Business Software

Microsoft Ad Trashes OpenOffice.org

A recent Microsoft video suggests the company considers OpenOffice.org a significant threat to its own Office suite.

Titled "A Few Perspectives on OpenOffice.org," the video features a series of horror stories from customers who tried the open-source productivity suite and suffered from excess costs as well as IT resources, performance and compatibility issues.

A series of customer quotes flashes across the screen in the slickly animated video, read aloud by a series of unseen narrators. "If an open-source freeware solution breaks, who's going to fix it?" according to a statement ascribed to a school district official in the U.S.

"When we returned to Microsoft Office after our experience with OpenOffice, you could practically hear a collective sigh of relief across the entire district," states another comment attributed to a U.S. school system official.

Comments are not enabled on the video's YouTube page.

Microsoft is facing competition from OpenOffice.org on multiple fronts, from the commercial version sold by project owner Oracle, as well as offshoots like the recently announced LibreOffice.

Oracle this week sought to dispel any doubts about its commitment to OpenOffice.org, saying it would participate in an ODF (Open Document Format) Plugfest event in Brussels and pledging continued development support on the OpenOffice.org codebase.

An Oracle spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Microsoft's ad.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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