Wednesday, October 22, 2008

OpenOffice.org 3.0 Scores Strong First Week

OpenOffice.org 3.0 was downloaded 3 million times in its first week,
with about 80% of the downloads by Windows users, an official with the
group said in a blog post on Monday.

The successful introduction of the open source office suite came
despite the group's download servers being temporarily overwhelmed by
demand for the new software last week.

Only 221,000 downloads by Linux users were recorded, leading John
McCreesh, head of marketing for OpenOffice.org, to suggest a massive
undercount. McCreesh said 90% of Linux users traditionally receive
OpenOffice.org updates straight from their Linux distribution's
vendor, which would explain the relatively low Linux count.

Many non-English versions of OpenOffice.org are also distributed by
alternate Web sites, and OpenOffice.org is still widely distributed
via free CD-ROMs in magazines, said McCreesh.

With the undercount included, OpenOffice.org 3.0 may already be
installed on up to 5 million computers worldwide, McCreesh said in a
blog post.
OpenOffice.org's goal of winning 40% of the office software market by
2010 "doesn't seem as ambitious today as it did four years ago," said
McCreesh.

Michael Croan, a senior marketing manager at Microsoft, said,
"Business customers can easily see that Microsoft Office provides the
productivity improvements they seek."
"Microsoft Office is well integrated, well supported and up-to-date
with modern workforce requirements like collaboration, which is not
always the case with open source alternatives. As a result, most
customers will continue to seek the productivity improvements they can
get from Office," Croan said.

Microsoft claims more than 550 million users of Microsoft Office.

OpenOffice.org's total usage, while unknown, remains small overall,
despite its free price. That is due to document compatibility fears
and Microsoft's aggressive, tactical discounting.
OpenOffice.org 3.0 eases some adoption concerns. It is able to open
all Office-formatted files, including the latest Office Open XML
(OOXML) documents (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc.), but it cannot save
OOXML files natively.

OpenOffice.org is also likely counting on the current corporate
cost-cutting environment to help its third try at unseating Microsoft
Office. OpenOffice.org 3.0 also marks the first native Mac OS X
version. Mac users accounted for 320,000 downloads of the new software
in the first week.

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