Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Apr 2010 20:24 UTC, submitted by Governa
Oracle and SUN When Oracle announced its intentions to buy Sun Microsystems, many were worried about the future of Sun's large open source software portfolio, which includes things like Solaris, Java, MySQL, and more. It seems like Oracle is still struggling with what to do with the large body of products Sun entails; they've started charging 90 USD per user for the Microsoft Office ODF plugin.
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by mpxlbs on Tue 20th Apr 2010 20:28 UTC
mpxlbs
Member since:
2009-01-25

Suicide mission Oracle begins!

Reply Score: 3

It doesn't make sense
by Quake on Tue 20th Apr 2010 20:30 UTC
Quake
Member since:
2005-10-14

Who the hell wants to buy a Microsoft office ODF plugin?!?!?!!

Reply Score: 5

RE: It doesn't make sense
by Macrat on Tue 20th Apr 2010 21:29 UTC in reply to "It doesn't make sense"
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27

Who the hell wants to buy a Microsoft office ODF plugin?!?!?!!


Exactly, this is to reduce interest so they can kill it off quietly.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: It doesn't make sense
by nt_jerkface on Wed 21st Apr 2010 00:57 UTC in reply to "RE: It doesn't make sense"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

This isn't very quiet.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It doesn't make sense
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 20th Apr 2010 22:12 UTC in reply to "It doesn't make sense"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Buy? No. Use? Yes.

I'd like to be able to have openoffice file formats standard, but still allow people to use Ms Office to read them.

Now? I don't know. The good news is that its an open standard, so anyone can write the plugin themselves. The bad news is that anyone would have to write the plugin themselves.


Or just help these guys:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/odf-converter/

Reply Score: 2

RE: It doesn't make sense
by lemur2 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 01:09 UTC in reply to "It doesn't make sense"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Who the hell wants to buy a Microsoft office ODF plugin?!?!?!!


A number of governments use ODF.

http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/575612
(Warning, PDF): http://www.odfalliance.org/resources/Adoptions20Dec2007.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument_adoption

This is probably why Microsoft claimed to introduce ODF 1.0 support in Microsoft Office 2007, but in reality, that support doesn't work at all.

From a strategic point of view, Oracle charging money for proper support of ODF from Microsoft Office makes sense, because now Microsoft Office becomes even less viable as the Office suite for working with ODF.

If one wants to work with ODF, which is an excellent thing to do from the point of view of interoperability, by far the best choice is OpenOffice.org.

OpenOffice.org always was the best choice, but now even the pretence that Microsoft Office could be used is difficult to keep up. This move by Oracle effectively diminishes Microsoft Office as a potential competitor to OpenOffice.org.

Edited 2010-04-21 01:12 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: It doesn't make sense
by iaefai on Wed 21st Apr 2010 02:31 UTC in reply to "RE: It doesn't make sense"
iaefai Member since:
2009-12-14

Even though OpenOffice is a dog to work with?

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: It doesn't make sense
by kaiwai on Wed 21st Apr 2010 06:35 UTC in reply to "RE: It doesn't make sense"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

A number of governments use ODF.

http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/575612
(Warning, PDF): http://www.odfalliance.org/resources/Adoptions20Dec2007.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument_adoption

This is probably why Microsoft claimed to introduce ODF 1.0 support in Microsoft Office 2007, but in reality, that support doesn't work at all.


My experience so far has been that Microsoft's implementation of ODF his horrendously broken to the point of being unusable; the only way to reliably get ODF support in Office is to use the Sun Microsystems plugin.

It will be interesting to see the pricing policy of StarOffice/OpenOffice.org when compared to the ODF plugin and whether there is an attempt to make the plugin so unattractive but the desire to use ODF is so attractive that people choose to run OpenOffice.org/StarOffice. Don't get me wrong, I think that if Oracle allocated a few million, hired another 100 programmers to work on OpenOffice.org it could really pull ahead of Microsoft Office but in its current state the only thing OpenOffice.org really has going for it is the fact that it is cheap - which in the business world, the cost isn't just that of the software but also productivity lost/gained, compatibility and so on.

Edited 2010-04-21 06:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It doesn't make sense
by r_a_trip on Wed 21st Apr 2010 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE: It doesn't make sense"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

This move by Oracle effectively diminishes Microsoft Office as a potential competitor to OpenOffice.org.

The problem with that position is the complete dominance of MS Office and the defacto document standard is whatever MS puts out. Oracle is certainly not in a position to dictate one way or the other.

This is not MS Office being a competitor to OOo/StarOffice. This is OOo/StarOffice being a very weak competitor to MS Office. If you work from an underdog position, you need to sweeten the deal as much as possible. One such thing is making it very easy and cheap to adopt YOUR document standard. Oracle doesn't do that.

For better or worse, right now ODF is what MS puts out there. Anything that cannot read and write MS ODF is useless to an end user. The Sun plugin was a cost free and effective way to make sure that MS Office at least read and wrote ODF that all others can read and write too. Now ODF is either gratis, but the MS version of it or it is an expensive $90 per seat proposition.

I can just see the reaction from the bean counters. "What? StarOffice costs amount X per seat and then we need Y $90 plugin licenses to make that thing talk to MS Office? We'll keep using MS Office. That only costs us Z and then we can read and write legacy MS docs, OOXML docs and ODF docs at no additional cost." The sad part is that they are right with this reasoning too. As long as everybody stays in the MS realm, MS Office does read and write all.

We need to look at this with MS centric glasses. This is OOo/StarOffice seeking a way in and not about a way of keeping MS out. MS is already in. Oracle raising the cost of a niche document format is not going to spur ODF adoption. MS has enough tick marks on the standards list to appear a reasonable choice. Even if MS doesn't follow those standards to a T, it doesn't matter. It only matters to those who operate outside of the MS Office sphere and we can be neglected. The majority will never have any problems with MS Office reading and writing ODF-ish and OOXML-ish documents.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: It doesn't make sense
by lemur2 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It doesn't make sense"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

MS has enough tick marks on the standards list to appear a reasonable choice. Even if MS doesn't follow those standards to a T, it doesn't matter. It only matters to those who operate outside of the MS Office sphere and we can be neglected. The majority will never have any problems with MS Office reading and writing ODF-ish and OOXML-ish documents.


Very debatable.

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/04/iso-ooxml-convener-mi...

That doesn't look like a "tick mark" to me, coming as it does from Alex Brown, the convener of ISO's OOXML subcommittee (SC34).

"The simple validators developed by me (Office-o-tron) and by Jesper Lund Stocholm (ISO/IEC 29500 Validator) reveal, to Microsoft's dismay, that the output documents of the Office 2010 Beta are non-conformant, and that this is in large part due to glaring uncorrected problems in the text [of the specification]," he wrote. "I confidently predict that fuller validation of Office document is likely to reveal many problems both with those documents, and with the Standard itself, over the coming years."


At this time, the writing is on the wall for the removal of ISO/IEC 29500 as a standard, because there will be no software which uses it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: It doesn't make sense
by r_a_trip on Wed 21st Apr 2010 11:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It doesn't make sense"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

That doesn't look like a "tick mark" to me, coming as it does from Alex Brown, the convener of ISO's OOXML subcommittee (SC34)

How many people follow the statements of Alex Brown? How many follow the marketing speak of MS? I have a gut feeling that more people read the MS brochure.

OOXML has never been about MS opening up. It has been about muddying the waters for ODF. When ODF was ratified as an international ISO standard and government bodies started to take an interest, MS scrambled to get OOXML "standardized". They did everything they could to avoid being forced to support ODF in MS Office. OOXML was the diversion to hush the government officials back to sleep.

At this time, the writing is on the wall for the removal of ISO/IEC 29500 as a standard, because there will be no software which uses it.

At which point MS sighs with relief as they don't have to pretend anymore to co-develop and follow the ISO standard. They can always point at the rubberstamped ECMA predessor if they want to appear standards compliant.

MS has put up a big smoke and mirrors show of being more open. They have XML-ified their Office document formats. They appear to have standardized, but it's business as usual. Most people look at the surface and don't dive in to discover the nitty gritty of it. If MS, MS Office and Standards are in each others vicinity enough, most will asume that MS is standards compliant.

ODF right now is a promise of independence, but it can only come to fruition if the MS stranglehold on the Office market is truly broken. That means being able to interoperate seamlessly and undercut MS Office on price. That's how MS got in the Office business themselves. StarOffice/OOo has seamless interoperability with the plugin and they are cheaper. Still, charging for the plugin is not a smart move. It puts up a monetary barrier to seamless interoperability.

The people who care about long term viability of documents and open standards are severely outnumbered.

Most people will not see this as a call to ditch MS Office, but more as a price hike for StarOffice/OOo. The environment in businesses is near 100% MS already and current documents work fine. StarOffice/OOo is only an option if it can work with MS Office in the mix. Legacy docs and OOXML are out of the question. ODF is an option if MS Office and StarOffice/OOo put out the same format. This is what the plugin does, but that plugin is now about 20% of the cost of one MS license.(Never mind you need 100 licenses minimum to be able to use it.) People will add the cost of the plugin to StarOffice/OOo, not MS Office. In an MS centric world, it's StarOffice/OOo who needs the plugin to be able to work with MS Office.

It might sound completely illogical to you (and it is), but most people I've met tend to follow this kind of thinking. PHB's do this too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: It doesn't make sense
by lemur2 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 12:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It doesn't make sense"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Most people will not see this as a call to ditch MS Office, but more as a price hike for StarOffice/OOo. The environment in businesses is near 100% MS already and current documents work fine.


You were going quite well until this claim.

In some markets, OpenOffice has about 20% of the business office suite market share.

http://www.quantenblog.net/free-software/openoffice-market-share

While Microsoft Office comes out top (72%), open source rival OpenOffice is already installed on 21.5% of all PCs and growing.

...

The method used in the study is quite clever as it neither depends on sales figures (quite difficult to assess for a free software product) nor on questionnaires (prone to sampling bias). Instead, they have equipped their web statistics service with the ability to detect the fonts installed on the computers visiting the monitored sites.

...

For OpenOffice, the number of 21.5% is already impressive. But even more telling is the trend showing that during the last year OpenOffice steadily gained 3 percentage points. But what surprised me the most is that the authors hardly found a difference between home and business users. These observations mean nothing but OpenOffice is rapidly making inroads into Microsoft's #1 cash cow!


72% and falling at a rate of 3% per year is a long, long way from 100%.

BTW, the cost of OOo, both before and after this announcement, was and still is $0.

The price hike announced is $90 per copy for an ODF plugin for Microsoft Office (minimum quantity of 100). That has absolutely nothing to do with the price of OOo.

Edited 2010-04-21 12:40 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: It doesn't make sense
by r_a_trip on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It doesn't make sense"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Lemur, I know your style of debate and your rabbid adherance to your point of view. You are correct from your angle, but this isn't about a black and white numbers game. This is about perception and the squishy thing we call human nature.

You didn't get what I wrote (I probably wasn't explicit enough). You would see where I'm coming from if you stepped out of your shoes and stepped into the shoes of the 80% MS Office only shops. They are not going to drop MS Office wholesale if ODF support for it becomes costly. Their documents are probably mostly MS based and they might consider switching to a less costly Office suite, if it works seamlessly with MS Office. The gratis plugin was that bridge.

Now they are faced with a steep pricetag just to be able to get an outsider Office suite in. They probably are not interested in OOo/Oracle Open Office because it uses ODF. They are looking to reduce cost. From the angle of an MS shop it is not License MS Office $ xx + License ODF plugin $ yy = Total $ zz. They have already paid for the current MS Office licenses, so any further cost of those is $ 0. They are looking at OOo/Oracle Open Office and then see they will have to pay X for Oracle Open Office, zero for OOo, but $ 9000 minimum to make the outsider suite work well with MS Office. Dragging in the stranger costs additional money.

I'd like the world to see the light, but I don't see the world running out and scream "Hosanna, we now have a gratis Office suite that supports ODF!" The starting point is a predominantly MS Office world and for better or worse OOo/Oracle Open Office needs to make itself fit in there. If adding in 200 seats of OOo on a 4,000 seat MS Office setup adds 4,000 * $ 18 = $ 72,000 additional costs, it is cheaper to do 200 * $ 300 = $ 60,000 MS Office Licenses. It costs less and it comes with the short term added benefit of having zero conversion problems. (Assuming a 4,000 seat license makes you eligible for the $ 18 per seat pricetag for the plugin.) Pricing Source: http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20100...

The equasion of being cheaper with switching wholesale to Oracle Open Office, only comes to pass if you are on a trajectory to ditch MS Office permanently and in a relatively short time. In all other scenarios, the pricing of the plugin comes as an unpleasant surprise.

The country you cite to support the 20% share figure is Germany. Germany is a very progressive country when it comes to FOSS. The source you cite has done an international study and as it turns out, it is not as rosy the world all over. See: http://www.webmasterpro.de/portal/news/2010/02/05/international-ope...

For The Netherlands I can attest it is true. We are practically welded to MS Office on this little speck of earth.

Edited 2010-04-22 12:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It doesn't make sense
by Ford Prefect on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 08:38 UTC in reply to "RE: It doesn't make sense"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

If one wants to work with ODF, which is an excellent thing to do from the point of view of interoperability, by far the best choice is OpenOffice.org.


And here's the problem: Right now only OpenOffice.org can work reliably with ODF and the free plugin for MS Office (the main, some may say single competitor!) is not an argument anymore now that Oracle charges money for it.

Some may draw the conclusion that over all, ODF is not that interoperable in practice when compared to the shitty .doc format.

Edited 2010-04-22 08:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: It doesn't make sense
by lemur2 on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It doesn't make sense"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"If one wants to work with ODF, which is an excellent thing to do from the point of view of interoperability, by far the best choice is OpenOffice.org.


And here's the problem: Right now only OpenOffice.org can work reliably with ODF and the free plugin for MS Office (the main, some may say single competitor!) is not an argument anymore now that Oracle charges money for it.

Some may draw the conclusion that over all, ODF is not that interoperable in practice when compared to the shitty .doc format.
"

It is pretty hard to maintain a credible position that OpenDocument is not interoperable in the face of this list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument_software

There must be well over one hundred applications listed.

One can try to maintain any position that one wants to argue, I suppose, but any stance that OpenDocument is not interoperable is clearly not a CREDIBLE position.

Edited 2010-04-22 12:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: It doesn't make sense
by Ford Prefect on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It doesn't make sense"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

That argument easily diminishes when you actually try the "support" of these applications, it is most often not any better than there reverse-engineered support for .doc.

Don't get me wrong I'm all for ODF and I hope _so_ much that it prevails and the OOXML standard stands no chance. It is true that ODF is the _really_ open format of the two.

I just wanted to note that in my opinion the non-availablity of a trivial/free solution to open ODF with MS Office may be a big backlash and most likely does not help OpenOffice and ODF at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It doesn't make sense
by renhoek on Sat 24th Apr 2010 12:10 UTC in reply to "RE: It doesn't make sense"
renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

If one wants to work with ODF, which is an excellent thing to do from the point of view of interoperability, by far the best choice is OpenOffice.org.


That's actually the ONLY choice you have, if you want to do more than you could with rtf.

Well, i hate any format which sucks for both a word processor and a dtp program. As long as word, writer, koffice, abiword or any other msoffice rippoff has no reveal codes i will not use it.

Reply Score: 2

Ok i see a strategic move here.
by jboss1995 on Tue 20th Apr 2010 20:42 UTC
jboss1995
Member since:
2007-05-02

but cant see where they are trying to go with it. anyone?

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Probably a move to encourage people/companies to install OpenOffice instead of a plug-in to access ODF files.

They certainly aren't looking to make a business out of selling $90 plug-ins that have a minimum 100 license purchase.

At some point Larry will expect big corps to start paying for OpenOffice. He's not going to run it as a charity or even as a long play against Microsoft. If big corps are saving money by using it then he'll expect a cut.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

At some point Larry will expect big corps to start paying for OpenOffice.


Unlike the Sun ODF plugin, OpenOffice.org IS open source.

http://lwn.net/Articles/272202/

http://www.linux.com/news/software/applications/44947-how-suite-the...

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

OpenOffice is mostly an in-house project with few community developers which means Oracle could direct those resources to their commercial version and any community fork would stagnate in comparison.

Reply Score: 6

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

OpenOffice is mostly an in-house project with few community developers which means Oracle could direct those resources to their commercial version and any community fork would stagnate in comparison.


OpenOffice.org is licensed LGPL v3.

http://www.openoffice.org/license.html
http://www.openoffice.org/licenses/lgpl_license.html

This means that no matter what Oracle try to do with OpenOffice.org, they must release future versions as open source (because future versions will be based on the current source code, which is licesnsed under a strong copyleft license).

Ergo, community forks of openOffice cannot be made to stagnate, as they will have full access to whatever code changes Oracle may make (to OpenOffice itself) in the future.

Further, products such as IBM's Lotus Symphony are hardly "community forks" anyway.

Any extra closed functionality that Oracle introduce exclusively to StarOffice are already replicated elsewhere, such as OxygenOffice (for things like extra templates) and Go-OO (for things like macro compatibility with VBA).

Edited 2010-04-21 02:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

iaefai Member since:
2009-12-14

Ah, But! If they own the copyright on the code, or track down what isn't theirs and weed it out, then they can license it however they want.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Ah, But! If they own the copyright on the code, or track down what isn't theirs and weed it out, then they can license it however they want.


One can't "take back" code that has been released as GPL.

Oracle could release future extensions of OpenOffice as closed source, but since OpenOffice.org is already outstripped by other open source variants in terms of extensions, Oracle would then become an also-ran to that market with an unattractive offering.

Edited 2010-04-21 02:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

No you are wrong. If one releases a piece of software as GPL or other Open Source, the copyright remains with the original author. The author can at any time use sourcecode for that he owns the copyright for any purpose he likes. This includes releasing closed source versions.
That's also why some open source projects only accept code contributions, if the copyright is assigned to the entity that runs it. e.g. OpenOffice, MySQL and GNU.

To be clear: the code released as GPL will still be free. But the author can release his software with a license he chooses.

Edited 2010-04-21 09:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Any extra closed functionality that Oracle introduce exclusively to StarOffice are already replicated elsewhere,


So any closed functionality that they add in the future will be duplicated in a timely matter by the people's FOSS army? Funny how Johnathan Schwartz also believed in that army. He thought the FOSS army would show up and turn OO in an MS Office killer.

In reality most OpenOffice commits have been from in-house developers.
http://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/ooo-commit-stats-2008.html

Here's what your OpenOffice community really looks like:
http://people.gnome.org/~michael/images/2008-09-29-overall.png

If Oracle pushes closed source functionality they will likely only charge for large companies. The people's FOSS army is not going to rush in and duplicate functionality just so megacorps can skip out on paying Oracle.

Reply Score: 6

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Any extra closed functionality that Oracle introduce exclusively to StarOffice are already replicated elsewhere,
So any closed functionality that they add in the future will be duplicated in a timely matter by the people's FOSS army? Funny how Johnathan Schwartz also believed in that army. He thought the FOSS army would show up and turn OO in an MS Office killer. In reality most OpenOffice commits have been from in-house developers. http://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/ooo-commit-stats-2008.html Here's what your OpenOffice community really looks like: http://people.gnome.org/~michael/images/2008-09-29-overall.png If Oracle pushes closed source functionality they will likely only charge for large companies. The people's FOSS army is not going to rush in and duplicate functionality just so megacorps can skip out on paying Oracle. "

The problem with your reasoning here is that extensions to OpenOffice functionality, such as VBA support, extra templates and fonts and so on, are already provided by open source variants, such as go-OO and OxygenOffice, and AFAIK also by commercial variants, such as Symphony. It is the Sun version (now Oracle) that is behind (primarily through Sun wanting to retain full control, and rejecting external contributions, one would think. Hence the multiple forks).

Oracle would have to do the duplication of effort, not the open source variants.

Edited 2010-04-21 03:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The problem with your reasoning here is that extensions to OpenOffice functionality, such as VBA support, extra templates and fonts and so on, are already provided by open source variants, such as go-OO and OxygenOffice, and AFAIK also by commercial variants, such as Symphony. It is the Sun version (now Oracle) that is behind.

Oracle would have to do the duplication of effort, not the open source variants.


The problem with your reasoning is that it is based on the assumption that business software is purchased in the same manner that you download software for your own use.

You really think Oracle would have to sell a commercial version based solely on functionality? You really are naive. All they have to do is create the perception that the commercial version is what all the big time corporations buy. Their commercial version would also come with support from a major corp which is something those variants can't provide. Don't underestimate how many CTOs are leery of using software that isn't stamped with a corporate seal of approval.

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Any extra closed functionality that Oracle introduce exclusively to StarOffice are already replicated elsewhere,
So any closed functionality that they add in the future will be duplicated in a timely matter by the people's FOSS army? Funny how Johnathan Schwartz also believed in that army. He thought the FOSS army would show up and turn OO in an MS Office killer.

...

The people's FOSS army is not going to rush in and duplicate functionality just so megacorps can skip out on paying Oracle.
"

I think you might be seriously underestimating OpenOffice and the extent of its development and community participation.

http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org_Solutions

http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/

http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/ooop/wiki

http://www.openclipart.org/

OpenOffice and variants have over 20% of the Office suite market. Possibly much higher, since it is very hard to measure.

Edited 2010-04-21 03:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


I think you might be seriously underestimating OpenOffice and the extent of its development and community participation.


Oh am I? Is Michael Meeks also 'seriously underestimating' community participation in this interview?

"Michael Meeks, who works full time developing OpenOffice, writes in his blog that the project is 'profoundly sick.' 'In a healthy project we would expect to see a large number of volunteer developers involved, in addition — we would expect to see a large number of peer companies contributing to the common code pool; we do not see this in OpenOffice.org. Indeed, quite the opposite we appear to have the lowest number of active developers on OO.o since records began: 24, this contrasts negatively with Linux's recent low of 160+. Even spun in the most positive way, OO.o is at best stagnating from a development perspective.'"

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

OpenOffice has been poorly managed from what I've heard in past. The reason that it has been forked already was because of Sun holding to close a control over the project and rejecting the majority of submissions from third party developers. As a result, it's become a mostly in-house developed FOSS project with Novell or IBM (think the latter) shipping there own fork of OpenOffice including rejected submissions.

Reply Score: 2

vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

This is not true, as long as Oracle holds copyright they can close of development as they please. As it happens they don't even have to do any license weeding as suggested by another post, since the contributions are governed by this:

http://www.openoffice.org/license.html

In order to contribute code to the project, you must sign and submit the Sun Microsystems Inc. Contributor Agreement (SCA). This agreement jointly assigns copyright over your work to yourself and to Sun Microsystems.

So Oracle now holds complete copyright on the OpenOffice codebase. And knowing Oracle there certainly will not be any development of some open source project which does not directly financially benefit Oracle. Also, as noted by other posts, the community involvement in OpenOffice is minimal at best, so the project is largely done for as far as progress is concerned. It will surely be maintained in its current state as a poor clone of Office 97, but I don't see much hope for the future beyond that.

I don't even dare to think about what will happen to Java in the future. If anything .NET seems like a better place to be at this point, since Mono is a far more compelling replacement for the Microsoft implementation than any non-Sun JVM is for the old Sun JVM. The JVM may be open-source, but Java has somehow managed to stay a single-vendor world (most other JVM offerings are just licensed modifications of the Sun JVM) to this day, and Oracle is now the single vendor.

Reply Score: 1

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

go-oo.org
The community version has been better than Sun's distribution for quite some time

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

go-oo.org The community version has been better than Sun's distribution for quite some time


Indeed. The fact that there are multiple, interoperable forks of OpenOffice, both commercial and community-supported variants:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ooop/
(OxygenOffice Professional contains more extras like templates, cliparts, samples, fonts and VBA support) makes it a far better value choice than Office 2010.

http://www.neowin.net/news/office-2010-pricing-revealed

$499 for the top-whack version. One can buy an OpenOffice variant PLUS a complete desktop, notebook or netbook computer to run it on for less than that.

PS: AFAIK Office 2010 still doesn't include useable ODF support.

Edited 2010-04-21 02:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

OxygenOffice Professional contains more extras like templates, cliparts, samples, fonts and VBA support)(...) makes it a far better value choice than Office 2010.
(...) $499 for the top-whack version. One can buy an OpenOffice variant PLUS a complete desktop(...)

That depends on what you want to do. MS office includes more applications that OO: One Note and Outlook. Also Powerpoint is so much better than Impress, it's not even funny. OO Writer and Calc are the only good parts of OO.
I think 500 $ is not too expensive, if you make your money using these tools.

But since you are the kind of person that likes 500 $ computers, you obviously prefer price over quality.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"OxygenOffice Professional contains more extras like templates, cliparts, samples, fonts and VBA support)(...) makes it a far better value choice than Office 2010.
(...) $499 for the top-whack version. One can buy an OpenOffice variant PLUS a complete desktop(...)

That depends on what you want to do. MS office includes more applications that OO: One Note and Outlook. Also Powerpoint is so much better than Impress, it's not even funny. OO Writer and Calc are the only good parts of OO.
"

If I choose to get a system unencumbered by any Microsoft software, included in my outlay I still get the same functionality as One Note and Outlook.

For KDE:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kontact
http://basket.kde.org/

Within my $500 per seat budget, I can also have a raster graphics editor:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIMP#Single_window_GIMP
or
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krita

and digital photo management software:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digikam

and powerful 3D graphics software:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blender_%28software%29

none of which I would get with Microsoft's Office suite.

With OpenOffice, I get a vector drawing application:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org_Draw
(the vector drawing component of Microsoft Office is significant extra cost).

I think 500 $ is not too expensive, if you make your money using these tools.

But since you are the kind of person that likes 500 $ computers, you obviously prefer price over quality.


I think you cannot add up. The price per seat for the non-Microsoft solution is $500.

For a Microsoft sofware solution on equivalent hardware, it would cost:

$500 - computer hardware and OS
$40 - McAfee Total Protection 2010
$499 - Microsoft Office 2010
$349 - Retail price for Visio Professional
$579 - Photoshop
$0 - Daz Studio (hey, its not Blender, but you can't have everything).

= $1967

About four times as much. Just to get to the same level of functionality as my $500 non-Microsoft system.

It doesn't take too many "seats" before this starts to become a really significant cost differential.

Edited 2010-04-21 11:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

go-oo.org
The community version has been better than Sun's distribution for quite some time


Go-OO is a bunch of patches that everyone assumes is a fork.

Reply Score: 3

jboss1995 Member since:
2007-05-02

Cant MS just write the plugin them self since it is open source on openoffice?

Reply Score: 1

jboss1995 Member since:
2007-05-02

OIC. so if you use openoffice you don't have to pay.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

OIC. so if you use openoffice you don't have to pay.


I'm not following you.

Why would anyone pay for a "Sun ODF plugin for Microsoft Office" if they actually used OpenOffice?

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26



I'm not following you.

Why would anyone pay for a "Sun ODF plugin for Microsoft Office" if they actually used OpenOffice?


They don't expect anyone to pay which is the point.

Oracle is likely charging a high price so people/companies who are currently using MS Office install OpenOffice instead of a plug-in to access ODF files. It's a move to increase marketshare.

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" I'm not following you. Why would anyone pay for a "Sun ODF plugin for Microsoft Office" if they actually used OpenOffice?
They don't expect anyone to pay which is the point. Oracle is likely charging a high price so people/companies who are currently using MS Office install OpenOffice instead of a plug-in to access ODF files. It's a move to increase marketshare. "

We are in violent agreement on that point.

Reply Score: 2

Oracle Apps!
by ramasubbu_sk on Tue 20th Apr 2010 20:58 UTC
ramasubbu_sk
Member since:
2007-04-05

Their Oracle Apps works with Microsoft Office. Mostly they will change that to OpenOffice. For those customer who doesn't want to change their office applications to Open Office just because of Oracle Apps, support might this need to buy this plugin. Oracle might not support anyother open source/freeware ODF plugin.

If my above guess is correct they would earn a lot from this, as Oracle Apps is #2 ERP application in this work.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Oracle Apps!
by r_a_trip on Wed 21st Apr 2010 10:21 UTC in reply to "Oracle Apps!"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I wonder what regulators would think about such tying of a weak program to strong programs to gain a leg up for the weaker one. Especially if it were to the detriment of a competitor.

Reply Score: 2

Flippin Oracle.
by Tuishimi on Tue 20th Apr 2010 21:26 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

I really can't think of anything better to say about it. They just irk me (even before this - years before this).

Reply Score: 2

That`s really terrible
by churlish_Helmut on Tue 20th Apr 2010 21:34 UTC
churlish_Helmut
Member since:
2010-04-12

That's not good. Altought i think the old versions of the plugin can still be downloaded without any fee (at least, there are some locations where this is offered), there is a big problem for the future.
Especially that you need to buy 100 licenses is kinda ...strange. In which buisness you will buy tons of licenses, just to work on those small amount of documents, that has been written with OpenOffice ???

And when OpenSolaris will be released? Will be there a also fee ?

Reply Score: 1

RE: That`s really terrible
by cb88 on Tue 20th Apr 2010 21:49 UTC in reply to "That`s really terrible"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

Yes copy paste reformat DONE!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: That`s really terrible
by rkoot on Tue 20th Apr 2010 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE: That`s really terrible"
rkoot Member since:
2006-01-03

I take it that you're looking for the job? ;)

Reply Score: 1

project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

E.P.I.C. F.A.I.L.

Reply Score: 2

Solaris No Longer Free
by Lennie on Tue 20th Apr 2010 22:48 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Maybe a link to this article was appropriate ?:

http://www.osnews.com/story/23077/Solaris_No_Longer_Free

Anyhow...

I think I now understand.

Sun was a hardware and technology company, so they gave away their software. Oracle was software company and is now a software and hardware company. So they stopped giving away the 'highend software' of the spectrum.

Edited 2010-04-20 22:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Solaris No Longer Free
by Kebabbert on Wed 21st Apr 2010 02:59 UTC in reply to "Solaris No Longer Free"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

Solaris 10 will be closed. OpenSolaris will be open. Just like RedHat and... the open version Fedora(?).


OpenSolaris is delayed because of bugs in new functionality deduplication. It will be released when the bugs are ironed out. Which sounds reasonable?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Solaris No Longer Free
by Rahul on Wed 21st Apr 2010 04:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Solaris No Longer Free"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora are both open source.

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux

Solaris is a proprietary product. There is a difference although Oracle has adopted some changes in the model.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Solaris No Longer Free
by kaiwai on Wed 21st Apr 2010 07:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Solaris No Longer Free"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Solaris 10 will be closed. OpenSolaris will be open. Just like RedHat and... the open version Fedora(?).

OpenSolaris is delayed because of bugs in new functionality deduplication. It will be released when the bugs are ironed out. Which sounds reasonable?


I don't see it happening; what I think we'll see is non-core functionality will be not be open sourced but instead provided by Oracle as a value added component of Solaris. At the end of the day, however, OpenSolaris and Solaris were always going to be entirely different beasts but it is disappointing that of all the emancipation projects that the i18n libc never got off the ground.

Solaris and OpenSolaris will be entirely different beasts because they're targeted at different markets; Solaris is for the big company who want the tried and true, well tested Solaris - they want features but they're happy not to be on the bleeding edge. OpenSolaris on the other hand can be the play pen for new ideas to be tried out and hopefully what that'll mean in the future is for HAL to be removed and replaced with native tools working together ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Solaris No Longer Free
by Dubhthach on Wed 21st Apr 2010 07:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Solaris No Longer Free"
Dubhthach Member since:
2006-01-12

Solaris 10 is already closed. Opensolaris is based off the codebase for what will become Solaris 11 (Nevada) however of course parts of Opensolaris have been backported to Solaris 10.

When Solaris 11 is released there will be a better match up with Fedora/RHEL comparison.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Solaris No Longer Free
by twitterfire on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 02:52 UTC in reply to "Solaris No Longer Free"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


Sun was a hardware and technology company, so they gave away their software. Oracle was software company and is now a software and hardware company. So they stopped giving away the 'highend software' of the spectrum.


I see. They will soon begin to offer free hardware, then. That's good news, I'd like a sparcstation.

Reply Score: 2

wow
by Nex6 on Tue 20th Apr 2010 22:51 UTC
Nex6
Member since:
2005-07-06

I dont have much to say, other then wow! we want people and govs to use ODF, and now?

Reply Score: 2

RE: wow
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 20th Apr 2010 23:00 UTC in reply to "wow"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Apparently Oracle doesn't. It really looks like they're driving the generosity and open source friendliness of Sun straight down into the ground. The future is looking bleak for Sun's great line of open source tools... I'm expecting Oracle to crush it any time soon. Hopefully some people can get a team together to fork them... at this time it's looking to be a real necessary solution.

People thought the Novell/Microsoft deal harmed open source. Hah, if anything appears to really have the potential to do it, it's Oracle.

I don't really know Oracle, but my first impressions can be summed up as "disaster." I didn't think it'd stop with the re-closing of Solaris, though.

Edited 2010-04-20 23:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: wow
by Nex6 on Tue 20th Apr 2010 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE: wow"
Nex6 Member since:
2005-07-06

yea, I dont know Orcale either. but somehow I dont think that there going to be a s friendly with OSS projects like sun was

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: wow
by Quake on Tue 20th Apr 2010 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE: wow"
Quake Member since:
2005-10-14

I had a bad feeling about how Oracle is going to treat Sun products...

For me, Oracle is the IBM of the past, black suit men only thinking about how they can squeeze a profit out of every product.

Edited 2010-04-20 23:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: wow
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 00:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: wow"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

For me, Oracle is the IBM of the past, black suit men only thinking about how they can squeeze a profit out of every product.

Heh, at those prices for a simple ODF plugin which used to not cost a penny, even compared the price of MS Office itself... it seems like gouging is the proper term. It's disturbing, really, the way some companies so arrogantly-price some of their stuff that--quite honestly--isn't worth more than a tiny fraction of their asking price. And I thought Microsoft (Windows, X360) and Sony (PS2/PS3) were bad...

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: wow
by lemur2 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 01:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: wow"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"For me, Oracle is the IBM of the past, black suit men only thinking about how they can squeeze a profit out of every product.
Heh, at those prices for a simple ODF plugin which used to not cost a penny, even compared the price of MS Office itself... it seems like gouging is the proper term. It's disturbing, really, the way some companies so arrogantly-price some of their stuff that--quite honestly--isn't worth more than a tiny fraction of their asking price. And I thought Microsoft (Windows, X360) and Sony (PS2/PS3) were bad... "

If you want to use ODF, your only real choice now is OpenOffice.org, or one of its off-shoots such as Symphony.

OpenOffice.org reamins zero cost, and outstanding value for money.

Microsoft Office is no longer a competitive choice for producing standards-compliant documents.

Note that .docx is not standards-compliant
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/04/iso-ooxml-convener-mi...

Edited 2010-04-21 01:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: wow
by m1cro on Wed 21st Apr 2010 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: wow"
m1cro Member since:
2006-12-22

Microsoft Office is no longer a competitive choice for producing standards-compliant documents.

Microsoft Office is the de facto standard in business though. You don't have to like it, but that's how it is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: wow
by lemur2 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 10:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: wow"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Microsoft Office is no longer a competitive choice for producing standards-compliant documents.

Microsoft Office is the de facto standard in business though. You don't have to like it, but that's how it is.
"

Microsoft Office market share of Office suites has dropped of late down to perhaps 80% of the market. OpenOffice has taken up nearly all of the slack.

http://www.webmasterpro.de/portal/news/2010/02/05/international-ope...
http://www.solidoffice.com/2010/02/new-openoffice-org-marketshare-n...

In recent discussions of OpenOffice.org marketshare, two key facts stand out. The first is that OOo’s marketshare is much higher than most observers expected, and the second is that Microsoft Office’s marketshare is much lower than common knowledge has long dictated.


It is admittedly a much slower process than the way that Firefox weaned significant numbers away from using IE, but it is entirely similar.

It was about this same point, when Firefox had grabbed between 10% and 20% of the market, that the use of IE began to really slip away more rapidly. Eventually, Microsoft had to move its IE browser to more interoperability and standards compliance, or it would suffer an even greater erosion of its share.

The parallels are quite remarkable.

Edited 2010-04-21 10:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: wow
by Dave_K on Wed 21st Apr 2010 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: wow"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

Microsoft Office market share of Office suites has dropped of late down to perhaps 80% of the market. OpenOffice has taken up nearly all of the slack.


Interesting, but that doesn't mean much when MS Office is still utterly dominant where you work.

I provide some IT services for British charities and see thousands of documents from hundreds of different organisations and companies. So far I haven't seen a single OpenOffice document in the wild. Everything that isn't PDF is in Microsoft Office formats.

I can see small businesses that don't deal with any outside bodies switching happily, but the organisations I deal with get MS Office documents emailed to them daily. I wish that would change, I'd love to be able to recommend free software like OpenOffice to under-funded charities, but right now that's just not practical.

Issues with plugins certainly don't help matters.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: wow
by darknexus on Wed 21st Apr 2010 01:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: wow"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

For me, Oracle is the IBM of the past, black suit men only thinking about how they can squeeze a profit out of every product.


True, but this is as opposed to Sun who were so unconcerned with their bottom line that they ran themselves into the ground. There's a middle ground, and honestly I don't think Oracle would need to charge anything like this for an Office plugin, but they do have to try and make profits on everything they do or acquire. They are after all a corporation, which is a synonym for greedy bastards.
If they are trying a strategic move though, it might just be brilliant. For the governments that use ODF, doesn't Oracle now own Staroffice? If Oracle were to price Staroffice much lower than this plugin, they could put some serious pressure on Microsoft in certain markets. True there's Openoffice, but governments tend to like to have commercial support behind the products they use so might be more likely to opt for Staroffice. Either way, it would work out well for everyone except Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: wow
by lemur2 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: wow"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

For the governments that use ODF, doesn't Oracle now own Staroffice? If Oracle were to price Staroffice much lower than this plugin, they could put some serious pressure on Microsoft in certain markets. True there's Openoffice, but governments tend to like to have commercial support behind the products they use so might be more likely to opt for Staroffice. Either way, it would work out well for everyone except Microsoft.


http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.nsf/home

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org#Other_projects

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org#Ownership

Edited 2010-04-21 01:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

What does the O Stand for in ODF?
by runjorel on Wed 21st Apr 2010 00:35 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

"While the plugin has never been open source..."

And what does the O stand for in ODF? Crazy days.

Reply Score: 0

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Well, at least the format is open...

Reply Score: 4

Just a minor nitpick
by lemur2 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 00:38 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

FTA:

Even though Microsoft included support for the Open Document Format in Office with the release of Microsoft Office 2007, it only covers ODF version 1.0


Not really. Microsoft Office 2007 is a totally non-interoperable (but apparently, technically compliant) implementation of ODF 1.0. It fails miserably. It is utterly useless.

If one were being cynical, (which is often prudent when it comes to actions of Microsoft), then one would almost be tempted to conclude that Microsoft designed the ODF 1.0 alleged "support" within Microsoft Office 2007 more as an attempt at sabotage of the ODF format.

It appears as though Microsoft went out of their way to create interoperability problems.

http://planetlotus.org/profiles/lotus-symphony_51234
However, now that Office 2007 SP2 is with us, it appears that with "much hard work and careful thinking, they have successfully achieved technical compliance but zero interoperability!".


http://www.robweir.com/blog/2009/05/update-on-odf-spreadsheet-inter...

Of course, I am not that cynical. I was taught to never assume malice where incompetence would be the simpler explanation. But the degree of incompetence needed to explain SP2's poor ODF support boggles the mind and leads me to further uncharitable thoughts. So I must stop here.


MS Office 2007 SP2 "support" *cough* of ODF 1.0 = almost complete FAIL!

Having pointed that out, the rest of the article is sopt on.

Edited 2010-04-21 00:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just a minor nitpick
by darknexus on Wed 21st Apr 2010 01:23 UTC in reply to "Just a minor nitpick"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not really. Microsoft Office 2007 is a totally non-interoperable (but apparently, technically compliant) implementation of ODF 1.0. It fails miserably. It is utterly useless.


And this surprises you? They didn't even implement their own supposed OOXML standard according to the ISO spec they themselves lobbied for. If they can't even get their own standard right, what hope is there that they'll implement any other standard properly?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Just a minor nitpick
by lemur2 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 01:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Just a minor nitpick"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Not really. Microsoft Office 2007 is a totally non-interoperable (but apparently, technically compliant) implementation of ODF 1.0. It fails miserably. It is utterly useless.
And this surprises you? They didn't even implement their own supposed OOXML standard according to the ISO spec they themselves lobbied for. If they can't even get their own standard right, what hope is there that they'll implement any other standard properly? "

I'm not at all surprised by it, I'm merely pointing out the fact of it.

There used to be a bit of a charade going on from Microsoft that Office was standards compliant and interoperable, and hence was a suitable product for use by governments and similar institutions.

This moves by Oracle effectively torpedoes that charade (if it wasn't already utterly dead, it is now).

Any party which desires sovreignity over its own data clearly cannot contemplate using Microsoft Office.

Edited 2010-04-21 01:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

krom
Member since:
2006-09-29

Or use the free OpenOffice.

Who knows, maybe after sometime we will have ClosedOffice too and have to pay for it.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Wed 21st Apr 2010 04:28 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

Seems like Oracle's policy towards ODF is now "If You need ODF, use OpenOffice". So the high price for plug-in is supposed not to raise Oracle's busines' profitablity, but to raise the total cost of ownership for MS Office.

Edited 2010-04-21 04:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Stupid, stupid, stupid...
by porcel on Wed 21st Apr 2010 08:27 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

This couldn´t be any less boneheaded.

You give the plug-in away and make the cost of switching to OpenOffice non-existent. That is how you get rid of Microsoft Office by making it very cheap to move away from it.

That´s how Microsoft itself did it with Wordperfect. Study history, people.

But this is Oracle, so why would anyone expect them to know better?

Reply Score: 3

That's not a STRATEGIC move
by B. Janssen on Wed 21st Apr 2010 09:02 UTC
B. Janssen
Member since:
2006-10-11

There probably is no strategy to the detriment or benefit of OpenOffice (or FOSS in general) here.

Oracle distinguishes (at least always had ) two kinds of software: a) proprietary, e. g. the ODF plug-in for MS Office or Oracle Developer, for which it charges money, and b) FOSS, e. g. BerkeleyDB or mySQL, which you will get at no cost.

Now the plug-in is proprietary, therefore Oracle charges money for it. This will change if they decide to open source it.

So calm down.

Edited 2010-04-21 09:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by antwarrior
by antwarrior on Wed 21st Apr 2010 11:31 UTC
antwarrior
Member since:
2006-02-11

You can charge for support. I'd give you that. Charging for the plug-in, I'd give you that, albeit reluctantly. Charging almost as much as a cheap edition of Office for a plug-in that does a format conversion is ignorant. Surely!

Reply Score: 1

Yes, I am pissed off!
by DeadFishMan on Wed 21st Apr 2010 11:33 UTC
DeadFishMan
Member since:
2006-01-09

I am currently in a position where I have to exchange files back and forth with a few Lotus Symphony users - don't ask! - and thus Sun's ODF plug-in was a life saver.

As most people are clueless about the differences between MS Office documents and ODF documents and the fact that Symphony is even worse than standard OO.org when handling certain Office documents, I kind of became the go-to guy when problems arise. I simply open the documents in MS Office and save it to its equivalent Symphony-compatible file. It certainly has helped us in the interoperability front here.

I doubt that I will convince management to provide the funds for this plug-in now.

I knew that I would regret this Sun-Oracle merger further down the line...

Reply Score: 2

So what are the free alternatives?
by toMeloos on Wed 21st Apr 2010 12:23 UTC
toMeloos
Member since:
2010-04-21

Are there other free plugins available elsewhere that will give MS Office (2007) full ODF 1.2 support?

There is a clear need for this. Take my case for example:

I'm currently trying to push ODF in an organization because I believe in open standards, and because I find MS Office to be poor quality software compared to alternatives like OpenOffice. Given this is a business setting, everyone seems to be using MS Office 2007 except me. I prefer OpenOffice. They can read my ODF files but anything saved using MS Office messes up layouts.

I can't and won't force these people to switch to OpenOffice at this time, so I wanted to suggest they install the Sun ODF plugin. Now, given the costs this no longer is a viable option. I can only convert them to better office productivity software by first having them experience ODF within Office before showing them better full-fledged alternatives like OpenOffice.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Are there other free plugins available elsewhere that will give MS Office (2007) full ODF 1.2 support?

There is a clear need for this. Take my case for example:

I'm currently trying to push ODF in an organization because I believe in open standards, and because I find MS Office to be poor quality software compared to alternatives like OpenOffice. Given this is a business setting, everyone seems to be using MS Office 2007 except me. I prefer OpenOffice. They can read my ODF files but anything saved using MS Office messes up layouts.

I can't and won't force these people to switch to OpenOffice at this time, so I wanted to suggest they install the Sun ODF plugin. Now, given the costs this no longer is a viable option. I can only convert them to better office productivity software by first having them experience ODF within Office before showing them better full-fledged alternatives like OpenOffice.


One can always install both OpenOffice and Microsoft Office on each machine at the same time.

AFAIK, it is also possible to put OpenOffice on a server, and let everyone use that copy.

http://www.nuxeo.org/5.3/books/nuxeo-book/html/admin-openoffice.htm...

Edited 2010-04-21 12:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Irrelevant for most users ...
by c0t0d0s0 on Wed 21st Apr 2010 14:54 UTC
c0t0d0s0
Member since:
2008-10-16

I wrote it in my blog already at https://www.c0t0d0s0.org/archives/6514-About-this-ODF-for-MS-Office-... ...

I think for home users it's irrelevant. As they would install Openoffice and MS Office in parallel. It's the same way i work, even under the consideration that i'm getting all this stuff as a Sun employee for free. I'm using the best tool for import, convert it in a file format readable by Openoffice. With the advent of docx support in Openoffice this is relatively seldom now.

The targeted audience for this plugin is more or less the business user, not willing to use MS office 2007 SP2, which is enabled to create ODF, out of some reasons and not willing to do a dual installation. The value proposition is simple: You can opt to choose $90 for the plugin or $299 plus macro/app validation plus training for Office 2007 SP2.

As long Openoffice stays free, i have no problem with such things .... and as Openoffice is opensource it's like toothpaste, you can't put it back once it's out ...

Reply Score: 1

Calm down folks ...
by JeffS on Wed 21st Apr 2010 16:02 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

This could be a smart strategic move by Oracle:

1. Only large organizations would really be interested in an ODF Office plugin. Everyone else can simply open an ODF document in OpenOffice, which is 100% free and open source, and do a "Save As", and choose the .doc format (or PDF, or HTML, or whatever).

2. Giving it away for free reduces it's value in the minds of large organizations. They don't want to depend on a "free" product. They want to pay for it, or pay for support for it. Look at Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is expensive, and extremely profitable. Prior to going with that strategy, Red Hat sold for about $50 at places like BestBuy. At that time, Red Hat had always lost money.

3. Charging for an ODF plugin ensures that it will receive continued development resources.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Calm down folks ...
by jackastor on Wed 21st Apr 2010 20:00 UTC in reply to "Calm down folks ..."
jackastor Member since:
2009-05-05

I've observed this to be true, but perhaps for a different reason. IT execs that don't like free and opensource tend to think in terms of CYA: as long as you're paying a vendor for a product, you have someone to blame and sue when it "breaks." I don't know that this situation applies here though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Calm down folks ...
by JeffS on Wed 21st Apr 2010 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Calm down folks ..."
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

Well yes, that's it. It's always CYA in the corporate world (or government world).

Nobody ever got fired for going IBM, or Oracle, or Microsoft, or SAP, or Whatever-huge-IT-Vendor.

And it seems the more expensive the product is, the safer it is for the corporate manager that gave it the go-ahead.

It's silly, but reality.

Reply Score: 2

You're dead to me, Oracle.
by owczi on Wed 21st Apr 2010 16:42 UTC
owczi
Member since:
2009-11-04

While I've never used the plugin (exactly - using OOo and MS Office in parallel) and this is probably one of many more such Oracle's moves we'll see - completely understandable and indeed not touching the home user that much and corporations either, it just saddens me a bit. Something has ended. Sun did many cool things, in many cool ways, and usually shared the goodies with the world. Huh. I wonder what's next - NFS? Java? ...Sun glasses? ;)

You could see many signs of Oracle's sneakiness before it acquired Sun - some more and some less widely known, but the master plan shines through:

- Oracle acquired BEA systems, makers of WebLogic application server and JRockit JVM (the best performing JVM. Period.),
- Oracle acquired InnoBase, makers of InnoDB. the only serious MySQL table engine,
- Oracle is also one of the main sponsors of ...the main competitor of ZFS: Linux' BtrFS.

Edited 2010-04-21 16:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Pretty damaging
by steogede2 on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 07:26 UTC
steogede2
Member since:
2007-08-17

I can only speculate, but I would have thought that this is pretty damaging to the reputation of ODF. Imagine an organisation had taken the bold move to move to a standardised document format (perhaps to avoid future lock-in) everything is going fine until they suddenly find out they need to pay $90 per seat, to continue to access their files using the software that their staff are familiar with. That said, if they already have the software downloaded and installed, I don't suppose they will need to pay anything.

*edit forgot to mention, this is probably about levering money from large government clients who have moved decided to stipulate the use of open standards. If there is one thing Oracle knows, it is how to milk their cash cows. I wouldn't be surprised if they released a 'free for non-commercial use' version, once they have signed their big clients into fat contracts.

Edited 2010-04-22 07:33 UTC

Reply Score: 1