More like ten years ahead
Alan Yates, the general manager of business strategy for Microsoft's information worker group, really put his foot in his mouth recently stating that OpenOffice is "ten years behind" the current offering of Microsoft Office.
I completely agree with what Louis Suarez-Potts said about that. "Microsoft's only reaction is to imitate us when it can and generate FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) at all times. It is not interested in furthering the ways in which people and businesses and governments communicate, it is only interested in its own bottom line, in keeping its customer base tied to its applications and file formats.."
Spot on, and a nice comeback.
The largest flaw in MS Office isn't its programs or its functionality. It's cost. MS Office Pro 2003 retails for almost five hundred dollars. That's a lot of money for an application suite and it's the reason why so many companies don't upgrade every time a new version of MS Office is released. Microsoft can brag all day about how wonderful MSO is, but at the end of the day it's a very high priced set of applications.
When you consider that OpenOffice costs zero dollars (100% true, you can download it now) compared to MSO, you don't have to wait for the software to "give back" what you put into it. You are literally saving money from the moment you start using it.
Even if it was proven without a shadow of a doubt that MSO is ten years ahead of Oo, it wouldn't keep any cash in my pocket.
And lastly, it doesn't exactly make sense to buy software that costs more than the computer itself just to write and share a document. There is something very wrong with that in my opinion.