemented honestly (a big question for Microsoft), this throws open the doors to competition in a way MSO has never had to deal with before.

“I can’t say that Google or Sun or anybody else just won a bigger share of the office software market, and if they did, it won’t help their revenue or profits directly anyway. But it’s clear as day that Microsoft just took a serious hit, and the impact may take a long time to make itself felt but it will come.

“The company’s biggest revenue generator may be a shadow of its former self in a few years. I just hope that Microsoft has some alternative business prospects on tap — and no, tackling Google’s search hulk head-on doesn’t count.”

Microsoft’s Office is going to lose marketshare, and Motley Fool sees this as having a big impact on Microsoft’s core profitability.

From the perspective of open source users, it means Microsoft will have less money to spend on attacking us, which is a good thing.

From the perspective of all computer users, especially small businesses, it means costs will decline as the $400 price for Microsoft Office is no longer a required expense–using the free instead will be an easy alternative.

With OpenOffice 3.0 coming this fall, it’s time to expect another big jump in its user share. Let’s watch!

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