If I had to guess what direction OO development is headed in, I'd say things are headed in a more service-oriented architecture direction. It'll be great if you want a customed-out integrated groupware, collaboration, data analysis and document management solution, and you've got a large, skilled IT staff (and/or Oracle or IBM service contract) to set it up. I doubt it's going to be any good for standalone plain vanilla desktop apps.
Could be I'm wrong about this; but it's open to question where this is headed.
I am very grateful for the work that has been put into open-source office software, and know that they face an uphill battle with the peculiarities of Microsoft's formats.
However OpenOffice & LibreOffice (and possibly Google Docs) are functionality equivalent, and use open source standards. This raises the biggest question with OpenSource products: is the poor experience worth no vendor lock in?
Given Greek austerity mesures, compatibility assurance, the educational use of the product, and it will force MS to compete it's best Greece uses OpenSource.
It's nice to actually see it quickly improving now they've forked, given how stagnant Open Office development was when Sun (and then Oracle) was in charge.
You may or may not be right on the value of MS Office, but I think its use in this context is easily and legitimately challenged.
For interacting with the business world, Microsoft Office is absolutely essential -- a bargain at thrice the price.
Often a database, JSON or just plain CSV files, combined with R or Python+libraries, will give a far far better result (faster, maintainable, more flexible presentation, reusable, VCS-able).
Better to solve the right problem the wrong way.
Come to think about it, "too flexible and yet not flexible enough" describes all the popular scripting languages, too - Python not least among them.
If nothing else I would prefer Greek students get used to the emphasis writer places on using styles instead of "ad-hoc" formatting.
Back in a former job, I was managing documents for a big project. The government mandated the use of Word format. When I opened some of the documents up in LibreOffice, only a single, completely blank page was visible. This tended to happen with .docx files but not with .doc files.
So YES, open source office suites DO mangle Microsoft Office documents beyond readability. The only thing that's guaranteed to work is Microsoft Office, so governments and businesses will keep using it.
The equivalent to your argument, is a person making 20,000€/year, asking for a small family car and you suggest a Porsche because "it worths every single cent".
Microsoft certainly wants to be a sole supplier on a privately discussed contract. If I were trying to maximize my profits, I'd want exactly the same.
Presumably if they want to give discounts or special deals they don't want to do it publicly where everybody (including competitors and future potential customers) can see, but I wonder if this sort of tactic is something that's even tenable going forward? With so many of these contracts coming into the open, will they be able to continue giving discounts on a customer-by-customer basis?