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On 10/28/2010 11:21 AM, Frank Esposito wrote:

Very good points and I agree, at least in the States, it is a Microsoft
so maybe we should concentrate on ODF benefits and then market towards
businesses who are still running MSO 2003 and  cannot afford the upgrade and
training to MSO 2007/2010 (which is considerable thanks to the ribbon).

I think users of MSO 2K3 and MSO 2K7 are excellent targets for LibO!
I've been talking to a lot of people making the upgrade and really
feeling the pain. I've also talked with some who's simply resigned that
they will have to stick with older versions since they just can't afford
the move. It's an excellent time to push LibO.

Other options could be getting the Microsoft file converters in LO work work
perfectly to import old documents and then save in ODF, and also give the
option to reconfigure the menus and toolbars to mirror MSO2003 (for ease of

MSO actually did something like this early on when they were competing
with WordPerfect. You could tell MSO to emulate WordPerfect and it would
turn your text area blue and make your menus look like the ones
WordPerfect had. It was a *very* effective strategy in their effort to
bring over WP users as painlessness as possible.

As for the converters, they are an essential part of this whole plan.
No, they aren't going to work 100% of the time because LibO is different
in many respects (particularly when it comes to spreadsheets with
macros) but that can be worked around. SOME user modification will be
needed in some cases, but there is a lot of room for improvement yet.

The marketing angle could be:
"LibreOffice: Upgrade from MSO 2003 with full compatibility and no
retraining costs."

People would come over in droves.

Essentially an updated, FOSS drop-in replacement for MSO. Once that happens
we can then build brand-loyalty and users will continue with LO instead of
MSO and LO can then create its own path, just as Microsoft did to
WordPerfect and Quatro Pro.

Exactly. We have to ease users into LibeO. When Microsoft entered the
word processing market, they knew that users of WordPerfect weren't
going to suddenly jump ship and run on over the them. They made it
painless, easy, and focused on 'we're not that much different but we're
still better in x areas'.  Once they won, they defined their own path. I
think LibeO could learn a lot by studying early Microsoft tactics. Just
remember to take a shower afterwards. :-)


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