Thursday Dec 13, 2007

Must have upgrades to Microsoft Office...

I was just catching up on Erwin's blog on OpenOffice, and wow.. what a ton of great information there, but it got me wondering what to give those friends of ours that are still using Microsoft Office? I am sure we could all get them OpenOffice, but what if they aren't quite ready for that yet? Well I think the following two extensions are a must!

  1. ODF Plugin: With the Dutch being the latest government to endorse ODF, our friends need this plugin to make sure their proprietary formatted documents can be converted to ODF and used around the world. It seems that if you are going to work in almost any field these days, the ability to read .doc files is something that cannot be taken for granted , and it is being phased out. ODF is the open standard filling this void.
  2. Presentation Minimizer: In one of my prior posts I discussed this new extension that puts OpenOffice presentations on a diet, but it also works with PowerPoint! Yes, give this extension (it is free) to your PowerPoint buddies, and they can make their presentations much smaller. My limited tests show about a 50% reduction in file size, but one comment about the Presentation Minimizer has "I just compressed 60 MB Powerpoint down to 3 MB - that's cool."
-Mark

Tuesday Nov 06, 2007

OpenOffice Saves Students...

Keeping with the trend from yesterday and my blog about OpenOffice saving the day, I was reading another great blog on OpenOffice and how it helped save students $100! Mark Szorady recalls how he helped his nephew out of a tight bind on his blog at One Click Linux:

Even with a student discount,the price for MSOffice is rather steep. It costs anywhere from $80.00 to $100.00.
I tell them to relax and simply visit www.openoffice.org.  

So if you are a student, or know of a student, do your good deed for the day and tell them to simply download OpenOffice.

-Mark
 

OpenOffice Predictions for 2008

I had a good laugh reading Wired's article on "The 15 Dumbest Apple Predictions" It makes you really wonder whether you should believe anything you read at the time or just adopt a wait and see attitude.

Now the thing that the article doesn't go on to say is how brave the people making the (now we know incorrect) predictions were. It is much easier to look back and say.. yeah that was a dumb prediction, or that was a dumb stock pick!

 So going out on a limb here.. here are my top 3 predictions for OpenOffice for 2008:

  1. PC manufactures will bow to consumer pressure and put OpenOffice on their machines
  2. OpenOffice downloads will grow by 50% to 1.5M per week
  3. The ODF format will be supported by Microsoft Office products after continuing government and industry support.

Whew.. any predictions you care to share?

-Mark


 

Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

Apple joining Sun, Google, IBM, ....

I am eagerly awaiting Apple's next version of their OS, codenamed Leopard. I am not sure I will use all the new features, like spaces and time machine, but I will give it a try! The one feature that I wasn't expecting (and didn't even know about until I read Erwin's blog) was that Apple is joining nearly the whole industry in supporting Open Document Format ODF.

This is quite amazing. Your documents now can be stored in one format that can be edited and modified by a variety of vendor products, across a variety of platforms. Goodbye to those old proprietary formats that forced you to pay a tax (they call it a licensing fee) to open and modify YOUR document. It is now possible to create a document in Google Docs, edit if off-line with StarOffice (part of Google Pack) and send it to one set of colleagues to work on on the Mac. Then take it to work and use Lotus Symphony to make some edits before distributing it to your Linux friends using OpenOffice.org. Now for those of you still in Microsoft Office, we have a great ODF plug-in that allows you to work on this same document in Microsoft Office, or how about downloading OpenOffice.org and taking it for a spin?

Welcome Apple to the fold..

-Mark

Wednesday Oct 10, 2007

Saving $10K for college

I am amazed with all the savings plans for college that more parents aren't getting OpenOffice for their kids, it way beats any other savings program I have found!

If you do some pretty simple math, using the spreadsheet functionality inside of OpenOffice the results are amazing. For the purpose of the analysis, lets assume that instead of buying Microsoft Office (about $400 on Amazon.com not including shipping and handling) you took that money and invested it at a rate of 10% per annum. In addition instead of upgrading every 3 years to the next release you took that money and put it into the same savings account. After 20 years what would that money have grown to? You are not going to believe this... Yes just shy of $10K!! Check out the math...

Year
Upgrade Cost
Savings Account
0 400
1
$440.00
2
$484.00
3 400 $932.40
4
$1,025.64
5
$1,128.20
6 400 $1,641.02
7
$1,805.13
8
$1,985.64
9 400 $2,584.20
10
$2,842.62
11
$3,126.89
12 400 $3,839.57
13
$4,223.53
14
$4,645.89
15 400 $5,510.47
16
$6,061.52
17
$6,667.67
18 400 $7,734.44
19
$8,507.89
20
$9,358.67

 

Now this doesn't take into account inflation where the cost for upgrades will continue to go up! So do the math... FREE beats proprietary and closed any day! If you are already a student download OpenOffice and save your parents some serious money!

-Mark 

Thursday Oct 04, 2007

Why would you market anything but OpenOffice?

I have been sitting on the sidelines too long now and wondering how and when to start blogging. OK, so I procrastinated for ever! So here we go...

I am a marketing guy so perhaps my views differ from the deep technologists out there, but there are basically two options when it comes to office productivity --  Pay for it, and have little or no control, or get it free and have the ability to influence the community on where the product goes. The choice seems simple to me -- OpenOffice it is!

I personally think that this product is the gold standard for a consumer friendly product that has grown up under the FOSS mantra. Now don't get me wrong, there are things I don't like about the product, but overall this product is just wonderful. It makes perfect sense to me why IBM joined OpenOffice.org, they can now be associated with the movement away from proprietary technology to open standards (ODF) based offerings. Similarly when Google started bundling StarOffice (Basically OpenOffice) into the Google Pack it just seemed -- DUH naturally they would do it! What else would come close? I am sure it didn't take the marketing groups at Google or IBM long to decide:
   "Hmmm should we go with OpenOffice, or..um  errr um... urrr.."

So please tell me why Novell is going about trying to discredit OpenOffice.. I just don't get it. Simon has an excellent blog on this, and Jim too goes to great lengths to tell the world what Sun is doing. But, to me the fundamental question is really a marketing one. Does a company want to go it alone (bad idea!) or be part of a bigger movement? You marketing guys at Novell.. can you at least explain to Mr Meeks that this doesn't help Novell?

-Mark

 


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Musings from Mark Herring at Sun...

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