Microsoft Office triumphs over OpenOffice in FOSSfriendly German city

first_imgIn the corporate world, Microsoft Office still reigns supreme — though there is the occasional instance where someone is willing to give an open source suite like LibreOffice or OpenOffice a shot. The city of Freibrug, Germany set out to do exactly that in 2007. The experiment: run OpenOffice and Office 2000 side-by-side and hopefully escape Microsoft’s clutches.Today, however, it looks as though the city council has had enough — saying its “hopes and expectations of the year 2007 are not fulfilled.” The council’s biggest concern is over interoperability. It was hoped that other agencies would also take a look at OpenOffice, but that hasn’t happened. That’s left Freiburg’s employees hamstrung and has been detrimental to productivity, says the council. Calc just doesn’t perform like Excel. Impress can’t smoothly process PowerPoint presentations. In the end, the lost productivity and employee frustration may be costing the city more than an Office upgrade would.If you’ve ever tried to open an Office document in one of the OpenOffice apps, you’ve probably met with the same issues the council is lamenting. Formatting is never perfect, and sometimes entire regions go missing during the import. That problem isn’t unique to OpenOffice or LibreOffice, of course, but it’s the kind of impediment that makes it difficult for an enterprise to move away from a suite like Microsoft Office.Open source advocates in Germany are up in arms over the council’s’ report, and they say that the assumption “that compatibility to Microsoft Office cannot be reached in the next few years, is […] wrong.” That may be true, but it’s already been five years. The conversion process still isn’t perfect and the companies and government bodies Freiburg works with haven’t moved away from Office, so it would be very, very tough for councilors to say “let’s ride it out for a few more years” at this point.The council still has to pass a resolution approving the move to Office 2010, but that seems like a formality now — with Microsoft Office deemed “essential for effective operations.”Freiburg city site (German), via ARNlast_img read more

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