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From Simos Xenitellis <simos.li...@googlemail.com>
Subject Re: OpenOffice: were are we now?
Date Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:22:10 GMT
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 3:37 AM,  <robert_weir@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> Simon Phipps <simon@webmink.com> wrote on 06/05/2011 07:49:41 PM:
>
>> From: Simon Phipps <simon@webmink.com>
>> To: general@incubator.apache.org
>> Date: 06/05/2011 07:50 PM
>> Subject: Re: OpenOffice: were are we now?
>>
>> On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 12:38 AM, Richard S. Hall
> <heavy@ungoverned.org>wrote:
>>
>> >
>> > I don't think the proposal here is for OOo to enter incubation and
> then try
>> > to copy everything that TDF/LO does. I assume the proposers have a
> vision
>> > for where they want to go, even though they may be starting from the
> same
>> > place.
>> >
>>
>> I'm not clear how safe that assumption is - that's what I have been
> waiting
>> to see explained for quite a while actually. Rob has been strong on
>> long-term abstract vision (clearly more omniscient than me), but any
> time
>> specifics of what (& how) is going to happen in the immediate future in
>> terms of maintaining the important consumer end-user presence
> OpenOffice.org
>> delivers, things get pretty fuzzy and hand-wavey.
>>
>
> Perhaps you missed it in the thread on end-users. Here is a link:
>
> http://markmail.org/message/ge3jom3px5dviils
>
> IMHO, the growth in end user adoption will happen in the enterprise.  That
> will require support mechanisms that are far beyond what LO or Apache can
> give. But it will be provided by a mix of consultancies based on free or
> libre versions of the code, as well as by commercial;, mixed-source
> versions built upon the Apache code.
>

I suppose s/commercial/proprietary/g, as you can very well create a
product based
on LibreOffice, or any copyleft source code.

A somewhat similar software (in terms of end-user usage) to LibreOffice
is the Firefox browser. There is a difference that a browser is something
you can easily get for free, however most users stick to what was
already pre-installed.
According to the StatCounter stats,
http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-200909-201106
Firefox is steadily at 30% global market share for the last few years.
And Firefox did not have a significant marketing campaign. It was the users
that helped each other and promoted the browser.
In some countries, the users outdid themselves, with well over 75% of
Internet users
Indonesia using Firefox,
http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ID-monthly-200909-201106

It is the users that helped Firefox, and it is the users that can lift
LibreOffice.
If a LibreOffice user needs support, they most probably will ask a friend,
or access the online support forums.

http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/ has 40.000 members
and is run by the community.
http://www.oooforum.org/forum/ has 215.000 members
and is run by the community.

There is opportunity for the community to help support the end-users.
Don't take for granted that Oracle is also giving away these two forums.
If the users are not inspired by Apache OpenOffice to contribute their
time for free,
they will just dump Apache OpenOffice.

> In parallel to that, we'll continue doing the same thing that OOo did for
> the last 10 years, provide documentation, tutorials, FAQ's, user forums,
> etc., on http://OpenOffice.org.  The intent is to keep that as the
> end-user portal.
>

You should ask them first if they are happy with this.

Oracle did not do a stellar job to inspire the end-users and
contributors, and they
ended up leaving. The 'OpenOffice.org' forums remain with the existing name
until it is figured out what is going to happen with OOo.

> I'd be interesting in hearing if the TDF has something stronger to offer.
> Were you planning on providing 24x7 phone support?  Visiting customers to
> do migrations?  Provide 14 day guaranteed patch support?  Provide onsite
> training?  Of course not.  Supporting the full range of end users requires
> an entire ecosystem of partners.  I believe that the Apache 2.0 license
> facilitates growing that kind of ecosystem.  We've seen this happen with
> many other Apache projects.
>

It is up to the members of the community to get the skills and start
providing support
services. This is the essence of free and open-source software,
and there are tremendous growth opportunities for LibreOffice.

IBM can also provide such services.

Simos

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