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Most OpenOffice users run Windows

Nearly 9 out of 10 downloads of the new version of OpenOffice have been for Windows machines, rather than Linux, according to recently released statistics from Apache.

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Of the first 1,000,663 Sourceforge downloads of OpenOffice 3.4, 87% were Windows users, 11% were running Mac OS, and just 2% were on Linux, the team said.

A Reddit discussion, however, highlighted that these statistics could be misleading, due mostly to the fact that Linux users tend not to simply download programs from the Internet.

"Even before it was forked, how many Linux users were going to download it direct from openoffice.org instead of getting it direct from the software repository for their distribution of choice?" asked user houseofzeus.

That said, many others argued that the success of LibreOffice -- a relatively recent fork of OpenOffice -- has undercut the older product's market share across operating systems.

"The LibreOffice fork is MUCH more popular in the Linux community. I prefer it to OpenOffice.org anyways due to various improvements," wrote aliendude5300. LibreOffice's shorter load times were widely cited as the central advantage.

OpenOffice's lack of recent success, argues a recent Unixmen article, is partially due to the folding of the Oracle team that largely fueled the development of the office suite. Since OpenOffice was handed over to Apache, that organization has attempted to compete directly with the successful fork -- and, according to most, has made little headway.

For its part, Apache stated in March that it has had to spend a great deal of time migrating infrastructure over from Oracle and rework "copylefted" components to ensure that they comply with Apache's licensing policy.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.


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