German council says open source OpenOffice led to performance impairments and aggravation, wants to go back to Microsoft Office


A few years ago, before the world became preoccupied with smartphones and tablets, there was an anti-Microsoft movement afoot for especially government organizations to rid themselves of dependence on Microsoft Office and move to free, open source versions like OpenOffice.

It seems like many idealistic dreams reality did not quite meet up with expectations.

The city council in Freiburg, Germany, noted:

"In the specific case of the use of OpenOffice, the hopes and expectations of the year 2007 are not fulfilled,"  adding that continuing use OpenOffice will lead to performance impairments and aggravation and frustration on the part of employees and external parties.

The council had many complains, ranging from seemingly random formatting of imported documents, not being on the same standard as the rest of the world, conversion issues, software which was just not that powerful (especially the spread sheet and presentation app), saying  they estimated that only 80 percent of the word processing could be done using the open source suite.

"With spreadsheets and presentations this percentage is significantly lower," they wrote.

The nail in the coffin was the lack of further development of Oracle OpenOffice.

"The divergence of the development community (LibreOffice on one hand Apache Office on the other) is crippling for the development for OpenOffice," the council wrote, adding that the development of Microsoft Office is far more stable. Looking at the options, a one-product strategy with Microsoft Office 2010 is the only viable one, according to the council.

"Therefore, a new Microsoft Office license is essential for effective operations," they wrote.

In a draft resolution discussing IT problems, Freiburg’s city council said it was in favour of migrating from the out-dated OpenOffice 3.2.1 it is using in combination with Microsoft Office 2000 to Microsoft Office 2010,

The council plans to vote on the draft bill next Tuesday.

Office is one of the pillars of Microsoft, earning more than the Windows division did the last few quarters. The software is generally pretty highly priced, but it seems, in the end, you get what you pay for.

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