Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Local 'Net Cafes ditches MS Office for an Alternative Office Suite

This news item from INQ7.Net has piqued my interest.  It banners "'Net cafe group to offer cheaper alternative to MS Office".  Well and good!  Take that Microsoft!  However, reading through the article, I discovered that the alternative office suite that they intend to replace MS Office with is a virtually unknown suite called Ability Office.

Ability what???  Reading further, the article states that Ability Office costs Php 2,950 for the "basic edition" and Php 4,960 for the "professional edition".  They apparently prefer paying those prices instead of the overpriced MS Office.

Question: wouldn't it be cheaper to use the free and open source OpenOffice which they can freely download than to pay Php 2,950 per workstation?  Granted that they got a deal that makes Ability Office free to use for the first year, would that make the Php 2,950 less "painful" to pay next year?  What's the point of ditching one expensive proprietary technology with a less expensive proprietary technology?

Well, I don't know what the ICAP (Internet Cafe Association of the Philippines) is smoking but I don't think this plan will not fly at all.  If I have to use an internet cafe to do some work with word processing and/or spreadsheets, I'll bring along my flashdisk and use my Portable OpenOffice.Org to do some *real* work.

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