Why Microsoft

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15 Customers Who Switched to Microsoft Office After Evaluating OpenOffice.org

15 Customers Who Switched to Microsoft Office After Evaluating OpenOffice.org

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One way to make sure people remember what you have to say is to say something unexpected.  Generally what people expect from Microsoft is for us to explain why our products are better than competitors’.  It’s not very surprising to hear us talk about why we love our own software.  It’s true we might not be the most unbiased source in this debate.  So, rather than sharing our own views on the advantages of Microsoft Office over OpenOffice.org (an open source productivity suite) we want to share our customers’ views on the topic.



All of the quotes in the video come from publicly available case studies and press articles.  You can read them all via the links below.


After many years of listening to the supposed promise of free software and even trying it themselves, these organizations and individuals were brave enough to recognize a lack of cost savings on top of the constant headaches around managing OpenOffice.org.  I’m sure that OpenOffice.org fanatics will respond with all sorts of criticisms and links to customers who’ve moved from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org. While this may seem like a valid counter-argument I urge you to consider that with an install base of over 750 million users it’s not difficult to find a few who want to investigate alternative solutions.  What would really be an adequate counterpoint would be to showcase customers who were originally using OpenOffice.org, switched to Microsoft Office only to have a poor experience, and then switched back to OpenOffice.org.  Then we would have an interesting discussion.

  • @ Raymond:  I think that both sides of the divide have to suffer a little from their zealots.  :)  However the proof is in the pudding, I would suggest, is in the recent attacks on OOo by MS.  As Ghandi said:

    First they ignore you

    Then they laugh at you  

    Then they attack you

    Then You win.

    It's good to see we're at the attack phase.  I'm one of  the OOo marketing team and we wish against wish that we had an MS size marketing budget.  (I think John McCreesh, the former lead of the OOo marketing project, was once asked what sort of budget we had, He replied "I think we have 25 cents in a paypal account somewhere."  Of course He was overstating things somewhat and our communities donations allow us a small Marketing budget, of course it's microscopic compared to MS.  However we have still managed a significant enough impact to get the Steve's attention, and yours obviously.  

    Of course, as you point out, we could counter all of your case studies with opposing case studies.   But here's the thing, one of the best things about OOo that you prove here, is the customer's ability to change.  The exit cost for OOo is minimal, whereas MS Office ties the client into a huge exit cost.  OOo and LibreOffice and Go-oo.org are all about choice.  In the market, of course some, who can afford it,. are going to choose MS and good luck to them, that's what makes marketing so interesting.  

    Here's to an interesting future, perhaps we'll see you at an OOo conference sometime, as the name says the door is always open and this debate face to face would be a blast!  :)    

  • The arguments in this article contained little substance. It seemed that there was more emphasis on "trashing the other guy" than anything else. That video you have there has ~7000 negative votes and ~500 positive votes as of today. You can attack the weaknesses of OO while not being a douchebag, but all you've managed to convince me of is that "arguments" against open source are still pretty seedy, slimy, and manipulative. If you need to use underhanded tactics to "argue" your point, you really don't have an argument at all.

    By the way, if you're ever going to make some seriously heavy-duty documents, you shouldn't be using Word, or OO at all for that matter. Latex has always been used for the hardcore stuff, with much better compatability.

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