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I think an appreciation of this point is absolutely crucial to a successful product, which is why I bang on about it. And I'm only faithfully recording my own experience.

Unfortunately there is a difference in quality, which implicitly you seem to recognise. Yes, it's true that there have been several poor MSO releases, but in a large organisation those are not normally deployed on the corporate desktop until the problems are fixed. MS does eventually retreat on its silly ideas and there are, to all intents and purposes, almost bug free MSO versions so far as the vast majority of end users are concerned. This isn't the case with OOo/LibO - there has never been a release of such a quality that support costs could be contained at a realistic level. I wish there were and I can fully understand why this community would be very inclined to argue black is white here. Further, it's pretty frustrating to report bugs and find that they aren't fixed within a reasonable period. I don't think you would deny that that is a fairly common experience and complaint from OOo/LibO users. I see that on many bug reports.

My perception and experience of the choice of application software in large organisation is that it is much more rational and hard-headed than you imply. The main cost is not the licence, for which in any case large organisations generally pay very little per desktop. It's user support that is costly, ie overall cost of ownership.


On 05/04/2011 16:52, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
Hello Mike
(since we're all top posting in this thread)...

To claim that MS Office is devoid of bugs is somewhat extravagant.
There have been several versions of MS Office that were plagued with
bugs; people complained but the products continued their roll-out. I
don't think MSOffice dominance can be attributed to a better quality
than OOo/LibO or any other contender, but to a specific framing of
the market environment better known as a monopoly. As someone who has
spent over 10 years analyzing competition in IT I can tell you most
governments are prone to external pressure and lobbying. Choice of one
office suite over another is decided almost never on quality, but on
price, peer-pressure, business advantage, personal ties and favours,
and more often than not, laziness and fear of the unknown.

This being said, LibreOffice does have bugs -just like any other
software- and we need to tackle them, so let me invite everyone here to
report bugs on our bug tracker, and if possible to propose a fix;
we'll deal with more bugs better and faster :-)


Le Tue, 05 Apr 2011 15:56:11 +0100,
Mike Hall<>  a écrit :

I worked for perhaps 15 years with various versions of MSO as both a
power user and as a senior manager with responsibility, inter alia,
for MSO support. I met all the senior international people at the
time, from MS and many other suppliers. During that time, whether
with short or long documents, I personally came across only 2
instances of genuine MSO bugs.

Since retirement 16 years or so ago, I have been almost exclusively
using and promoting OOo/LibO. I know what some of the technical
advantages are, and I appreciate them. However, each time I start a
major new activity or project, I run into a major deficiency or bug
which has typically taken me a day or more's work to understand,
write bug reports and work out how to get round. Most of those bugs
are still unfixed. This kind of 'wasted' effort simply does not occur
with MSO, or at least it didn't to me, nor did I hear complaints of
that kind from the thousands of end users I was to some degree
responsible for internationally.

In my professional opinion and with the maximum regret, I do not
believe that OOo/LibO has a product offering of adequate quality to
be cost-effective in a high-cost labour economy. The support costs
are just far too high. Thus, it is my considered though painful
conclusion that the majority of IT managers in those economies would
correctly judge MSO to be the better option. As I said, I wish it
were different, but it is not. We can lobby and protest as much as we
like, but in my opinion there is absolutely no chance of extensive
corporate or governmental adoption in Western economies until the
product is of comparable quality to MSO, by which I primarily mean an
absence of bugs.


On 05/04/2011 12:37, Kürti László wrote:
Have you ever tried to work with MS office? Have you ever made a
doc longer than 10 pages? How many times you had to reedit those MS
docs? Just about every time you opened it in a different PC.

Pls don't get me wrong, but MS office works just as OO.o or LibO.
And this is not the case, but please let yourself off the hook of
MS FUDs. :)


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Hall"<>
Sent: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 1:21:03 PM
Subject: Re: [tdf-discuss] European Commitee enter talks with MS
licences,       Please make your action today against it.

On 05/04/2011 12:11, Kürti László wrote:
Even with docx, xlsx format could be read and written by OO.o or
LibO (or at least a workaround can be find).
Don't get me wrong, I entirely agree with all your sentiments.
Unfortunately, in practice the description of the situation I gave
will dominate. The quote from your email above seems to confirm
that even your company has experienced significant end user support
issues. I just wish it were different.

Mike Hall

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