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Microsoft seeks to take crumbs from OpenOffice

Microsoft, not content with 95 percent of the office productivity market, appears to want to take an additional few percentage points from OpenOffice.

Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner is no Robin Hood. At Microsoft's global sales meeting, as reported by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Turner declared Microsoft's intention to take market share from a host of competitors in the coming year, among them Oracle, Google, VMWare, IBM (Lotus), Apple, and...

...OpenOffice.

Yes, OpenOffice, that industry hegemon that currently claims less than 5 percent of the office productivity suite market. Even its most optimistic supporters can't come up with market share numbers that merit Microsoft's notice (though some have invented weird ways of measuring market share to speculate OpenOffice is at 20 percent market share).

I can understand Microsoft keeping an eye on the OpenOffice "killer rabbit," but devoting any time and attention to taking market share from perennially poor (in market share) OpenOffice?

That makes Microsoft the anti-Robin Hood, taking from the poor to give to the rich.

I can only imagine that Turner mentioned OpenOffice to remind antitrust authorities that it's under siege from a variety of competitive forces. I can't believe that a single Microsoftie loses a nanosecond's worth of sleep contemplating OpenOffice and its effects on Microsoft Office market share.

Foley "wonder(s) whether Microsoft's arrows are missing some key targets (Mozilla, Red Hat, Amazon) and are focused too much on competitors from the past." I couldn't agree more. But in the case of OpenOffice, it has never mounted a credible challenge to Microsoft Office, making it fit in neither category.

Don't get me wrong: I like OpenOffice just fine and use it regularly. But let's be honest: it's not a clear and present danger to Microsoft and Microsoft must be joking to suggest OpenOffice is one of the primary competitors from which it intends to take market share this year.


Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.