Saturday, October 20, 2007

Moving from Windows to Linux...

... is not easy. And just because of one single reason: Microsoft Office.

Although I would love to, as hardware support for virtually any PC (desktop or laptop) is really good these days (I found out the other day that there is even support for Thinkpad's HDD shock protection), and I have free software to do almost everything I want to do.

Games were a reason in the past for me not to move, but not now. I got sick and tired of wishing a new computer every year so I could play all those cool games. After buying my Dreamcast, I stopped playing on a PC. Then came PS2, PSP and now PS3. And they confirmed my intention.

But I have to deal with complex Word and Excel documents taking all the power out of these tools. And, I am sorry, but OpenOffice is still far away from Office. Also in terms of usability and productivity (mmmmm, those cross-references should work easier, as Word does, even if it is a field in which Microsoft still has a lot to improve).

I am reading in Barrapunto, SlashDot's Spanish brother, that OpenOffice 3.0 will compete with Outlook: Thundebird+Lightning to handle mailing and event calendars in a coupled way, PDF import and export, import Microsoft Office XML, and lots of stuff. I am looking forward to it, but if it does not let me open Office documents, feel them the same way as Office, modify them and be able to send them to others having Office without them noticing that I did not use Office... then it does not work for me.

So please, may OpenOffice be fully interoperable with Office (really sorry that an open format is beaten by a "de facto" proprietary standard). Or, instead of that, every organization start using OpenOffice so I can move from Windows to Linux :-)

I'd really love to. In the meantime, I am enjoying Ubuntu a lot and using it except for documents and spreadsheets.

Well, I cannot bind my N80 to my PC in Linux with all the possibilities that Windows (via Nokia PC Suite) offers, or use SDKs like the ones from Nokia's phones, from RIM or a whole lot of phone emulators.

But that is not a problem of the OS, but of developers' closed mind... Linux has a huge community of developers behind willing to start programming in everything supported by Linux.

If Nokia or RIM made all their development tools available to the Linux community, I guess that lots and lots of more free programs for those platforms would be available. Same might be said about supporting MacOSX.

Errrr. This post has ended with an off-topic, sorry. As I said before, I want to go to Linux, but my job does not let me use it all the time.

1 comment:

kozmcrae said...

Open Office is "far away" for about 5% of the users. For everyone else it does everything we need it to do. I'm sorry you're one of the 5%. It doesn't mean you will never be able to use Linux and, it just means you'll have to wait a little longer than the rest of us.