[K12OSN] office suite interoperability

James P. Kinney III jkinney at localnetsolutions.com
Sun Jul 8 14:17:13 UTC 2007

I hear repeatedly "We MUST use Microsoft office because that's what
everyone has". I guess "lemmings" comes to mind...

It really bothers me that people who in general will be writing just a
few pages with a picture or two are brainwashed into believing they MUST
have an application that will cost each pc more than the value of the pc
each year in licensing.

Thus enters OpenOffice.org

What a fabulous application. Cross platform so Windows, Mac and Linux
(and Solaris and SGI and...) user can all share files seamlessly.

Yes I _still_ hear the argument "But people don't have OpenOffice at
home so we can't use it".


It costs $0 to obtain a legal copy. 

So the often used rule in K12LTSP is to setup OpenOffice so the default
output format is Microsoft Office format.

Personally, I think that is a bad idea. It's just a short term kludge
workaround to not having the resources to train people in how to "Save

But Sun has stepped up and released the best solution - a plugin to
Microsoft Office that can read and write OpenOffice format files. 

The file format of OpenOffice is an ISO standard right now. Make sure
everyone keeps hearing that mantra - OpenOffice is standards compliant
but Microsoft Office is not.

Then offer the plugin to help bring Microsoft Office up to current world


Be sure to remind everyone that open document formats are just like
knowledge: good for everyone.

James P. Kinney III          
CEO & Director of Engineering 
Local Net Solutions,LLC        

GPG ID: 829C6CA7 James P. Kinney III (M.S. Physics)
<jkinney at localnetsolutions.com>
Fingerprint = 3C9E 6366 54FC A3FE BA4D 0659 6190 ADC3 829C 6CA7
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