OpenOffice still two trains running on one line.

If the market is to find true love, the two trains of Open Office and Symphony need to get together, and the base offering has to broaden. Otherwise it's all going to get left at the station.

Two trains merging in Portland, Oregon, from This Space for Rent
Since its introduction Microsoft Office has grown well beyond its initial bundle. (Picture from This Space for Rent, the blog of a railroad fan in Portland, Oregon.)

There are now 15 products listed with Office, including such offerings as Visio charting software and Project, its scheduling software.

OpenOffice, meanwhile, remains pretty basic. Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawing, a simple database, and a math program.

The open source version of Lotus Symphony, which we said in September would become a companion bundle, is still just on the IBM Web site.

So why isn't OpenOffice broader?

Well, it is.

There are many, many projects associated with Open Office, among them an API and an application framework.

I just got a press release from OpenProj, an open source project management application aimed at Microsoft Project. They've just been shown working with Symphony. They were helped in this by IBM engineers.

It reminds me of an old rock song, two trains running on one line, one train's me and another's a friend of mine.

If the market is to find true love, the two trains need to get together, and the base offering has to broaden. Otherwise it's all going to get left at the station.

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