Is Microsoft worried about OpenOffice.org, a free, open-source application suite? A new attack ad suggests so.
PC World describes the video:
Titled "A Few Perspectives on OpenOffice.org," the video features a series of horror stories from customers who tried the open-source productivity suite and suffered from excess costs as well as IT resources, performance and compatibility issues.
In the clip, which includes only the description, "Some thoughts from OpenOffice.org users and why they switched back to Microsoft Office," we hear from a series of users who've had problems with the free, open-source applications. One states, "When we returned to Microsoft Office after our experience with OpenOffice, you could practically hear a collective sigh of relief across the entire district." The anecdotes are recounted against grim and foreboding music.
InformationWeek says of the clip, "It's not very common for an established industry leader to trash a competitor; that kind of dirty politics is usually considered below them. This week Microsoft decided to buck that trend and create what some have called an attack video where customers lament their experiences with OpenOffice." Yet it also notes, "Microsoft actually has some very valid arguments for their customers staying with Office."
PC World's Katharine Noyes writes in a post, "Could the sweat on Steve Ballmer's brow be any more evident?" She takes a different stance: "Whether it's Linux or other free alternatives to Microsoft's high-priced products, it seems no conversation can take place without the inevitable insinuations about higher total cost of ownership, lack of support, and other baseless fearmongering. Such claims are, of course, nothing more than deliberately perpetuated myths designed to scare customers into Redmond's malware-infested arms, as I recently pointed out."
What do you think of the ad? Watch it below.