June 19, 2002
Open Source Office Software
Microsoft is running into new trouble in the courtroom, but it may be facing even more serious problems as a new OpenOffice software suite has been released to go head to head with Microsoft Office, especially its workprocessing system. The reviews indicate that this is not some stripped down cheapie but a full replacement. As a Washington Post writer commented, "After using the Windows version of OpenOffice for the past week and a half, I can attest that it either matches or beats Microsoft Office in features and ease of use" with a few minor compatibility problems importing already created Microsoft documents.
...Despite writing quite a bit against Microsoft, I have to admit the dirty secret that I mostly use Microsoft products, largely because they've been "free" for me, having been preinsalled on most computers I've had. Now I may finally be able to convert over to something else.
...More seriously, Microsoft is facing whole countries- Mexico, Peru, now Germany - that are promoting open source operating systems and programs as an alternative to Microsoft's proprietary systems.
...It's too early to write the obituary, but it seems likely that Microsoft's decade-long omnipotence on the desktop may be coming to an end.
Posted by Nathan at June 19, 2002 08:58 PM