back to article OpenOffice is the new David Hasselhoff

A new study from German web analytics firm Webmasterpro.de shows that adoption rates of open source productivity software suites swings wildly between different countries. According to the study, over 20 per cent of Germans, Czechs, and Poles run OpenOffice or other open-source productivity suites, while the UK and US lag …

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Happy

Open Office is 'good enough'

I do a lot of IT support for various family members ( including in-laws ) and one of the first things I do when I get a new PC to set up is to chuck out the trial version of MSOffice and install Open Office. It is most definitely 'good enough'.

I prefer to use vi myself, but that's another story.

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Linux

Starting the orginal fanboi flame thread...

Pah VI-tard!

Use a proper editor like emacs!

Flame on.

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Anonymous Coward

This:

http://www.gnu.org/fun/jokes/ed.msg

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12345

It's better than good enough - it's bloody excellent.

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who needs editors

all you need is a hex keyboard and dump it straight into write-once memory.

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Flame

Has anyone seen Merkel using Balmer to open an election campaign?

Has anyone seen Merkel with Balmer opening an election campaign? F*** no. She will not get elected if she even considers this.

Has anyone seen the great Nu Labour leaders opening the election campaign with their Microsoft Handler? F*** yes. Blair started two campaigns at Microsoft headquarters. Anything short of a bj in public for his overlord and icon from Redmond ya know (you never know, probably a bj in private).

Plain and simple. Germans do not like the idea of 1Bn+ per year being syphoned out of their economy through a company which is tax-registered in Ireland. The difference between them and the UK is that they actually have done something about it. They have given a preferential taxation regime to small IT shops that repair and maintain computers which UK or USA would throw out . While this does not nullify completely the effect of the OEM-to-Microsoft discount regime it does at least mitigate it to some extent. It is an environment which Microsoft has failed to bully using their usual "install _ONLY_ mine or your discount goes" tactic. From there on the level of OO and Linux adoption in Germany is not surprising in the slightest. As far as the Chech republic is concerned it has so much German work farmed out to it nowdays that it pretty much replicates a German business environment. So no surprise there either.

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Anonymous Coward

its the management........

I know there are a staff at a number of companies that would rush to use OpenOffice (some provide it as part of standard PC builds) but are prevented by management that insist on MS Office as the default. The senior management have trained themselves to use Outlook, Word, Excel and Powerpoint and could not bothered to learn to use OpenOffice. In my experience even when companies are trying to save money, senior management insist on MS Office use and cut other IT expenditure.

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OO Portable?

If you're allowed to, there is a portable version which doesn't require admin privs to run.

http://portableapps.com/apps/office/openoffice_portable FTW!

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Stop

StarOffice -- an OpenOffice derivative?

Seems the other way around, wasn't SO a Sun product that got opensourced into OO?

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Boffin

was, not now

OOo was Star Office opensourced but now new versions of Star Office are developed from the OOo code base FWIW

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Thumb Up

Installed apps and what I actually use.

I have OO, I use it for some spreadsheets, I have not used it for creating text docs, DBs or drawings - though I do tend to use it as a viewer for those hilarious email attachments I get. I also have a copy of MS office which I have opened to see if it works but have not used so far.

I mostly use Appleworks for document creation as this is what I am most used to.

I suspect most people have MS office because businesses have bought it by default and they are most familiar with it.

But thumbs up to those Germans bucking the trend.

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Headmaster

Wow

You can still buy WordPerfect?

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Still buy WordPerfect?

Yes, and if you do much serious word-processing you'll use it. I have the latest versions of MS Office and Open Office on my machine, but 99% of my work is done on WordPerfect, from choice.

The latest versions are particularly nifty in their ability to read pdf documents straight in -- even locked or text-as-graphic ones are taken straight in by seamless OCR.

Editing and re-editing heavily-formatted documents in MS Word is a nightmare. In WordPerfect it's simple.

I've been using computer-based word-processing since 1969 and seen quite a few programs come and go. The only one I liked as much as the current WordPerfect was WordStar.

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WTF?

huh?

>Editing and re-editing heavily-formatted documents in MS Word is a nightmare.

How so? It just works

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Flame

Oh, i thought it would be a diffferent story

About how a former cool boy had become a lost, bloated good for nothing.

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Linux

"stop the flow of time..."

When was David Hasselhof ever cool? He started out in Star Crash and it went downhill from there.

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Joke

England and France -- higher Office usage

Voici le mouton Anglo-Francaise!

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FAIL

Heeeeeyyyyyyyy....... *thumbs*

They actually counted software installations by looking at fonts?

My investigations, arrived at by looking at tea leaves in a cup, animal entrails and the alignment of the planets, found wildly different results.

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Linux

Open Office -not an especially hard choice for a home pc

Open Office was free, my copy of MS Office was several years old and didn't have Access on it anyway.

I had better uses for my cash than giving it to Bill Gates. So it wasn't a terribly hard decision.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how good Open Office actually is.

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Silver badge

Give Lotus Symphony a try!

The 2008 onwards IBM reuse of the name version, obviously, not the ancient thing from forever ago. I think it's an Eclipse (not so that you can tell) + OpenOffice mashup internally, but regardless of that I find its interface to be a great improvement on OpenOffice. It's a tabbed document interface that relies primarily on inspectors for context-specific operations, with only a single line of toolbar icons by default. So I guess it tackles the same interface overload problems that inspired Microsoft to move to the ribbon, but ends up at a completely different solution.

And my tip is: don't worry about putting in a garbage email address when downloading — the next screen is the download page no matter what you put in.

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Heart

WordPerfect 4 eva (whoever she is)

What's the install count for WP 5.1 for DOS?

Those were the days. <sniffle> Getting all misty eyed with nostalgia.

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WP5.1 Home User

I have WP5.1 running on DOS 3 on my vintage 1986 Amstrad PC1640 at home which is used for all my domestic letter writing

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Happy

DOS WP was always better

My late mum used WP51 right up until 2005, working as a solicitor's secretary. She used to hate MS Word with a passion as WP was the only software that would format 100% correctly on the very odd paper sizes used for legal documents like deeds.

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method problems

While I'm not suprised by some of these results, I would think that people who run OpenOffice are also more likely to be running FireFox and so may well be running noscript.

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Maybe not

NoScript has 61 million downloads, which sounds like a huge number - until you compare it to the 1 billion Firefox downloads that Mozilla claimed for Firefox last July.

The current count for Firefox downloads is 1,296,993,260, according to http://www.spreadfirefox.com/news_events

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Flame

Typical

UK stuck in the dark ages whilst the world forges onwards.

Doesn't help that Labour have been forcing MS into schools as well. I thought times were hard, I thought that SAVING MONEY would be a good idea. I guess taking bungs/perks from the private sector is still more important than serving the people for our champagne socialists.

Not that I would expect the Tories to be any different.

I use OpenOffice, it has its quirks but it has none of that ribbon bar SHITE and costs a damned sight less than MS Orifice.

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Happy

Quite Obvious really

Open Hoffice, anyone?

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Anonymous Coward

Pirates?

Perhaps this reflects a difference in attitude to piracy. There remains a perception that people "need" MS Office because it's what they're used to. Same goes for the OS. I would surmise more people in the UK are happier to have a dodgy copy of MS products than legit copies of free software - even though they can't use a fraction of the functionality on offer. (Telling them they can customise Linux desktops is therefore totally pointless - they don't want to; they just want it to work without having to apply any fixes or patches manually).

Personally, I'm a huge advocate of OOo and I have installed it on my own, my kids', my sister's and my parents' machines. They moaned in the beginning, but they are happy using it now. My sister has even gone the whole hog and become a fan of Ubuntu after I gave her an ancient PIII laptop. Ubuntu just works on it. Who wants to buy XP when you can have a slicker, more modern OS with OOo pre-installed?

Gone off-topic. Sorry.

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Coat

The LIberal Democrat Party of productivity software

OO.o is able to do all that most users would ever need and more, but the inertial mass of all those MS Office installations means that people are reluctant to go out on a limb. Same way they'd vote Liberal Democrat if only they thought there was a chance of them getting elected.

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Silver badge

That Lib Dem thing may be changing

People may well vote Lib Dem as they came second last time and they see it as a way of unseating the incumbent.

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Anonymous Coward

God I hope so!

But I worry that it'll split the vote and let Brown-eye back in! I'm sure I'm not the only one. And I _have_ been voting LibDem for years now!

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Don't worry

Your vote on its own means diddly squat.

That's the big failure with the "I'd like to vote for LibDems but it would be a wasted vote" argument.

Believe me, just vote with your conscience.

At the end of the day, it won't make any difference to the outcome anyway unless the voting ends up with one vote deciding, which is, erm, not really likely.

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Alien

OpenOffice would be more widespread if...

OpenOffice would be more widespread if...

*It came pre-installed

*More people knew about it

*Governments/ schools had campaigns

*Had catchy marketing like Firefox

*This economic downturn continues

*People use their brains :)

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Paris Hilton

WTF?

>> "catchy marketing like Firefox"

eh? wtf?

catchy marketing? firefox? whatever it is you're smoking, it must be *very, very* good. i hope you've brought enough to share.

paris icon because she's selling herself very well without any help from the firefox marketing geniuses.

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Unhappy

If only our company would embrace OO!

I work for a big German company, and wunderbar though it is, we all have to write our documentation using structured framemaker on Solaris. Yueech!

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Coat

Hmmmm

I like "big German company", but enough of my social life, about this Office thing.

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Boffin

wot no gimp icon?

And do you conduct your social life whilst hiding behind the gimp mask of anonymity?

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Anonymous Coward

the reason

most companies use MS office, is for outlook. The switch to OO for documents, spreadsheets, databases etc isn't that big, but it doesn't really have an alternative for outlook. it's not just mail, it's the integration between mail and calanders througout a company.

And if you have to get outlook anyway, why not get the rest of office with itm, it's probably not much more.

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Stop

E-mail and Calendars and Tasks...

Use Thunderbird and add the Lightning plug-in. That takes care of e-mail, calendars and Tasks and also e-mailing colleagues with invitations to meetings which get entered into your calendar.

If you need a mail server, there are many out there with free or low-cost licenses and a quick search on Google (or whatever) will yield forums, reviews, etc for them.

If you don't like Thunderbird, someone else will be along soon to suggest another alternative.

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Flame

Honestly!

If you look at what outhouse actually does to email and more importantly what it doesn't give you (threading, for one), it's a complete no-brainer to ditch it immediately. ``Oh what about calendaring'', the junkies whine. Let me note that worse comes to worst, the couple of minutes jotting notes in a paper agenda is easily justified by the gobs of time not wasted on all the other things that outhouse gets wrong. But beyond that, there are plenty of software alternatives, including ones that don't regularly clam up and sulk, refusing you access to your ``company wide'' calendar data. Open formats, particularly ones easily picked apart by a small shell script, are a good thing in that regard.

Then again, the stupidity built into outhouse users is legendary. Had the CFO appear at my desk and insist I drop *everything* *right there and then* to install sexchange instead of the existing unix IMAP solution. Nevermind that the long-standing problem he wanted fixed was his insistence on storing 10000+ mails in a single (local) outhouse express mail store, about which a micros~1 tech note clearly says "Do Not Do That". Nevermind that he was quite literally the only one in the company still using outhouse (any version). He'd been told by the entire rest of board to move over to thunderbird, like them. But nooooo.

Things like that really make me believe sexchange/outhouse are a deliberate stupidity and ignorance poison cocktail to sour the lives of mail admins the world over. Because email has a tendency to be sent out to other systems. I'd stop accepting anything with micros~1 headers in it, just because, if I could get away with it. If it wouldn't cut down much on the spam, at least it would up the average intelligence behind the messages that do get through.

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Troll

7/10

Would have rated it higher but it needs more misspellings and ALL CAPS ranting.

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WTF?

But why bother?

When you think Outlook is most people's primary application (spends the most time running under my Citrix farm), does document management that integrates with SharePoint (which has a free version), forms, support for VBA, excellent calendar support including scheduling with others based on their calendars, it's lightning fast, can be managed by Group Policy, integrates with Office and has thousands of 3rd party products that integrate with it. (Email archiving software, management tools, Antivirus, even CRM solutions)

It would take companies years to recover from the lost productivity during the transition to Thunderbird or some other generic POP3/IMAP application (FOSS or not). I don't have time to dick around with "plug-ins", retraining staff, the loss of functionality compared to Outlook with Exchange, shite calendaring support, lack to syncronising with PDA's/phones etc.

I'd pay £40 a user to have that fixed thanks.

Love it or hate it, Office sorta just works. No fiddling, no checking compatibility in other apps (as Office is the defacto), rich history of VBA apps behind it, saving as PDF, SharePoint integration etc, Windows integration.

The 2007 release (and 2010 beta) is rock solid, with great management, document recovery, integration and user accecptance. The only end-user issues are normally with the more eldery IT folks (in particular devs) who refuse to use it.

For the price - the basic office apps are a bargin, with no big name single suite out there (free or not) comparing on management, intergration, features and 3rd party support.

Simple as that.

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Unhappy

Yes it does the job but ...

If only they'd create a user interface that looked like it was written in the 21st century.

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@ Menelaus

But if they did it would look like Vista or Windows 7, need twice as much RAM to run and take 5 times as long to start.

We need it to be FUNCTIONAL and QUICK, not pretty.

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Gold badge
Stop

21st century interface

Please, no! I can't think of a single example of an interface designed in the 21st century that wasn't a complete steaming pile of semi-transparent-orhea.

Stick with menus, of the non-smart, textual variety. And when they pull-down, let them just appear, not fade in gently with sound effects. These are tools, not works of art.

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agreed

yeah agreed, it looks so crap no one wants to use it. Most people want to see something nice/shiny when they work, especially if they have just bought themselves a new PC. OpenOffice just looks terrible. Also it takes 5 minutes to start.

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Linux

Re : agreed

It does NOT take 5 minutes !!

6 seconds to start & load a spreadsheet f(~70K) from a fileserver over a wireless network to a 2 year old modest laptop (1.5 GHz Celeron mobile).

The tweaks that speed up starting are well known ( turn off Java and enable Quickstarter)

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Stop

Open Office vs Word

Word does vector graphics better. Word has recordable macros. Word has Outline View. Word is a grown-up productivity tool. God forbid my management went freetard and forced me to use the hippyware instead.

Oh, and, because OO is free, it's almost impossible for anybody else to enter the market as a competitor.

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VBA

Until OO is compatiable with VBA and macro's it wont gain large market share. There ARE companies out there running MS Office 2003 purely because upgrading would break thier VBA/macros.

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Go

OpenOffice would be more popular if...

... the Calc module didn't suck badly in comparison to Excel (e.g. row/column limits that I hit regularly, bad performance, regular lockups);

... the DB module actually was usable, without needing the skills equivalent to an Oracle DBA;

... the team that redesigned the Office GUI for Office2007 get to design the next version of MS-Office, (maybe I'm an old Office2003-using pensioner, but to me life is too short to spend five minutes hunting for the _basic_ features you need to use each time).

... it (OO) loaded a little bit quicker (although it's getting better release on release).

On the upside, I've had a pair of Office2007 files that barfed badly with the official DOCX convertor in MS-Office, that subsequently worked fine when loaded into OO. Go figure.

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