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Le 2011-01-02 16:46, Sadiq S a écrit :
My problem is another beast entirely. I am a highschool student and so of
course are my peers.

I know of only friend who uses OpenOffice, and this is because she doesn't
like paying for MS Office suite and the hassle of pirating it. Not because
it's free software.

How do I go around explaining how LibreOffice is better?

This is quite simple: most of the OpenOffice communities have moved to the LibreOffice suite; we now number around 90 LibreOffice developers many of whom were with OpenOffice; LibreOffice is what would have been the natural outgrowth of OpenOffice as a foundation but for reasons of trademarked name (Oracle would not relinquish the name to The Document Foundation), LibreOffice was borne; the number of enhancements will arrive quicker with LibreOffice rather than the OpenOffice model; she can participate in a community where her voice does make a difference; LibreOffice is a community product and we all share responsibility in its quality and finally, it is just a better product.

Unfortunately, the situation with the dialysis provider is something that is
very similar to the situation here at the TDSB. I assume that Microsoft has
given some sort of deal to the TDSB to keep using MS Office. They recently
updated to XP, which I see as a renewal of the contract.

In Ontario, all school boards use Microsoft products many of which are priced as cost per seat. When contracts are negotiated, the IT departments do as much as possible to reduce the amount of cost per seat (that is the cost of software for every computer) in their board. This is their mandate. IT department will do this if this means renewing licences for Windows on every seat to lower the MSO suite cost per seat. I find that IT departments will adopt alternatives when these are easily implemented over their networks (many of these use Novel). If the network installation is not easily accomplished and maintained then they will keep the structure that has a proven track record. TCO (total cost of ownership) is high up on their list of concerns.

To gain a foothold in school boards, LibreOffice will have to make sure that it will be easily network installable and maintained. It will also have to prove having a robust file interoperability especially for MSO file formats. We are not at the point where opensource file formats are the norm in N. America. Once a school board in a province has moved to LibreOffice in one of its provincially run schoolboards, many will follow suit. Getting a foothold in one schoolboard will be the one that will start the domino effect. After this point, the migration to LibreOffice will be unstoppable.

My point being, we have to fight the market entrenchment and make
LibreOffice better than any other office suite.

Let's not forget that the source code that LibreOffice uses is that of (essentially OpenOffice) and that many more code corrections and enhancements have been made. OpenOffice does have a good track record, LibreOffice at this point just happens to have better code and 10 years worth of experience under a different name. :-)

Sadiq S
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