Oracle’s Open Office

Today Oracle emailed me to invite me to purchase their office suite, “Oracle Open Office.”

As an Star Office and OpenOffice.Org user of about 10 years, you might think I would be angry at Oracle for monetizing a free software product they newly own with the Sun Microsystems acquisition. On the contrary. I embrace it.

Make no mistake about it. Oracle Open Office is a re-branded OpenOffice.Org with additional documentation and support. Value-added services such as vetted patches, professional documentation, and Microsoft Office migration kits can be sold bundled with free software without violating the free software definition.

Please do sell Open Office, Oracle. You are a larger software company than Microsoft. Pour your profits back into marketing and supporting the free software projects. This will be a good revenue stream for you, you look innovative, and you get community good will. WIN-WIN-WIN.

While I am giving you the thumbs up for selling Open Office, Oracle, I do not understand why you charge $60 for the download-able Oracle Open Office Standard Edition Media Pack yet you charge $49.95 for the same software with the physical media. I suggest you drop the media pack price down to $15 and keep the physical media version just shy of $50 each. Even if you do not take my advice, Oracle, I will continue to cheer for you. Sell Market. Rinse Repeat.

Truth be known, Oracle Open Office is not the first commercial spin on OpenOffice.Org. IBM Symphony, a component sister product of Lotus Notes, is also based on OpenOffice.Org. With friendly competition, Oracle, IBM, and the OpenOffice.Org community-at-large can code, document, and market far better than just one little company like Microsoft could. I disagree with Business Week who claims Microsoft holds 95% office suite market share despite all of this competition.

Truth be known, Oracle Open Office is not the first commercial spin on OpenOffice.Org. IBM Symphony, a componet of Lotus Notes, is also based on OpenOffice.Org. With friendly competition, Oracle, IBM, and the OpenOffice.Org community-at-large can code, document, and market far better than just one little company like Microsoft could.

I disagree with Business Week who claims Microsoft holds 95% office suite market share despite all of this competition. Microsoft is toast and Oracle knows it.

Come June 30, 2011, Microsoft will not have majority office sutie market share.

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16 Responses to Oracle’s Open Office

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  2. avatar Mr Ports UNITED KINGDOM Internet Explorer Windows says:

    F.Y.I. Lotus Symphony is not a “component” of Lotus Notes. It just happens to be tightly integraded into Notes. However, Lotus Symphony is also available fully standalone and for free from http://symphony.lotus.com/

  3. avatar Chris Smart AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Come June 30, 2011, Microsoft will not have majority office *suite* market share, either.
    :-)

    -c

  4. avatar Eric Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I just download OpenOffice – free. If you go to OpenOffice.org, the only thing about the site that has changed is Oracle put their logo at the bottom of the page.
    Oracle has renamed STAROFFICE to Oracle OpenOffice. That is what they are selling. Something that has always been sold.

  5. avatar Jonathan UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Don’t forget about Gnome Office: http://live.gnome.org/GnomeOffice

  6. avatar Mackenzie UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Jonathan:
    And KOffice!

    Bethlynn:
    Have you noticed the shiny new Oracle branding on OpenOffice in Ubuntu 10.04?

  7. I like OpenOffice. Is good and reliable. Oracle has made a good investment. Although the price is somewhat high, free version will keep most users.

  8. avatar Joshua Issac UNITED KINGDOM Google Chrome Windows says:

    Yeah, Oracle is a company bigger than Microsoft. It is also more evil. See what happened to OpenSolaris? What will you use on June 30, 2011? Well, it’s not going to be OpenOffice.org if Oracle can do anything about it!

  9. avatar Joshua Issac UNITED KINGDOM Google Chrome Windows says:

    @Jonathan: Woow! You’re using IE6!

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  11. avatar David H CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Joshua: At least he’s on XP. One of these days I’ve got to upgrade… :P

  12. avatar Mike Knuth Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    What ORACLE does is just offer support to this excellent product. If you own a company you want only to use a product you get support for. That is the great opportunity ORACLE offers to the community.

    ORACLE is what SUN never was: A software company.
    And SUN was what ORACLE never was: A hardware company.

    Together this might become an unbeatable community we all profit from.

    This is what OpenOffice needs.

    Cheers

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  14. avatar JT UNITED STATES Google Chrome Mac OS says:

    I’m guessing you’re not sticking by this prediction.

  15. avatar abcgi AUSTRALIA Safari Mac OS says:

    @Eric – try reading the article again, it is not saying what you appear to think it is saying.

    You “disagree” with opinions. You don’t “disagree” with stated facts, you “contest” them, and then you are supposed to present your counter-evidence. For instance: perhaps the 95% is of the commercial office suite market or it has not fairly taken into account the number of downloads from openoffice.org? I don’t know because I haven’t done the research, either. Likewise, the prediction needs a lot more support to stand up and the “M$ is toast” comment is just glib IMO.

    The business week article refers to the “free OpenOffice program”. I always find that a little annoying as there is a difference between a free or public domain product and the consideration paid by agreeing to an open source license (sure, it’s all-good for the end-user, I’m just saying).

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