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05 November 2005



Interesting bet because it asks,
"Would FFox have made good if its only selling point were price?"

Or, maybe, "Would FFox have made good if it were a bloated-but-free, imperfect subset of IE?"

I've wondered that from time to time. Stephe forces me to see we have a test at hand.

I use and pimp FFox.

I'll say, in casual conversation, "You're still using IE? Try Firefox. It's faster, it does a lot more, it's free. What's not to like?"

I'll continue. "Hey, want me to show you? We can do it right now."

The download's instant . Presto.

OOffice? My excitement underwhelms.

Yes, I use both. Exclusively.

I haven't really used Microsoft products since 1983. I thought subdirectories a welcome addition to MS-DOS 2.0, but the total cost of a Microsoft platform was just too high. That was total *personal* cost: money, time-and-trouble, loss of functionality, inability to interoperate easily with my friends and co-workers, and total lack of "cool."

I use OO because it comes with Linux and sometimes I need to read word documents.

Would I use it if I had something else? Well, apparently. And why do I use OO instead of KOffice? Because it's the default that FFox launches.

Me, I'm a typical "early adopter." (Such a much nicer term than "geek," don't you think?)

I watch the TechCrunch RSS feed for new Ajax apps. I haven't looked for a feed reader for my cell phone because my phone won't let me try the apps I find.

I evangelize when I see things I like.

I've converted my friends to FFox. I hand out Knoppix disks like Halloween treats. I won't shut up about blogs.

I jump in with both feet.

I've been too cheap or lazy to buy a plan that gives me web access from my phone, but days after my provider gave me free text messaging, my friends all knew about Google SMS. I started using Backpack to send all my reminders to my cell and gave away my alarm clock.

I haven't had a land line for years.

I was even excited, for a day, when it looked like Google and Sun would launch OO as a web service.

My friends listen to me because I know whereof I speak, and I'm out there blazing some trail for them.

Would OO need to be slick and cool and have new stuff to excite me? Yup.

"Print PDF"? Yawn.

But does OO need people like me? Ah, now there's the question.

The bet is, "Price trumps all." Works for Wal-Mart.

Gentlemen, start your engines.

Eric Shea

Glad you blogged about this, great follow on to the Open Source Business models talk you gave.

I think that the early adopters have embraced Firefox and OOffice for slightly different reasons. Firefox for functionality, innovation, and perceived security. (It also didn't hurt that it was not MSFT and runs on Linux as well as Windows) OOffice is a replacement. *It does what you need it to*, thus hitting the top part of Christensen's user expectations S-curve.

I also 'pimp' FFox and OOffice. But the average user I talk to hasn't really cared about the innovative features like tabbed browsing. The two simple reasons my family would switch:

Firefox: No more spyware killing my computer, no more annoying popups.

Open Office: I need to create a Word document and you say this Open Office can do that AND IT'S FREE??

Stephen is right, there is no risk to installing Open Office. Once the users have tried it and realize it hits 99% of what they need, they will NOT be buying another MSFT Office product. Microsoft Office is entrenched but it's easy to picture the slippery slope once people find OOffice. (thank you to the Commonwealth for doing such a great marketing job)

Eric Shea

French tax agency planning on switching 80,000 desktops to OOffice.

Ben Kloosterman

7 years and counting now .. Office 2007 going strong Vista not.

- With regard to office MS may loose revenue but they may end up dropping the product to $200 once India and China come up ( yes most people including gov use illegal copies - the goverment here alone uses $US100B of illegal MS software according to some estimates i heard - eg 100 M copies of Office ).
- Microsoft offered works (dont know if they still do ) for$149 including a full copy of word , cut down excel MS Money etc . The thing is corporates are not intrested even though they can get it for like $50. If it included outlook i would have used works.
- web 2.0 will crumble , once people realize they are writing nTier apps in the most difficult to maintain slowest way people will go back to Java and .NET web delivered client apps MS are in a great position in this market.



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