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2-Year OpenOffice High School Case Study 472

Posted by Zonk
from the effect-of-penguins-on-young-minds dept.
Michael writes "NewsForge (a Slashdot sister site) is carrying a 2-year OpenOffice case-study on a Detroit high school who switched from Windows NT and MS Office 97 to Linux and OpenOffice. The results? Better than expected. In 2003, the school, who saved over $100,000 in the process, converted 110 Windows NT machines to Linux with OpenOffice. After several surprising developments, including OpenOffice's ability to open old Word documents that even the new Word versions were having troubles with, the school now uses it almost exclusively, has classes on it's use, and encourages students to use it whenever possible. From the article: 'While OpenOffice.org is now used by 100% of the faculty and students in the school (though some administrative staff still uses Microsoft Office due to specific software requirements), students are not required to use OpenOffice.org when working at home. However, a presentation is given to students at the start of every school year to advise them on the use of OpenOffice.org, the availability of free copies, and potential problems of converting from Microsoft Office formats.'"
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2-Year OpenOffice High School Case Study

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  • by geomon (78680) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:35PM (#12657681) Homepage Journal
    This study was obviously funded by Open Office and Linux. I am so sick of Linux and Open Office "buying" the results that show their products are better than Microsoft's. This report is so slanted in its analysis that I can't even begin to chip away at all of the errors.

    And yes, I do think I'm funny.
    • What makes this any different from any other company who funds research in order to have scientific or real world proof that their product x is better than someone else's product y. Or in the case of OpenOffice, not so much better, as much as just as good for a far superior price.

      I use OpenOffice myself, and I find it satisfactorially meets all of my needs as a college student, with less annoying graphic overhead and for the perfect price. (ie, free.)

      Also, I am aware that this was sarcastic, however,
    • Really! They need to Get The Facts! [microsoft.com]
      • by shades66 (571498)
        I like it how down the left of the screen we have an article which states that the costs over $100,000 cheaper than going with microsoft and down the right we have a microsoft ad saying "META Group found in a study that Linux costs are not lower than Windows" (refresh the page a few times if that ad is not there!). .

        hahaha

    • by mindaktiviti (630001) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:45PM (#12657814)
      Although you may be right about the Linux slant, one of the reasons this may have worked is because it was in a learning environment. The learning curve for students is completely irrelevent, because that's the main goal of school. This is probably why it was feasible and why it worked. All you really need is to write essays and the odd report or presentation, and OO.o's software should be "good enough" for that. Note that they still upgraded and kept MS Office for some of the administration stuff, probably because they couldn't afford not openning certain documents. if a school can save money with using this type of software, then maybe that money could be used on books which are typically lacking in many schools.
      • by Karzz1 (306015) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:52PM (#12657905) Homepage
        I think the point you are missing is that in order for any program to function as expected (hoped) in an educational facility, you will need the backing of the instructors. I am sure that most of these teachers had not ever heard of OOo prior to this experiment but had probably been users of MS Office for some time (the article states that most had powerpoint presentations). The fact that there is no mention of any complaints from the faculty speaks volumes. In fact, the only negative I saw throughout the article was that some *.ppt files would not open properly and rather than have teachers waste time rebuilding ppt presentations on OOo, they could use the *free* powerpoint reader.
        • by Total_Wimp (564548)
          I think the point you are missing is that in order for any program to function as expected (hoped) in an educational facility, you will need the backing of the instructors.

          I know you meant this is the sense that a major group of users supported it, but it also works in the sense that they were actually able to give instruction for its use.

          One of the reasons F/OSS has such an uphill battle is because existing software has such huge support in terms of classes on it's use, informal help on its use, and the
      • by Kludge (13653) on Friday May 27, 2005 @03:17PM (#12658180)
        All you really need is to write essays and the odd report or presentation, and OO.o's software should be "good enough" for that.

        That's true. For real documents people use LaTeX. Fortunately that comes preloaded on most Linux distributions too.
        • Re:Open Office Study (Score:4, Informative)

          by nurd68 (235535) on Friday May 27, 2005 @04:21PM (#12658963) Homepage
          Damn skippy. LaTeX has the best output of anything I've ever used, and auto-formats bits in a non-annoying way.

          Don Knuth is the man.
        • Re:Open Office Study (Score:3, Informative)

          by t35t0r (751958)
          ohhh you mean how all the scientific documents being written by all the biomedical/biochemistry/cell biology/etc/etc fields are written in latex? You mean how all grant templates for applications to the NIH are written in DOC format?

          The truth is most of these professors and primary investigators (PIs, with MD's and Ph.D's) use MS Word in winxp or on MacOSX, then they sometimes wrap the documents using adobe distiller with adobe acrobat pro.

          The only people I know who use LaTEX in academia are physicists an
      • by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel&bcgreen,com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @03:21PM (#12658222) Homepage Journal
        one of the reasons this may have worked is because it was in a learning environment.

        It was the staff who converted -- and (to their surprise) found that it was way better than they expected. Learning curve for the staff is quite relevant, since they all probably knew MS Office before hand.

        On the other hand, you still have a learning curve for every new version of MS Office too... Probably about as much as the difference between MS and Open..

        and kept MS Office for some of the administration stuff, probably because they couldn't afford not openning certain documents.

        MS Office couldn't open some MS office documents, and OO couldn't open some MS Office documents -- so overall, I'd say we're about equal here.

    • "And yes, I do think I'm funny"

      Amazingly, this time you were.
    • Like:
      • how much more postage is going to cost them because secretarial staff can now write more letters per day? Things like this add up and can cost big money that isn't represented in this report.
      • Not having to retype old documents means that staff can afford to take more breaks -- That's Lost productive time that I don't see taken into account.
      There's lots more, but I have to go to the beach (to get my hair cut -- honest!).
  • by suso (153703) * on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:36PM (#12657690) Homepage Journal
    So it seems that the same thing that happened to propritary unix apps in the 80s and 90s is starting to happen now with propritary consumer apps. I'm refering to the stories of upon setting up their workstation or server taking a day to replace all the proprietary programs with the GNU created ones because they functioned better.
    • So it seems that the same thing that happened to propritary unix apps in the 80s and 90s is starting to happen now with propritary consumer apps. I'm refering to the stories of upon setting up their workstation or server taking a day to replace all the proprietary programs with the GNU created ones because they functioned better.

      Well, this and all other TCO "studies" are BS. They "saved" $100,000 over a completely different solution, not a better one. By this, they kept around their old PCs and threw Li
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:38PM (#12657726)

    From TFS:
    ...several surprising developments, including OpenOffice's ability to open old Word documents that even the new Word versions were having troubles with...


    This sums it up so well...

    Actually, has anyone out there run into any issues with OpenOffice as a substitute for M$ Office? I'm considering switching everything over, especially after reading this article.
    • Actually, has anyone out there run into any issues with OpenOffice as a substitute for M$ Office?

      As of a year ago, their spreadsheet was far inferior if you're a "power user" of Excel, although for much day-to-day use it was fine.

    • I have font issues when opening almost any PowerPoint presentation in OpenOffice. The bullets never look right, and the lines end up taking more vertical space so that what fits on a single slide in PowerPoint stretches below the bottom in OpenOffice.

      • Yikes...I do a lot of work with PP presentations...so that one might be a deal-breaker. Thanks for the info.
        • TFA actually mentioned issues with existing PowerPoint files and said they installed the free viewer provided by Microsoft as an interim solution. OOo 2.0 is supposed to have improved support for PowerPoint files so they hope the viewer can go away soon.

          I run OOo beta (1.9m104) at work and home without trouble, but I rarely use PowerPoint. As a heavy user of Access, I am looking forward to a stable version of Base.

        • go to openoffice.org, download the free trial. Give it a try. When it comes time to regester it you can send me money if you want.

        • Re:Font Issues (Score:5, Interesting)

          by MynockGuano (164259) <hyperactiveChipm ... dot@gmail. c o m> on Friday May 27, 2005 @03:19PM (#12658202)
          Two sides to that coin, however. Where I work, I was put in the position of doing the technical background work of a briefing for a visit by a certain high-ranking General. I get called on to do this from time to time, and it basically consists of me sitting at the briefing room computer, reading a book, and advancing PowerPoint slides at the appropriate times.

          On this occasion, however, when the PowerPoint presentation was given to me (about 30 minutes beforehand), I was quite disconcerted to see that the act of merely opening the file quite rudely caused PowerPoint to crash compeletely on every single computer I tried it on (nonsensical as it sounds, it seems as if the problem was an issue with there being some speech recognition program on the computer it was originally created on that it wasn't able to find on our computers, or something; the error message wasn't very helpful).

          Anyways, 5 minutes before the General arrives, I dash across the building to my workspace and, in a final, fleeting effort, stuff the thumbdrive into my Linux box. I mount it, fire up openoffice.org, open the file, and behold! Nary a glitch--and certainly not a crash! Click "Save", run back, and ta-da! General waltzes in and gives his briefing, oblivious to any trouble, and I sit back and smugly read my book.
    • Yes. As they said, powerpoint has some issues of some kind.
      Macros typically will not work, so openoffice for corporate use is probably not such a great option.
      I've had a horrible time getting openoffice to print the right way in certain spreadsheet documents.
      etc, etc. The point is, you have to decide if openoffice does what you need, and if it does not, if you can cut out or redo the things it lacks.
    • I have never seen a Word document that OO.o can't open, though I occasionally have trouble editing them in OO.o and reopening them in Word later.

      Sometimes.
    • No real issues with OpenOffice as an MS Office substitute here at our small office (5 employees, 4 computers, 2 running MS Office, 2 running OOo). The trickiest thing was the secretaries getting used to the fact that to complete some of the same tasks in OOo as Office, you've got to follow some different steps (printing labels, for example) Essentially, that's just a minor "get the user familiar with the new software" issue, and didn't take too much to overcome. We use MS Office and OOo interchangably, I
    • Actually, has anyone out there run into any issues with OpenOffice as a substitute for M$ Office?
      OOo is extremely slow to start up -- say, 30 seconds on a machine that's not the latest and greatest CPU. I was surprised to see the story saying they saw OOo as a way to get more use out of old hardware, because OOo seems to me like software that was only written to be usable on computers that will exist in the future.

      But then, I'm not looking at it as a replacement for MS Office, which I don't use. The opt

      • OOo 1.9 betas start much faster, especially if you install the preloader (as Microsoft Office does). I'm running 1.9m104 on a PIII 500 with Windows 2000 and it is somewhat slow to start, but still lauches much quicker than Firefox.
    • by Zeebs (577100) <rsdrewNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:49PM (#12657869)
      As a student who has switched to OO.org I have not had one problem with the word processing I do. Granted this isn't anything with insane layout requirements. I am able to export to word format to send email to friends who proof-read and open theirs when it's my turn. I don't use speadsheets to much but everything is simple enough for what I'm doing, I haven't tried to go back and forth from excel however.

      The thing I love best is the built in PDF exporter, makes it so much easier to send out documents I don't want altered other then at the mester-copy.(Eg, they can't just fire up Word and type away) That's just me being picky though.

      I haven't had a problem with it at all in practical use, but I'm hardly a power-user when it comes to office suites.
    • Actually, has anyone out there run into any issues with OpenOffice as a substitute for M$ Office? I'm considering switching everything over, especially after reading this article.

      If you find yourself typing anything in another language for any reason, be prepared for a world of hurt. OO.o will intermittently switch to English at random intervals and start marking all of your words as misspelled until you select the whole text and manually switch it to the other language (through the ungainly interface

      • Re:Other languages. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by moonbender (547943)
        Yes! The language setting is terrible. Things that need improvement:

        1) Put the setting somewhere else. There is no logical connection to the font dialog it's controlled in right now. Put it in the context menu, at the very least - although the context menu already is fairly crowded because pretty much everything is controllable from it.

        2) Have a means to reduce the number of possible languages. As it is, you have to wade through every imaginable language when typically you only use a few languages in your
    • I have done some powerpoint presentations in Office 2003, then loaded em up on OO running on my linux laptop. The only issue I have seen is the templates can get a little goofy. I have had the background pictures and lines get moved a little, even sometimes off the side of the page, but its pretty simple, to move them back. I am impressed that they still look the same, just the object placement seems to be off. When I put the objects back where I want them in OO, then that same file looks the same in b
    • It depends greatly on what you consider "a substitute". Some people want that to mean that you can replace Office with OO and the only thing that changes is the application icon. OO isn't at that point and doesn't want to be, so if this is you, OO will fail. Some people ware more accepting of differences, but want 100% comapatiblity with existing documents, macros, etc. This is the greyest area, because OOs compatability is good but certainly not 100%. If you're in this category, your milage will vary consi
  • by jetkust (596906) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:39PM (#12657735)
    Yea, but none of my Anti-Virus programs run on Linux.
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColonelKernel (566554) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:39PM (#12657741)
    How long will it be until Microsoft comes in with some "free" software to bring them back into the fold? There were several schools around my area that received free software from Microsoft when they considered going open source.
    • Free - you mean like free copies of IE6 and Outlook Express?
    • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by caseih (160668) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:57PM (#12657955)
      Precisely. In just a couple of years the school will yet again need to buy new hardware and probably upgrade some servers. At this time, MS can come in with a great, almost-free deal to lock them back into Windows that they can't afford to refuse. And they would be fools to turn it down. While this may seem immoral to you and I on slashdot, in the eyes of MS this is no more immoral than the OSS camp "dumping" their software for next to nothing.
  • Any word on when 2.0 will finally make it out of beta? Like it was supposed to in March or April or May?
  • 99% of my use of MS word is as a spell checker, I'll type a comment (like this one) on a web form then quickly copy and paste in to word and back for spellchecking goodness.

    OO.o's spellchecker just isn't as good as Word's. It works the same way, but the suggestions just aren't as good.

    I'd also love a simple, notepad-like text editor that gave me online spellchecking and word line number. Anything like that out there?
    • Spellbound [sourceforge.net] is your friend. A forms spell checking extension for Mozzy/FF.
    • I'd also love a simple, notepad-like text editor that gave me online spellchecking and word line number. Anything like that out there?
      Yes. TextEdit for Mac OS X. Also, the spelling service in OS X works in all other native apps (e.g. Safari) as well.

      TextEdit works on GNUStep too (I think), but I don't know about the spelling service.
      • I use ultraedit's spell checker frequently when I need to check a word. Usually I don't bother to check spelling in web forms so it may be annoying for a whole paragraph as there is no underlining like in word. Still a good text editor all around though.
    • 99% of my use of MS word is as a spell checker, I'll type a comment (like this one) on a web form then quickly copy and paste in to word and back for spellchecking goodness.

      Some OSes have builtin systemwide spell checkers. This is something I've dreamed of for years. For my webbrowser under OSX all I had to do is right click on this text dialog box, and enable spell checking as I type. Its cool, I put words anywhere (like the Google search bar) I feel like and right click on them to get the correct spe
  • What's that smell? I think it's smoke. Oh look, it's coming from Bill Gates' ears.
  • Grammar School (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:42PM (#12657769) Homepage Journal
    "In 2003, the school, who saved over $100,000 in the process, converted 110 Windows NT machines to Linux with OpenOffice."

    I hope the school teaches students that "who" is a pronoun that references people. "School" is a noun properly referenced by the pronoun "that" or "which" (in this case, "which" [getitwriteonline.com]). Choosing "that" or "which" properly can require some fast thinking, but using "who" for a school is a real failure.
  • by clovercase (707041)
    since microsoft office is a stagnant target (not too many innovations left to be made in word and excel), it is only a matter of time for openoffice to catch up - with the huge base of motivated programmers, they may even surpass ms office.
  • If a school can save that ammount of money on software and have no ill effects on the education process then way to go .
    100,000 can be spent to hire special teachers and improve the quality of education for all.
    OO.org is perfectly useable and i have infact switched all my machines(home naturaly as they are all linux or os x and i dont own MS office for mac , but mainly work ) to using OO.org .
    I counducted a 2 hour training sesion in the basics for the employes, though it was uneeded mostly and we have never
    • 100,000 can be spent to hire special teachers and improve the quality of education for all.

      I hate to be a wet blanket, but $100,000 may hire 1 "special" teacher--if you mean special ed. teacher. Their salary, combined with the teacher's benefits will take up a large portion of that. $100,000 is a drop in the bucket for a school. Now if an entire school district could save $100,000 per school per year, you might make some headway.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:43PM (#12657784)
    The school "has classes on it's use."

    Presumably they also have classes on the use of the apostrophe. (Sigh.)
  • by Johnny Fusion (658094) <zenmondoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:44PM (#12657807) Homepage Journal
    Over the many years (begining in the late 80s) most of my sources of pirated software has been from academic sources -- mostly teachers.

    Knowing that as a high school / college student I could not afford the software, it's use was generously "loaned" to me. (I also had to borrow computers -- could not afford one of my own until a college loan specific for building one came along).

    But with educational institutions very worried these days about piracy, having truley free software of good quality is the way to lessen piracy in the schools.

    OpenOffice.org is a great suite, and has many things going for it that just makes sense, such as it being open source, free to distribute, and cross-platform, just about any student should be able to use it.
    • Use linux, no need for pirated software, so wheres the problem?

      The GNU collection is designed to provide a large number of free small programs, which I use on the desktop and on numerous servers in the work place.

      Its quite appareny when I use a Windows PC as I have thousands of stupid shareware programs complaining about this that and the other, when I load up an open source desktop life is much quieter.

      And yes, this is propaganda, but you should try it out, and piracy is bad.
  • by spungo (729241) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:46PM (#12657838)
    ... and I'm glad the kids like it, but I won't even think about switching until it has a wonderful, cheerful, dancing paperclip to brighten up my day.
  • wimps (Score:4, Funny)

    by happyclam (564118) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:47PM (#12657846)
    I don't see why these kids need openoffice. When I was a kid, nroff and troff were good enough for us, and I think it should be good enough for these kids nowadays. They're all soft. No wonder our education system is in the tank!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Anyone know? Do they have plans to? I think it's only fair that if a free application saved them tons of money the school pay back at least part of the cost saved.
    • Either it's free or it isn't. Software that comes with an expectation of payment (even if it's a donation) is not free.
    • by malraid (592373) on Friday May 27, 2005 @03:09PM (#12658101)
      Do you use OO.o ?? Have you donated?? Free software is free to use. Like it or not. I would say that the school is doing more than its share by giving classes and getting the product know to young prospective users. Fair?? fair is using the product even if for free. Unfair would be taking the source code, rebranding and selling a propietary product. Unfair will be redistributing without the corresponging credit to the authors. Donating is beyond fair. Congrats to the school.
  • by thgreatoz (623808) on Friday May 27, 2005 @02:52PM (#12657903)
    Damn...who'da thought Detroit would ever be at the forefront of ANYTHING ever again?
  • ...has classes on it's use

    thereby readying their students to compete for those coveted administrative assistant positions.

    • by suso (153703) *
      I know you're trying to be funny, but in my opinion (and I think in the opinion of a lot of other people here on /.) there is nothing worse than someone who learns computers by memorizing. It is far better for someone to learn the concepts of software and be able to apply them everywhere. Even if they go on to work in positions where OO.o is not used, they will probably begin to see the concepts and become better computer users as a result.
  • If for nothing else, the school can , for less than one percent of the MS license fees, have OOo printed to CDs for every student, no more labs full of students working furiously in the labs at 7AM as we had in our HS because so many could not afford Office and didnt want/know how to "aquier" it. We that had it shared the wealth, but a lot of people saw it as theft, I saw it as needing to get my homework done.
  • When I was using computers in school, in the "IBM Labs" (as opposed to the mac and apple IIe labs), with a bit-o-norton utilities, we could easily hide games in directories hidden by screwing with some fat table entries. This, of course, was only possible, because even with Novell in place, there wasn't a way to lock things down.

    With linux, I can imagine this will be completely different... until the kiddo's start watching bugtraq for local root exploits :/
  • I tried the same sort of migration in a research lab, and it failed miserably. We had people who used TeX, and Jot on SGI to people using MS Office on OSX. It was a simple pain, most of the people jsut wanted to get there work done and pick up there kids from school. They used Linux for all there research and stuff. But everyone had a laptop ( OSX and or windows XP), and it was a mess. End result too many smart scientist folks were pushing there weight around. In the end the SGI guy always did everything on
  • Making the switch (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ndansmith (582590)
    I am impressed with how well this worked for high school age users. However, I am still skeptical that I could effectively make the switch with older users.

    Younger computer users are naturally more adaptive while adults are more set in their ways. I do acknowledge that there were some adults (teachers, administrators) who succeeded in this study. Still, could I teach all the "old dogs" at my workplace the "new tricks" of Linux and OpenOffice?

  • The author of this article claims that he "needed" to upgrade from Office 97 to something a bit better. He seemed to think his only to real choices were Office 2k or OO.

    But here's my question; if this is educational is OO a better choice than Office 97?

    I'm just thinking that I'd want my students in an environment that they're going to find useful in the future. I'm guessing that 95% of all office environments are running MS Office. So, would an older version of MS Office measure up better to "the real thi
  • by hacker (14635) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @03:33PM (#12658367)

    One of the best quotes I've ever seen on the whole OpenOffice.org vs. Microsoft Office debate:

    "Microsoft properly asserts that OpenOffice.org is not 100% compatible with their product. Microsoft, however, has apparently decided not to support the OpenOffice.org formats either, for which they have no excuse: the standards for OpenOffice.org documents are publicly available, whereas Microsoft makes it a habit to sue people for reverse engineering their own formats."
  • by SamSeaborn (724276) on Friday May 27, 2005 @04:06PM (#12658798)
    I never downloaded Open Office before, so I just tried it.

    I'm a GUI/Usability guy, so this is my professional ability to play "dumb user" speaking:

    The ZIP I downloaded had a cryptic name "OO_...something..." with lots of letters and numbers. The zip took a long time to download, so when I later saw this file on my desktop I didn't know what it was. This was confusing, it should say something "OpenOffice.zip" or better yet "OpenOffice.EXE".

    I opened the zip (would "dumb user" even have WinZip on their system, or know how to use it?) -- the zip contained dozens of weirdly named files, and at the very bottom of the list I found a setup.exe. I ran the setup exe, and from this point on the installation process was clean and simple.

    The file I download should have been as small an EXE as possible -- perhaps a small simple app that downloads the big file for you in a friendly way.

    Luring new users over from the dark (MS) side is like trying to get a tiny squirrel to take a peanut from your hand. Any weird gestures and they'll bolt. I'm afraid the big download, weirdly named zip, and the hunt for the setup.exe would likley have caused the timid squirrel to run away.

    Then I went to launch the app, and the icons in the OpenOffice folder on the Start menu confused me. I could not find an icon with a blue W representing the word processor, so after a moment of confusion I tried clicking on "Open Document" which let me browse to my *.doc -- whew it worked, but "dumb user" wasn't sure he was doing the right thing, and almost didn't bother to try.

    The doc file opened easily, the Word Processor is pretty and obviously very mature and full-functioned. I could read and print (!) my doc easily with no trouble at all. Very nice.

    The BIG POINT HERE is Sun needs to do their best to improve the initial download/install experience to ensure switchers don't get confused. Also, emulate everything MS does so MS Office users do not have to stray from their pre-conditioned clicking behavious; you will loose new users at the first moment of confusion. A "Blue W " icon needs to represent the Word Processor, a "Green X" icon for the Spreadsheet.

    Hope this helps, looks like a good product, really.

    Sam

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Friday May 27, 2005 @05:02PM (#12659361) Homepage
    I've been using OO for a couple years and have never had problems sending documents to customers or opening theirs. Sometimes the formatting isn't exactly right, but as long as I can read it.

    Most of the time I'm sending them PDF's by posting them on the web server, which is as easy as saving them to a network folder, which I do right from OO. And I really like being able to use the same application on Windows or Linux.

    I've also known some small offices that have switched over, very few problems. All those FUD talking points MSFT uses are absolute crap. There is no massive learning curve or training costs and anyone who can open a PDF can read what you create.

    A $100,000 to a school district is a lot of money. That could pay for an after school program for a whole year, equipment for a sports program, an extra teacher. Even if OO was a vastly inferior product, which it's not IMHO, it would seem like the things you could do with the money in a school far outweigh having the latest and greatest software.

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