Office 2007 FUD

Even using lots of opensource/free software on a daily basis I never considered myself being a fan of Linux/OSS. The more, when compared to closed alternatives, free software often looks pitiful. Nevertheless crowds of OSS-related idiots continue spreading FUD about competing software which doubtly make it look worse.

MS Office 2007 UI

Sooth to say I’ve been quite impressed to find this page on OpenOffice.org site as it seem to be written by either dumb OO zealots or complete morons. Let’s take a closer look at their argumentation:

“Are you a Microsoft Office user? are you thinking about upgrading to MS-Office 2007? If you’re like 98% of MS-Office users, you’ll probably stay with what you’ve got, rather than spend your money on an upgrade. Your current software does the job you want.
However, the chances are that you’ll have seen some advertising about Microsoft’s new product, and you may be wondering whether it’s time to change.”

I’m quite unsure that 98% of MSO users would deny to upgrade even though OO is relatively “popular”. I’d say that Microsoft Office 2007 is the most serious Office upgrade since the times of old Office 95.


Six facts to consider about MS-Office 2007

  1. If you’re a current MS-Office user, you’ll find MS-Office 2007 does the same job, prints the same letters, generates the same spreadsheets as your current copy. So why spend more money to do the same job as now?
  2. MS-Office 2007 has a radically different “new look”, which makes it look and feel quite unusual compared with what you are used to. Will this change help you, or is it just a marketing thing to help MS-Office look different from competitors like OpenOffice.org?
  3. Microsoft has provided 50,000 pages of new help files to help you understand the “new look”. Have you time to absorb all these changes?
  4. Microsoft dealers, trainers, and support people are hoping to make a lot of money from helping people migrate. Have you got all the support you need to help you cope with the changes?
  5. Upgrades like this are a major revenue stream for Microsoft. Are they providing this upgrade for your benefit, or for their shareholders?
  6. Earlier this year, Microsoft ran a long and expensive advertising campaign portraying people who hadn’t upgraded as the “Office dinosaurs”. Does this worry you, or are you happy to make your own decisions?

Let’s see…

  1. As usual, OSS zealots have forgotten about things, called usability and comfort, which is no wonder, taking into account overall pitiful OSS usability. After a couple of months of using MSO 2007 I must say it’s the easiest to use and the most comfortable Office suite I’ve ever tried (and these included StarOffice to OpenOffice, Corel Office, 602 Office suite and many others) .
  2. In fact, the new look is cleaner and easier to use. Commands are re-groupped, some are renamed, but the new positioning is much easier and finding a needful command in Ribbon UI is a toy compared to browsing menu trees. Microsoft has invented toolbars in one of their first GUI Words and now everyone (including OpenOffice) uses it. Now Microsoft implements even more effective navigation system and I’m sure in few years its popularity would only grow.
  3. Having a good contest help (compare this to childish OSS documentation with lots of missing links and useless/outdated articles) has nothing to do with complexity. I managed to make a complete switch to Office 2007 in just an hour (sic!). And on the second day I’ve found huge productivity increase. The complete switch has merely been more complex than migration from Office 2000 to 2003. The whole MS Office to OpenOffice migration would require more efforts.
  4. Should I meantion lots of companies making their living on supporting buggy OSS software which is a kind of their main business model? šŸ˜‰ Really, guys, just look in the mirror.
  5. Once again. Is there anything bad forgetting money for providing customers with a vastly improved product? Ask them.
  6. People would surely make their decisions but compared to MS Office 2007 OO is a dinosaur indeed, just like many other office suites.

In fact, the only serious advantage of OpenOffice compared to MS Office 2007 is price. The last one is quite expensive and that’s true. From another side, Groove or One Note functionality is not seen in OO, MS Office 2007 elso easily creates PDFs and comes with Outlook which is in fact an industry standard PIM/e-mail client.

OpenOffice may offer similar (well, not the same, but similar to older Office versions) functionality but:

  1. OpenOffice.org is really heavier on resources (working on computers with 512 or less Mb of RAM is not comfortable, UI is simply slow responding, etc…)
  2. Is harder to use (yes, you may surely use a kind of familiar, but less comfortable GUI or do some RTFM)
  3. Less functional (especially compared to high-end versions of MS Office)

So, the choice is yours afterall…

Well, OO is not really that bad for its price but the feature comparison on its site is slightly, hm… subjective šŸ™‚

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