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Linux Business Government Politics

OpenDocument Gains New Fans 233

Posted by Zonk
from the you're-nobody-till-somebody-loves-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The OpenDocument format is gathering steam, as several influential companies seek an alternative to Microsoft Office." From the article: "The ODF Summit brought together representatives from a handful of industry groups and from at least 13 technology companies, including Oracle, Google and Novell. That stepped-up commitment from major companies comes amid signs that states are considering getting behind OpenDocument. James Gallt, the associate director for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, said Wednesday that there are a number of state agencies are exploring the use of the document format standard."
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OpenDocument Gains New Fans

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  • by keraneuology (760918) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:12AM (#13997698) Journal
    Unfortunately, under the terms of MS licensing these companies are prohibited from using MS Office to draft documents or emails discussing using an open document format.
    • To hell with Microsoft then! They can use OpenOffice [openoffice.org] to draft any damn format they want! Cry Havoc, and let loose the dogs of war!

      * tongue planted firmly in cheek :-)
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:56AM (#13998132)
        According to our Microsoft sales rep, they won't support the open document format because if they do, they'll have to release Office under the GPL.
        • by Stephen Samuel (106962) <samuel.bcgreen@com> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @03:26PM (#14000477) Homepage Journal
          According to our Microsoft sales rep, they won't support the open document format because if they do, they'll have to release Office under the GPL.

          This is such an obvious lie, that I wonder if someone could sue them for malicious misrepresentation, and unfair business practices.

          Besides forcing them to stop spouting that garbage, I think it would also generate some interesting (and very useful) press.

      • 'let slip the dogs of war'
  • I suggest (Score:5, Funny)

    by karvind (833059) <karvind@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:13AM (#13997707) Journal
    Goo' ol' ASCII for text and figures.
  • No wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by scenestar (828656) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:14AM (#13997717) Homepage Journal
    as government customers show more interest in open-source alternatives to Microsoft's desktop software.

    That's because those alternatives do not charge you for a new visual theme.
  • Prediction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ergo98 (9391) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:15AM (#13997722) Homepage Journal
    Three years from now OpenDocument will be pervasive (the momentum is getting too great for it to fail now, especially when organizations face just as big of a transition to OfficeXML if they decided to go that route), and the #1 implementation, by far, will be Microsoft Office. All of the state governments will be running Office 12+OpenDocument SP1, and interacting just like they did previously. Of course a document opened in OpenOffice, or others, will be slightly different, and users will attribute it to quirks of OpenOffice, further marginalizing it.

    Sidenote: That bloody PIX SPORTS ad does more to encourage ad blocking software than any counter-commercial advocate.
    • Re:Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:26AM (#13997840) Homepage Journal
      Are the mods huffing kittens [uncyclopedia.org] or something? Parent is not a troll. Overly pessimistic, yes. Troll? No.

      When there's a -1: Pessimistic option, then he should be modded down. In the meantime, reread the moderator rules. [slashdot.org]

      As to the parent, I can't say I agree that this will happen. I agree that Microsoft will try (RTF, anyone?), but long term I think that Microsoft just has too many anti-trust watchers breathing down their necks at the moment. Everytime Microsoft attempts to rely on their old tactics (no matter how sneaky they are about it) someone is going to cry foul. It may seem silly, "Them: Microsoft has a tiny incompatibility in their support of the format! Microsoft: It's just a bug! No bigge!" but such attacks can really screw with Microsoft's time to market and keep them tied up in the courts for a very long time.
      • Re:Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ergo98 (9391) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:34AM (#13997911) Homepage Journal
        Are the mods huffing kittens or something?

        Several posts were bizarrely moderated. I think a very angry person got mod points today. :-)

        I agree that Microsoft will try (RTF, anyone?), but long term I think that Microsoft just has too many anti-trust watchers breathing down their necks at the moment

        While I could imagine some division heads or rogue employees putting intentional "quirks" in, I think just as a nature of the beast OpenDocument isn't an absolutely literally interpreted format (e.g. it isn't an output layout format like PDF), so like HTML there will be some variations in the way it is interpreted. If Office becomes the dominant platform, it will also be considered the "right" platform, regardless of how correct or not that is. If you layout a document in a certain manner in Office, and it displays differently in a different client, then clearly the other client must be "wrong".

        Honestly I don't think I was being pessimistic - in the Office wars I do think Microsoft has a vastly superior offering, and if it's just a matter of supporting this format to make some states happy, then after a brief resistance I think they will. Everything will go on just like it was, albeit with a new document format.
        • by IANAAC (692242) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:38AM (#13997959)
          Several posts were bizarrely moderated. I think a very angry person got mod points today. :-)

          That's because it's... Thursday. The last time something like that happened was on a Wednesday.

        • Several posts were bizarrely moderated. I think a very angry person got mod points today. :-)

          Don't worry, the editors are busy doing nothing about the broken mod system.
        • >OpenDocument isn't an absolutely literally interpreted format (e.g. it isn't an output layout format like PDF)

          This is actually a good thing. For writing serious documentation using a Word like "paint" program is totaly wrong thing to do.

    • That would be better than the current situation. It sounds like you're describing a situation like the current one with Internet Explorer. I agree that this sucks, but it really isn't that bad, and it certainly allows for competition (for instance, Firefox). Similarly, even if MS Office read/wrote ODF with quirks, it would still allow plenty of room for competition (or at any rate, more than there is now).
  • Apple (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pubjames (468013) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:17AM (#13997748)
    I know this has been speculated on many times before, but I'm convinced that Apple is going to pull something out of the hat with regards to this, may be as soon as next year.

    Perhaps an Apple version of openOffice 2.0?

    They have to really -- their reliance on Microsoft to produce a Mac version of office has had them in a vice for years, but their agreements are coming to an end and Microsoft's grip is slipping.
    • Re:Apple (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lpangelrob (714473)
      They can do a few things, but releasing a free version of Office apps sounds more like shooting themselves in the foot. Repeatedly. Apple would literally have to not care about profits in order for that to work.

      More likely, they'll release their version of Excel alongside the existing iWork apps Keynote and Pages. If they manage an Exchange Server alternative, iWork would become substantially more important to them.

      Or, they could just buy out the Macintosh Office division of MS.

      • Apple would literally have to not care about profits in order for that to work.

        Not so. I expect iWork contributes a fairly small percentage to their bottom line, which they could sacrifice in order to substantially grow their sales of hardware.
         
      • iWork is a great suit of applications, but its functionality is at the level of Apple Works; it is not an office suite that can compete with OpenOffice or MS Office in the professional or corporate market.
      • As the other guy who responded mentioned, iWork doesn't have as much functionality as MS Office or OpenOffice yet.

        More importantly, though, Keynote and Pages use their own proprietary XML formats -- they don't support OpenDocument. Of course, I personally think Apple ought to just ditch those formats and switch, but I'm not the one making the decision...
    • Re:Apple (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ModernGeek (601932)
      The open office people have never been too apple-friendly. I doubt they won't be changing their outlook with version 2. The only way to run it will be through the X11 server, and in that case, it isn't very clean or elegant looking. Firefox has done a good job at maintaining a windows/mac/linux version that doesn't look like a sore thumb when placed in other environments. The best bet would be for apple to design their own office suite if they don't want to rely on Microsoft Office's. A native, clean, elega
      • Re:Apple (Score:3, Interesting)

        by idlake (850372)
        The open office people have never been too apple-friendly. I doubt they won't be changing their outlook with version 2.

        It's not a question of "outlook" or being Apple-friendly, it's a question of resources.

        Apple, on the other hand, has been downright hostile towards the OOo folks, telling them in no uncertain terms that Apple does not wish to make it easier to run X11 on OS X and does not wish other people to make it easier. Apple wants everybody to port to their proprietary GUI and they are going to do wh
        • Well, maybe that is because X11 is ugly, slow, complex, and obsolete? It is a technology that really should have died a long time ago. Of course, with OpenOffice, a large part of the problem is that it does not use system libraries for anything, which makes it rather difficult to customize the look and feel for each individual system.
          • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

            by idlake (850372)
            Well, maybe that is because X11 is ugly, slow, complex, and obsolete?

            Well, I'll give you this much: the X11 that ships with OS X sure is a lousy implementation.

            Beyond that, since you wouldn't believe anything I say anyway, I suggest you do some benchmarks yourself and share them. You'll find that a good X11 implementation runs rings around Quartz.

    • I sure hope so (Score:2, Interesting)

      by scolby (838499)
      I (foolishly) purchased a stripped down educator's copy of Office when I bought my iBook a few months ago, and Word has all ready corrupted five documents, screwing the formatting and replacing the quotation marks with funky looking i's. I used to run OpenOffice when I had a pc, and despite it's slow load times (which, really, who cares if you have to wait an extra second and a half), it was an excellent piece of software. Might be time to go through the trouble of installing X11...
      • Re:I sure hope so (Score:3, Informative)

        by pubjames (468013)
        Might be time to go through the trouble of installing X11...

        Try Neooffice/J - the native port. It works pretty well.
        • ...except that NeoOffice/J is still based on OpenOffice 1.x, and (afaik) doesn't support OpenDocument.

          Of course, OpenOffice isn't the only thing that supports OpenDocument. There's also Abiword and KOffice, and Abiword at least does have a native Mac version. With QT4/Mac, it might even be possible to get KOffice running natively soon.
      • Re:I sure hope so (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dolda2000 (759023)
        Might be time to go through the trouble of installing X11...
        If you really bought your iBook only a few months ago, that shouldn't be trouble at all. As far as I know, Apple has shipped X11 installed in OSX by default since Panther.
        • As far as I know, Apple has shipped X11 installed in OSX by default since Panther.

          Nope, you have to customize the installation and include it yourself. Or if you've already installed the OS, just insert your CD and open the "Install Optional Components" (or something like it) package and make sure you select X11.

          That being said, I recommend NeoOffice/J, a semi-native Java-based port. It's not much prettier, and unfortunately it's still based on OO.o 1.x, but it's at least a bit more pleasant to use on O

  • by faqmaster (172770) <jones,tm&gmail,com> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:20AM (#13997791) Homepage Journal
    Who is James Gallt? Him? Why he's the associate director for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

    Oh, JOHN Galt. John Galt. It's, "Who is John Galt?"
  • by alucinor (849600) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:22AM (#13997807) Journal
    Red Hat would be Doc Holiday.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:28AM (#13997859)
    It is amazing to see the reactions a certain group of people have to the surge in OpenDocument adoption.

    This is one of those no brainer moves that would be unremarkable in any other industry. Technology makes the inevitable move to commodity status over time so companies can focus on competing in areas that actually give value to consumers.

    But with Microsoft there is a strange group of people who can only be described as "Microsoft Is Always Teh Winner" believers. The computing world standardizing on OpenDocument in no way negatively effects them and the continued use of the proprietary Microsoft formats in no way benefits them, but they have become so emotionally attached to Microsoft they see it as a personal affront that anyone would ever dare to not use the obvious choice of whatever the Microsoft solution is.

    • OpenDocument in no way benefits me, as I've tried using Open Office and would only use it as a last resort, and I've never had a problem with incompatibility between version of MS Office. The continued use of the proprietary Microsoft formats benefit me because that's what just about everyone is already set up for. The change is for purely ideological and completely impractical reasons. Down with pragmatism, up with software based on ideology, right?

      Nevermind, you probably stopped reading this and labelle

      • Ahh.. I see the problem. You might not be the MSFTW group, but you're still committing a logical fallacy. A perfectly understandable one that almost everyone makes. the "is-ought" fallacy. You are describing the way things are as if that is the way things should always be. The parent was describing the way things ought to be (according to him). The mistake is in assuming that just because those are the conditions that exist now, that they are the best possible conditions.

        Pragmatism is all right when y
      • Wrong. If OpenDocument/OOo benefits in no other fashion, then thier mere existence and adoption puts competitive pressure on MS to create better software and offer thier software for lower cost. Unless of course you have large stock options in MS, then there is purposeful bias for us to ignore your rants.
      • The continued use of the proprietary Microsoft formats benefit me

        The dominance of Microsoft formats is the biggest reason that M$ Office costs $500 per seat. If there were one file format that could be read and written properly by all office suites, then OpenOffice (free) and StarOffice ($70/seat) could be evaluated on technical merits instead of being rejected as 'I might not be able to exchange files with the rest of the world'. Then you would see the price of M$ Office drop. Still lovin' those prop

        • Yeah, that'd be super, if the question was making OpenOffice "The One True Document Format", but splitting the world between Microsoft's format and OpenOffice format isn't going to provide that benefit. Microsoft Office has huge advantages especially for corporate use over OpenOffice or StarOffice, so corporations will continue to pay more for Office (though certainly not $500 a seat, if you think that then you clearly have no idea what you're talking about), and unless Open Office gets a hell of a lot bett
      • > I've never had a problem with incompatibility
        > between version of MS Office

        Ah, I see you live in that portion of society where things are upgraded in a timely fashion, so that you have not experienced the pain of attempting to take a document someone sent you that was created with Office 2003 and help a colleague open it on a computer that still has Office 4.3. (If you suggest an upgrade, said colleague gives you a dirty look and commences ninety solid minutes of bemoaning the horrors the previous
    • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:55AM (#13998114)
      There's a culture of corporate paranoia at Microsoft, and it's been written about before in books and essays. Everything is seen as a threat, everything requires a drastic response. For instance, Netscape and gave rise to tying Internet Explorer to the Windows shell and offering it for free. At Microsoft, you're always self-critical, and you're always paranoid about losing your market position.
    • by Hosiah (849792) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:11PM (#13998254)
      they have become so emotionally attached to Microsoft they see it as a personal affront

      That, as Hunter S. T. put it, is the nut of the matter. And what *is* this? Do people develop emotional dependence on Texeco gas and get all zealotous when somebody mentions Chevron? Does KMart have loyal customers who sneer at Target shoppers as "communist"? Do HBO viewers stick to their "chosen" channel and deride Cinemax? Yet bring up operating systems, web browsers, programming languages...anything at all related to computers, down to such trivial choices as text editors: instant Jihad! I think we'd better add "computers" to "politics and religion" in the list of topics not to bring up at a table.

      Man, I always figured if I'm going to put all that love into something, it's got to love me back. I just use what works for me, and don't really care what anybody else uses. Pity we can't all be shown the same courtesy.

      • Do people develop emotional dependence on Texeco gas and get all zealotous when somebody mentions Chevron?

        Yes. They will also argue for months about which brand of motor oil is the best.

        anything at all related to computers, down to such trivial choices as text editors: instant Jihad!

        That's because you're hanging out with computer geeks. Hang out with the EAA geeks and the argument will be over aluminum vs glass vs wood or whether the big wing goes in the front or the rear.

        Really, though, if no one really
      • I don't think that people do this over gasoline (well, somewhere, somebody probably does) but they sure do it over other products. There's the never-ending, epic battle between Ford and Chevy enthusiasts, for one. I've met photographers who were as zealous about Nikon camera equipment (and eager to convert everyone else) as any Mac or Windows user. (Not to mention Kodak film vs. Fuji...) Videographers go back and forth on whether Panasonic cameras are a better deal than Sony, or if the latter are worth the
    • But with Microsoft there is a strange group of people who can only be described as "Microsoft Is Always Teh Winner" believers.

      To their credit it's been true up to this point. What's different now is that the rest of the IT world seems to be diverging away from MSFT and in some cases collaborating against them.

      MSFT has a choice of stubbornly staying the course and continue trying to hang on to their monopoly, which they'll eventually lose but will make more money until they collapse into a nitch market

    • False (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:52PM (#13998655) Journal
      Office maintains is monopoly due to control over the format. If MS loses control of the format, then they will require a superior program at a much lower price to control the market. In addition, if they lose the Office monopoly, they will probably lose the Desktop Monopoly, but at the very least, will be forced to drop their prices all over (not just in targeted markets).
  • by Beatbyte (163694) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:34AM (#13997914) Homepage
    If you really would like to see Linux of any flavor, Apple, or any alternative to Microsoft's strangehold flourish, do what you can to open the eyes of management folks to open source software. Make a spreadsheet of the number of office employees in your office, multiple the number by the cost of the OS (XP Pro is ~$150) and the cost of MS Office (basic is ~$300), add it up, and show them what could be saved while retaining the functionality (and gaining in some places such as not giving certain employees copies of office on their computer to cut cost when they really need it).

    Install Open Office on your workstation and show your boss how visually its similar to Microsoft Office so retraining for basic tasks (spreadsheets, letter documents, etc.) will be minimal. When the question comes up (yes it will) asking about opening attachments on e-mails from people still using Microsoft Office, show them it works and that you can even save in Microsoft's format to send to others.

    Review the upgrade frequency of the software used in your office. If you upgrade operating systems every 3 years, explain the benefits of switching to another operating system such as SuSE or Ubuntu as far as your finances go.

    I'm sure there are other ways to open eyes of management. If you can think of some, please reply to this and add it.

    On a side note, not only will this open people up to alternatives to Microsoft, but the fact that they have stepped back and made a change will only make it easier to change if there is another alternative out there that would better fit the bill. It'll get them thinking.
    • How about bumper stickers.
      "Switch to OpenOffice.org and stop paying for working with Excel and Word Documents. Yes, it's free and free FOREVER. See www.OpenOffice.org"

      BTW:
      Watch as this post gets modded to +5 with no real moderation
      the MOD system is broke
      Reply on any +5 post and get modded +5 instantly
    • Openoffice has an adjustment curve, it's quite steep for people who can barely use MS office.
      Take a 2-3 days adjustment (spread over a month) with 4 hours of helpdesk support and you can see how the cost of switching can be significant.

      I like Openoffice at home, in many ways it is better, but today it just wouldn't work at my office.
  • I don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Risen888 (306092) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:45AM (#13998019)
    Is there a reason that all OpenDoc stories must be filed under Linux?
    • I have an idea. The Goatse picture should paint "open" in a very graphic manner. Change the icon!
    • Re:I don't get it. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dan Ost (415913)
      Well, support for OpenDoc is primarily important to
      those who can't use MSOffice or who want to be able
      to seemlessly integrate a non-windows desktop into
      a windows office environment.

      What catagory would you prefer?
  • Museum Archives (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:45AM (#13998020)
    Museum studies programmes are currently heavily focuesed on digital preservation.

    And unfortunately storing a document is very complicated. It involves knowledge of software version, compatibility issues, bugs, etc ...

    Many of these programmes are leanning heavily towards open document standards. Simply because the people involved are not, and have no desire to learn every issue regard software excuatbles and how to make sure they will run in 20 or 30 years.
  • by southpolesammy (150094) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:45AM (#13998023) Journal
    While it's nice that state governments are interested in OpenDocument, IMHO, this initiative will not seriously gain steam until the big companies around the world begin to adopt them. If GE, Walmart, Citigroup, GM, etc, etc, etc, made an effort towards OpenDoc, it will take off very quickly.

    However, most of these big companies are locked into multi-billion, multi-year contracts with Microsoft, so I would be surprised to see anything happen soon.
    • While I largely agree that getting things going with the big companies is vital, I think that some effects might show up sooner than you think. It would not take a wholesale switch away from MS Office to have a sizable impact on both the market and Microsoft, because a lot of MS's current position is based on the notion that "everyone uses Office". (Microsoft's stock price also reflects its market position and, apparently, above-average expected earnings growth. I think it is safe to say that Bill Gates i
    • by Zathrus (232140) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:45PM (#13998591) Homepage
      this initiative will not seriously gain steam until the big companies around the world begin to adopt them

      Very true. However, realize that virtually all of the Fortune 500 have government contracts. As states adopt the requirement to use OpenDocument, those companies will have to as well, at least to some extent.

      Additionally, some of the companies listed as participating in the summit are Fortune 500 themselves -- IBM (#10), Sun Microsystems (#194), Intel (#50), Oracle (#220). Nokia is a foreign company, while Google and CA should be on next years list (a maybe for CA).

      That doesn't mean that they'll switch off Office of course, but it does mean that they're likely to support OpenDocument in some degree, if only by purchasing a plugin for Office to export the formats.
  • by robbarrett (84479) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:56AM (#13998125)
    From the article:
    The OASIS committees will seek to improve OpenDocument-based products for people with disabilities; add digital rights management features that would interoperate with Microsoft Office-based DRM systems; and standardize spreadsheet formula formats, Sutor [Bob Sutor, IBM's vice president of standards and open source] said.
    (emphasis added)

    Do we really want a standard that enables DRM? Is there such a thing as acceptable DRM? Why is this a good thing for OpenDocument?

    • Do we really want a standard that enables DRM?

      Yes, because if you want to see it adopted, it's going to need to do everything the competition does and more. Otherwise, you'll get the usual "Well, we would use this, but it doesn't allow you to [blank], so we'll need to go with a format that does."

      Is there such a thing as acceptable DRM?

      Of course there is. Just like there are acceptable uses for weapons, wars, Windows, and alliterations. Market forces will determine what the acceptable uses are. If an organiz
      • >Just like there are acceptable uses for weapons, wars, Windows, and alliterations
        To quote Micheal Franti "they can bomb the world into pieces, but they can't bomb it into peace". Some rearrange this for something about windows and puns.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Franti [wikipedia.org]
      • We're talking about word processors and spreadsheets here. If someone doesn't want a document passed around, copied, etc, then chances are it's "Privileged Information". Where's the problem, again?

        Having a standard encryption algorithm and defined methods to key exchange, etc. would be very useful than the brew-your-own hodge podge that usually happens (PGP and a few shell scripts that Nautalis can run in my case).

        • We might even get secure methods rather than crappy "proprietary" solutions.
          The problem with bad solutions is you get the inconvenience of security without the benefits.
    • by Eil (82413)
      In prinicple, there's nothing particularly wrong with DRM. The bad name that DRM gets is primarily from all existing DRM implementations that are intentionally overly restrictive, trample on fair use, and are usually trivial to break in the hands of a competent hacker.

      Right now it's pure speculation whether or not "fair" DRM can even exist, so I suspect that OpenDocument's claimed support of DRM is primarily a token gesture to soothe companies who might have been steered away for lack of stated DRM support.
    • DRM is absolutely a necessity if OpenDocument is to become a viable choice in secure applications.

      If I work on secret stuff and I want to control who gets access to something that I write, I can use DRM.

      This is especially useful when I write nasty things about my PHB and want to control who sees my picture of him with his admin assistant.
    • by Sketch (2817)
      > Do we really want a standard that enables DRM? Is there such a thing as acceptable DRM? Why is this a good thing for OpenDocument?

      It's certainly not a good thing for OpenOffice and other free/open source office packages since DRM is fundamentally incompatibile with open source. If you don't understand why, read this:

      http://www.boingboing.net/2005/08/24/drm_ssl.html [boingboing.net]

      Put simply, client side security only works (and that is debatble) in a completely closed system. Here's an example of this I ran across j
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:38PM (#13998510)
    Normally, IBM, Oracle, et.al. wouldn't be so bold, but when they see the big alpha dog showing signs of weakness, the rest of the pack suddenly turns on it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:02PM (#13998758)
    ... if Oracle moves off Office and to OpenOffice.org/StarOffice. Sure, they don't have the features of Office, but who cares? Oracle sure as hell doesn't. Oracle doesn't run Exchange, they use their own backend mail server (based on Oracle) that is absurdly slow (I can download from the net at several thousand k/sec, but it takes me >30 secs to open an email w/ a 500k attachment), tends to lose mail, doesn't always let you know that there is new mail, has the worst webmail interface I've ever seen, and is just generally horrid (my previous two employers used Exchange, and it didn't have problems even vaguely approaching these). All because they don't want to send money to the enemy (MS).

    Most employees access the Oracle mail backend through Outlook 2003 and the Oracle Outlook Connection Service (OCS), but they also pseudo-support Thunderbird, and they're paying for development on Sunbird (calendaring front end to complement TB). I suspect that once TB/SB are mostly reliable a corporate mandate will go out ending the use of Outlook and OCS.

    Based on this, I'd expect that the next step after that would be to ditch MS Office all together. It doesn't matter that OO.org/SO won't read/write MS format docs perfectly, or that there are some features missing -- Oracle is the #2 software company, and sending revenues to the #1 software company doesn't make much sense. Particularly when you're in direct competition in several market spaces.

    -- An Oracle employee
  • by MROD (101561) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:05PM (#13998785) Homepage
    I have one question for those people who decide which category stories go into:-

    Why is this article about OpenDocument format in the Linux category?

    The OpenDocument format can indeed be used by software which happens to run on Linux but it's a *FAR* bigger thing than that. The OpenDocument format is architecture neutral and as such if you could equally choose to classify the article under the BSD daemon or the MacOS or even Windows.

    So, surely, this should be under some other, architectural neutral label to do with digital freedom or open standards in general?
  • The commonwealth of Massachusetts has two big choices out of which it can choose. One is to stick to the ITD decision and be seen as LEADERS at a moment in IT history, while the world was at a "fork in the road" as for as document standards. They will be written into IT History as such.

    The other option is to delay and dilly dally, wait for the rest of the world (cities, states, countries) to pick up the ball on Open Document format and eventually have it imposed on them either formally or by the market an
  • by Clover_Kicker (20761) <clover_kicker@yahoo.com> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:24PM (#13998999)
    to: ceo@oracle.com ; ceo@google.com ; ceo@novell.com
    subject: pissing in Microsoft's corn flakes

    Dear sirs.

    Would you like to lend your names to an initiative that will annoy Microsoft, and may eventually cut into their gigantic MS Office revenues? (Revenue they use to subsidize the parts of Microsoft that *your* company competes with.)

    This initiative involves a segment of the software industry that none of you compete directly in.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Sincerely - Open Document Guy.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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