Open-Schmopen February 11, 2008Posted by flutebrarian in Librarianship.
There’s been a lot of talk lately on the OPLINTech list regarding OpenSource (OpenOffice) vs. Microsoft (Office 200x). Should we all abandon Microsoft and only offer the “free” OpenOffice to our staff and patrons? Are we doing our patrons a disservice by not offering the industry standard? Are there enough similarities between MS and OO to make it easy to learn one and then transfer those skills to the other?
PC Magazine recently had an article on “The Best Office Alternatives” which outlined many of these concepts. Statistical facts from the print version of the article (Nov. 26, 2007) were missing from the online version, unfortunately. If I remember correctly, the percentage of computer users without an office suite on their computers is up from several years ago while the percentage of users using Microsoft Office has decreased.
Is this because MS Office is too expensive? Too many features for the average user so they are relying on built-in programs like WordPad? And what of training issues? Whatever the case, we need to consider OUR users when we decide on the programs and services we offer.