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On Sunday 24 Oct 2010 02:11:52 Frank Esposito wrote:
I posted a question as to why choose MS Office over OO on hacker news
and although I only got 4 responses, they kind of match my own
experience with OO.
here is the discussion:

Problems with adoption as far as I can ascertain are as follow:

* It is ugly

This is a very subjective call, so not worth consideration outside a "UX needs 
improvement in some areas"

* it does not match MS Office functionality exactly (this is what the
world uses, so to get people to adopt LO, they need to have what they
already need)

* It is slow

Define slow, I have 3.2.1 on clients machines and is grease lightning fast, 
certainly faster than opening up all 4 of MS applications at the same time.

* It is clunky

Define "clunky" in specific terms

* It has issues with MS doc and docx files (yes I know MS formats in
an insane way and does not follow standards)

Not as many issues as MSO has with ODF, and LibO/OOo is standards compliant


Subjective again define

As someone who has worked in corporate IT in the U.S., and now in
ecommence for a major U.S. corporation,

This is the problem, :)  I'll get to this further on.  

 here are my recommendations:

* LO needs to match every single MS Office function, and then provide
what MS Office is missing

It does that already,  Forms and PDF functionality just an example.

* The interface needs to become refined (think iphone refinement),
maybe even adding the dreaded ribbon or option to switch between the
two types)

I agree with this, except for the ribbon. Iwould suggest that LibO/OOo still 
has greater market share than MSO2007/2010 ouside of Educational institutions

* performance needs to be increased

That's a given and that is being addressed continuously

* MS Office filters and converters need to be perfected

"Perfect" is non achievable and a moving target

* Investigate  a revision control system like such as Sharepoint or Google

This I agree with, I'd like to see a function in the installer of a business 
version that gives the option of calling up an install of O3 spaces

* perfect the spellcheck system and advance grammar and formatting
control systems

Not sure why this, OOo is available in many more languages than MS and I'm 
pretty sure LibO will be there soon as well, spell check works well as far as 
I can see, grammar checkers are bad voodoo and are more often wrong than 
right, however they can serve a purpose.  If you study document production 
work flows by someone who is a professional at the game, not an IT person who 
rarely has any idea about producing richly formatted documents, you will find 
that grammar checkers are more often than not used as suggesters of 
alternatives which a writer either ignores or adapts to suit their own style.

As for formatting tools, Stylist kicks the arse of any similar tool in any 
version of MSO, once you have climbed the learning curve and unlearnt the 
really bad habits that using MSO has created.  The only change I would make is 
having stylist docked and open by default and on file>new a "select or create 
template" dialogue opens

We could institute some kind of feedback program such as the test
pilot model that Mozilla uses
 with Firefox 4. We can also look at how MS destroyed Word perfect in
market share to dominate the World Office suite business market.

Read Clayton Christensen, MSO was cheaper and good enough and easy to get.
LibO/OOo is in fact in that same position right now.  The tipping point is 
coming, some would argue that in Europe it is already there and given MS 
recent marketing, it seems they may agree .

Then LO needs to innovate new features and stabilize its current
feature set, this is how Firefox, and later Chrome won the browser
wars (in my opinion at least)

A browser is an entirely different beast,  the only thing they share is the 
fact they are software. It's like comparing going to the movies to driving a 
truck.  Forget that, they are tools to specific audience


just my thoughts

And many thanks for them and here's where I get stuff thrown at me!  ;) 

The biggest barrier to adoption in business is the advocates themselves, jeez 
I used to fall into the same trap myself a few years ago.  These days when I 
talk to people about OOo/Go-OOo (and in the future LibO) I know that I'm 
advocating for far superior software and given 15 minutes with a group of 
professional document producers I can prove that.  I certainly don't go into 
an advocacy situation ready to apologise for OOo's seeming shortcomings, which 
from some of the mails on here, is what seems to happen. 

This is the reality:  Any change to business workflow is disruptive.  Any 
disruption has to be seen to be profitable to the business, anyone who is 
trying to advocate change but who has no belief in the superiority of what she 
is advocating and that it is in the Enterprise's best interest for a whole 
raft of reasons including increased productivity, is screwed from the start.

Problem with OSS projects is we go after geeks, or the IT department, fair 
enough for CMS, Database and server and back office stuff, however when we are 
aiming at Front Office Productivity, we should be advocating to Management and 
HR.  IT only sees an increase in support calls.  IT rarely owns a company or 
is on the board, so their vision is skewed.  

Self belief wins, achievable solutions win.  20%+ market share in Europe 
against a multi million dollar marketing machine with lobbyists in every 
corridor,  partner companies on every street, a legacy document pool in the 
millions of terrabytes and the natural resistance of enterprise to change.  

I tell you what, we must be doing something right.

-Frank esposito


Graham Lauder, MarCon (Marketing Contact) NZ Migration and training Consultant.

INGOTs Assessor Trainer
(International Grades in Open Technologies)

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