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On 03/01/11 04:10, Larry Gusaas wrote:
Including the ability to write OOXML format is a political decision
driven by the Novell and Microsoft marketing agreement. User experience?
Ask that question of any user of older versions of Word after they
receive a .docx document and are unable to open it.

Indeed, I have experienced this myself when trying to send documents.
However a blanket ban on OOXML would, in the long run, be a disadvantage
to *LibreOffice*. Whether you appreciate it or not the older document
formats (.doc .xls .ppt) are going to fade away as Microsoft pushes its

I last checked the market-share numbers for office suites in mid 2010, when in discussion 
with my organisation about whether to go to MSO 07 throughout the campus or drop MSO 

The figures were, IIRC

MSO 2007 - 60% globally
MSO 97-2003 - 20% globally 
OOo 3.x - 20% globally

The numbers tilt a bit on different continents.  MSO is more popular in corporate America.  
OOo is more popular (around 30% or more) in Europe - the number increases as you head 

The MSO 97-2003 users are important.  Many are not attracted by the Office 07/10 
interface, or cannot afford to upgrade.  However, as time goes on they will see more .docx 
appearing and may feel forced to upgrade, if only to maintain access to shared data.

Having something that is not MSO but that has an interface like the one they are used to 
should be very attractive for them.  In UK, MS has dropped the price of MSO to students a 
lot in recent years - £60 two years ago, under £40 today from the software4students reseller.  
A lot of these 'student' editions end up in small businesses.  We should be targeting these 

When Google Chrome was launched, people thought it might cripple Firefox.  In reality, a 
small number of Firefox users switched, while many IE users who were not attracted by FF 
went to Chrome.  Some statistics now put IE at less than 50% of the market.

If LibO does everything OOo does and little else, the project would seem to have little point.  
If LibO embraces functionality and interface features that OOo does not have, it may be that 
our growth is only in part from OOo users (most of whom are happy with OOo), but mostly 
from MSO 97-03 users.

It may be that without explicity aiming to remove users from our sister, OOo, aiming to take 
the other 20% who do not use MSO 07 (plus those who do!) may be a more effective way to 
spread the file format.  If we can get ODT used enough - through users choosing to overlook 
docx output - many MSO users may find it helpful to have LibO (or OOo) installed also.  At 
some point they will wonder why they keep paying for MSO.  


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