Linked by David Adams on Sun 11th Jul 2010 19:43 UTC
Microsoft U.K. government staff suggested replacing Microsoft Corp. operating systems on computers with free alternatives in response to a call for ideas for Prime Minister David Cameron's cost-cutting drive.
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RE[7]: Until they need support
by sorpigal on Tue 13th Jul 2010 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Until they need support"
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Continuing to improve yes but as of today KOffice and Gnome Office are not adequate alternatives to MS Office.

You can't have it both ways. First you say people are "locked in" to OpenOffice, which is not true since the code base is not provided by only one vendor. Then when it is pointed out that OpenOffice uses standard formats that are supported by other programs you say "But they're not as good." Well, buster, you're right! But the fact remains that if some evil Oracle plot were to make OpenOffice unusable tomorrow without paying a huge fee any government with thousands of ODF files... would still be able to read those documents.

Now, maybe the formatting would not be perfect tomorrow but compatibility would improve over time and, importantly, there would be zero down time while you desperately try to get someone to pony up the cash for the now-pay OpenOffice.

But let's not even walk down this fantastic avenue. If Oracle were to close off OpenOffice development tomorrow and decree "StarOffice only from now on," what would be the effect? Diddly-squat! The Go-OO people would smoothly take over; meanwhile, mirrors of the source and binaries exist already. The existing and future users would still have a license under the same terms as now. Oracle can go and fuck themselves however they like, we don't need them. We are not locked in to them. They simply *can't* prevent the free use of OpenOffice, even if they wanted to.

So, our government which uses OpenOffice keeps using it and meanwhile compatible software is improved. When they feel like it they switch again.

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