[ubuntu-in] OT - about OOO.org "Stay away from OpenOffice.org until Oracle shows commitment, analyst says"
ramnarayan.k at gmail.com
Fri Jan 22 14:19:31 GMT 2010
Am a bit disappointed at this news, not having something with ooo.org
quality will hurt.
what do you folks think
Read Article below
Computerworld - A European IT consulting firm is warning large
enterprises and government entities not to deploy OpenOffice.org until
Oracle Corp. shows proof that it will invest as heavily in the
development of the open-source productivity suite as project champion
Sun Microsystems Inc. did.
According to a 12-page report published earlier this week by
Amsterdam-based Software Improvement Group, the main risk is that
OpenOffice.org's code may get buggier if Oracle pulls personnel and
resources from OpenOffice.org after finalizing its acquisition of Sun.
Although Sun spun the productivity suite out to the open-source
community in 2000, OpenOffice.org's development and marketing still
relies heavily on paid Sun employees, such as OpenOffice.org community
manager (and overall boss) Louis Saurez-Potts.
"There is a fairly advanced [quality assurance] mechanism in the
OpenOffice.org project," said Tobias Kuipers, chief technology officer
at Software Improvement Group, in an interview. "It involves 30 to 40
man-years [of developer time], which is fairly expensive and not
something you can maintain in your attic."
A 50-person firm, SIG counts ABN Amro, ING Bank, DHL and the Dutch
government among its clients. Kuipers said the firm's report on
OpenOffice.org was self-funded.
He said the other risk is that Oracle, in its zeal to beat Microsoft
Corp., could divert resources for OpenOffice.org toward a commercial
version (see PDF) of the software or to a "fork" aimed at challenging
Microsoft Office in the enterprise market.
"It all hangs in the balance, depending on what Larry Ellison and
Oracle do with OpenOffice.org," he said.
Sun already sells and supports a version of OpenOffice.org, called
StarOffice. StarOffice has had less success pulling users from
Microsoft Office than its entirely free sibling, OpenOffice.org.
Kuipers said a move to OpenOffice.org would be riskiest for large
organizations, because the cost of switching would be high.
Individuals and small businesses are less vulnerable, he said. He also
noted that the risks do not apply to companies adopting Lotus
Symphony, an IBM-led fork of OpenOffice.org, because it comes with
Oracle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In an e-mail, OpenOffice.org marketing lead John McCreesh (who is not
a Sun employee) called the SIG report "pure speculation."
"The OpenOffice.org community is very grateful to Sun for creating the
community in the first place, and for its ongoing generous support.
But [the OpenOffice.org community is] not dependent on any single
sponsor for its continuing existence," McCreesh said. He dismissed
fears that OpenOffice.org users will find themselves bereft of
"If there is money to be made from offering commercial support to
governments, etc., then market forces will ensure that the support
will grow out," he said.
Meanwhile, development for Openoffice.org continues. A second release
candidate for Version 3.2 was released last week. New features include
faster start-up times, better support for OpenDocument Format and
Microsoft Office Open XML documents, and improvements to Calc (an
Excel-like spreadsheet program).
Eric Lai covers Windows and Linux, desktop applications, databases and
business intelligence for Computerworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at
Twitter at ericylai, send e-mail to elai at computerworld.com or subscribe
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