OpenOffice versus MS Office
What I want to know is “Why doesn’t Ed Balls instruct schools and colleges to standardize on OpenOffice rather than MS Office?”
- OpenOffice is free; MS Office is not
- OpenOffice is MS-compatible; MS Office is not always compatible with (earlier) MS Offices
- OpenOffice is standards-compliant; MS Office is MS-standards-compliant
- OpenOffice is supported by the worldwide legion of open source enthusiasts; MS Office is supported by MS
And then there’s the whole question of security: open source security versus proprietary security. It’s a complex debate and not one we can tackle here; so I’ll skip straight to my own bottom line: I place far greater trust in the open source community than I do in Microsoft.
So, Ed, man of the people, why not do the people a favour? I’m no accountant, but I would imagine that the savings would rapidly amount to millions of pounds for the education budget. And it would be a boon to the poor hard-pressed voters whose kids tell them they need Microsoft Office for their schoolwork. Might even win you a few votes, Ed.