Summary: One of Microsoft’s closest allies in India is entering development of the main competitor of Microsoft’s cash cow
A FEW days ago we spoke about the “bad Novell” and the “good [formerly] Novell”. As time goes by, Microsoft and its MVPs (like Miguel de Icaza with his latest Mono Trojans [1, 2]) increase their presence and influence at Novell while projects like OpenSUSE lose direction and get scuttled.
“At this stage, Microsoft really needs to screw up OpenOffice.org and ODF.”One project that’s at risk from Novell is OpenOffice.org. It is plausible to assume that Novell waits for an opportunity to take control of the project from Sun/Oracle (Novell already maintains a fork and it has floated the idea of a foundation). About a month ago we showed that Thorsten Behrens from Novell was rejected entry into OpenOffice.org, but we are saddened to see Wipro — a pro-Microsoft company and close ally [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] — entering the project with Venkata Sudheer (it’s not clear to what extent the company is involved, but Wipro lobbied for OOXML, which means Microsoft Office). This may be a form of entryism which gives the Microsoft crowd more control over OpenOffice.org. It’s something to be aware of and highly vigilant about. Will Wipro insert features that further Microsoft’s agenda into OpenOffice.org? Like Novell put Hyper-V patches inside Linux [1, 2, 3]?
At this stage, Microsoft really needs to screw up OpenOffice.org and ODF. We explained the reason yesterday and Neil McAllister from IDG says that “Microsoft Office Web Apps [Are] Limited, Mediocre, Dismal” (original here). Harsh headline, strong words.
Many features were missing, however — most notably the ability to edit documents — so my ultimate assessment was reserved. Now that Office 2010 has shipped, I thought it high time to revisit the suite to see what Microsoft has actually delivered. Are the Office Web Apps a true competitor to Google Docs, a valuable addition to the Office product family, or merely a Web-based novelty?
Notice how they still don’t/hardly mention OpenOffice.org. That’s the main competition. █