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On 11/3/13 5:56 AM, Paul wrote:
Hi Ken,

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.
Granted, but then Kingsoft Office Free *is* serious competition to MS

Before you can say any program *is* serious competition, you have to determine which products, or product levels, you are going to compare. Office is available in many forms, similar to the different levels of comfort/convenience packages in automobiles. LO comes in just one flavor. Kingsoft Office in 2 flavors. Chocolate and Vanilla. OK, that's not quite right. LOL

A quick comparison of what the the three packages offer, top of the line, for Windows:

MS Office Pro                           Libre Office                            Kingsoft Pro
        Word                                            Writer                                  
        Excel                                           Calc                                        
        PowerPoint                              Presentation                            Presentation
        OneNote                                 Base
        Outlook                                 Drawing
Notes for  the above list:

1. The items listed are from the respective websites. Office 2007, the last
                Office I purchased, has additional tools available.  I would assume the
                same for 2013.
        2.  I did not include Formula for LO as the formula editor in Office is an
                optional plugin for Word.
        3.  To the best of my knowledge, Office has never included a vector drawing

Using a feature by feature comparison, there is no way LO or Kingsoft is serious competition for Office Pro.

But, if you compare the less comprehensive versions of Office:

Office Home and Student                 Office Home and Business
        Word                                                    Word
        Excel                                                   Excel   
        PowerPoint                                      PowerPoint
        OneNote                                         OneNote

The only feature lists that are similar is LO vs. Office Home and Business. I will agree that LO is competition *only* for Home and Business. Even then, I suspect most businesses will find an email program more valuable than a vector drawing program.

MS Office 365 is cloud based, so LO isn't competition there at all.

I doubt there is anything on the level of MS Office Pro out there. Corel was making a serious push in this direction at one time, damned near destroyed them. I don't know the full complement of WP Office at the time, but they have dropped the database component the last time I looked. And no Mac version.

There's also Google Docs, which has a fair amount of business interest,
so I think that also qualifies.

I haven't trusted Google for anything except search abilities since Google and Facebook were caught violating their own privacy agreements.

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
Sure, if you want to convince a large portion of the user base to
switch, but just to offer a viable alternative that's not true. To be
serious competition, you just have to be roughly as good.

Those are standards I do not accept. You should aspire to be the best you can be, not just "good enough". Yugos were "good enough".

Pricing is not that important anymore.
I think it is still one consideration. As are moral issues, and trust
issues, and vendor lock-in issues. In my opinion, MS has repeatedly
shown that they are willing to take steps that are actively detrimental
to their users, so I no longer trust their products. This won't be
everyone's concern, but there are some good reasons to seek

And you aren't competing with just MS Office, you're also competing
with every other document program out there.
No, I don't think you are at all.
Firstly, your statement was about competition to MS Office, but
I think we've determined that there *is* serious competition to MS

Au contraire, my friend, as I just pointed out with the charts above, LO is competition to the mid-level version of Office only.

And you aren't competing against *just* MSO, you are competing with every other office package out there. Ford doesn't just compete with Chevy, they compete with Honda, Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Mini-Cooper, ET. AL.

Now we're discussing how relevant LO is. And, like MS Office,
LO has its place, and that place isn't in head-to-head competition with
the likes of Lyx, Tex, Inkscape and Scribus. MS Office isn't trying to
compete with those products either.

I never said it was competing with those programs. For one, LyX and Tex are typesetting programs, with LyX just being a GUI interface on top of a LaTeX program, not word processors, although Word has a few typesetting options. Scribus is DTP, as is Publisher which is part of Office Pro. I've not used Scribus (hope to someday) but neither are either of those programs competition for Pagemaker, Quark Express, or Calamus. LO has the drawing module, but I'm fairly certain it doesn't have the abilities of Inkscape.

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?
I'm sure there are people on this list that can site bugs in MS Office
that make certain things easier to do in LO. That's just bugs, all
software has those; the question is how many affect any given individual
person, and that will determine which product he/she finds
easiest/nicest to use. Personally I don't find that many bugs with LO,
definitely not enough to make me want to switch to MS Office.

Bugs are things that don't work correctly, regardless of the software. But, if it takes 5 steps to accomplish something in Program A, and 2 steps in Program B, B is more user friendly, IMO.

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.
Well, yes, but again, this is a difference of expectation. You can't
judge LO's ability to be a viable alternative purely based on how
exactly it mirrors MS Office. Then you're not talking about serious
competition, but about a serious *clone*.

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.
This is basically saying "LO doesn't work for me, so it doesn't work
for anybody". This may be why you don't personally like it, but I don't
think it would be correct to say it isn't competition to MS Office just
because you don't like it. Plenty of people don't have the issues you
seem to have with it.

No, they are bugs! They don't work! In the case of the one bug, simply clicking the LO window to make that window the active window should not move highlighted text to a new location in the document.

If that power drill I just bought doesn't work, should I twist the chuck by hand, or get a different drill? <-------- A little over the top, just to make the point. No matter the product, if it doesn't work for you in any area, you go find something that does. One more customer for the competition, one less customer for you.

Remember, I didn't ask why you had issues with LO. I am perfectly fine
with you having a different experience to mine, and mine isn't perfect
by any means (just better than MS Office's, or at least good enough
that I prefer to use LO). I asked why you said that there wasn't any
"serious competition" to MS Office. I don't see that as a fair
statement of LO and the other good products out there.

As noted above, I've listed why LO is not serious competition except for a single version of Office.

I think we've established that LO *is* serious competition to MS
Office, as well as at least Kingsoft Office Free, and possibly Google
Docs. That said, you have enough issues with LO that you don't like
using it. Fair enough. YMMV, but plenty of people prefer it. Out of
interest, how many issues do you have with MS Office? If you started
looking at MS Office with as critical an eye as you have been looking
at LO, wouldn't you also find enough issues that you would be
frustrated and looking elsewhere?

Haven't used MS Office seriously since 2003. And it didn't work well with long documents, say 30+ pages. I've not had a reason to create anything that long since then.

As I mentioned to Charles-H.Schulz, you're better off doing a few things very well as opposed to a lot of things adequately. The first gives you an excellent reputation, the second gives you an OK reputation.


Mac OS X 10.8.5
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