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 Saves The Day!

Great post from the Self Reliant Post on how OpenOffice saved the day. 

I haven’t had this trouble with OpenOffice or any of the other types of programs I use (knock on wood).  Even Notepad is more reliable than this.  So instead of putting up with Works, I found a new office suite and spent all of Friday recovering the manuscript by hand by retyping what I could decipher from the text.

Thanks Ryan for the great post, and for those of you still stuck using Microsoft Works.. how about upgrading to 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


 

Friday Oct 26, 2007

South Africa Adopts ODF as a Government Standard

Having spent much of my youth and early career in South Africa, I am really proud that the South African Government has decided to adopt the ODF standard. This is a huge step forward for freedom, interoperability and accessibility of information. Now documents can be shared across the country without having to worry about whether someone has purchased the correct license for some piece of software that will unlock the document.


As I posted in a prior post we are seeing most vendors create products that can read and write ODF so there is no shortage of products that support ODF. Naturally I would be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite product -- OpenOffice. With OpenOffice not only can you use ODF, but it also works on almost every operating system and is available in all 11 official South African languages.

Welcome South Africa to the ODF movement.

-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

Monday Oct 22, 2007

OpenOffice.org -- 1 million downloads per week!

I was just peering though the weblogs around OpenOffice.org and this product is HOT!

With the release of 2.3 and the conference in Barcelona we saw the downloads of the product at 932,000 per week, and this excludes all the downloads happening as part of the Google pack and all the distributions of StarOffice and OpenOffice via CD, flash drive, etc!

This is absolutely amazing, and kudos to the whole OpenOffice.org community for making the product what it is, and getting the word out there about OpenOffice.org. Contrast this to traditional marketing techniques: To get 1M downloads one would have to send out at least 100M direct/email offers (assuming an impressive 1% click-through rate) The numbers would really have been higher, since 1% click through to the offer page is within industry norms, but the number of users actually clicking on the download link (accepting the call to action) would probably as low as 20-30% (industry norms are more on the 5% realm). This would mean that to really get 1M downloads a marketing group would need to send out 333M offers.. (Talk about spam!) Now if the marketing group didn't resort to spam, and actually purchased the list (not sure who would have such a list) the cost would be $33M (assuming we could buy a unique list of 333M entries at 10c per entry -- really cheap) per week! This wouldn't include costs for localization, delivery etc. Wow, this opensource marketing is great, thanks to the community!

Some other interesting stats on visitors to OpenOffice.org -- 83% are running Windows (Vista and XP), about 5% running Mac, about 4% Linux. For those die-hard skeptics out there still waiting for the majority to start using OpenOffice.org -- the time is right! With over 8 million daily unique visitors and 1M downloads occurring per week, the early majority is using the product -- come join us, the water is great!

Geographically the majority of our users come from domains in the US (21%), followed by France and Germany at 12%, and Italy, UK, Japan and Canada in the 4-5%. Brazil isn't included since they have their own download site at broffice.org  Come on Jim... get some marketing going in Japan!

Finally for those of you already using OpenOffice.org and looking to expand your functionality -- here are the top 3 most popular extensions:

  1. Sun Report Builder
  2. Professional Template Pack
  3. eFax Extenstion 

-Mark


Tuesday Oct 09, 2007

Re: Thank you Michael, but no, thank you...

A great posting by Charles H. Shulz on Groklaw digs deeper on the issue of forking code. I especially love these comments, but recommend you read the entire article:

  • OpenOffice.org \*is\* released under the LGPL
  • Sun should be credited with having been extremely reasonable in regard of the license
  • ... really strange is that Kohei Yoshida , a respected contributor of OpenOffice.org signed the JCA when he was an independent developer, got then hired by Novell, and then refused to contribute code under the JCA
  • The future looks uncommonly bright for OpenOffice.org these days.

Finally I think the summary really does hit the nail on the head "[OpenOffice]...without Sun, it would be nothing. Yet without the community, it would still be just one out of many other corporate internal projects."

We at Sun are proud of initially bringing OpenOffice to market, proud that we opensourced the project and continue to invest and promote it. Having said that we are very mindful of the responsibility bestowed on us to ensure the community continues to thrive and grow, hopefully beyond our wildest imagination. We have no desire to turn this into a "corporate internal project." Come join the community at OpenOffice.org and be part of the future.

-Mark
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Musings from Mark Herring at Sun...

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