27 06 11 - 14:25People love to bitch about those who do something right.
While Microsoft Office is far from perfect, there is no easy substitute for it. Nothing comes close, and nothing comes close to Microsoft Word for all-around usefulness.
You'd think that from the way people talk, it would be easy to make a program better than Microsoft Word. Yet... we have lots of free alternatives, and none that come even remotely close.
Every time I say this, some idiot pipes up with, "But haven't you tried Open Office?"
Yes, yes. Everyone has tried Open Office. Somehow, computer science geeks think it's great; everyone with any actual experience in writing long documents knows it's an unstable turd.
"But I've never had any problems?"
So... what do you write? Long docs, formal docs?
"Yeah, I wrote a few papers, some recipes, a letter and I've got my science fiction novel in the works! I'm up to chapter 2.5!"
OK, then. Never really tested the software. That's why you like it: you like the idea of it (free Microsoft Office replacement, oh wow) but you have not paid attention to the reality, which doesn't live up to that.
Now others are discovering this too:
The IT department of the city of Geneva in Switzerland is about to stop its four-year use of open source email clients and OpenOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools, and revert to the previous, vendor dependent solutions.
According to the 20 Mins news item, the city's IT department, the Department of Urban Environment and Security (DEUS) explained that the decision to migrate back to proprietary IT solutions followed a review that concluded that replacing OpenOffice was the best solution in terms of efficiency and sustainability." - OSOR
Open Office flaked out on them, and so they're replacing it with something that costs money. When you pay people $50 an hour or so, suddenly that $500 program is not all that expensive.
After all, they've probably spent many nights trying to hammer documents into working shape using Open Office, only to find a lack of technical support, an application that's broken, developers who are hostile to investigating questions and blame the user, etc.
Remember this the next time some brightly helpful idiot recommends "Just install Open Office, problem solved!" to you.