One of many predictions for 2010...

Story: Is OpenOffice.org a Threat? Microsoft Thinks SoTotal Replies: 23
Author Content
vainrveenr

Dec 29, 2009
4:27 PM EST
Expect Microsoft to definitely carry out its continued Embrace, Extend, Extinguish tactics against F/OSS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish), such as its tactics against OpenOffice.org as highlighted in Moody piece. Carefully note in the paraphrased quote from Moody's piece here, that Microsoft specifically refers to its "Embracing" tactic [with F/OSS] as "engaging" and "participating":
Quoting: The core mission of CSI is to win share against Linux and OpenOffice.org by designing and driving marketing programs, changing perceptions, engaging with Open Source communities and organizations, and drive internal readiness on how to compete with Commercial Linux and participate with Open Source Communities.


Moody then reveals the quintessential nature of this very "engagement":
Quoting:What's of note here is not just the business about marketing programs and changing perceptions, but the fact that a key part of this “Linux and Open Office Compete Lead” position is “engaging with Open Source communities and organizations”. This confirms what many of us have been warning about for some time: that Microsoft's new-found eagerness to “engage” with open source has nothing to do with a real desire to reach a pacific accommodation with free software, but is simply a way for it to fight against it from close up, and armed with inside knowledge.
Indeed.

Additionally, one can perceive that the CSI Lead position may indeed require certain aspects of MS's "Extending" F/OSS as well, this through the ad's direct use of terms such as "ensure growth" and "driving change in perception"

Just in case the current ad for this Microsoft CSI Lead position is altered or pulled, here is a verbatim excerpt from this ad that indirectly hints at MS's planned "Extensions" to F/OSS:
Quoting:The CSI Lead owns three core objectives for the Area (and Subsidiaries) as follows: 1. Drive compete Strategy. The CSI Lead is responsible for providing a 360 degree view of the US compete environment (directly to the Compete lead and BMO) and ensuring plans are in place to help drive healthy, balanced, and sustained growth. Ability to win share and ensure growth faster than the market (Servers, IW, Web, HPC)

2. Be a Perception Change Agent. The CSI Lead needs to drive perception across a number of key audiences (IT Pros, Government Elites, BDMs, IT Journalists, etc.) Ability to implement programmatic marketing that will CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE think about Microsoft, specifically those with a ‘hostile’ or negative perception of the Microsoft platform.

3. Build ‘Compete Muscle’ in the US. The CSI Lead owns ensuring that the region and subs are fully ready to compete against Linux and participate with Open Source Communities. This includes everything from training to being the subject matter expertise, where needed. Ability to diagnose and share problem, find root causes and pull together a team that will PLAN / DO / CHECK / ACT in the right direction.
(from https://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?ss=&pg=0&so=&r...)

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Can one estimate what other F/OSS apps besides OpenOffice.org will be subject to Microsoft's EEE Marketing Strategy during this upcoming Year 2010 ??

jsusanka

Dec 29, 2009
11:00 PM EST
I hope the folks at Novell read this article.

office 2007 is forced upon me at work and I think it really does suck.

why in world would anyone spend money on that crap when there is open office around.

bigg

Dec 30, 2009
6:48 AM EST
> fight against it from close up, armed with inside knowledge

*Scratching head*

They do realize these are open projects, don't they? FOSS has nothing to hide.
jdixon

Dec 30, 2009
9:52 AM EST
> ...why in world would anyone spend money on that crap when there is open office around

For businesses, because it ties in with the higher level applications they run (Business Objects, SAP, Oracle, et.al.), which OpenOffice doesn't.

For home users, I have no idea.
jsusanka

Dec 30, 2009
10:50 AM EST
"For businesses, because it ties in with the higher level applications they run (Business Objects, SAP, Oracle, et.al.), which OpenOffice doesn't."

you could make openoffice do the same thing and tie into oracle, SAP and Business Objects with the same amount of effort it took to make office do it.

it is just a matter of commitment.
dinotrac

Dec 30, 2009
11:02 AM EST
jsusanka --

I think you've got it backwards, and that is the crux 0f the problem. It wasn't a matter of tying office into those higher level applications. It was a matter of making those higher level applications tie into office.

The difference matters in a lot of ways: who does the maintenance, whether the tie-ins keep up-to-date, and whether they are able to take advantage of proprietary features in the tied applications.

bigg

Dec 30, 2009
11:20 AM EST
> you could make openoffice do the same thing and tie into oracle, SAP and Business Objects with the same amount of effort it took to make office do it.

> it is just a matter of commitment.

You have to realize just how much it would cost to replace all of the existing infrastructure that is working pretty well. Outside of hatred for MS (and in large organizations MS keeps the right individuals very happy) there would be no good reason to move to OOo. And until recently, once you moved away from word processing, OOo didn't have much to offer. For example, the spreadsheet graphics just a few years ago were a complete joke.

OOo is best used for new jobs. On new jobs there is less reason to use MS Office.
hkwint

Dec 30, 2009
6:59 PM EST
Quoting:On new jobs there is less reason to use MS Office.


Same for SAP etc. I guess. I have to add where I work I've seen SAP, PTC and MS Office (& Adobe - I should add), but I didn't spot a single electron of any integration - except for what's present in the standard install (not much of it).

I've used something as "dirty-hackish" as AutoItScriptv3 to do some integration between them, how sluggish is that?
flufferbeer

Dec 31, 2009
2:44 AM EST
@vainrveenr, @bigg > Expect Microsoft to definitely carry out its continued > Embrace, Extend, Extinguish tactics against F/OSS

I think that the M$ Borg's tactics with OOo not only demonstrate EEE, but also that infamous Gandhi saying that blog commentator Italo Vignoli brings: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Seems to a bunch of us reading this (and probably to Glyn Moody as well), that Micro$uck$ ALREADY unsuccessfully wrapped up doing the first two of these this year and last. Since "FOSS has nothing to hide", clearly the M$ folks are grasping at straws to fight FOSS and remain afloat marketshare-wise. 2c
jdixon

Jan 01, 2010
10:31 PM EST
> It was a matter of making those higher level applications tie into office.

Yep. And good luck convincing them that adding support for Open Office is worth the effort. :(
gus3

Jan 02, 2010
1:13 AM EST
Then again, think about how M$ Office is actually used. Are the Oracle/SAP/Business Objects extensions used enough to justify the money paid for them?

I've worked in small, medium, and large businesses, multinational and totally domestic, and my experience says "no." The periodic reports are created almost entirely within the database environment, and exported to .doc, .rtf, or .pdf. Two of the places I've worked in were very M$-centric, they had the entire suite of whatever-coolness to integrate everything with everything else, and still, the database generated the reports. Office was used only for final massaging of formatting, to highlight whatever the middle managers thought the higher-ups needed to see (and to bury what they wanted to hide).

I know I'm setting myself up to be proven wrong. If someone can provide an anecdote about M$ Office business extensions that made better reports with less work, I'm willing to listen.

P.S.: TxtEdMacs' anecdotes don't count. ;-)
tracyanne

Jan 02, 2010
4:06 AM EST
No gus, that seems about right in my experience.
TxtEdMacs

Jan 02, 2010
1:37 PM EST
gus,

Saying that:
Quoting:TxtEdMacs' anecdotes don't count
shows your bias. Everyone knows MS products are superior. You're blinded by your predilections for hippy leaning, left wing socialistic bureaucratic crypto Fascism so your opinion is non-operative.

Even when MS's quality products are overkill, think of the side effects. Everyone seeing MS logo knows they have up most quality, which instills childlike confidence that the contents are unassailable. Thus, one can peddle b.s. with calm assurance no one will hold you accountable for your misdeeds long after you have driven your corporation into irreversible bankruptcy. It's called the herd instinct where one follows without question, even to their obvious, predictable demise. They may go to their destruction, but with out fear for their own safety or futile aggressive attacks once they recognize they have been led astray. What more could one ask when such professionalism is exhibited?

Now in the corner case where some absolutely needed feature is absent from the MS offerings, they are treated with respect and palmed off to a customizer that barely gets it working using VBA code. And should this feature become popular, tech support will assure the client their desired change will become native on a version that will be out soon. Until then they are sagely advised to keep buying MS Office to support the development of these products with the quality and features they have become addicted. What's there not to like?

So gus, in conclusion, I advise you to stop astroturfing on these views of yours that are shown to be so patently* false. I think it is time to quit pushing your hobby horses to the intellectual elite that visit LXer, they see through your ploys of a Free (no cost, hence, worthless) toy OS and a crippled (but Free [see previous clarification of Free]) Office suite. These readers are too discerning to fall for your tricks. So begone.

YBT

* Pending with USPTO: 19284647643, Title: Lying with a Straight Face**.

** Currently being contested by the News Corp, that says my implementation is based solely upon techniques they created, codified and practice for so many years it now resides in the public domain***. They have even named it "Out Foxing."

*** I destroyed their argument by pointing it out I do it better! Moreover, I set it upon a firm theoretical basis using specific software routines+. Thus, should I have a distressed day, I can have a robotic device mouth my words. Top that!

+ Even MS would not dare fight this patent.
jdixon

Jan 02, 2010
1:49 PM EST
> Are the Oracle/SAP/Business Objects extensions used enough to justify the money paid for them?

Almost certainly not. However, that doesn't change the fact that they're already there, and the equivalent Open Office extensions aren't. So Office just works, while Open Office is left out in the cold. There was some hope that would change with ODF becoming an ISO standard, but now that Microsoft has ramrodded through their standard, that's unlikely.

And, as with SAP, et.al., try convincing the VP's and higher level folks that they're not worth the money. Even documenting the actual cost would be fairly difficult.
gus3

Jan 02, 2010
4:32 PM EST
Quoting:However, that doesn't change the fact that they're already there, and the equivalent Open Office extensions aren't.
So, to fall back to the typical car analogy, these extensions are about as useful as spinning hubcaps, and they don't really make much difference in the value of the vehicle. They're there, some people want them just to have them, but they change nothing for the driver.
hkwint

Jan 02, 2010
4:58 PM EST
Quoting:And, as with SAP, et.al., try convincing the VP's and higher level folks that they're not worth the money.


Even if they'd believe me (or anyone else), then they'd say: -What else is available for large companies - including 'corporate' (phone) support, 'corporate' consulting etc.? Adempiere / Compiere has some 'infighting', and OpenBravo and OpenERP are rather new and no case studies of how they've been used for several years in large companies exist, AFAIK. -All our data is in SAP, it would cost hundred thousands to migrate (one of the reasons they justify working with software from some other BSA member, even if they're dissatisfied with it).

Actual, I don't even know if there's some way to extract your data 'out of SAP' to an open format. At FOSDEM I talked with somebody about SAP, and he pointed to some other guy, and say: "He knows pretty much about SAP". I went to the guy, asked him what he knew about SAP, and his answer was "Don't start with it".

Funny thing is, when it comes to OpenOffice, it's not difficult to find casestudies of large migrations, though most of them are in government. You are even able to find how much money is saved 'per PC'.
Sander_Marechal

Jan 02, 2010
5:45 PM EST
Quoting:So, to fall back to the typical car analogy, these extensions are about as useful as spinning hubcaps, and they don't really make much difference in the value of the vehicle. They're there, some people want them just to have them, but they change nothing for the driver.


Nope, that's the wrong conclusion. Those extensions are useful. They do what they're supposed to do. Exactly what the client wanted. They're just way too expensive. Just because something is overpriced doesn't mean it's as useless as a spinning hubcap.

SAP generally is a good system, as long as you have it customised to your business process. It's just waaay too expensive. That's all. Most people with bad SAP experiences are of SAP systems where a company had the money for SAP but not the money for the expensive consultants to tailor SAP to their needs.
xutre

Jan 02, 2010
8:00 PM EST
I remember a time not in the too-distant-past that M$ wanted to get all the fancy smancy CGI guys to move away from UNIX, and adopt NT as THE preferred platform for CGI development. The leaders of that M$ group just didn't understand the 'community' they were dealing with, and that was their downfall. Fast forward to twenty-ten and the 'game' is unchanged. I can not see personally, given it's historical mis-takes and ineptitude, that M$ has any where near the wisdom to create a successful game plan or to comprehend where it's biggest threat(s) lie(s). There is an irony there too; the years 2008-2009 saw them pairing up with a large CGI company to produce SFX for the M$ XBox, a company whose production line relies heavily on a non-M$ OS and non-M$ software.
jsusanka

Jan 02, 2010
9:08 PM EST
"I think you've got it backwards, and that is the crux 0f the problem. It wasn't a matter of tying office into those higher level applications. It was a matter of making those higher level applications tie into office.

The difference matters in a lot of ways: who does the maintenance, whether the tie-ins keep up-to-date, and whether they are able to take advantage of proprietary features in the tied applications."

Yes I agree with you the majority of applications are written that way. But I was responding to the other commenter. So I think you meant he/she got it backwards. I was just replying to how he/she presented his/her statement. Either way open office still could be integrated just as easy no matter how the application was written in fact probably easier.

Thanks for you comments anyway and pointing out that fact.
gus3

Jan 02, 2010
9:09 PM EST
Quoting:Nope, that's the wrong conclusion. Those extensions are useful. They do what they're supposed to do. Exactly what the client wanted. They're just way too expensive.
I doubt the owners of vehicles with spinning hubcaps are under any such delusions about the actual usefulness of their bling.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the upper management that purchases Office extensions to do what their database already (mostly) does anyway.

So, in the end, it's still the same old SOP, for both the report signer-offer's, and the drivers with the spinning hubcaps.
jsusanka

Jan 02, 2010
9:16 PM EST
"You have to realize just how much it would cost to replace all of the existing infrastructure that is working pretty well. Outside of hatred for MS (and in large organizations MS keeps the right individuals very happy) there would be no good reason to move to OOo. And until recently, once you moved away from word processing, OOo didn't have much to offer. For example, the spreadsheet graphics just a few years ago were a complete joke."

I agree with you in the short term. But just as with any migration you have to think of the long term and other benefits to choosing your path forward.
jdixon

Jan 03, 2010
11:28 AM EST
> But just as with any migration you have to think of the long term...

Which for most business folks is "Does it affect my next bonus?" :(

Which is not to say that I think the battle is lost, except in the short term. The value of open standards and FOSS complying with them is so great that their eventual success is inevitable. But even the inevitable can be long time in coming.
softwarejanitor

Jan 03, 2010
1:54 PM EST
"SAP generally is a good system, as long as you have it customised to your business process. It's just waaay too expensive. That's all. Most people with bad SAP experiences are of SAP systems where a company had the money for SAP but not the money for the expensive consultants to tailor SAP to their needs."

It isn't even that simple. SAP implementations are very large and complex projects (many would say needlessly so), and even when massive amounts of $$$ are thrown at consultants sometimes they fail, occasionally spectacularly.

Part of the problem of course is that unfortunately there are a lot of consultants out there that are quacks.
Sander_Marechal

Jan 03, 2010
3:26 PM EST
True, Softwarejanitor. If you want SAP and have the money for it, have it done by SAP's own consultants, not some third party. SAP can work, really well even, but you have to pony up the money for it. For the consultants. For the implementation. For everything. Some companies do that and get excellent systems (way overpriced IMHO but it does work well).

Unfortunately a lot of other companies have the kind of CTO that don't know much. They buy SAP for the name, get some third party to implement it and generally try to do it on the cheap. Then you get a bad system.

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