ICAP chooses Ability Office.

Huh? Why?

Maybe they have been playing too much Ragnarok, but the Internet Cafe Associate of the Philippines (ICAP) chooses Ability Office as an alternative over Microsoft Office.

According to Inq7:

ICAP president Mario Munoz said in an interview that the partnership will give Internet café owners a way around having to obtain copies of MS Office, which many Internet cafe operators find expensive despite discounted rates available to them.

Munoz said Microsoft offers its Office Standard and Professional suites at 10,000 pesos and 15,000 respectively to cafe operators. But Ability Office costs 2,950 pesos for the Standard Edition and 4,960 pesos for the Professional Edition.

Dear ICAP, there is a much cheaper alternative. It’s called Open Office. How cheap? It’s free.

As I wrote in Technopinoy, I agree with Berniej. ICAP must be smoking some of the good stuff. How can you run an internet association and NOT know of Open Office? What idiot put this Mario Munoz in charge? Is he really looking after the interests of Internet Cafes?

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  • PoshNeya

    oh no. something’s terribly wrong here. i doubt if those cafes (there are many) running Open Office would switch and spend 2950. i dont even know that such office suite exists.


  • Same here.

    I had no idea there’s another alternative for MS Office.

    Gah. This article gets to my deepest nerves. Really.

  • jhay

    Yup, they must be smoking something for them to have forgotten that there is OpenOffice.org which is the alternative to MS Office and it’s free. I’ve blogged about it today in my blog.

    I’m beginning to suspect that someone in the ICAP and the makers of Ability Office may have been in a sort of secret deal or arrangement for the endorsement. Tsk tsk tsk

  • “I’m beginning to suspect that someone in the ICAP and the makers of Ability Office may have been in a sort of secret deal or arrangement for the endorsement.”

    Likely. PhP Zarro is definitely better than PhP 2,950, especially if you get the better software for free.

  • i would have written to ICAP to suggest to endorse OpenOffice as an alternative, rather than post my thoughts and call those people who have voted munoz as vp as idiots..

  • bloggementarist,
    I am passionate about this because the decision reeks.

  • maybe ICAP has a good rea$on. let’s wait for them to $peak up.

  • OO.org all the way!

  • I’ve sent an email to them. Lets see how they respond.

  • monsolo- –

    excerpt please?

  • rom

    Ikaw naman – paano na yung commission? 😀

  • ICAP: Paano si Eddie?

    Ability: Sino si Eddie?

    ICAP: Eh, di (Eddie) ako!

  • ICAP and Ability has an x-change deal.. ICAP will promote Ability, in return Ability will provide ICAP members free use of the software.. its like seeing and hearing celebrity thanking Dra Vicky Belo for their skincare.. its what businesses call x-change advertisement; if you have a site, its what webmaster refers to as banner exchange.. If i am an ICAP rep, i will not endorse OpenOffice, because whether i endorse it or not, members of ICAP can get them for free anyway.. – just my humble opinion

  • nah, i rather call the last person who replied before this comment an idiot.

  • # banksxs » I had no idea there’s another alternative for MS Office.

    Gah. This article gets to my deepest nerves. Really.

    me too.. i even thought that MS Office was a chair. Really.

  • hehe, still bitter about the past jepoy..? having a hard time moving on..? try it, its good for you..

    sticking to the subject; yeap, pretty much i have said what i think about the subject matter..

    moving on..

  • Banksxs,
    Read this for the email I sent ICAP.

    Then all the more does ICAP’s credibility suffer because Ability Office gets mileage and ICAP gets criticized for its poor choice.

    Pls read the article. It’s free only for the first year, which means that if the Internet Cafe forgets to uninstall it, then they can be accused of piracy. So now the cafe owners have to spend some effort uninstalling it. All this effort can be avoided if they go Openoffice in the first place.

    And if ICAP shares the same logic as you (“members of ICAP can get [Openoffice] for free anyway”), then they don’t have the cafe owner’s best interests in mind.

  • Jepoy,

    and I thought MS Office was a company beauty pageant 🙂

  • @mon – beauty pageant company. lol :~)

    @wrencelotsux – nah. i just wanted to call you an idiot since you’re really an idiot. idiot.

  • wrency wrency

    we missed you!

    we missed your idiotic posts and senseless comments

    anyway, free means no commission LAWL!

  • @mon

    we (ICAP and I) dont share logic, its just that i see where they are comin from..

    “And if ICAP shares the same logic as you (”members of ICAP can get [Openoffice] for free anyway”), then they don’t have the cafe owner’s best interests in mind.” – and you have..? ddnt you just call those who put munoz as vp, idiots, who by the way are members of ICAP, which by the way are cafe owners..? – i am not paraphrasing, i am just reading..

    as posted aug 4 2006, 6:30 in the morning..

  • senseless as always.

  • bloggermentarist,
    I believe it’s ICAP’s responsibility to look after the needs and well-being of the internet cafes. Otherwise, what are they there for?

    Would you, for example, suggest Ability Office over Open Office? Ability Office is free only for the first year, which means that after the offer expires, the internet cafes will have to buy the license (shell out cash), uninstall (spend time and effort), or leave it in the PC (risk of piracy). All of these can be avoided if they move to Open Office in the first place.

  • I see bloggementarist’s point. ICAP is run by business people who are after good deals. If Ability shows them a good deal in terms of ex-deals, promotionals or whatnot, then ICAP will bite. To businessmen, OOo is just a free app with nothing to give them in return for their endorsement.

    Having said that, I don’t think OOo is necessarily out of the picture. All advocates have to do is show ICAP something in return for endorsing it, and they’ll surely agree if it’s a good enough value. And it doesn’t stop at productivity suites, it can also be other apps.

  • Gabriel,

    If that is the case, then what is the ex-deal? What did Ability Office promise in return for ICAP’s endorsement? Just the one-year free license? If that is the case, then it was a poor decision because of the points I already mentioned.

    If you examine this closely, Ability Office has nothing to offer. They need ICAP more than ICAP needs them. So why did ICAP choose them? Why not Open Office which may be a better choice than Ability Office?

    You are right that all advocates have to submit their proposals. In the business world, the vendors have to bid for a contract. In many cases, this is done to drive the cost down, especially if the products are all similar. Since nothing beats free, what was it in Ability Office that caused ICAP to endorse them?

    I have sent an email to ICAP and have yet to receive a reply.

  • It might not necessarily be that complicated. Ability may have just sponsored one of their regular meetings, held a presentation, had a photo opp with the Board, and then released their press release on that basis (hence vague terms like ‘teamup’). After having attended hundreds of similar events, I’m almost sure that’s the case.

    For me, not endorsing OOo is a failure of the open source advocates more than anything. ICAP is desperate for a solution to their licensing problems. Anyone can come up to ICAP, make a presentation that addresses this, get their nod and release a PR if it’s good enough value.

  • Gabriel,

    If that is the case, it still has the same effect—it makes ICAP look bad while Ability Office gets mileage. If ICAP were, as you said, run by businessmen,  then they should know the impact of backing up the wrong horse.
    Very few people have heard of Ability Office until now.

    And now people are looking at ICAP with doubt.

  • It’s the wrong horse and looks bad to you and me because we know of OOo, but for Juan de la Cruz and MR. Internet Cafe Owner who aren’t techies and who just wanna print reports and be productive and don’t know otherwise, it’s a solution to their problem.

    The issue here is PR. Yes we’ve never heard of Ability until now, but that’s exactly the point. Their PR worked. Now we know of it. You even downloaded a copy and reviewed it. That’s way more than they’d ever hope to achieve if they bought banner ads.

    OOo however, which you and I know to be a better choice, will not gain mileage, because no one advocates it to them.

  • Gabriel,

    I really don’t get what position you are taking, so I’ll just summarize my points. If you disagree with my points, pls indicate which.

    1) Open office is much better than Ability Office

    2) Ability office gained in terms of market awareness

    3) ICAP loses some degree of credibility (unless they explain the rationale for their choice and how they arrived at it)

    4) Internet cafe owners who follow ICAP’s advice and get Ability Office are making a poor decision

    5) ICAP is supposed to help Internet Cafe owners make the right decision. They are there precisely because Juan de la Cruz does not understand tech stuff. So if the point them to an inferior product, they are doing the Internet Cafe owners a disservice.

  • Our company is into web browser development we call it MobilitI(tm) browser, it is comparable to Microsoft IE but it’s little bit cheaper (an advantage on our part) and 100% compatible with Firefox, but ours isn’t free (which we believe an advantage also). I already asked our sales department to send a proposal to ICAP to offer our products and schedule a demo. We’re pretty much confident that we will be able to convinced those tech-savvy officers and members to purchase and use our web browser technology because of our cost of ownership advantage.

  • Elmer,
    Nice joke.

  • I agree with all your points, Monsolo. I never disagreed with you. Trust me when I say that I am just as disappointed with ICAP.

    We are however, approaching it from two different directions, you as a techie and me from the press, and I think the comment section has not been enough for me to get my point across.

    I’d appreciate it if you can email me, although I’d quite understand if you’d rather not pursue this of course. Thanks so much for the patience.

  • Gabriel,

    I see. Now that you mentioned that you’re looking at it from a press angle, I can see what you’re driving at.

    I know how these “endorsement” deals work. The product owner negotiates additional value—either additional service or reduced price—in return for the endorsement. So in this situation, it begs the question: what did ICAP ask in return for their endorsement?

    I assume you are from the press. Maybe you can similarly help ask ICAP? I’ve sent an email but no response.

  • Any developments, I wonder?

  • No reply…:(

  • Wait for the next news article/press release then…

  • BernieReyes

    Major ICAP event in CAMANAVA!!! See it on Youtube @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsxB87_tdC8 This was taken at around 5:30 PM, event started at around 4 PM Enjoy counting the number of attendees!!!

  • Someone wrote a comment in my blog about this.

    “pwede naman gumamit ng kahit anong office, pero kung utak libre ka, di ayun ang sundin mo, ang business mo b o internet mo libre, kung ibigay mo ng libre lahat ng negosyo mo, ano sa tingin mo. ayos ba yun sa iyo, kung sino pa ang nasa i.t. siya pa ang wlang utak. walang libre sa panahon ngayon. mag-isip kayo bago kayo magngangawa diyan.”

  • Raymond

    Looks like this certain Mario Munoz is doing shady dealings. First he was offering Microsoft Office financing, and after a few months he comes selling Ability Office (a direct competitor of MS Office – which clearly points to a conflict of interest) for almost 3000 pesos. The interesting thing I found out is that Ability is being offered free to internet shops for the first year by the other distributors. If that’s the case, where does the 3000 pesos that Mr. Munoz is charging go? Is this what he calls helping internet shops and the industry?

  • commentary

    FIRST, In my opinion, let’s leave the decision to computer shop owners whether they would like to use Open Office or Ability Office or MS Office. Its up to them. They are intelligent enough to know the difference…



  • i agree with using open office.