MSOffice->OpenOffice.org migration study

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. Found this article
    <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2005102011342691> from a link on
    lwn.net, being a preliminary report on a controlled study of ongoing
    migrations to Open-Source software by European government administrations.

    The migrations being studied were two-phased: first a move away from
    Microsoft Office towards OpenOffice.Org. Then later, switching from Windows
    to Linux. Note that the version of OpenOffice was 1.1.x, not the
    just-released 2.0.

    Some salient points:
    * The number of Microsoft Office documents that were difficult to convert to
    OpenOffice (e.g. because they made complex use of macros) was very small.
    This in spite of the workflow-intensive use that was being made of the
    software.
    * User acceptance was largely a matter of habit; just changing the default
    Windows file associations for .doc, .xls and .ppt files was enough to get
    most people to switch after just a few weeks. "Training intensity was not
    very high" (I assume that means that large amounts of (re)training were not
    needed).
    * Users interviewed were about equally split in their opinion as to whether
    OpenOffice was feature-comparable to MSOffice or not. Even those who
    thought the former was less featureful still found it sufficient to finish
    all tasks. Interestingly, one significant source of complaints was from
    users who had access to both office suites, and were (fruitlessly) trying
    to make them behave in exactly the same way; removing these users' access
    to MSOffice "reduced significantly [sic] the complaint rate."
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    steve Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

    > Some salient points:
    > * The number of Microsoft Office documents that were difficult to convert to
    > OpenOffice (e.g. because they made complex use of macros) was very small.
    > This in spite of the workflow-intensive use that was being made of the
    > software.
    > * User acceptance was largely a matter of habit; just changing the default
    > Windows file associations for .doc, .xls and .ppt files was enough to get
    > most people to switch after just a few weeks. "Training intensity was not
    > very high" (I assume that means that large amounts of (re)training were not
    > needed).
    > * Users interviewed were about equally split in their opinion as to whether
    > OpenOffice was feature-comparable to MSOffice or not. Even those who
    > thought the former was less featureful still found it sufficient to finish
    > all tasks. Interestingly, one significant source of complaints was from
    > users who had access to both office suites, and were (fruitlessly) trying
    > to make them behave in exactly the same way; removing these users' access
    > to MSOffice "reduced significantly [sic] the complaint rate."


    This matches my experience here at home.

    My kids happily use Open Office for everything as they don't have MS
    Office.

    My wife has MS Office (uses Word only, really) and Open Office....and
    the only issue there tends to be the occasional font.

    Her MS Word runs on Linux via Crossover's commercial version of WINE (as
    included in Xandros Linux 3.0 Deluxe).
     
    steve, Oct 23, 2005
    #2
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  3. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Impossible Guest

    "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    message news:djfn59$igq$...
    > Found this article
    > <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2005102011342691> from a
    > link on
    > lwn.net, being a preliminary report on a controlled study of ongoing
    > migrations to Open-Source software by European government
    > administrations.
    >
    > The migrations being studied were two-phased: first a move away from
    > Microsoft Office towards OpenOffice.Org. Then later, switching from
    > Windows
    > to Linux. Note that the version of OpenOffice was 1.1.x, not the
    > just-released 2.0.


    This was a study conducted by the Consortium for Open Source in the
    Public Administation (COSPA), a group of OSS developers whose mission
    is to demonstrate that "The European society as a whole would benefit
    from the adoption of ODS and OS software in the public sector". It was
    in no sense a "controlled" experiment, since OSS was deployed
    everywhere. Windows products were retained on the desktops, but the
    default application for .doc, .xls, and .ppt documents were all
    switched to OpenOffice and users were instructed to use OO as their
    primary software.

    You would expect such a study to produce what sort of objective
    information?
     
    Impossible, Oct 23, 2005
    #3
  4. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Philip Guest

    Impossible wrote:
    > "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    > message news:djfn59$igq$...
    >
    >>Found this article
    >><http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2005102011342691> from a
    >>link on
    >>lwn.net, being a preliminary report on a controlled study of ongoing
    >>migrations to Open-Source software by European government
    >>administrations.
    >>
    >>The migrations being studied were two-phased: first a move away from
    >>Microsoft Office towards OpenOffice.Org. Then later, switching from
    >>Windows
    >>to Linux. Note that the version of OpenOffice was 1.1.x, not the
    >>just-released 2.0.

    >
    >
    > This was a study conducted by the Consortium for Open Source in the
    > Public Administation (COSPA), a group of OSS developers whose mission
    > is to demonstrate that "The European society as a whole would benefit
    > from the adoption of ODS and OS software in the public sector". It was
    > in no sense a "controlled" experiment, since OSS was deployed
    > everywhere. Windows products were retained on the desktops, but the
    > default application for .doc, .xls, and .ppt documents were all
    > switched to OpenOffice and users were instructed to use OO as their
    > primary software.
    >
    > You would expect such a study to produce what sort of objective
    > information?
    >
    >

    At best, an indication of whether users could access their previous
    files and relate to other users sending them documents from OSS and
    proprietary formats.

    Put briefly, does this work?

    The bigger question the study doesn't address is "is this better",
    starting with an agreed definition of 'better'.

    In public organisations like governments, national archives and law
    courts, there is an issue around storing data in closed proprietary
    formats. Open source document formats may provide an answer to that
    problem, tho the latest Scientigo claims to have US patent rights in XML
    raise some questions, and underline the undesirability of the software
    patents to loudly promoted by the likes of Microsoft.

    Philip
     
    Philip, Oct 23, 2005
    #4
  5. In article <>,
    "Impossible" <> wrote:

    >"Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    >message news:djfn59$igq$...
    >> Found this article
    >> <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2005102011342691> from a
    >> link on
    >> lwn.net, being a preliminary report on a controlled study of ongoing
    >> migrations to Open-Source software by European government
    >> administrations.
    >>
    >> The migrations being studied were two-phased: first a move away from
    >> Microsoft Office towards OpenOffice.Org. Then later, switching from
    >> Windows
    >> to Linux. Note that the version of OpenOffice was 1.1.x, not the
    >> just-released 2.0.

    >
    >This was a study conducted by the Consortium for Open Source in the
    >Public Administation (COSPA), a group of OSS developers whose mission
    >is to demonstrate that "The European society as a whole would benefit
    >from the adoption of ODS and OS software in the public sector". It was
    >in no sense a "controlled" experiment, since OSS was deployed
    >everywhere.


    "Controlled" means that there was a scientific "control", namely
    MSOffice, to compare against. OpenOffice was deployed side-by-side with
    MSOffice--MSOffice was not removed (at least, not immediately). Thus,
    you had data both from using MSOffice and from using OpenOffice at the
    same time, so you could compare them and see what the differences were.
    That's what "controlled" means.

    >Windows products were retained on the desktops, but the
    >default application for .doc, .xls, and .ppt documents were all
    >switched to OpenOffice and users were instructed to use OO as their
    >primary software.


    And it worked. They switched; even though MSOffice was still no further
    away than their Start menu, they didn't go out of their way to keep
    using MSOffice. They were free to complain about the switch (they still
    had to do their jobs after all), and a small number did, and many of
    those complaints were addressable, as detailed in the report.

    >You would expect such a study to produce what sort of objective
    >information?


    That described above.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 23, 2005
    #5
  6. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Impossible Guest

    "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    message news:...
    > In article <>,
    > "Impossible" <> wrote:
    >
    >>"Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    >>message news:djfn59$igq$...
    >>> Found this article
    >>> <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2005102011342691> from a
    >>> link on
    >>> lwn.net, being a preliminary report on a controlled study of
    >>> ongoing
    >>> migrations to Open-Source software by European government
    >>> administrations.
    >>>
    >>> The migrations being studied were two-phased: first a move away
    >>> from
    >>> Microsoft Office towards OpenOffice.Org. Then later, switching
    >>> from
    >>> Windows
    >>> to Linux. Note that the version of OpenOffice was 1.1.x, not the
    >>> just-released 2.0.

    >>
    >>This was a study conducted by the Consortium for Open Source in the
    >>Public Administation (COSPA), a group of OSS developers whose
    >>mission
    >>is to demonstrate that "The European society as a whole would
    >>benefit
    >>from the adoption of ODS and OS software in the public sector". It
    >>was
    >>in no sense a "controlled" experiment, since OSS was deployed
    >>everywhere.

    >
    > "Controlled" means that there was a scientific "control", namely
    > MSOffice, to compare against. OpenOffice was deployed side-by-side
    > with
    > MSOffice--MSOffice was not removed (at least, not immediately).
    > Thus,
    > you had data both from using MSOffice and from using OpenOffice at
    > the
    > same time, so you could compare them and see what the differences
    > were.
    > That's what "controlled" means.


    Obviously, you've never conducted a controlled experiment. To do this,
    you need to have two (or more) distinct samples in which everything is
    the same except for the "treatment" you're testing. In this case,
    there was only one "test" group-- the local government body -- and the
    treatment was the same for everyone: use OO.

    I suspect that the term "controlled" didn't come from the COSPA
    researchers themselves, who would have known better, but from the
    mistaken interpretation of the blogger you sourced.


    >>Windows products were retained on the desktops, but the
    >>default application for .doc, .xls, and .ppt documents were all
    >>switched to OpenOffice and users were instructed to use OO as their
    >>primary software.

    >
    > And it worked. They switched; even though MSOffice was still no
    > further
    > away than their Start menu, they didn't go out of their way to keep
    > using MSOffice. They were free to complain about the switch (they
    > still
    > had to do their jobs after all), and a small number did, and many of
    > those complaints were addressable, as detailed in the report.


    The study wasn't designed to test whether end users would switch or
    not. That was a dead issue. The local government bodies chosen for the
    study had already decided ahead of time to do the migration, for
    financial reasons. When their MS licenses expired, they were going to
    strip those products off all the desktops. Hence, the change in
    default applications for all the document types and the explicit
    instruction to use OO. What the study was designed to do then was to
    simply quantify for management some of the costs of migration --
    identifying documents/business processes that couldn't easily be
    converted, logging ketstrokes to determine how much time it took for
    users schooled in Word to pick up Write, etc.

    Since the costs of deploying OO and retraining everyone were financed
    by the study itself, it was a pretty good deal.

    >
    >>You would expect such a study to produce what sort of objective
    >>information?

    >
    > That described above.


    And of Microsoft published a similar study of migration the other way
    around, you would conclude what?

    Studies of the cost of software migration are important. If the
    information is obtained through a rigorous process conducted by an
    independent body, then all businesses can benefit from the effort.
    Otherwise, it's just another form of spam.
     
    Impossible, Oct 24, 2005
    #6
  7. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    peterwn Guest

    "And of Microsoft published a similar study of migration the other way
    around, you would conclude what?

    Studies of the cost of software migration are important. If the
    information is obtained through a rigorous process conducted by an
    independent body, then all businesses can benefit from the effort.
    Otherwise, it's just another form of spam. "

    I understand that Microsoft's EULA outlaws the benchmarking of
    Microsoft roducts against without Microsoft's consent, so such a
    benchmark is unlikely to happen.

    Typical benchmarkng problems are:
    1. A being 'tuned' for maximum efficience and B run 'out of the box'.
    2. Major hardware differences.
    3. Per hour cost of support being much higher for one product by
    wrongly assuming scarcity of technicians in that area but ignoring that
    much less administration tim is required.
    4. Direct and indirect costs of dealing with viruses, worms and
    scurity attacks overlooked.
    5. Specimen workloads that hit the 'sweet spot' of one system but are
    not indicative of real time workloads.

    And so the lists goes on.
     
    peterwn, Oct 24, 2005
    #7
  8. In message <>, Impossible wrote:

    > "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    > message news:...
    >> In article <>,
    >> "Impossible" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>"Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    >>>message news:djfn59$igq$...
    >>>> Found this article
    >>>> <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2005102011342691> from a
    >>>> link on
    >>>> lwn.net, being a preliminary report on a controlled study of
    >>>> ongoing
    >>>> migrations to Open-Source software by European government
    >>>> administrations.
    >>>>
    >>>> The migrations being studied were two-phased: first a move away
    >>>> from
    >>>> Microsoft Office towards OpenOffice.Org. Then later, switching
    >>>> from
    >>>> Windows
    >>>> to Linux. Note that the version of OpenOffice was 1.1.x, not the
    >>>> just-released 2.0.
    >>>
    >>>This was a study conducted by the Consortium for Open Source in the
    >>>Public Administation (COSPA), a group of OSS developers whose
    >>>mission
    >>>is to demonstrate that "The European society as a whole would
    >>>benefit
    >>>from the adoption of ODS and OS software in the public sector". It
    >>>was
    >>>in no sense a "controlled" experiment, since OSS was deployed
    >>>everywhere.

    >>
    >> "Controlled" means that there was a scientific "control", namely
    >> MSOffice, to compare against. OpenOffice was deployed side-by-side
    >> with
    >> MSOffice--MSOffice was not removed (at least, not immediately).
    >> Thus,
    >> you had data both from using MSOffice and from using OpenOffice at
    >> the
    >> same time, so you could compare them and see what the differences
    >> were.
    >> That's what "controlled" means.

    >
    > Obviously, you've never conducted a controlled experiment. To do this,
    > you need to have two (or more) distinct samples in which everything is
    > the same except for the "treatment" you're testing. In this case,
    > there was only one "test" group-- the local government body -- and the
    > treatment was the same for everyone: use OO.


    But there _were_ quite distinct samples: there was the experience of the
    group _before_ they switched to OpenOffice, and there was their experience
    _after_. The only variable that was changed was the office suite in use:
    everything else--the users, the jobs they were doing, the hardware and OS
    they were doing it on--was kept exactly the same.

    If that doesn't fit the scientific definition of "controlled"--minimizing
    the number of variables to avoid confusing the results--then I don't know
    what does.

    > I suspect that the term "controlled" didn't come from the COSPA
    > researchers themselves, who would have known better, but from the
    > mistaken interpretation of the blogger you sourced.
    >
    >
    >>>Windows products were retained on the desktops, but the
    >>>default application for .doc, .xls, and .ppt documents were all
    >>>switched to OpenOffice and users were instructed to use OO as their
    >>>primary software.

    >>
    >> And it worked. They switched; even though MSOffice was still no
    >> further
    >> away than their Start menu, they didn't go out of their way to keep
    >> using MSOffice. They were free to complain about the switch (they
    >> still
    >> had to do their jobs after all), and a small number did, and many of
    >> those complaints were addressable, as detailed in the report.

    >
    > The study wasn't designed to test whether end users would switch or
    > not. That was a dead issue. The local government bodies chosen for the
    > study had already decided ahead of time to do the migration, for
    > financial reasons. When their MS licenses expired, they were going to
    > strip those products off all the desktops. Hence, the change in
    > default applications for all the document types and the explicit
    > instruction to use OO. What the study was designed to do then was to
    > simply quantify for management some of the costs of migration --
    > identifying documents/business processes that couldn't easily be
    > converted, logging ketstrokes to determine how much time it took for
    > users schooled in Word to pick up Write, etc.
    >
    > Since the costs of deploying OO and retraining everyone were financed
    > by the study itself, it was a pretty good deal.


    I don't see any mention anywhere that the COSPA project itself paid for the
    migration. From their home page <http://www.cospa-project.org/>:

    The Consortium aims at analysing the effects of the introduction of Open
    Data Standards (ODS) and Open Source (OS) software for personal
    productivity and document management in European [Public
    Administrations].

    See, they said "analyzing the effects of the introduction", not "promoting
    the introduction" or "paying for the introduction". By the way, I see NZ is
    listed as one of the "observers".

    And in terms of costs, what the study is showing so far is that scary claims
    of high retraining and conversion expenses, compatibility difficulties etc
    are just not being borne out.

    >>>You would expect such a study to produce what sort of objective
    >>>information?

    >>
    >> That described above.

    >
    > And of Microsoft published a similar study of migration the other way
    > around, you would conclude what?


    I'd love to see one that was as well controlled. Can you point us at one?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 24, 2005
    #8
  9. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Rob J Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > "And of Microsoft published a similar study of migration the other way
    > around, you would conclude what?
    >
    > Studies of the cost of software migration are important. If the
    > information is obtained through a rigorous process conducted by an
    > independent body, then all businesses can benefit from the effort.
    > Otherwise, it's just another form of spam. "
    >
    > I understand that Microsoft's EULA outlaws the benchmarking of
    > Microsoft roducts against without Microsoft's consent, so such a
    > benchmark is unlikely to happen.


    No, it only outlaws comparisions of Microsoft .NET.
     
    Rob J, Oct 24, 2005
    #9
  10. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Impossible Guest

    "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    message news:djhbgd$mvl$...
    > In message <>,
    > Impossible wrote:
    >
    >> "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    >> message news:...
    >>> In article <>,
    >>> "Impossible" <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>"Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    >>>>message news:djfn59$igq$...
    >>>>> Found this article
    >>>>> <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2005102011342691> from
    >>>>> a
    >>>>> link on
    >>>>> lwn.net, being a preliminary report on a controlled study of
    >>>>> ongoing
    >>>>> migrations to Open-Source software by European government
    >>>>> administrations.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> The migrations being studied were two-phased: first a move away
    >>>>> from
    >>>>> Microsoft Office towards OpenOffice.Org. Then later, switching
    >>>>> from
    >>>>> Windows
    >>>>> to Linux. Note that the version of OpenOffice was 1.1.x, not the
    >>>>> just-released 2.0.
    >>>>
    >>>>This was a study conducted by the Consortium for Open Source in
    >>>>the
    >>>>Public Administation (COSPA), a group of OSS developers whose
    >>>>mission
    >>>>is to demonstrate that "The European society as a whole would
    >>>>benefit
    >>>>from the adoption of ODS and OS software in the public sector". It
    >>>>was
    >>>>in no sense a "controlled" experiment, since OSS was deployed
    >>>>everywhere.
    >>>
    >>> "Controlled" means that there was a scientific "control", namely
    >>> MSOffice, to compare against. OpenOffice was deployed side-by-side
    >>> with
    >>> MSOffice--MSOffice was not removed (at least, not immediately).
    >>> Thus,
    >>> you had data both from using MSOffice and from using OpenOffice at
    >>> the
    >>> same time, so you could compare them and see what the differences
    >>> were.
    >>> That's what "controlled" means.

    >>
    >> Obviously, you've never conducted a controlled experiment. To do
    >> this,
    >> you need to have two (or more) distinct samples in which everything
    >> is
    >> the same except for the "treatment" you're testing. In this case,
    >> there was only one "test" group-- the local government body -- and
    >> the
    >> treatment was the same for everyone: use OO.

    >
    > But there _were_ quite distinct samples: there was the experience of
    > the
    > group _before_ they switched to OpenOffice, and there was their
    > experience
    > _after_. The only variable that was changed was the office suite in
    > use:
    > everything else--the users, the jobs they were doing, the hardware
    > and OS
    > they were doing it on--was kept exactly the same.


    Give it up, this is getting silly. COSPA conducted no tests on the
    "the experience of the group _before_ they switched to Open Office".
    Never happened. They installed OO and then recorded the results, which
    included some interviews with people about what they thought. That's
    it.

    >
    > If that doesn't fit the scientific definition of
    > "controlled"--minimizing
    > the number of variables to avoid confusing the results--then I don't
    > know
    > what does.


    What can I say? You don't even seem to understand what was being
    studied, let alone the method used. COSPA set out to document some of
    the costs of migration -- they didn't need to conduct a controlled
    experiment for that, and they didn't.

    >
    >> I suspect that the term "controlled" didn't come from the COSPA
    >> researchers themselves, who would have known better, but from the
    >> mistaken interpretation of the blogger you sourced.
    >>
    >>
    >>>>Windows products were retained on the desktops, but the
    >>>>default application for .doc, .xls, and .ppt documents were all
    >>>>switched to OpenOffice and users were instructed to use OO as
    >>>>their
    >>>>primary software.
    >>>
    >>> And it worked. They switched; even though MSOffice was still no
    >>> further
    >>> away than their Start menu, they didn't go out of their way to
    >>> keep
    >>> using MSOffice. They were free to complain about the switch (they
    >>> still
    >>> had to do their jobs after all), and a small number did, and many
    >>> of
    >>> those complaints were addressable, as detailed in the report.

    >>
    >> The study wasn't designed to test whether end users would switch or
    >> not. That was a dead issue. The local government bodies chosen for
    >> the
    >> study had already decided ahead of time to do the migration, for
    >> financial reasons. When their MS licenses expired, they were going
    >> to
    >> strip those products off all the desktops. Hence, the change in
    >> default applications for all the document types and the explicit
    >> instruction to use OO. What the study was designed to do then was
    >> to
    >> simply quantify for management some of the costs of migration --
    >> identifying documents/business processes that couldn't easily be
    >> converted, logging ketstrokes to determine how much time it took
    >> for
    >> users schooled in Word to pick up Write, etc.
    >>
    >> Since the costs of deploying OO and retraining everyone were
    >> financed
    >> by the study itself, it was a pretty good deal.

    >
    > I don't see any mention anywhere that the COSPA project itself paid
    > for the
    > migration. From their home page <http://www.cospa-project.org/>:


    It's pretty clearly spelled out in their "Workplan" and referenced
    also in Daffara's overview. I would expect that much of the 2.6
    million euro they got from the EU was earmarked for precisely that.

    >
    > The Consortium aims at analysing the effects of the introduction
    > of Open
    > Data Standards (ODS) and Open Source (OS) software for personal
    > productivity and document management in European [Public
    > Administrations].
    >
    > See, they said "analyzing the effects of the introduction", not
    > "promoting
    > the introduction" or "paying for the introduction". By the way, I
    > see NZ is
    > listed as one of the "observers".


    You're quoting from their home page, for heaven's sake. Not much
    information about the project there at all.
    >
    > And in terms of costs, what the study is showing so far is that
    > scary claims
    > of high retraining and conversion expenses, compatibility
    > difficulties etc
    > are just not being borne out.
    >
    >>>>You would expect such a study to produce what sort of objective
    >>>>information?
    >>>
    >>> That described above.

    >>
    >> And of Microsoft published a similar study of migration the other
    >> way
    >> around, you would conclude what?

    >
    > I'd love to see one that was as well controlled. Can you point us at
    > one?
     
    Impossible, Oct 24, 2005
    #10
  11. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Philip Guest

    Rob J wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > says...
    >
    >>"And of Microsoft published a similar study of migration the other way
    >>around, you would conclude what?
    >>
    >>Studies of the cost of software migration are important. If the
    >>information is obtained through a rigorous process conducted by an
    >>independent body, then all businesses can benefit from the effort.
    >>Otherwise, it's just another form of spam. "
    >>
    >>I understand that Microsoft's EULA outlaws the benchmarking of
    >>Microsoft roducts against without Microsoft's consent, so such a
    >>benchmark is unlikely to happen.

    >
    >
    > No, it only outlaws comparisions of Microsoft .NET.
    >


    And why do you suppose they don't want people to be free to run
    benhmarks of their product? That's pretty damn restrictive and
    control-freaking, wouldn't you agree? Sort of thing you would blame on
    all those "socialists" they must have there at Redmond.

    Philip
     
    Philip, Oct 24, 2005
    #11
  12. In message <>, Rob J wrote:

    >> I understand that Microsoft's EULA outlaws the benchmarking of
    >> Microsoft roducts against without Microsoft's consent, so such a
    >> benchmark is unlikely to happen.

    >
    > No, it only outlaws comparisions of Microsoft .NET.


    It's not just .NET. It's also apparently in the MS XML and SQL Server EULAs.

    This article <http://www.tgdaily.com/2005/10/22/rtf_eula/> mentions this and
    some other gems of the kind of things companies try to get you to agree to.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 24, 2005
    #12
  13. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Bling Bling Guest

    On Mon, 24 Oct 2005 11:21:42 +1300, Philip wrote:

    > The bigger question the study doesn't address is "is this better",
    > starting with an agreed definition of 'better'.


    It doesn't have to be "better" - it only has to be "good enough".


    Bling Bling

    --
    Pamela Jones: "Linux will continue to grow, and open formats and standards
    will continue to be adopted in part because we don't trust Microsoft."
     
    Bling Bling, Oct 24, 2005
    #13
  14. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    thing2 Guest

    Philip wrote:
    > Impossible wrote:
    >
    >> "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in
    >> message news:djfn59$igq$...
    >>
    >>> Found this article
    >>> <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2005102011342691> from a
    >>> link on
    >>> lwn.net, being a preliminary report on a controlled study of ongoing
    >>> migrations to Open-Source software by European government
    >>> administrations.
    >>>
    >>> The migrations being studied were two-phased: first a move away from
    >>> Microsoft Office towards OpenOffice.Org. Then later, switching from
    >>> Windows
    >>> to Linux. Note that the version of OpenOffice was 1.1.x, not the
    >>> just-released 2.0.

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> This was a study conducted by the Consortium for Open Source in the
    >> Public Administation (COSPA), a group of OSS developers whose mission
    >> is to demonstrate that "The European society as a whole would benefit
    >> from the adoption of ODS and OS software in the public sector". It was
    >> in no sense a "controlled" experiment, since OSS was deployed
    >> everywhere. Windows products were retained on the desktops, but the
    >> default application for .doc, .xls, and .ppt documents were all
    >> switched to OpenOffice and users were instructed to use OO as their
    >> primary software.
    >>
    >> You would expect such a study to produce what sort of objective
    >> information?
    >>

    > At best, an indication of whether users could access their previous
    > files and relate to other users sending them documents from OSS and
    > proprietary formats.
    >
    > Put briefly, does this work?


    yes and well, I find oOo's spreadsheet more stable than Excel.

    > The bigger question the study doesn't address is "is this better",
    > starting with an agreed definition of 'better'.


    8><-----

    Why better? MS has commented that it has a problem with getting users
    of Office 97 and 98 to upgrade to office 2000~2003~2004. They seem to be
    trying to force this by making the formats in-compatible. Steve Balmer
    himself I believe raised this issue that Office 97 was good enough for
    most businesses.

    Then along comes Bill Gates? and tells us that Open Office is not as
    good as Office 2000(?) and why would anyone want to accept the
    functionality of a product that only matches at best Office97 in
    2000+..........

    It would seem most businesses do, even if you accept MS's premis that
    oOo is only as good as 97/98....which is arguable.....

    regards

    Thing
     
    thing2, Oct 25, 2005
    #14
  15. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    thing2 Guest

    Rob J wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > says...
    >
    >>"And of Microsoft published a similar study of migration the other way
    >>around, you would conclude what?
    >>
    >>Studies of the cost of software migration are important. If the
    >>information is obtained through a rigorous process conducted by an
    >>independent body, then all businesses can benefit from the effort.
    >>Otherwise, it's just another form of spam. "
    >>
    >>I understand that Microsoft's EULA outlaws the benchmarking of
    >>Microsoft roducts against without Microsoft's consent, so such a
    >>benchmark is unlikely to happen.

    >
    >
    > No, it only outlaws comparisions of Microsoft .NET.
    >


    Also MS's database SQL I believe.

    So effectively MS can do as many trails and tests it wants under its own
    wing, but trully independant 3rd parties or competitors cannot.

    Some level playing field, but then you would expect that off MS, and by
    the speed of MS's sinking credibility so do a lot of
    companies/people/journalists.

    regards

    thing
     
    thing2, Oct 25, 2005
    #15
  16. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Bling Bling Guest

    On Tue, 25 Oct 2005 13:42:03 +1300, thing2 wrote:

    > Some level playing field, but then you would expect that off MS, and by
    > the speed of MS's sinking credibility so do a lot of
    > companies/people/journalists.


    What credibility would that be?


    Bling Bling

    --
    Joe Barr: "So the question is not 'Is Microsoft lying?' It's deeper than
    that. The real question is, 'Is Microsoft capable of honesty?' And if you
    decide - as I have - that they are not, the next question becomes, 'Do I
    really want to do business with, to trust my business to, a company like that?'"
     
    Bling Bling, Oct 25, 2005
    #16
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