Feeds

MS scorns Israeli OpenOffice defection

'Immature and unproven software package'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The Israeli Ministry of Commerce - essentially the treasury - has suspended all contracts with Microsoft.

First out of the door is the Israeli employment agency, which will replace 550 out of 700 users with OpenOffice. The contract represents a hardware win for IBM. Some 150 staff will stay on Microsoft Office. For now, all the switchers will remain on Windows, running the Win32 version of the software libre equivalent of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft reacted scornfully to the decision, the Hebrew-only Daily Mail reports, accusing the Israelis of being tight-fisted.

"The employment agency has selected an immature and unproven software package and its functionality is at the best close to Office 97," said Microsoft representatives.

Accusing the ministry of penny pinching is hardly a promising line of attack, we suggest. Users make rational choices. And Word 97-era functionality is clearly considered good enough for the Israeli ministry of employment.

Traditionally, incumbents fight better-value insurgents by stressing switching costs. We'll be hearing about the importance of the fabled Microsoft Office Corporate Macro™ fairly soon - a mythical beast which has never been sighted outside of technical computer magazines. Switching costs are certainly a factor, but may be less than Microsoft had banked on.

In a little noticed decision recently, Israel's Antitrust Authority director general, Dror Strum, declared Microsoft a monopoly. Separate civil actions on behalf of open source and Apple advocates are pending; a motion by the former to State Prosecutor Tadmor recently brought to light unpublished decisions by the Antitrust Authority to abide by the US antitrust settlement. The latter followed an outcry by Israel's Macintosh community about Microsoft's failure to support right-to-left languages, such as Arabic, Urdu and Hebrew - in their Macintosh applications. Apple now fully supports right-to-left languages, but there's no sign of Microsoft enabling the feature at the application level. This affects Apple in the Hebrew and in the much larger Arab and Indian markets. ®

Related Stories

Israel slams the door on Microsoft
Related Stories
Apple Israel chief calls for 'Save Hebrew' write-in
Microsoft's Mac Hebrew snub prompts Israeli AntiTrust complaint
Mac users to MS: your Right to Left defence is Upside Down
Antitrust trouble brewing for Microsoft in Israel

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.