OpenOffice more bloated than Microsoft Office?

According to a ZDNet blog post, OpenOffice.Org 2.0 comes out a resource hog when compared to Microsoft Office.

[W]e can see that is indeed a memory and CPU hog. It is literally taking up about 10 times the processing time and memory to just load the application itself along with a blank file. It doesn’t matter how fast the CPU is, 10 times is 10 times and OpenOffice is simply bloated.

Yes, most of us here are FOSS advocates, but it seems disappointing that our beloved office suite doesn’t fare too well against bloatware’s (read: Microsoft) own offering in terms of resource utilization.

Or is this just in Windows?

I, myself, notice that OpenOffice eats up more memory and CPU resources than I think it should be. This should not be an issue for those using higher-end machines, but for the rest of us getting by with just enough power (such as me and my P-II class laptop), efficient resource utilization matters.

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  • I gave up on when I found out that AbiWord is easier to use. So are the other non-suite FOSS for office productivity. BTW, AbiWord does have a grammar checker.

  • Well you know what they say: “You get what you pay for…” or “beggars can’t be choosers…”

  • word processors should not be eating too much of the CPU usage
    i’d understand if it’s a 3d modeling software 😀

  • well, at least its free.

  • Koko

    You must admit though, version 2 distro is way much better than version 1. The whole distro included a lot of stuff that is almost at par with the MS Office basic installation. Although I must agree its a resource hog. Dang!

  • Kates: AbiWord is great and all, but I’ll only use it if I dont intend to share my documents and/or I know I’ll print them myself. Looks like OOo 2.0 reads MS Word docs a lot nicely now, while AbiWord, well, doesn’t do as well.

    TIP: Make OOo faster by disabling Java: Tools -> Options -> -> Java -> Uncheck ‘Use Java Runtime Environment’.

    Firefox 1.5 RC1 is still a resource hog -and this release crashed thrice on me in a few hours- but I see more people rejoicing than complaining.

  • The recent OOo is pretty ok but then again, I almost always just use Emacs or Nano or Gedit to save my text files 😉 Emacs has word count and spellcheck anyway…
    If I could learn Latex, I guess it would be good for me =)

  • bacchus_3

    I know the problems of OOo on resource handling…but it’s been doing well with OOo2 out. I noticed it runs faster on LInux though…
    For those who wants speed without concern on cost, go for MS Office.
    For those who wants a totally free office suite, go for OOo. Besides, development for OOo hasn’t stopped and I’m sure optimizing OOo is on top of the develoeprs list for the next releases.
    (I also agree with the Java fix mentioned by raincontreras).
    I’m using OOo on my laptop and so far I don’t have problems with it…I’m satisfied with the speed.

  • bacchus_3

    I have to add too…the test data George showed on his blog on zdnet can’t be duplicated. So I’m not sure how his setup is. For users who want to know more of how OOo2 really fit their needs…you can download it and try – it’s free.

  • Faster and faster systems are not a solution for bloatware. If we play that game, we will end up with 5 Ghz systems that struggle with opening e-mail. My major gripe with Microsoft Office 2003 is the loading time — I will give OOo 2.0 a try and see how it compares.
    Rufus J, SystemDisc Linux CDs shop.

  • nap

    Resource hog? Yes. Bloated? I don’t think so. It just so happens that Microsoft Office is made by the same company which Windows came from (duh, who doesn’t know that), and as such, MS Office can fully utilize any available technology which Windows has. But that is not the case for OpenOffice. Oo has to use whatever is legally available to them, veering away from patented or MS-exclusive technology.

    Nanghuhula lang pala ako, BTW.

  • The problem is that when you open up MS Word that is all you are opening up… when you open up OoO you are opening up all of the programs that are part of the suite (it is how it is designed)… Try opening up the equivalent Office programs and compare them all then…

  • kubota

    It is because MS Office plants something in the Startup menu, so when Windows load it also loads some MS Office cores so when you open up Word it will load fast at the expense of your Windows booting up.

    Later versions of OpenOffice also made its own Quickstart on the startup to make it also start faster.

  • Rohan

    Huh? Really? I had a laptop with Open office in it. Well specs; processor: intel celeron 2GHz, RAM: 512 MB, OS: Ubuntu Linux. Open office work just superb. It opens in a few seconds and does not drag down my computer. So for to me its a great replacement to the Microsoft office.

  • nevda

    You can speed up the load time of open office by allocating more memory to it. Open Writer and go to tools > options > select memory and adjust the settings. Mine is at 128mb for “use for and 20mb per object. This helped me a lot.

  • Just_Passing_By

    My understanding of why OpenOffice seems bloated is kind of the same as the comments by kubota, Sean, and nap.

    For the sake of argument, lets assume that Microsoft Word is more bloated than OpenOffice. Microsoft Word’s apparent speed is just because its bloat is part of the operating system, so these resouces have to load anyway. OpenOffice, on the other hand, has to load all of its program recources on top of the operating system bloat, so it makes the system load heavier overall.

    So while Microsoft Word is more inefficient and bloated overall, the program resources that have to be loaded into the memory on top of the operating system bloat is lower, so Word happens to perform better overall.

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