back to article OpenOfficers pitch Oracle on life after Sun

OpenOfficers have begun lobbying for their future in the event that Oracle succeeds in purchasing Sun Microsystems. Advocates have been pressing the case for ramping up commitment to OpenOffice and for spinning it out as an independent, legal entity with ownership of trademarks and copyright free of Oracle's control. OpenOffice …

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"OpenOffice lags Office considerably in functionality"

I can only agree with statement if you mean it doesn't contain all the extra pointless cruft that MS Office does. I work for a software house and we use OpenOffice exclusively and have done for a few years.

It does all we need, as did MS Office 2.0.

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Linux

OOO is Brill

In spite of the criticisms in the article, OpenOffice does absolutely everything I need. In fact its way better than the MS Office 2003 they give me at work because it opens those nasty docx & xlsx files that have started to appear!

Yes you could complain that it can be a bit slow to start up, but considering its fine functionality, its multi-platform capability (windows apple & linux) and the fact that it is free then anything else is just carping!

Everyone should have a copy!

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Stop

WTF! Oracle Collaboration Suite vs MS Office

Are you nuts? Oracle Collaboration Suite was never anything more than Mail, Calendar & File storage. Yes, it was targeted at MS Exchange and, yes it failed to make any impact in MS domination of that market. However, it has never ever been an office suite in the form of Word Processing, Spread Sheet, Presentations etc.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Oracle backed Open Office to the hilt to be a viable alternative to MS office. As for Sun employees being "saddled" with Open Office? Oracle employees, or at least the ones running XP, are currently "saddled" with MS Office 2000 with no sign of an upgrade being rolled out - and I know which Office suite I'd rather use. Open Office 3 any day.

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Alert

Open Office vs Office

I personally would love Open Office to replace Offce (or atleast eat into Microsoft's market share) - I seen some weird Office faults whiich normally require recreating the normal.dot file to amend (i.e a user has messed up the default Word template and the only way to fix it was to recreate the normal.dot template or some other unknown). I've found alot of people at work use Open Office in their spare time but seem to have quirks with Word documents to get Office to display/format them properly.

I cannot see the point in Office anymore; since about Office 2000 there haven't been any big chances or improvements that I can think of - they main changes seem to be tweaking the GUI.

I think the main problems with Open Office are addressing the quirks - for example I remember Open Office on Ubuntu 6.10 had a strange fault when saving but I'm not sure if this was caused by Open Office or a Ubuntu update. I've not seen many problems since. I find Open Office 3.0 to be very good and I'm pleased with it.

I think Oracle (if they purchase Sun) would be a good idea to maintain Open Office and address these quirks and help on developement - I've been pushing for Open Office at work but support always seems to be the issue (they use this same reasoning for alot of open source applications too even if the vendor support is terrorable or next to non-existent).

Anonymous as I don't like give any future or current work plans :)

Mike

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Back in the Good Old days....

We had Windows Write. EOM

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Gates Horns

To quote Churchill, "true but not exhaustive"

"OpenOffice lags Office considerably in functionality"

This is true. But then Microsoft's developers haven't had to spend countless man-hours reverse-engineering undocumented (and sloppy and unpredictable) closed formats.

Just think if Sun's people had been able to put some of that wasted effort into other aspects of the program.

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Linux

OOO is ACE !

How many times have I given up with the idiotic image captioning in word ? So many times it's hard to remember. OOO did it right every time.

OK, so it isn't full of the bullshit extras m$ orifice 'offers' but for your average user it does everything required, and it bloody works properly. Never let me down. Brilliant. And what's more ? 100% legal.

So lets keep this fantastic piece of software going by using it, demanding it, and contributing to it !

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Anonymous Coward

IBM

Wouldn't IBM be interested in purchasing this part of Sun?

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Slow start up is a big turn off

I don't do enough work with documents to justify paying for Microsoft Office, but waiting for 45 seconds every time I need to open a .XLS file attached to an e-mail certainly doesn't make OpenOffice my favorite piece of software. Maybe it doesn't matter for someone who has the application open all day, every day, but for the "light" user, OpenOffice is pretty sucky.

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@Open Office vs Office

There is no comparison between MS Office and Open Office. Open Office is OK (mostly because it's free) but, as stated in the article, lags waaaaaay behind what MS Office can really do. A small company can run their entire operation using MS Office - Open Office is best relegated to peons and cheap, easy to replace staff who generally aren't doing that much beyond super specialized tasks anyway.

We tried Open Office for a while on 40 desktops and the actual support costs were higher than the purchase price of MS Office. It's a no-brainer really. Unless you have big time resources to devote to customizing Open Office (i.e. IBM, Redhat, etc...) you're much better off sticking with the tried and true MS Office products.

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Paris Hilton

Holy crap

Recently, we published a book. A real one, based on a doctoral thesis, with a publisher, an academic book. And guess what? It was 100% written and laid out in OpenOffice/StarOffice. Some qualms, but in the end, everything was exactly as the publisher and we wanted it to be. And guess what? Only after Microsoft Office gave us just too many headaches. I think, it would have been possible with Microsoft Office as well, to do the same job; but definitively with more hassle.

This is my tip (and my trick): use a 22"-wide screen, 'Navigator' to the left of the text, and 'Styles' to the right (and know what to do with both, of course!!)! That's classes above the ribbon if you have > 400 pages to work on.

One gripe, a major one, though: citations need to be man-made. Office has this one great advantage: APA-style built in.

(As an aside: this shows the bad management in SUN: They seem to have no academicians, don't study the market; and in the end my RFE was pushed lightyears into the future. That's what I call "upcoming redundancies are self-inflicted".)

Paris, because she never had to fight with anything anyhow close to academic

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Ed
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Fine for me...

I use OpenOffice for my word processing and it's fine for me. I used to use various dodgy versions of Microsoft word, but now that OpenOffice has a good mac port (and now that word for mac is so slow), I'm using OpenOffice.

I can't say I've noticed anything OpenOffice is missing that I need. It's UI is a bit clunky, some of it's dialog boxes have way too much in them, but it gets the job done perfectly well.

3.1 is only a week or so late, that's hardly a massive delay compared to Microsoft's delays! It brings a few nice features such as anti-aliasing: http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/features/3.1/

I wouldn't say OpenOffice was perfect, but for the price it's great!

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Rod
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you have to be kidding?

This is the most inaccurate article I have ever read on the reg. Openoffice is fantastic, writer is as good as if not better than word. The formula editor is miles better than Microsoft's turd of an editor. The one feature openoffice does not have that MS office does have is the "please move my inserted images around the page randomly tick box". Has the author ever used OO? I wonder.

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Linux

If you find OO Writer is too slow to open...

...you can tweak the settings under Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > Memory. Revise downwards the number of steps required to undo, and the graphics cache required, etc. From taking many many seconds to open, OO Writer now comes up in less than a second for me now. Play away!

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Unhappy

OCS isnt as dead as it should be

we have oracle collaboration suite running our email system. Infact its still being rolled out, and it'll be supporting tens of thousands of users... I wish it was dead, but I'm not that lucky. I get lag, imcompatibility (wont open in opera, ie8 - even in compatibility mode its sketchy, firefox pops up warnings...) and painful non-ajax interface support for things like address book. its aggravating trying to support staff, especially using the outlook connector with the multiple accounts users have because single signon between windows and these 'services' seems impossible, coupled with monthly password changes users suddenly find outlook has stopped working again and you have to step them through the cryptic prompting for each service...

either way central office like it, just like they like ie6, windows xp and server 2003. i wont even start about our 100mb mailbox quota...

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Anonymous Coward

Support?

Most corporate support for windows desktops consists of re-installing the application and/or OS.

I therefore fail to see how support for Open Office would be any harder for them. Microsoft does have ways of pre-loading portions of their apps so they start up sooner --- does anyone thinks that is a good thing?

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Dead Vulture

Microsoft monopoly NOT inevitable!

It really annoys me when journalists say that an attempt to provide an alternative to Microsoft's Windows/Office monopoly is 'destined to fail'. Microsoft's monopoly is not an unchanging universal law! Sooner or later there will be proper competition and this ridiculous situation will come to an end. Just bending over and giving in is not the solution for heaven's sake.

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Anonymous Coward

Not really very anonymous though are you...

...Mike Gravgaard?

Not sure if there is a manual covering Add Your Own Comment functionality but Tick=true, unticked=false.

Anonymous to test if ticking it works.

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Collaboration Suite

has been replaced with Beehive. I thought you would know that.

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Linux

OOo 3

I recently rolled out OpenOffice.org 3 for a client of mine who had various versions of Office, possibly even a few dodgy copies too. To make them all legal I suggested trying OpenOffice (they were getting some new machines in and would have had to buy new licences for Office anyway).

So far it's been fairly good. It opens their existing documents fine. The only big issue they had was auto-recover not working but this was fixed in OOo 3.01.

I'm going to suggest an upgrade to OOo 3.1 eventually but I think for now I'd recommend they stick with what they have at least until we know what bugs are going to be in OOo 3.1 and if any of them would affect them.

I always recommend clients give OOo a try nowadays. Some of my clients do have specific requirements that need MS Office but the smaller businesses are happy to give it a try and usually find it does the job perfectly well.

Still if Oracle do plough some money into OOo then that would be a good thing.

Rob

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Stop

@AC - IBM

Why would IBM buy Open Office when they have Lotus Symphony?

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Jobs Horns

I <3 OOo...

Apart from one bloody thing: Calc will not insert columns if it would be in the middle of a merged cell, something Excel has been able to do since at least Office XP (The oldest version I remember performing this task on!) My Ubuntu box has a virtual XP machine running office '07 on it for just this reason (and for the odd OpenXML file it malforms. Oh, and to play Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri ;))

Evil Jobs for no reason other than I havn't used that icon before :)

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Happy

Oracle Beehive

Beehive is the replacement for OCS, but it's still a collaboration platform - ie email, callendar, file storage etc. It's not an office suite - ie Word Processing, Spread Sheet, Presentations etc.

I'm hoping Oracle retain OOo and even put some weight behind it. There's a large & vocal minority of Linux desktop users within Oracle that use OOo every day so that might add to the influence too...

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"OpenOffice lags Office considerably in functionality"

Another disagreement with that statement here. OO lags Office considerably in bloat, but not actual features that 90% of the (non-enterprise) population uses.

I'm no foaming open-source zealot but OpenOffice is simply the best tool for the job in most small business environments when taking into account the total cost of ownership (yes, including support).

I'm sure that MS Office is better in an enterprise setting where everything else is MS, but most of the businesses I've recommended OpenOffice to when faced with spending thousands on Office upgrade licenses have switched and never looked back.

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