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Hi :)
I've been thinking about this over-night a bit and it's the same old
problem.  People hear MS Office and think that it's all the same.

One local charity is finding that on the rare occasion they get a new
machine one of the first things they have to do is to install a
different version of MS Office.  Since most of their current machines
are on 2003 they have 2 major blockers to using anything more recent.
None of them know how to use any of the ribbon-bars and they don't
know "Save As ..." ...

Now they are trying to partner with an organisation that uses 2010
they are running into an additional problem because their IT Support
is not trained to handle problems with 2010 so they can't upgrade to
it yet.  Plus 2010 is the old version so their support wants to
upgrade to 365 and "get everything on the Cloud".  So at the end of
all that training and money they still wont be able to share files
with the 2010 people.

Also a lot of their service users will then have to upgrade because
their existing machines with their existing "gratis" version of MS
Office wont be able to handle newer files.  Some will, some wont.  All
the ones that crucially need to share files are likely to have

So just because people get MS Office for free on a new machine doesn't
mean they will find it easy to share with other MS Office users.  So
they might well need to buy another version.

Also on newer machines MS have started running a cunning scheme
whereby people get to use a trial version of MS Office which then
stops working after a month or so.  In order to keep on using it
people have to pay an extra bit.

Regards from
Tom :)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: tk <>
Date: 29 November 2013 02:00
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Re: moving to new version of MS Office

Tom wrote:

11.  it's a LOT cheaper, especially for individual people (rather than
large companies who may end up employing programmers at a fraction the
cost license fees would have been)

Whether or not LibO is cheaper than MSO, is a matter of deciding what
factors to look at, and how to define those factors.

*  For the typical individual, there is no visible difference between
the upfront cost of MSO, and the upfront cost of LibO. They both
appear to be gratis.
*   On the support end of things, there is a huge cost difference
between the two. (US$50 per incident versus US$500 per incident.)

* For corporations, it is much easier, and cheaper to find Level 3
Tier support for MSO, than LibO.  On the flipside, Level 3 Tier
support for LibO can be done in-house --- if the board of directors
fully backs that proposition, and provides the requisite support to
carry it off.

Many companies, especially charities, can buy MS Office for bargain discount special deals.

Microsoft's hypocrisy in offering discounts for their software to
charitable organizations has been well documented for more than a
decade.  Their charitable sales arm is best known for ensuring its
victims spend more money on software and hardware, than those victims
receives in gifts, kind, and related donations.

When an individual person tries to buy MS Office it can easily cost
them over £100 and may be several hundred.

For the majority of individuals, MSO is effectively gratis, because it
is included in the junkware that infects their new computer.  For a
significant proportion of the rest of the population, MSO can be had
for under 100 Euros.

What people tend to forget, is that MSO was not designed for SOHO usage.

Individuals usually only get some of the programs and may need to buy Publisher or other things 

Publisher has never been part of the basic MSO packages.
I'm not even sure it was part of any of the professional packages.
I know that it came with an enterprise edition, but those  editions
are best compared with Debian, or Xubuntu.

Is it morally right for a charity to expect it's service-users to spend so much more money than 
they need to and thus ensure the charity can keep getting special discounts?

I've had this discussion in three different states, with double that
number of organizations, private, public, and government agencies.
The bottom line is that the system is not designed to help those that
are ostensibly being helped.  Rephrased, it is designed to ensure the
highest possible cost, for the lowest quality goods, with no input
from those who are supposed to benefit from the services that are
allegedly being rendered.

Sent from the eating establishment at the far side of the universe,
from the begining of time.

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