Microsoft’s Case Study

This crossed my inbox today – it’s about a Microsoft case study on

It certainly tickled me, so I thought I’d share…

From: <it doesn’t matter>
To: 1Earth
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 3:56:01 PM
Subject: Questions – Microsoft Casestudy

I need to reply to a case study from Microsoft on Open Office. Apparently they want to know why you chose to use Open Office vs Powerpoint to create Channel 18 or something (I’m not sure, but MIS mentioned you were the only one using Open Office in SHR). Can you provide me with some answers to the questions below:

  • Were they just trialing or were they former Open Office users?
  • How many PCs?
  • When did this happen?
  • What impression did they have on Open Office that made them decide to try?
  • What are the customer pain points?
  • What are the reasons why they’ve switched from Open Office to Microsoft
  • What were the end results and supported by statistics

I would appreciate your feedback before the end of the week.

Wow, if only I could reply to them directly so that I know it wouldn’t get edited. But what the hell, I replied to the person asking anyway….

From: 1Earth
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 5:08 PM
To: <it really doesn’t matter>
Subject: Re: Questions – Microsoft Casestudy

…  I love an opportunity to tell Microsoft why they suck – it would be great if you didn’t edit this. Go on, blame me

– Were they trailing or were they former Open Office users?
I’m a looooooooong time Open Office user.

– How many PCs?
2 – the one I created it on and the one it ran on. Given half a chance I would install it on every PC I encounter.

– When did this happen?
In 2007 already – November, December? I can’t remember exactly.

– What impression did they have on Open Office that decided them to try?
The main motivation was that it was free and quick.
I didn’t have to beg somebody in MIS for weeks, who had to beg somebody in Finance for months, who had to shell out lots of RM to Microsoft for another license.
Secondly, but almost as important, was that I knew it would run unattended for extensive periods without crashing.
Thirdly, it was easy to quickly show the Concierge how to work the basics they needed, as the interface is intuitive.

– What are the customer pain points?
Haha, as in what pains me about Powerpoint? Where to start… but for the sake of brevity, the reverse of the points above will do.
I would have had to get another expensive license to run another copy on another machine.
I can’t trust PowerPoint with all sorts of slides to run for long periods without mysteriously crashing.
I would have needed several hours to teach the Concierge how to do the basic stuff in case of trouble.

– What are the reasons they switched from Open Office to Microsoft?
Oh, I didn’t switch back to Microsoft, I left SH. I’m still happily using the ever improving Open Office.

– What were the end results supported by statistics?
The end results is that often free, open source software are more reliable and increasingly easier to use than Microsoft’s propriety, expensive, closed source software. Microsoft’s declining share in many of their software markets are statistics, I’m sure, they’re well aware of and don’t need me to supply to them.

It’s a fat pleasure

The sarcasm was largely unintended, but Microsoft doesn’t bring out the best in me.


  • Murphy

    26 March 2009 at 19:06

    Open Office is good enough for most users, as most people (esp. Malaysians) only use very basic functions that they only need 20% of what Microsoft Office offers. Save the money to buy user a bigger monitor. They will be happier.

  • 1Earth

    26 March 2009 at 19:30

    I don't miss MS Office at all and I think can do most of what MS Office can – even beyond the basic 20%. It just needs an Outlook replacement integrated with the suite (I use Evolution, which replaces Outlook just fine) and then it certainly would be an Office killer.

    But you're right – most users across most departments in this particular company could have MS Office replaced with no issues and mega $$$ savings. In fact, most could forsake XP entirely for Ubuntu and eliminate viruses, up their productivity, get more out of their PCs and save even more $$$!

    I'm secretly wishing somebody would ask me to do that for their company 🙂

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