The news today of a Microsoft ad that sets to show why no one should use Open Office and everyone should use Microsoft Office, is a bit too easily shown to be an attempt to discredit any attempt for justifying use in “serious” situations.

[PC World]

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

What I wonder is if it is the money overload of Oracle that could be applied to development of Open Office, or the fact that The Document Foundation and Libre Office could explode without any restraints from Sun or Oracle.

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.

Getting a little friendly competition going between Libre Office and Open Office could be a real win for the user base, and a loss for Microsoft. If they manage to get the compatibility up to 99%, there won’t be any reason for many to buy their office productivity software.

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire. The other is to get it.

– George Bernard Shaw

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