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OpenOffice five times as popular as Google Docs

Just 1% use Google Docs; 51% prefer MS Office

Free office suite OpenOffice.org is five time more popular than Google Docs, according to new research.

A six-month study in the US conducted by market researcher ClickStream Technologies revealed that Microsoft Office remains the dominant office software, with 51 percent of American internet users over age 18 using it.

OpenOffice.org was used by five percent of people, versus Google Docs' one percent, according to the survey of 2,400 users on their home PCs conducted between May and November of this year. OpenOffice.org was also found to be used more often, 8.7 days, versus 1.5 days; and longer, an average of 9.3 minutes, versus 3.4 minutes for Google Docs, according to ClickStream's panel, which was two-thirds comprised of women.

During a keynote speech at a Gartner conference last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said: "We have better competition today than Google Docs and Spreadsheets. We get more competition from OpenOffice and StarOffice, frankly."

Microsoft is poised to cement that domination with its upcoming Office Web and online versions of its Exchange and SharePoint products.

The latest version, OpenOffice.org 3.0, had a strong first week, with more than 3 million downloads in that time. After one month, OpenOffice.org 3.0 had been downloaded 10 million times, the group said.

ClickStream also found that 68 percent of Google Docs or Spreadsheets users also used Microsoft Word at least once, "indicating that Google Docs has yet to be considered a standalone product by most of its users". In contrast, 74 percent of OpenOffice users didn't use Word at all.

"Although Google Docs and Spreadsheets has been touted as a potential competitor to the Microsoft Office Suite, OpenOffice is currently the more likely app to take that position, possibly indicating the value of offline and local processing enabled by installed applications," said ClickStream.

A Google spokesman said in response to ClickStream's finding: "Google Docs has millions of active users and hosts tens of millions of documents. It has seen strong and steady growth since it launched two years ago as people have increasingly shifted to the cloud in order to access and collaborate on documents online."

NEXT PAGE: Skepticism over finding


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