Open Office Adoption Proposal

An outline of information about Open Office I prepared to present to school teachers and administrators.

Facts About Open Office

  • Contains word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool (also drawing, math editor, and database)

  • Looks a lot like Microsoft Office 2003 (same features, but some options are in different menus)

  • Is free (can be installed on ∞ computers)

  • Is open source (like Firefox, Moodle, and Android phones) extensions and modifications are allowed (democratic community guides the path of the software instead of dictatorial corporation).

  • Is lightweight and runs on any operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux & new/old hardware)

  • Can open files created by Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 (.doc, .xls, .ppt, .docx, .xlsx, .pptx)

    • Some issues with converting files with complex layout (lots of images embedded in a word document)

  • Can save files in Microsoft Office 2003 format (also has its own file format)

  • Can save files as .pdf (don’t need to have cute pdf installed)

  • Is popular (108 downloads of Open Office 3 in one year)

Who uses it?

Why Are We Considering Open Office?

  • We will need to upgrade software eventually

    • We are currently using Microsoft Office 2003

    • This is software that was released 7 years ago and will eventually be phased out

  • Microsoft Office 2007 is available (MS Office 2010 is in beta testing

    • The interface is quite different from MS Office 2003 and will require extensive training

  • Since training is going to be required, why not invest money we would use on buying software into training people?

    • To buy MS Office every 5-7 years is enough money to pay every teacher for 3 hours of training every year!

  • You can keep using MS Office 2003 during the transition (since we already purchased it)

  • If we choose MS Office 2007 we will have new computers with 2007 and old computers with 2003. (mixed environment)

  • If we choose Open Office we can install open office on all computers right away (free to install, consistent environment).

  • Makes a $400 netbook a $350 netbook (12% savings)

  • Can be installed for free at home (on Windows, Mac, and Linux-a $150 savings per student

  • Google Docs is free and complements any office suite we choose.

  • Ideology – Public education and open source have similar goals

Arguments for Microsoft Office 2007

  • The presentation software has more templates

  • Microsoft Office has a large market share so we should expose students to the dominant brand

  • Some features on MS Office 2007 work better

  • Looks slicker

  • Complex MS 2003 documents (lots of tables) might open more consistently

One school going open source not to save money but for the ideology (they also save money)

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply