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An Open Letter to Larry Ellison about OpenOffice.org

Apr 29, 2009, 18:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Solveig Haugland)

"Tell them about it. 10 years after starting on StarOffice, I still introduce myself in one sentence, "I do training and educational materials for OpenOffice.org; it's like Microsoft but free and, I think, superior in many ways." Nobody looks at me weird for explaining what it is: 10 years after Sun started making StarOffice available. This is bad. Do what you have to: work with the Obama administration, go on Oprah, sponsor a Nascar driver, get it on "Lost." Do whatever it takes. We need name recognition.

"Certification. I don't know who said it, but I believe it: if you measure it and reward it, people will do it. A certification program analogous to Microsoft's is essential for a variety of improvements to perception and adoption of OpenOffice.org. And it's not a bad revenue generator, either.

"Partnerships and bundling. I don't need to tell you the advantages of having a product already pre-installed on hardware and included in other packages, but I'm sure not going to leave it out of this list. People who just start using OpenOffice.org without even knowing that it's not Microsoft Office also have a way easier time than those who fear change because they know it's different.

"Libraries, schools, government. They don't have a lot of money. They should have no barrier to interaction. Give them OpenOffice.org. Go out and deliver it to them."

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