Goodbye, OpenOffice. Nice Knowing You.: Page 2

Posted September 15, 2010

Serdar Yegulalp

Serdar Yegulalp

(Page 2 of 2)

The last time I heard anything about Oracle's future plans for OO/StarOffice, they amounted to: "Oracle plans to continue developing and supporting OpenOffice as open source."

It's now been almost a year since those words were spoken, and there's not much sign of what that amounts to in reality. It could amount to anything from OO being forked by another entity (which would do a better job with it) to OO going closed-source in future iterations. IBM did a nice job with their OO-based Lotus Symphony product; I could see them taking OO in directions Sun/Oracle never did ... if they chose to pick up the mantle.

But, again, that's all in the realm of “maybe to never.” And I have work to do, now.

And meanwhile, the new version of Office is priced about right. $200 for an application I'm going to be using every single day for the next three or four years works out to 13 cents a day. That's, what -- one less latte every month?

My decision to opt for Microsoft Office over OO doesn’t mean I’m leaving open source – not by a longshot. There's a lot of other free software I use which I'll still continue to stick with.

For instance, the desktop publishing app Scribus,; the vector-drawing program Inkscape; Chrome and Firefox (both have strengths and weaknesses); the foobar2000 music player; the 7-ZIP archiver; the list does go on.

But for some things, it's better to pay something upfront and get a program that you know has a good chance of being what you need, instead of struggling with a free app that only gets you three-fifths of the way there and then thumbs its nose at you.

I'm still open to the possibility that a future version of OO will be a great program -- but sorry, I'm not waiting around on other people to get their act together.

It's been said that programs like OO are essentially "a hedge against total domination by Microsoft -- enough to keep them honest." Fine, but in the end, I don't want a hedge. I want a tool that works.

ALSO SEE: 58 Open Source Replacements for Small Business Software

AND: 50 Open Source Replacements for Really Expensive Software

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Tags: open source, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, OpenOffice, Microsoft Office 2010

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