Open Office is perhaps the most popular alternative office suite to Microsoft Office. People are switching to Open Office because it is free and it basically does the same functions that Microsoft Office does. Were it not for this fact, people would still stick it out with Microsoft Office.
There are several suggestions I would like to make in order to make Open Office be truly competitive against Microsoft Office. I believe these suggestions will make people start to consider Open Office and perhaps even buy it even if they put a price tag on it. (But this is not going to happen since Open Office is open source)
The following are what I suggest in order for Open office to truly beat the crap out of Microsoft Office:
1.) Faster Loading time – It has always been a fact that Open Office loads slower than Microsoft Office. People with faster computers may not feel this. But for those who are still using “Jurassic” era machines, you can relate to what I am telling you. In order for Open Office to truly compete with Microsoft Office, they need to make sure that the next major version of Open Office loads faster than any version of Microsoft Office.
2.) Automatic updates – The current version of Open Office notifies you that there is a new version available. However you still have to download the package and go through the reinstallation process. Downloading via the Open Office interface also takes longer compared to going to the OpenOffice.org website and downloading it from there. The updates should be automatic and fast, similar to what some antivirus products are capable of. In some antivirus products, you just click on a “program update” and the program will automatically download any program updates without reinstalling the entire package. It is necessary that this feature should be installed since they release several upgrades within a year’s time plus add to that fact, people often do not like to go through the re-installation process again.
3.) Harness the power of Web 2.0 – While it is true that Open Office has done an excellent job in “marketing” the product, I believe they still have not truly harnessed the power of Web 2.0. Open Office should come up with something to motivate bloggers to write about Open Office using a very competitive keyword.
For example, the keyword “Free Microsoft Office” could be utilized to promote Open Office. “Free Microsoft Office” is a very high trend keyword, in fact the keyword has maintained its high trend for several years up to the present that it could be fittingly called as a “permanent high trend keyword.”
Not only is it a permanent high trend keyword, the keyword is also being searched by people from all over the world. If I were to categorize the keyword “Free Microsoft Office” I would call it a “Permanent, geographically spread out keyword” (I need to come up with a permanent keyword classification with a fancy term this is a good idea for another post) The keyword is not very low dense though since it has been referenced in 14,300,000 websites and blogs. However if there are several bloggers writing about this keyword and directing the keyword to the Open Office website, then I am sure that the Openoffice.org website will make it to the number 1 spot in Google for the keyword “Free Microsoft Office.” I must point out that the high trend keyword “Free office suite” already points to the Open Office website; this is already a good development for open office.
4.) Additional programs – Open office should include a database program that is more or less equal to or even more powerful than Microsoft Access. The Open Office database, Openoffice.org Base, does not even come close to Microsoft Access. Open Office should provide a real alternative to Microsoft Access. Other programs that should be included are a website authoring software, multimedia manipulation applications (pictures and video editors) and a desktop publisher.
5.) Setting up an “Open source store” – I have thought about this idea for some time. However I could not do it since it requires a lot of money. The idea is this, open up an “Open source store” in a big mall in every major city. The “Open source store” will feature several kiosks wherein people can bring along their flash drives and download open source programs for free. If they do not wish to do this we could sell them a boxed version of the product for a very low price. (Just enough to cover the costs of publishing the manuals and the CD) The store will become a free information center for open source software.
In order to cover the operating expenses, the store could sell hardware products such as laptops, and desktop computers that come preloaded with open source software. The products must be very cheap so that it will be available to a lot of people. Although the stores main mission will be to “bridge the digital gap by selling cheap quality hardware products” and to “promote the use of open source software”, owners of the store can still profit because it is guaranteed that a lot of people will buy from the store because the hardware products will be very cheap. In the near future, the store could expand its business operation to include a short course school that gives out certifications after they have completed a course covering a certain open source software or operating system. Now isn’t this idea cool ! If I were a millionaire right now, I’d be putting up this store !
In conclusion, Open Office is a great office suite alternative to Microsoft Office but it still has a long way to go before it can really beat the crap out of Microsoft Office. A combination of brilliant ideas, dedicated people and pursuing its mission with fervor will one day enable Open Office to dethrone Microsoft Office from its throne.
Oh before I forget, here’s my little payback to Open Office. All of our computers in our offices run on Open Office and we are so grateful because it helped us cut on software expenses. So of you wish to download this amazing free office suite download it here – “Free Microsoft office.” I also all bloggers of the world to write about Open office by using the keyword “Free Microsoft office” to link to the Openoffice.org website. If a lot of bloggers will do this, you will all soon realize that beating Microsoft Office through open office is easier than cleaning blackheads on nose. Long live open source software!