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Hi, Paul,

On 11/2/13 4:23 PM, Paul wrote:
Hi Ken,

I'd like to see some serious competition for MS Office,
but there appears to be none, either open source or commercial.
Why do you say there is no serious competition to MS Office?
Personally, I find LO to be slightly easier to use than MS Office
(although the difference is negligible, barring the ribbon, which I
find terrible), and just as functional for all my needs, and most of
the needs I have ever seen anybody use. I grant you that there are
possibly some advanced uses of Excel in particular that LO may not be
equal to, and integration with things like Exchange and Active
Directory that MS Office obviously has the edge in, but I have never
seen these in practice. I'm interested to know what aspects you find
lacking in LO.

Let's start with some general points to start with. First, the user. For most home users, who probably are not as experienced or knowledgeable of Word and LO as you and I, the advanced features are not needed. So something simpler to use, like Kingsoft Office Free, are more suited to those users. And there are other free and commercial office products that offer .doc/.docx compatibility. I can't say how good it is, I've never sat down to try them. So LO and the other Ooo branches are not unique in that aspect, so LO is not the only game in town for that.

I did recently ask a friend to write a letter of recommendation for a job application packet. She did it in Word on her Mac. Displayed like crap! Fortunately, printing it as a PDF file didn't exhibit any problems.

BTW, I hate that frickin' ribbon too. Thankfully, you can turn it off and have the old menu system back.

And any particular interface, hereinafter (lawyer-like enough? LOL) called the UI, may not fit a particular user. For about an hour a few weeks ago, I played with a product called SSOffice, or similar name, and I really, really liked the UI. Better than Word or LO. But it may not be for everyone. And it doesn't run on a Mac. :-(

If you want to entice people to switch from Product X to LO, you not only have to be as good as Product X, you have to be a Helluva lot better. Pricing is not that important anymore. Gone are the days when standalone MS Word would be in the $300-$400 range. And if you're a business, that purchase is tax deductible.

Free is just not good enough as a marketing tool anymore.

And you aren't competing with just MS Office, you're also competing with every other document program out there, and that includes typesetting programs like LyX (free) used by many in the math and science world, and DTP software such as Scribus, Publisher, Adobe Pagemaker, and others in between.

For something more specific:

Working around these issues creates more work for the user than doing the same things in Word. Would you switch to a program that causes more work for you?

Then, there is this thread I started 10/29/13:


In case the link doesn't work in your reader/email/whatever, the subject is "Picture size

People who've used Word will expect that feature to work similarly, since the text in the dialogue box has a very similar meaning. Graphics programs that offer free drawing will use something like LO's method, but people working with documents will not have a clue. And it's also extra work compared to Word. When you have that option engaged in Word, when you are in the document just grab a handle and resize maintaining the aspect ratio until you get what you want. With LO, you have to experiment to get the right size you want.

I have a list of other items in LO that didn't work right or as expected in 3.x.x that I have not double checked in Why? It goes back to the two bugs above, that I filed. It's obviously not important to the developers. But it *is* important to me. If features I use do not work or work correctly, why would I stay? That's why I'm looking for new alternatives to to LO. And for my Windows friends, I recommend they try Kingsoft Office Free.

You simply have to be better than the others. And I don't see that yet in LO.

I will give LO the nod in help files, though often missing something. It's on the hard drive, you do not need internet access to read them as you do in Word.


Mac OS X 10.8.5
Firefox 24.0
Thunderbird 17.0.8

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