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I haven't read all of this discussion in line-by-line detail, so forgive me if I'm unduly repetitive.

In my experience (government lawyer), larger organizations tend to prefer MSO over the free LO for several reasons.

1. Job Security. The old saying for IT Managers used to be, "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." Likewise, IT professionals will always feel safe in buying MSO. At least here in America, I think most IT managers would consider it a risky deal to move everyone in the organization to LO.

2. Compatibility. Back in the DOS days, I was the only lawyer in our office using PC-Write (still my all time favorite word processor). It didn't matter then, because we didn't have networks or share digital files. Now, everything gets shared back and forth over and over. I've tried doing with different programs (MSO to OOo, MSO to WP, WP to MSO), etc. At the end of the day, all the attempts at file conversion never worked "good enough." Something always got lost in the translation and, over time, the files got irreparably corrupted. I ended up keeping many programs on my computer so I could always use whatever my counterpart was using. Sorry to say it, but MS has the advantage of inertia. People buy it because people buy it, and as long as people keep buying it, people will buy it.

Large corporations or government offices don't care about software licensing costs. It's just the cost of doing business. This is different for home users. I have *never* paid money for an office suite on my home computers. I've used everything from MS Works, PerfectWorks, (both of which came bundled with my computers) along with StarOffice,, and LO.

As to features, both MSO and LO have far more features than any single person will ever need. Number of features isn't the issue. The issue is whether a program has the features *I* need to get today's task completed. Since software is published for a wide range of different users, programs tend to grow in an attempt to meet as many different needs as possible.

For me, LO's niche is in providing a cost effective office suite for home users or smaller businesses where cost is, indeed, an issue. But, I agree with Ken that being free isn't enough for LO to overtake MSO.


-----Original Message----- From: Ken Springer
Sent: Sunday, November 03, 2013 10:15 PM
Subject: [libreoffice-users] Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

On 11/3/13 6:49 PM, jonathon wrote:
On 11/03/2013 04:32 PM, Ken Springer wrote:

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

A point you are missing, is that even in a corporate environment, all of
the parts offered by MSO Pro are not needed by all of the employees who
use the office suite.

But in total, all parts offered by MSO Pro may be used by someone in the

Regardless, that's irrelevant to the discussion.  That discussion is
which MSO offering is LO nearest to.

If it was cheaper for the company to buy three quarters of the staff MSO
home edition, and a quarter MSO business edition, and a quarter MSO Pro,
they would do that.

But they can't.  So it's moot.

Microsoft's cheapest business license is for MSO Pro.
Assuming it is still offered, the most expensive license is for MSO
Enterprise edition.

MSO Enterprise may be available, but it's not on the website.  Didn't
spend a lot of time searching, but found no Enterprise 2013.

If you want to compare office suite with office suite, MSO Enterprise
Edition is the only thing on the market, that offers all of the
programs, from the same software maker.  All of the other, similar
solutions, use packages form several different software vendors.

I'm missing something here, would you expand on this?

( I don't know if Microsoft still offers MSO Enterprise Edition. Back
when the business I was working at looked at it, it was not listed on
the Microsoft Product Page alongside the other MSO offerings.)

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.
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".

"Good enough" is the mortal enemy of "superior".

Not in the long run, if you want to be, for lack of a better phrase, in
first place.  Sooner or later, someone kicks your butt off the pedestal.

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

For 80% of the MSO user base, MSO Pro is overkill, which is why LO is a
more appropriate option that MSO Pro.

That depends on the users needs.  While I agree with your many will buy
Pro when it's not needed, that's also irrelevant to the discussion.

Ford doesn't just compete with Chevy, they compete with Honda, Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Mini-Cooper, ET. AL.

At least you didn't put Lamborghini in that list.

Dang, I knew there was one I missed.    LOL

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

You do realize that Microsoft has stated several times, in public, that
OOo was the direct cause of their lower earnings, and reduced
profitability, don't you.

So?  How is that relevant to a discussion/comparison of features?  All
that statement does is confirms Paul's assertion that the mindset of
"you have to have MS Office" is weakening.

As such, even if it was only one version of MSO that you consider it
competitive with, it took enough marketshare away from Microsoft, that
they decided it was better to offer their product gratis, with embedded
advertising, than to compete on the basis of features within the product.

Which MSO product is gratis?  There's a price tag for all 4 packages of
MSO, but there's is a first month free trial period for Office 365 after
which it's a monthly subscription fee.  I couldn't tell if that process
is one that requires you to expressly cancel the subscription or not.


Mac OS X 10.8.5
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Thunderbird 17.0.8

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