Home > Office > OpenOffice Market Share Nears 14.3 Percent OpenOffice Market Share Nears 14.3 Percent Submitted by Sam Hiser 2004-03-19 Office 52 Comments According to a Forrester Reserch study of 140 large North American companies (aired today in The Washington Post), 12 of them are using OpenOffice.org and an additional 8 are planning to use it. Read the full story at Consulting Times. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 52 Comments 2004-03-19 7:05 pm Well, this is the best news I’ve heard in a while. Personally, I prefer KOffice and don’t like OpenOffice very much, but I only need fairly minimal functionality. What I do like, however, is open source software, so it’s great to hear. 2004-03-19 7:09 pm Don’t you think it is a bit shortsighted to claim this. A statistic about … 140 companies… Almost laughable… 2004-03-19 7:12 pm Yay. The more diversity in office apps, the weaker MS’s stranglehold on the desktop is. To be honest, if MS had any sense, it wouldn’t be wasting its time on linux, and should be focussing on OOo as the biggest threat to its monopoly. Once its stranglehold on the office suite goes, all of the things that hang off it – ie must us Windows, must use Windows server to use all features – go. The greater diversity in computing, the better it is for consumers. Remember – that’s you! This is very good news. Matt 2004-03-19 7:12 pm IMO OOo is going to experience enormous marketshare increases in the next few years. The most important reason being the price. MS-Office just plain costs too much. 2004-03-19 7:13 pm Surely it depends on how the sample is selected. If random, then the results are valid, subject to a margin of error, given the size of the sample. Matt 2004-03-19 7:14 pm Yeah, I don’t think OO has 14.3% share in the US. But, I think this does show that it’s gaining acceptance. It will only continue to increase as companies who are being forced to upgrade (due to licensing terms or because of support) will look at alternatives. Personally I prefer OO to MSOffice (at least the Word part, haven’t tried the spread sheet stuff much) after I replaced the default icons with the KDE ones. The default ones just bug the heck out of me. 2004-03-19 7:14 pm I agree with Axel, 140 companies.. psh. 2004-03-19 7:19 pm for that sample size (and assuming that the sample is not biased) the true proportion should be around +/- 4.8% from the reported proportion (with 95% confidence). Being conservative, I wouldn’t include the 8 “planning to use it”. Even so I’m surprised by that data… 2004-03-19 7:23 pm I’ve heard that Office and Windows are the two big cash cows for Microsoft. They don’t make a heck of a lot on their other ventures in comparison. If OOo is gaining 15% market share per year then we’re going to see MS hurting very soon. HP is bundling Mandrake now and Europe is cracking down on MS too. I think we’re going to see the MS bubble mimmic the dot.com meltdown pretty soon. In a few years MS may even be a niche player like Mac. 2004-03-19 7:26 pm Notice they’re talking about businesses of more than 1000 employees. Looking at the US census, that’s a group of a roughly 10000 businesses in the US. Add 2000 more (generous!) for Canada, Mexico, and Latin America, you get 12000. That means the sample set is 1% of businesses in the group, which isn’t at all bad. Of course, if they’re polling subscribers of Consulting Times, that’s a different story.  http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/smallbus.html 2004-03-19 7:27 pm IMHO the biggest issue is not office, its groupware. Once a company have worked with any groupware they are addicted! Groupware is the killing application is companies, only after that comes office, and that ERP. Nobody care which OS they R running. The cost of the OS is not such a big issue compare to the cost of groupware, office and ERP. 2004-03-19 7:30 pm Hi Many people dont understand that Apple is happy being a niche player. It is a hardware company with a unique design. Linux can also be a niche player in the desktop segment Its true that MS should be more worried about openoffice than Linux though. Say Openoffice gets around 30% of the market share (overestimated just for example) it would hurt MS financially much more than Linux could at this point. Now I do know that MS has more features that openoffice but thats not the point. The point is openoffice is “good enough” for a lot of people and MS has reached a very good market share with “good enough” products before. Competition will more likely drive everyone to innovate Lets see regards Jess 2004-03-19 7:36 pm Microsoft just released it’s Sharepoint Team Services 2 AKA WSS for free. It requires 2003 Server but they’re definately feeling the burn. It’s competing with http://sourceforge.net/projects/egroupware/ And there is an ERP/CRM solution that’s open source right now. http://sourceforge.net/projects/compiere/ Both are currently in the top 10 most active projects at SF.net 2004-03-19 7:36 pm …I’m really tempted to call BS on that stat. I just skimmed the article, but there was little indication that every single employee (or even the majority of them) uses OOo at the 8 companies who do use it. Frankly, at this point, I’d be surprised if even Word Pefect still had that much marketshare, and even more surprised if OOo has surpassed WP yet. 2004-03-19 7:39 pm Hi OO is distributed far more than WP. its definitely leads there even for the most pessimistic person Jess 2004-03-19 7:47 pm How many people actually need the MS Office features that OOo lacks? IMO most companies could switch to it fairly easily and it would certainly save them money. There’s no way I’d be happy switching to Linux at the moment, but I’d be very happy to use OpenOffice. Unfortunately my workplace uses MS Office so I have to use it too. I doubt that OOo will ever have perfect compatibility with MS Office, MS change their file formats too often. It’s success will definitely depend on it’s adoption by businesses and educators. 2004-03-19 7:50 pm I can’t believe you people are comparing Microsoft & Office to the dot com bust of the late 90’s. First of all Office is not expensive, it retails from $150 up to $600, second, if you are already running Office 97, 2000 or XP, why would you want to migrate from the good enough, integrated functionality those versions of Office already offer compared OO.org, its just rediculous. We must also remember, the 10% of Office I use you might not use and vice versa. So, don’t give me that crap about being too bloated. The only thing we should worry about with OO.org is its potential to destroy WordPerfects market share. 2004-03-19 7:55 pm Imagine how much money a company will save when it switches to Open Office. I read a article about a governement office that switched from MS Office to Open Office and they saved half a million euros a year. thats a huge amount of dollars 😉 anyway imagine how much people you could hire to help people, and being system maintainers. It would be a much better for the economy if yhey would hire people instead of throwing the money away for microsoft licenses. 2004-03-19 8:01 pm Hi This is not about people who are now using office products. Its about people who are migrating/upgrading/buying new products. There is a very huge cost saving there regards Jess 2004-03-19 8:07 pm I wonder how long before PC Manufacturers decide to ship with OOo, if not already. I would think the cost savings would encourage those PC manufacturers to do so …. 2004-03-19 8:11 pm I currently use OOo on Windows, Linux and FreeBSD, and I’m eagerly waiting for the native Mac OS X port!!! I also push OOo on as many of my friends and aquaintences as I can. My theory is, if you don’t absolutely need the high-end features of MS Office, why pay the price? You can get pretty darned good compatibility, and a very good sub-set of the features for a whole lot less (can we say Free!). 2004-03-19 8:18 pm One of the most basic rules of market research, one of the first things I was taught: A valid survey/statistic must include at least 200 sources. As for the “imagine how much you’ll save” points. Imagine how much it’s going to cost to remove the current Office solution and replace it with OpenOffice. Imagine how many other applications need to be altered to handle the different file formats. MS Office documents integrate almost to the core of any company. In mine for example, memorandums, weekly/monthly reports are electronically delivered, and in certain cases are automatically output to the appropriate printer at the start / end of the day. All this integration took huge investment to develop. I really don’t see the company throwing away that investment any time soon. OpenOffice may be free, but unfortunately consultants, systems analysts et al., the ones that “make things work”, aren’t! For SMEs, OpenOffice is a viable alternative though, and for SMEs, migrating to OpenOffice could save them thousands. But IMHO, this study is far too small, and far too optimistic, again, IMHO. 2004-03-19 8:28 pm OK moneybags. $600 buys a lot of beer where I live. “We must also remember, the 10% of Office I use you might not use and vice versa. So, don’t give me that crap about being too bloated.” Ummm, if 90% of a product sits unused then it’s either bloated or it has been packaged in such a way that you’re forced to buy the pieces you don’t need. You only need Word compatibility if you’re also using Word. 2004-03-19 8:30 pm remember os/2? i wonder if word perfect should give their software away for free. 2004-03-19 8:32 pm why would you want to migrate from the good enough, integrated functionality those versions [97, 2000, XP] of Office already offer compared OO.org, its just rediculous. The first time your boss sends you a .doc document in a higher version using that version’s default format, you’re in the category of forced upgrade. That is life in the MS world. Its very true that for most people, every version of Office since probably 6.0 on Win 3.1 is more than enough to get their jobs done. However, when your company goes with the latest and greatest to simply maintain the ability to read and write to the newest file format, you’re on the MS upgrade train with no end in sight. You’re also on the bandwagon if your customers send you these files. So, I agree, it would be nice if businesses could simply use the functionality they desire, but in practice its much less possible. Theoretically, OOo provides some relief from this as their document format is well documented and useable by anyone. It should also be much more (theoretically) resilient to backwards/forward compatability. Time will tell if theory is validated by real-world circumstances. 2004-03-19 8:47 pm Hi “140?? what a damn! can i say all machine in my home deploy MS office and then the market share of MS office is 100%? what a stupid article ” did you read. that was 100 top companies in that area. is your home a top company? regards Jess 2004-03-19 9:01 pm This is indeed big news ! 140 might be a small number in social sciences, bur it is big in big business.It’s a small world and the accepted alternatives are few. To see Openoffice pop up in this environment, and to have these companies admit it is news. After all large companies are conservative by nature, these are the ones still running os/2 and nt4. The first step is being considered, the second step is being deployed, the third step is publicly acknowledging it has been deployed and the fourth step scares the hell out of microsoft. 2004-03-19 9:06 pm Knowing how little people usually understand (and therefore use) of the features of most software, it’s pure stupidity not to migrate OO.org. MS Office Apps are good (except word which is junk) but not worth what people do with it. And compatibility is really a joke except maybe for the few secretaries and sales people who do mass mailing. I’ve been using OO.org exclusively for a few month in a large company that uses only MS Office, and noone noticed except me sometimes because there is a bug in the auto filter in Calc and because Writer is so much easier than word ! 2004-03-19 9:53 pm People who must use MS Office to do their work knows what the particular feature/function they need. To others, choosing OO is no brainer if it just works for them. Okay, interoperability is an issue, but for direct to print-out that’s not a problem. And the compatibility has improved more and more. New StarOffice update will have basic MS macro conversion function, how long does it take to achieve ‘good enough’ migration strategy? http://www.crn.com/sections/BreakingNews/dailyarchives.asp?ArticleI… I believe a lot of OO.org installation and migration are stealth operation, if it just works then they don’t feel anything to rant about it, except for advocacy and marketing reason. 2004-03-19 10:19 pm Gotta love all the armchair statisticians on this thread. C’mon, y’all are sounding like Slashdotters… 2004-03-19 10:24 pm It depends on what you are surveying. There are not too many businesses, and so a small sample is ok. I could show you that 140 is pretty much big in a statistical survey. 2004-03-19 10:51 pm From 140 companies 40 are using OpenOffice (35 of them on linux), 95 using a pirated copy of MS Office and 5 are using a typewriter 🙂 2004-03-19 10:52 pm I recently fale in love with the draw section of OpenOffice. Its stable, robust, fast, easy to learn, got lots of import export functions, works with RAL, RGB and CMYK colors, writes to PDF, EPS and WMF. Amazing app its a mix betwween Illustrator and InDesign and its almost as good. I would recommend it to everyone I tried to beta v2 versions..its simply rocks! 2004-03-19 11:10 pm This is good news, and I expect that by the end of 2005 it will be at least up to 25%. What really bothers me about OO.org is that it looks ugly, the icons and the style and it is slow. Also, they chose Motif as the toolkit, for the love of god no! Motif applications are difficult to maintain and create, they should port it to a more advanced toolkit like Qt and WxWindows so that it would eb easier to maintain/develop and it would have a consistent style and better speed. For example just making a simple ticker widget in Motif takes 224 lines of code and in Qt only 61. http://www.trolltech.com/pdf/CodeBro.pdf At least its free and multiplatform, otherwise it is not so great in terms of architecture and features compared to other office suites like Microsoft’s. 2004-03-19 11:14 pm Hi Openoffice has its own toolkit. its not motif at all. They now have the native widget framework so that it blends with the environment. The look and feel department is really getting good now regards Jess 2004-03-20 12:29 am I’ve got no problem with the sample size, I just wonder how many of those companies are also using (and will continue to also use) MS Office. 2004-03-20 1:18 am MS wont get spanked so easily. At some point, assuming oo starts doing well, al ms needs to do is to drop the price. It can do this and win because most ms office still has mindshare. This will help keep marketshare, although it will eat into profits. Profits? I think they have plenty of legroom there. I don’t think oo is better quality wise yet, but if you assume ms will sit around and get beaten, then you are out there. Not saying it’s not possible, but don’t think ms will not do what it takes to compete. Free is a great price, and i love open source and gpl, but companies feel that it’s safer to buy something with backing from someone that can be held liable if something goes wrong. LET THE FLAMING BEGIN 2004-03-20 1:26 am “It will only continue to increase as companies who are being forced to upgrade (due to licensing terms or because of support)” Upgrade and license fees are peanuts for a lage corporation. Can you immagine a company such as Shell worrying about costs involved to upgrade their S/W? They make millions of dollars every second ….. BTW, they geet their money bag, big times. 2004-03-20 1:41 am I can. Ususlly the more money you make the more your costs are. The bigger you are the more of everything you need. The more licences you need.. The more being busted for a few “unlicenced” copies of whatever would hurt. 2004-03-20 1:55 am I worked for that sort of industry, and believe me, they would spend 1000 bucks for a bolt to fix a broken down machine, if needed. BTW, their yearly expenditure on simple stationary outweighs any costs for upgrading their MS-Office. Small and medium sized companies are a different cattle of fish, of course. 2004-03-20 1:59 am “…they would spend 1000 bucks for a bolt to fix a broken down machine, *if* needed.” My asterisks added. 2004-03-20 2:07 am Hey, Andre, they keep you guys well trained as you parrot word by word the arguments put forth by the marketing dept. of Microsoft, down to my 10% of functionality is different from yours. Nice… Keep saying that Openoffice is not here to stay, that Linux is just a passsing fad, that we need Microsoft’s “integrated innovation” (isn’t that the latest buzzword in the talking points they send now?), you keep saying those things because you are beginning to sound like the fighting head in Monty Python. Meanwhile, real people try alternatives every day and discover that they don’t want to have all their data locked-up in a proprietary format. 2004-03-20 2:12 am “Free is a great price, and i love open source and gpl, but companies feel that it’s safer to buy something with backing from someone that can be held liable if something goes wrong.” What a non-started for a meaningless post. All proprietary software manufacturers decline any liability and you agree to hold them harmless when you click on tha that license. Cut the bullshit. 2004-03-20 3:00 am Microsoft just released it’s Sharepoint Team Services 2 AKA WSS for free. It requires 2003 Server but they’re definately feeling the burn. It’s competing with You also forgot about SUN Microsystems and the intergration they’re doing between StarOffice and JES Application Server which will provide all the neat features of Sharepoint but without the headaches and proprietary nonsense. 2004-03-20 3:49 am “I can’t believe you people are comparing Microsoft & Office to the dot com bust of the late 90’s. First of all Office is not expensive, it retails from $150 up to $600, second, if you are already running Office 97, 2000 or XP, why would you want to migrate from the good enough, integrated functionality those versions of Office already offer compared OO.org, its just rediculous.” Perhaps because it will run on more platforms. Perhaps because licence management is cheaper, Perhaps because it have a documented file format that makes it easier to integrate with other applications. Perhaps because it integrates better with non windows based databases. Perhaps you don’t want the hazzle of software activation. Perhaps you need the better handling of literature references in OOo (important to academic writers). Perhaps you want your employees to use it for free at home on an arbitrary number of computers. And besides $150 sounds expensive to me, considering that MS-Office is on almost every windows desktop, and that there have bin only minor changes since 1995. 2004-03-20 4:57 am A German distributor of star office sold more than a million copy. http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS2163896330.html 2004-03-20 6:20 am As for the $150 comment, I think the price of MS office OEM is fair. However, my LAN peaks at 5 to 6 computers. There is no way I am buying several copies of XP plus several copies of Office as well as other software. It’s simply much more cost effective to go with OO.org and Abiword (and sometimes Works or older copies of Word). I mainly run linux and bsd but even if you run Windows, MS Office OEM will be 2 twice what XP Home OEM costs. ($50 to $200 vs $150 to $600.) I think OOO will get a good following in home users, and maybe SOHO too. 2004-03-20 6:59 am those 12 companies could be using openoffice, but it doesnt mean they are not using ms office at the same time…market share should the the percentage of market held exclusively by one product Ray 2004-03-20 8:05 am BTW, I use both OOo and Office 2003. I prefer OOo. It might not look as fancy and modern, but it does the job allright. Actually, does anyone know when they release OO.org 2.0? 2004-03-20 1:07 pm http://development.openoffice.org/releases/OOo_2_0_timetable.html it’s a bit strange to look at and draw some conclusions from, but their purple line ‘** we are here **’ is well over halfway the page. 2004-03-21 8:39 am what happend to staroffice? the commercial version? and DONT ANY OF YOU START DISSING IT 2004-03-21 12:20 pm The “We are here” line is between week 12 and 13. They plan to ship a prereleace at week 27 in the project. That would put the prerelease at the end of the summer if they can keep that scheduele. But as it is a software project I doubt it. But my guess is that they will have something out before the end of the year.