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Why OpenOffice? Why Microsoft Office? Each one makes their argument

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OOo has never felt quite right to me. Be it the way I try and work with existing documents, just create new documents in general or just interacting with the UI. It feels tacky. It's an OK product that I will recommend to a ma/pa household that needs nothing more than to send a weekly newsletter to the family, but for real productivity I am sold on MS Office or, as mentioned above, SoftMaker Office depending on the situation. I want a product that just feels natural to interact and function with as opposed to one which kinda feels like features were tacked on or just incomplete.

I haven't tried SoftMaker Office, but I'm a long-time OOo user, as well as a long-time MS Office user. I find approximately equal levels of frustration with both! Usually in different areas though. OOo is slow and that's probably one of my biggest complaints. It's also a bit clunky. 3.2 has sped up a bit, so you might want to check that out if speed was your main concern in the past. It's still not MS Office speed though.

I have also gone through a shift from MS Office 2k, to OOo 2.x-3.x, and back to MS Office 2k3/2k7 organizationally, and it has shown me some interesting things. I feel pretty confident now saying that there are a similar number of problems with both and in fact interestingly enough we had users complain about some features missing in MS Office that OOo had (particularly in Excel vs. Calc). the vast majority of issues though come from file interchange and format differences, which is true of both MS Office and OOo. It's pretty frustrating that this is the case, and I'm frankly a bit surprised that these issues remain so prevalent. MS's refusal to accept ODF as a standard pretty much guarantees that this retardness will continue, along with the continued default install of apps like MS Works in which you apparently cannot set the default save format as anything by the proprietary WKS. Ugh!

Frankly I'm tired of the whole "Office Suite" paradigm and the traditional document authoring model. Why should I need a separate, sophisticated design tool like InDesign if I want to make my document look really nice and print well? And if I do work in InDesign, why do I lose all spelling and grammer checking? Why does my document authoring team have to edit a document which gets sent to the designer for entry into InDesign, after which the document authoring team have to pass all changes through the designer, instead of doing them directly in a referenced document? Why is document formatting so quirky and hard to control, even today? Why is presentation template support still so limited? (MSO 2k7 was the first notable progress on this IMO) Why if I'm authoring a document for hand-out and presentation is it not easier to combine the two and maintain updates across files (e.g. reference a bulleted list from Word in Powerpoint and have it dynamically update as you edit the latter)?

Imagine if you will a single document development application, with intelligent "modes", customizable workspace and workflow systems, sophisticated (but easy to use) referencing and instancing systems, and a "view"-based methodology for interpreting your document into different models. For example, highlight a block of text, right-click and specify as slide 1 of a presentation, then go to the presentation layout and further edit with transitions, etc. If you have changes to make, do them in the document edit layout and they're automatically reflected in the presentation.

Really, can't they do any better than this?

- Oshyan

Besides technical "issues" I think this campaign make new Browser choice question look silly. Where MS is really trying to do power marketing is with Office/Windows since that is where the money comes from. When things don't go their way, not as expected, or they are possibly worried you get this "think of the children", "demand of the work place". They have done pretty much the same "Compare to..." pages for IE8. Goes along with practically giving away Office packages to students or selling them to employees at businesses with the right license, for the price of 2 packs of cigarettes. Or doing magic with computer makers so they keep bundling the right OS. Free market where desire to put MS logo on toilet paper has nothing to do with locking people in but is "holistic business productivity approach" :)

Jeez, I must be an alien or something... :huh:

I LOVE OpenOffice, and now that I'm running the 64-bit version, speed is better than acceptable (though I'll admit it's still not MS Office fast...).
I spend more time at work in the MS environment, so it's not my Linux bias showing, I promise.


Frankly I'm tired of the whole "Office Suite" paradigm and the traditional document authoring model. Why should I need a separate, sophisticated design tool like InDesign if I want to make my document look really nice and print well?
-JavaJones (February 19, 2010, 06:57 PM)
--- End quote ---

Well, practically a decade ago there used to be a piece of office software called: 'RagTimeSolo' and it would let you do DTP your document in practically any way you wanted. The pay version would handle spelling/grammar checking as well. The company behind this software is still around today, but as far as I know they do not offer a free version of their software anymore. It seems however that a lot of (dutch) download sites still offer the last freeware version (5.6.4 I believe, the version the company sells nowadays is 6.5.

Anyway, I always liked the software a lot, but IIRC there was no option to save in the "popular" .doc or .xls formats.  

Adjusted the recent version number.


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