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Performance of OpenOffice.org and MS Office 656

m85476585 writes "I have used Microsoft Office since I purchased it a year ago. I wrongly assumed that since I paid for it, it must be better, but recently I have noticed that it seems slow, so I decided to try OpenOffice.org to see if it is faster. I compared Writer and Word to see which one is faster and consumes less resources. The results are posted on my website."
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Performance of OpenOffice.org and MS Office

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  • by giorgiofr ( 887762 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @03:53PM (#12796662)
    You're comparing one of the *worst pieces of bloatware* to OpenOffice.org? How CRUEL of you!
    • Re:Blooooaaaaat (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SUB7IME ( 604466 )
      And, thanks to totally unscientific nature of the tests, the bloatware really doesn't come out looking any worse than OpenOffice.org!
      • Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Klivian ( 850755 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:49PM (#12797116)
        The totally unscientific nature of the tests does not really matter anyway since it's measures the most useless parameter ever used in benchmarks for desktop software. The measurement of startup time for this class of software are pure nonsens. Since the time actually spent doing real work with the application are gigantic compared to startup time, whether it's 1 s or 1 minute. It means nothing compare to spending 10 minutes or more writing a letter or the whole workday writing on a report.
        • Re:Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NewbieProgrammerMan ( 558327 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @05:48PM (#12797543)
          Maybe you always keep things open a long time and work on them, but some of us don't. I frequently have sessions during some work days where I have to open and review and/or tweak on a couple dozen documents, or when I have to quickly open a document to get an answer for somebody on the phone. In those situations, waiting on Word (or any other app, for that matter) to leisurely haul itself and every document into memory is a pain.
        • Re:Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

          by havardi ( 122062 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @06:00PM (#12797611)
          Startup times don't matter for word processing programs? I find that hard to believe. If you open and close documents (such as email attachments) all day long, startup times are VERY important. You might say one might as well leave the program open, but most people don't understand that concept-- which is probably one reason that the Macintosh UI often leaves programs running (unless you specifically quit), and why so many programs have obnoxious system startup items. To the end user, startup time is the first impression and probably the most important benchmark.
          • Re:Useless (Score:5, Informative)

            by shellbeach ( 610559 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @08:07PM (#12798298)
            Startup times don't matter for word processing programs? I find that hard to believe. If you open and close documents (such as email attachments) all day long, startup times are VERY important.

            Yes, but unfortunately the startup times in TFA were very far removed from normal experience. 30 seconds to start Word on a 2.2Ghz Celeron with a 5400 RPM HDD?!? I think not! The last version of Word I tested was that provided in Office XP, and that opened in sub 1 second times on my Athlon 1.6Ghz system. There's something botched with this guy's Word installation - he said himself in the write up that he's "recently noticed it seemed slow" ... possibly he should clean up whatever viruses he's got and try again.

            In the Real World (TM) OOo is a dinosaur compared to MS Office. It doesn't worry me - I use LyX for all my work - but it's saddening that OSS can be this bloated.

            (Disclaimer: I dislike MS and I've been instrumental in getting my University to promote and provide OOo for students. However, if both MS Office and OOo were OSS and free, there's no way I could ever recommend OOo)
            • Re:Useless (Score:3, Informative)

              by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
              The last version of Word I tested was that provided in Office XP, and that opened in sub 1 second times on my Athlon 1.6Ghz system. There's something botched with this guy's Word installation

              He said he turned off the preloading. MS likes to do that to make Office seem faster, at the expense of slowing boot times and permanently occupying a slab of RAM. But if that's all you use all day, maybe you want that.

    • Clippy's bloatware? And I thought he actually wanted to help me with my document? I feel so disallusioned. So cheated.
  • OO.o is fast and quite nice. Just not 100% compatible, and thus not an option for some of us poor suckers who don't get to decide what software we must use in collaborative frameworks.
    • The recent news of Microsoft going to an XML file format in Office in the next release is encouraging, however I don't expect it to be that simple. OO (and AbiWord, for that matter) would probably be considered a real threat to Office/Word if they could simply be on the same level playing ground when it comes to reading/writing compatible files. For all but the simplest docs, I've yet to see a third-party word processor that claims MS Word compatibility to function 100%
      • by aussie_a ( 778472 )
        I've yet to see a MS Word processor that had MS Word compatbility to function 100% with the documents made in the previous version. So I guess OO.o aint too bad, considering it is definitely an improvement on MS Word.
    • Got an old rev of MS Office? OpenOffice is better than MS Office 95 and cheaper than upgrading.

    • by Sparr0 ( 451780 ) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:35PM (#12797011) Homepage Journal
      In the exact same way that Word is not 100% Compatible, right? If Word 2003 cant open Word 2000, Word XP, Word 97, and Word documents reliably, why should OOo be able to? It even does BETTER in some cases.
  • by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Sunday June 12, 2005 @03:55PM (#12796674)

    From TFA:

    I don't like Microsoft...

    Nice that the author is admitting his bias up front...makes the obvious skewing in the rest of this 'test' marginally easier to swallow.

    I'd love to see a good, objective comparison of M$ Office and Open Office...too bad this article ain't it.
    • by deacon ( 40533 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:55PM (#12797162) Journal
      Nice that the author is admitting his bias up front

      It is, actually. I wish the MSM people were requiered to do the same. What's the problem with him admitting bias up front? Would he be a "better person" if he hid his bias, pretended it did not exist?

      makes the obvious skewing in the rest of this 'test' marginally easier to swallow.

      What obvious skewing? Are you just trying to poison the well [fallacyfiles.org] or do you have any actual counter-argument to the results of his tests?

  • by mister_llah ( 891540 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @03:55PM (#12796682) Homepage Journal
    I have used Open Office for the last semester (16 weeks for those non-students out there) ... and yes, Open Office is faster than MS Office... however... since Open Office isn't widely used, I wind up exporting to DOC, and the formatting has been screwed up in a couple of situations (often at inconvenient times, like when I need to turn a paper in and I find out in the lab, I learned quickly after the 1st one) ...

    In speed and resources, Open Office comes out ahead, but the issues I have stem more from compatability (and exporting, mostly)

    It is a good office suiteif you are going to be using it on your system and never sharing your files with, say, a company or professor (who will likely not be using Open Office)
    • by Mad Merlin ( 837387 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:01PM (#12796745) Homepage
      Have you tried the export to PDF option yet? It's quite excellent in my experience.
    • The first rule of turning in papers writen in OpenOffice is: go pdf.
    • I wind up exporting to DOC, and the formatting has been screwed up in a couple of situations (often at inconvenient times, like when I need to turn a paper in and I find out in the lab, I learned quickly after the 1st one) ...

      I usually export to pdf from OO.org. It seems to do that pretty flawlessly. Of course, that poses its own challenges if you're emailing a professor, depending on how savvy they are.

      In speed and resources, Open Office comes out ahead, but the issues I have stem more from compa

    • by jayloden ( 806185 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:45PM (#12797075)
      Try using RTF (Rich Text Format) instead of .doc files. It's readable and writeable in any MS Office version, works fine across platforms and applications, and is supported even by TextEdit and WordPad and so forth. Much more portable than .doc files and less troublesome, at least in my experience.

      • For my purposes, RTF would probably work, I think it retains bullet points and things like that... but RTF isn't always a good solution (versus DOC)

        RTF will not retain complex formatting such as table information, graphic alignment and pagination or macros...

        Obviously macros aren't a huge deal for most people... but export to PDF seems like a good option... (as long as you don't need to edit)
    • by jesterzog ( 189797 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:59PM (#12797199) Homepage Journal

      I wind up exporting to DOC, and the formatting has been screwed up in a couple of situations (often at inconvenient times, like when I need to turn a paper in and I find out in the lab, I learned quickly after the 1st one) ...

      I'm convinced that the biggest problem is that full compatibility goes well beyond file formats. It's also about application behaviour, for which there aren't any documented standards. We've gotten to the point where the file formats are understood, but behaviour compatibility is still incredibly tricky.

      I use OpenOffice as much as possible these days, albeit mostly for word processing. Personally I've encountered a few less annoyances with OpenOffice, particularly with things like moderate table manipulation. Unless forced to, though, I still won't trust OpenOffice to save to .doc correctly without checking it... at least not with anything important.

      In particular, I've noticed that at least some of the incompatibilities are semantic differences in the object model. I'm not sure how they can be fixed in 100% of cases.

      One example that comes to mind is with paragraph spacing in tables. If a paragraph is empty, OpenOffice still includes the paragraph spacing, causing the table row height to be slightly higher. MS Word, on the other hand, ignores the paragraph spacing unless there's actually text in the paragraph.

      The MS Word behaviour seems like a bug, or just another one of the little annoyances that I referred to before, but it's one that everyone in Word is used to. If you use OpenOffice.org to open an MS Word file that has tables, empty paragraphs in some of the cells, and paragraph spacing specified on those paragraphs, there's a very likely possibility that the pages won't line up.

      Some people might think that the OpenOffice import filter could simply recognise that it's an MS Word file, and turn off paragraph spacing on the import -- causing the table cells to be the same height. It's not that simple, though, because if somebody decides to type in the document and send it back, it'll be messed up all over again.

      The only way that OpenOffice.org can be truly compatible with MS Word is to keep track of whether the opened document was a Word document. Then it would need to either:

      1. Implement some kind of "MS Word quirks" mode for this entire time, or
      2. Change the OpenOffice.org document model so that it's incompatible with earlier versions of itself, and instead incorporates the inconsistencies that Word does.

      Personally I'd hate the second option. I've come to like the OpenOffice.org document model a lot more, simply because it seems more predictible and consistent, and doesn't have a lot of little annoyances that the MS Word model has, at least in the ways that I use it. It'd also mess up a whole lot of older OpenOffice documents that I have lying around if they suddenly opened with a different policy on things like paragraph spacing.

      The first option seems very complicated, though. It's asking OpenOffice to not just simulate the document formats, but also the behaviour of another proprietary application. It's also asking the user to keep track of all the possible different ways that OpenOffice.org might act at any given time. That in itself could turn into a UI nightmare, because suddenly the user interface of the application is much less consistent. (Keep in mind that we're talking about regular users, here. It's not like Mozilla quirks mode, where the main people dealing with the differences are web developers.)

      I don't know exactly what the best way is to fix this, but it's definitely not as easy as just writing decent import and export filters. Personally I'm just fortunate enough that I don't have to share my documents very often. When I do give someone a Word-format document, though, I make a point to at least check it in Word whenever possible before handing it over.

  • OMG! (Score:2, Funny)

    by meatflower ( 830472 )
    A slashdot post where you actually HAVE to read TFA?
    This is a first, no information about the results or specifics were put in the post! We'll probably still have idiots who make posts without actually reading it though.
    I did read TFA by the way and found the results to be the opposite of my experiences. I know what that means though, you'll understand if you RTFA! Muahahahahaha!
  • by ChipMonk ( 711367 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @03:56PM (#12796688) Journal
    From TFA:

    My computer is slow (a 2.2 GHz Celeron with 512 MB RAM)

    By that definition, my 500 MHz laptop positively crawls.
    • by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:23PM (#12796920) Homepage
      I was also amazed that on his system, which I would consider a very fast, high-end machine, Word took 31 seconds to load the first time. Do people really put up with that? Are they nuts?? I'd thought OOo was scandalously slow because it took that long to start on old hardware.

      It's amazing how performance of computers works. IIRC, Electric Pencil on a TRS-80 in ca. 1980 only took a few seconds to load. Now, 25 years later, people think it's normal to wait 31 seconds, on a CPU that's 1000 times faster?

      • by Nasarius ( 593729 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @05:13PM (#12797293)
        a very fast, high-end machine

        Well, that's overdoing it a little. I have a P4 2.4GHz with 512MB RAM that I bought two years ago. It was mid-to-high range then. It's still more than enough for most work, but it's very low-end for gamers.

        My times:
        MS Word 2003 - 5 seconds OO Writer 1.9.100 - 17 seconds

      • by Liquidrage ( 640463 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @06:56PM (#12797929)
        No, people don't put up with that.

        As has been pointed out by others word doesn't open anywhere near that slow. The author's either lying or a moron who's machine is borked up beyond belief.

        It amazes that when people here go out of their way to criticize MS products they are basically saying, "I'm a total idiot that can't use a computer". MS has products that totally suck for joe-blow that doesn't know crap. But a power user can and *should* be keeping windows (since 2000 anyways) clean and stable. If you're not, you're a moron. Should MS make it easier to do so and better? Hell yes. But it doesn't take rocket science to keep it up and clean. People that apparently can admin linux boxes in 31 different flavors are too fucking stupid too keep windows up. Or they're lying.

        I think I'll safely say the later is the correct choice.

        Windows/Word has enough issues, we don't need to resort to FUD and lies though.
  • by atlep ( 36041 )
    Writer made a smaller file than the original text document, so it must have compressed it. OpenOffice saves all documents in zipped xml. You can unzip the files and read the xml content if you want to.
  • This is on Windows? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by p0 ( 740290 )
    I wonder what the performance is if Open Office was run on Linux and MS Office on Windows. How does Open Office perform on Windows? Is it slower or faster than on Linux on a similar configuration?
  • This sounds wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jjeff1 ( 636051 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @03:57PM (#12796703)
    From TFA, opening office takes 12 seconds on average, with first startup being over 30 seconds.
    I just rebooted my machine and Word 2000 opened in less than 2 seconds. Oh yea, I'm currently ripping a DVD. My machine is faster than the one tested, but not 15 times faster.
    I don't know how the testing is done, but all the quoted speeds seem way, way too high for both apps.
    • by caino59 ( 313096 )
      He truly simulated the experience of the average home user.

      His machine is obviously riddled with spyware.

      In my experience, OO always has taken a bit longer to open on any machine, however - when opening the App by double clicking a file, OO always seemed ready to edit sooner than the MS variants.
    • Re:This sounds wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FlipmodePlaya ( 719010 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:06PM (#12796789) Journal
      The author probably wasn't using the symbiotic loader, which keeps Office in RAM at all times for the sole purpose of faster startup times.
      • Re:This sounds wrong (Score:3, Informative)

        by imsabbel ( 611519 )
        I dont think the reviewer has the mental capacity to actually take such things into account.

        Its more likely because openoffice was freshly installed, but ms-office was "installed more than a year ago".
        If he doesnt even do a clean install, he surely doesnt defrag his HD...
        But even with no autoloader and a fragmented hd it shouldnt take that long, so i guess he just had his whole spyware|utility stuff running in the background.
      • by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:49PM (#12797117)
        Interesting then that Word launches in under 5 seconds on my 800Mhz G3 iBook. Certainly no "symbiotic loader" here.

        So, we hve a review by someone with an announced bias and a b0rked system. Yup, that's definitely "stuff that matters"...
      • Re:This sounds wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rmjohnso ( 891555 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:51PM (#12797129)
        I just finished my own analysis. Here is the setup:

        Dell Inspiron 8500
        Pentium 4 2.4 GHz
        512 MB RAM

        I did a completely clean install of Windows XP SP2 last weekend, and I spend most of my time in Linux, so I haven't really touched it. I installed OO.o 1.1.14 and Office 2003 Professional. Office and Windows are fully patched.

        Services running at Windows startup:
        Automatic Updates
        COM+ Event System
        Cryptographic Services
        DCOM Server Process Launcher
        DHCP Client
        DNS Client
        Event Log
        Help and Support
        HID Input Support
        Logical Disk Manager
        Network Connections
        Network Location Awareness (NLA)
        Plug and Play
        Print Spooler
        Protected Storage
        Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
        Security Accounts Manager
        Shell Hardware Detection
        System Event Notification
        System Restore Service
        Windows Audio
        Windows Installer
        Windows Management Instrumentation
        Windows User Mode Driver Framework
        Wireless Zero Configuration

        Processes running at Windows startup:
        lsa ss.exe
        servic es.exe
        svchost.exe (x5)
        wdfmgr.e xe

        Notice that neither Microsof Office or OO.o have their "quick launch" programs running.

        Word 2003 starts up for me in 3.5 seconds after a fresh reboot.

        OO.o Writer 1.1.14 starts up at 16 seconds after a fresh reboot.

        Subsequent starts of the programs with components still in RAM have an immaterial time difference.
    • Re:This sounds wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Reivec ( 607341 )
      I think OO does start slower than word as well. However you MUST remember to take word out of your startup list for a fair comparison. By default office loads into memory everytime you boot your system thus making startup time APPEAR fast. This is false. Take word out of your startup list and it is more on par. However OO is still slower in my experience.
      • Re:This sounds wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

        by imsabbel ( 611519 )
        openoffice also plugs a little "office starter" in the autostart list, so its just fair.
      • Re:This sounds wrong (Score:4, Informative)

        by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:32PM (#12796996)
        Why does this rumor persist? Office has never loaded any part of itself into memory at startup. Ever.

        What you are referring to (and was removed from Office 2003 because it's no longer really useful) was the Office Startup Assistant (OSA). What this did was autoload the *COM* DLL's into memory (these are system DLL's that many applications use, not just Office) to improve startup. These DLL's, back in the Windows 3.1, 95, 98 era took a long time to load, but this isn't the case anymore.

        This feature hasn't really effected startup times for at least 5 or 6 years (which is why I always removed it from the startup) because Windows already loads the COM subsystem into memory for other things.

        While it's still true that this speeds up office load times, it also speeds up OOo load time because OOo also relies on COM for some things.

  • Blank Document (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bananatree3 ( 872975 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @03:57PM (#12796704)
    I recently opened up a Microsoft Word document that a friend sent to me a couple of weeks ago. The original size was 19 kilobytes. I opened up in Open Office Writer, and then doubled the amount of text in it. I then saved it to the same filename (.doc), and the resulting file was only 11 kilobytes, even with DOUBLE the amount of text!
    • Re:Blank Document (Score:3, Informative)

      by dmaxwell ( 43234 )
      OOO files are gzipped XML. AFAIK MS Word does not compress the files it is saving. Also, OOO will strip Word's undo history when importing which also tends to cut down on the file size.
    • Re:Blank Document (Score:5, Interesting)

      by m50d ( 797211 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:38PM (#12797035) Homepage Journal
      Even better, try saving as rtf. I was working on a piece of physics coursework in word and wanted to send it home. It had several embedded pictures and graphs and things. 6mb .doc file. I thought I'd try saving it as rtf to send home, since KOffice doesn't always import .doc files correctly.

      It was, no joke, 180mb

      I got it home and opened in OOo writer (I was right, KOffice didn't get everything correct, so I thought I'd use that as a conversion step). I verified everything had imported correctly, added a few more graphs and things (finishing it off) and saved as rtf.

      1.2mb. Over two orders of magnitude smaller.

      The document is here if anyone wants to try and duplicate the result.

  • In the very rare case that I need to use MS Office, I still use the copy of Office Professional I got when I bought a 60MHz Pentium from Gateway 2000, 11 years ago. It fairly screams. As far as I can tell, they haven't added any useful features to either Excel or Word since.
  • Haha (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 12, 2005 @03:58PM (#12796716)
    I wrongly assumed that since I paid for it, it must be better

    Nope, it's just the same as the warez version. That's the whole point of warez!
    • Re:Haha (Score:5, Insightful)

      by brxndxn ( 461473 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:55PM (#12797160)
      The warezed version has more features:

      -enters in some fake product key automatically
      -has numerous addins included for optional install
      -circumvents necessary phone call to Microsoft to ask permission to install
      -untraceable product key with thousands of users for excellent anonymity

      sad but true..
  • by st0rmshad0w ( 412661 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @03:58PM (#12796719)
    ...after he admitted to voluntarily using MS Works.
  • Let's not try to snicker too much.

  • You have to type VERY fast to even notice either doing anything. What I want to know is how you can type that fast without the keyboard melting???
  • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:00PM (#12796734) Homepage
    Basically, the choice is between bloat and speed. OpenOffice does not give you all the functionality that Microsoft Office provides. However, the benefit is that OpenOffice runs faster and has fewer bugs. The "fewer bugs" part is due to the fact that more people use it, since it is free. More eyeballs means that more bugs are caught, and the volunteer developers can then fix the bugs.

    Microsoft currently is facing a problem with Microsoft Office. It has reached market saturation in the developed markets like the USA. The package already has all the functions that most people need, and there is no need to buy an upgrade.

    Worse, OpenOffice, even with its reduced functionality, has all the functions that most people need, and there is no need to buy Microsoft Office.

    Unless Microsoft can venture into new products for new markets, Microsoft will soon notice a rapid shrinking of its revenue. Of course, Microsoft management is not sitting still. Notice the billions of dollars being poured into Microsoft Labs, and the entry into the game box market. Microsoft management is smart -- if unethical.

    • The "fewer bugs" part is due to the fact that more people use [OpenOffice], since it is free.

      Most people use a pirated copy of Microsoft Office because it is free, or an older version because it came "free" with their computer. OpenOffice is still a minority program.

      If OpenOffice really does have fewer bugs, it is for different reasons.
    • However, the benefit is that OpenOffice runs faster and has fewer bugs. The "fewer bugs" part is due to the fact that more people use it, since it is free. More eyeballs means that more bugs are caught, and the volunteer developers can then fix the bugs.

      I call BS. Openoffice.org is even worse than MSO at getting things to render correctly, and I've definitely have OO.o crash more times on me than word has. Not to mention..."more people use it"? Far more people use microsoft office than use OO.o.
    • by Gorath99 ( 746654 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:29PM (#12796971)
      However, the benefit is that OpenOffice runs faster and has fewer bugs. The "fewer bugs" part is due to the fact that more people use it, since it is free.

      I suggest you ask 100 randomly chosen people if they know Word/MS-Office. Then ask them if they know Writer/OpenOffice. I think you'll be surprised.

      OpenOffice is a great piece of software (I am especially impressed with the new 2.0 beta; truly a great leap forward compared to 1.1), but hardly anyone who's not using linux/bsd/solaris/etc. even knows of its existance. Nor will they even care when somebody mentions it to them as long as places like Dell preinstall copies of Word on every consumer pc they sell.
  • Worthless ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by register_ax ( 695577 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:00PM (#12796737) Journal
    It has been over a year since I installed MS Office, but I know it had to be restarted and that it takes up 450MB (according to Windows).

    Wow, so this isn't even a comparison on a clean formatted disk, but one that has had bloat crap build up on the computer over a year?

    The dude says Microsoft Office, but isn't that a suite of tools? Will the program run slower and faster depending on how many were installed in the bundle? I don't know, but knowing how to take screen shots and knowing about CTRL-Alt-Del to look at processor usage time is pretty amateur. Let's see some statistical comparisons that are actually meaningful.

    • ... I don't know, but knowing how to take screen shots and knowing about CTRL-Alt-Del to look at processor usage time is pretty amateur. Let's see some statistical comparisons that are actually meaningful.

      Yeah? Let's see it from a professional. Why don't you do it? Do you not realize that he is stating his personal opinion based on his personal experience, did you get the impression this was claimed to be an impartial academic study?

      • Re:Worthless ... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by imsabbel ( 611519 )
        Perhaps by puting the title "Performance comparison of OpenOffice.org 1.1.4 and Microsoft Office 200" as a headling, and then submitting it as a story to slashdot, smartass?

        If he doesnt bother to do a fresh install of the office suit, he shouldnt do benchmarking. even if its not "professional". What he does is an insult to every amateur.
  • Wow (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:00PM (#12796739)
    Apple switches to x86.
    Debian releases a new stable version.
    OpenOffice.org is "fast".

    So does anyone know any good "hell freezes over" jokes?
  • by CA_Jim ( 786327 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:00PM (#12796740)
    A year ago I purchased a "dog" from the pet store. Since I paid money for this, I assumed it would perform better. I decided to test it against my cat.

    First, I chained the dog using a 5 foot leash. I then spent the next hour trying to get the cat into a leash. Then I tested "fetch" by throwing a stick 10 feet away. Funny, neither cat nor dog returned with the stick.

    I'll post the rest of my results later.
  • ...which one improves your typing speed and accuracy?
  • First startup speed (Score:2, Informative)

    by packetl0ss ( 887279 )
    From the article:
    Interestingly the first startup (if the application is not in RAM) is much slower. This is because of Windows, not the applications.

    I don't get how that is because of Windows. In any O/S, the first load of any app would be slower if the app wasn't loaded into memory beforehand, if it wasn't preloaded in some manner, or if it was loaded before but is no longer in the O/S's disk cache.

  • Results (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HadenT ( 816717 )
    I have installed and used OO.org many PCs,
    and on all of them MS Office starts way faster than OO.org.
    I love OO.org, but these "benchmarks" are simply fake or guys MS Office install is broken in some way.
  • If you're really looking for fast you might want to try something like Gnome Office [gnome.org] instead of OO.o. And yes Gnome Office has a windows port. From GOME Office AbiWord has a native Windows port (which is super speedy) and Gnumeric uses GTK+ and is therefore slightly slower.
  • Broken computer? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sjelkjd ( 541324 )
    Something must be broken with his computer. Word 2003 takes 2 seconds to open for the first time on my computer. Granted, it's a little faster(athlon 64 3200+), but it's not 15x faster.

    Also, the objectivity of the article astounds me:
    "It has been over a year since I installed MS Office, but I know it had to be restarted and that it takes up 450MB (according to Windows)."

    So why even mention the install time of OO.org if you're not going to bother measuring the install time of MS office?

    Between the highl
  • by PincheGab ( 640283 ) * on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:05PM (#12796776)
    I have a crappy machine too, but Word does not take anywhere close to 20 seconds to open, even for the first time after a reboot. Methinks it's just one more Microsoft hater trying to justify himself... neeeext!
  • On a Mac ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <paperfrogNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:25PM (#12796941) Homepage Journal
    ... you can't really compare Open Office and MS Office, since OO doesn't run natively on OS X.

    I will say that Word opens nearly instantly on this platform. It's up in about a second -- perhaps a bit less -- and feels lighter than most of the "minimalist" word processor alternatives I've tried.

    My Windows box isn't as muscular as the Mac, but I can't imagine it takes much longer to open Word there. A couple or three seconds, tops.

    No doubt that MS Office is bloatware. My Office folder is 486 MB. Outrageous.

    But I gotta wonder what is wrong with the reviewer's test computers.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gbulmash ( 688770 ) * <semi_famous.yahoo@com> on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:30PM (#12796980) Homepage Journal
    When he does the memory comparison, he notes MSWorks as a process. It looks like perhaps he didn't uninstall Works when he installed Office and still has a Works helper app running at startup.

    Also, did he make sure that both programs were set to have the same background tasks running (like repagination, automatic spellcheck, automatic hyphenation, etc.)? In one of his tests Word takes a lot longer on a long text file because it's running various automatic tasks on it. Were those tasks run by OO.o as well? I'm pretty sure that all are available, but it may be that some are turned off by default, while with Word it seems that most everything is turned on by default.

    I know that when I worked at a Co. that standardized on MS Office, when I got a new PC or they upgraded my version of MS Office, the first thing I had to do was go in and turn off a lot of automatic tasks.

    Now that I'm self-employed, I use OO.o. Do I believe it's better than Word? No. Each of them does things the other doesn't and does some things better or worse than the other. Which one is best depends on what your needs are. Right now, my needs are such that OO.o meets them, and it's free.

  • Office for OS X (Score:3, Informative)

    by Goalie_Ca ( 584234 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:32PM (#12796993)
    I'm sure you guys are tired about hearing of apple but I am very impressed with office 2004 for mac.

    Drag + Drop the folder to "Applications". Takes up 525 MB. Takes only a few minutes + 0 reboots. Everything is standalone. The way it should be! Only comes with writer/excel/ppt/entourage/msn messenger for mac. None of that "office toolbar" or other crap. Plays nicely with the system :D

    Cold boot: On my G4 ibook (with its magical 133 fsb) takes about 2 to 4 seconds (4 seconds after fresh reboot,
    Opening and closing large documents. 6mB txt file opens instantly. Copying and pasting all that data took some time (didn't measure but it was slow) Saving a new .doc file that is of size 20mb takes about 15 seconds. I didn't have the patience to wait for spell+grammar checking to finish because it was taking forever. A full quit is is in the order of a second.

    The coolest part of all is the free floating transparent toolbars and toolboxes. I'm also more fond of the user interface. I think its clean, generally well laid out. Obviously microsoft has it in them to play nice and put out a great product. I must admit i prefer to use latex for engineering lab reports. (texshop is a great app for os x)
  • poor review... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by logik3x ( 872368 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:43PM (#12797069)
    This is such a poor review... he didn't use any apps to actually test the speed or anything only like a timer watch... and he's testing a linux app. agaiant an windows app. ... at leat if he used OpenOffice on windows... anyways thats the second really bad review in 2 days... moderators please stop posting bs crap againt microsoft written by nobody's thx.
  • Notepad (Score:3, Funny)

    by 3770 ( 560838 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:47PM (#12797100) Homepage

    And notepad is even faster. What's his point?
  • by p0rnking ( 255997 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:54PM (#12797151) Homepage
    Too bad he didn't use the built in spell checker on either one of them when he wrote his review
  • Wonderful article (Score:3, Insightful)

    by extagboy ( 60672 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @04:59PM (#12797191) Homepage
    Personaly, I think the lego robot was more interesting than his office comparison.

    But, that may be just me.
  • by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @05:20PM (#12797350)
    Apart from the fact that his load times don't seem to mesh with anyone elses (2-5 seconds is typical load time for Word, even on slow hardware). Here are some other nifty things that make this article entirely pointless.

    First, he doesn't really know how to measure the amount of memory a program is using. He combines virtual memory and In process memory, but they can't be combined. Virtual memory is a closer approximation to the total memory being used. In memory memory is just the part of Virtual memory that is current in memory (it's sitll in virtual memory even if it's in real memory).

    He uses the size of the installation on disk as some kind of indicator about how "bloated" the application is. This ignores the fact that Office comes with a great deal of clip-art, templates, and other non-application files. The actual amount of diskspace used by the application code for Office on my machine is 298 MB, but that includes the full office suite (including programs that have no equivelent in OOo such as InfoPath, Access and OneNote).

    I liked this quote:

    "The first thing I did was to install OO.o It took only 7.5 minutes and took up 164MB (94.82 according to Windows)."

    94.82? WTF? Did he mean 194.82? Even that seems a bit large.

    He gives lots of indications that his system is borked. His comment about normal.dot is a sure sign that something is wrong.

    22 minutes to load a 4.9MB text file? That's completely outside the range of believable.
  • by shywolf9982 ( 887636 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @05:26PM (#12797399)
    Ok, that's a bit offtopic, but the review reminded me a thing that happened a couple months ago at work.
    Premitted that I use Windows and MS Office only at work, and that I'm there only from three months (so I don't know much of Word) a funny thing happened to me, and I would like to know who is the genius at MS that programmed the new autospellchecking and correction function.
    I'm Italian, and hence the dictionary used by default is the Italian one. A pity that, in the official italian (intended as language), there is no word to properly translate to click. People usually use the verb cliccare, which is commonly recognized but, as I said, not considered an italian word. Anyway, my boss had to write down a little administrator manual for a site we designed (our customer ain't exactly a geek, quite the opposite). In this manual, every two line he was like "click here, click there" and so he wrote a paper which contained a fair amount of cliccare.
    But Word 2003, without giving anyone some sort of advice (my boss said he hasn't activated the feature, and he ain't a geek himself, so I think this comes activated when you install Office) decided that cliccare was wrong, and corrected it automatically (with absolutely no warnings! Neither a lil flashy icon) with ciccare (in English, to spit).
    My boss saved the doc and suddenly mailed them to our customer. I'll let the reader imagine what kind of phone call I received from our customer, who seemed pretty shocked that he had to humiliate his brand new 19'' inch monitor in order to use our site.
    So, if uncle Bill reads this (yes, Mr William Gates III, I'm talking with you), I would like to ask him to fire the idiot that added such a function.
  • Horrible article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SnprBoB86 ( 576143 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @05:39PM (#12797482) Homepage
    "but I assumed that since I paid for MS Office, it must be better"

    So, I should then assume you're an idiot? Crappy consumers like you are why companies can get away with charging outrageous prices. Price != Quality.

    "It has been over a year since I installed MS Office, but I know it had to be restarted"

    I installed MS Office 2003 YESTERDAY on a friends computer. It did not require a restart. You may have had an older version installed or some other application using a resource that the installer needed to replace.

    "Opening time in seconds - First run 31.1"
    I am assuming first run refers to the first INSTANCE not the first time the application is ever opened...

    WHAT?!?! This is Word 2003? Running on a 2.2 GHz machine with 512 ram? You've got to be kidding me. Did you measure this with a sundial? With my AMD64 Mobile throttled to 40% (800mhz) with a gig of ram, I can start Word 2003 in less than a second.

    Also, second instances of Word (I don't know about Writer) open and immediately close again. The second instance simply sends a message to the first instance to open another document window or whatever.

    "Word takes up more memory total, but Writer uses more in the main process. It is not a big difference."

    What the hell is msworks.exe? I don't have it running right now and Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are all open.

    I'm really sick of these horrible comparisons that are performed by armatures. He states he hates Microsoft, goes on and on about how OO.o is better, but states he will continue to use Office. If you are going to perform a scientific experiment, please make it scientific. Leave opinion out of it. Show us exact procedures so we can attempt to reproduce your results. etc etc.

    Does someone have an article describing proper construction of benchmarks or a guide to proper scientific analysis? We need some sort of rubric before we keep posting this horrible articles.
  • by prodangle ( 552537 ) <matheson@gmail . c om> on Sunday June 12, 2005 @06:28PM (#12797784) Homepage Journal
    Either the author's machine is broken in some strange way, or he is simply lying. On my old Duron 750 with 384mb RAM, Word 2003 opens in ~5 seconds, while OO takes around 20. That's with all preloaders disabled.

    The author also says he had planned to compare Word's HTML export with that of Dreamweaver. Of course he'll find that Word's exported HTML is far more bloated than that of Dreamweaver. Word makes no effort to optimise for file size - it's not intended to produce HTML that will be manually edited, and simply tries to preserve print layout as closely as possible, while Dreamweaver goes to great pains to produce tidy code. Apples and oranges!!

  • Okay (Score:4, Informative)

    by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Sunday June 12, 2005 @08:26PM (#12798381) Homepage
    Let's try it with a similar computer:

    - MS Office Word 2003
    - OOo 1.1.4 Writer with J2RE1.4.1
    - Athlon 2600+ 512MB Ram, Windows XP SP2, no other software running.

    Each block of tests was proceeded by a reboot

    4.5 seconds
    1.5 seconds
    0.8 seconds
    0.8 seconds

    OOo Writer w/quickstart enabled:
    5.5 seconds
    1.0 seconds
    0.8 seconds
    0.8 seconds

    OOo Writer w/quickstart disabled:
    17 seconds
    1.5 seconds
    1.5 seconds
    1.5 seconds

    These figures tell a different story from the article, I would say.

    Note: I did have to turn off Macro security in word, otherwise it hung there for several MINUTES performing a 'virus scan'.

  • by PhotoGuy ( 189467 ) on Monday June 13, 2005 @05:30AM (#12800941) Homepage
    It always amazes me what a big deal is made of "start up times." Who cares? If you spend more time starting up an application, than sitting there, effectively using it, then you're not a real user of the application, but just toying with it. In many cases, loading more stuff upon startup, will make operation of an application more peppy.

    The same people that go on and on about start up times, don't seem to bitch too much (or maybe they do), about modern day games, where one seems to spend most of their time "Loading..." I find some of the best games today almost unusuable because of the loading delays; it really blows the ambiance for me.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.