Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Jan 2009 08:45 UTC, submitted by stonyandcher
Features, Office Yesterday we ran a story on how educational institutions defaulting to Microsoft Office may stifle some people who do not own a copy of Office or Windows. A Forrester Research report now states the bloody obvious by claiming that organisations stick with Microsoft Word not out of necessity, but out of habit.
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RE[3]: Sorry I disagree - different issue
by jabbotts on Fri 16th Jan 2009 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sorry I disagree"
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The initial reason presented was the concern of loosing business because your application for a contract can not be opened and read. A PDF export of your bid solves that problem. Why would the potential customer need to edit the bid document you presented them with?

Now, your talking about sharing unfinished documents among multiple workers. While MS has put a lot of money into gimics like Sharepoint (maybe your company is using it fully, I'd be the first I've heard of though), it still comes down to asking if the XLS is shared so more than one user can work in it (with inherent limitations) or saying "open with read/write when user finished" when told that an unshared document is currently in use.

Really, for multiple users unless you happen to be using the 10% of Office that no one touches, any editors that can work with a common format are fine. Heck, if your working with a partner organization, save the file to office2003 doc format rather than that docx crap and let the other company do what they need to.

I think the "need" for businesses to use MS Office is far more perception than anything else. It's like the "Need" to use Photoshop when your only removing red eye or cropping/resizing images. Sure, some people need the advanced features in Office and some people need the advanced features in Photoshop but it really is a minority of people when you look at the actual intended use.

Where business have a very real "need" to use Office is with legacy lockin. If you have ten years of Access and XLS based custom coding then your screwed. Nothing does VB script like MS. All your comapany forms are XLS with nifty auto-submit functions and such, well, your probably not going to justify the expense of that changeover. That is still within a single organization though, it's not imposed justification based on "a third party uses it so we have to also".

Now, I am an Excel geek. Bending databases to my will through Excel used to be how I made my money so I've been into those dark places that 75% of users won't ever realize exist. Dump database to XLS then analyze and graph, then summarize with graphs in a presentation; yeah, I have no problem admitting that Office does some things really nicely. It's not the only game in town anymore; it had that window between WordPerfect's death and OOo's continuing maturity.

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