[linux-audio-user] Re: Is the Linux desktop really here ?

Rob lau at kudla.org
Mon Dec 8 13:27:44 EST 2003

On Monday 08 December 2003 12:04, Mark Knecht wrote:
> As someone who runs a business, why would I want to pay
> someone $600 to fix 10 documents when I can buy Microsoft's
> tools for $300 and have guaranteed compatibility? 

Oh, I don't think you'll find Microsoft guarantees any such 
thing. ;)

Seriously though.... It's a game of percentages.  When StarOffice 
5.2 was around, it was okay for maybe 5% of Word/Excel users.  
With OpenOffice 1.1 I have yet to meet a user in real life (I've 
heard lots of accounts like your own on the net and I believe 
you, but in business I gotta rely on the experiences of those 
who pay me) who's unable to use it for basically everything for 
which they used Word/Excel previously.  So I'm going to go out 
on a limb and say that number is a lot larger than 5% now, and 
is growing with each release even if the market share's a lot 
slower due to the primary marketing being word of mouth.  I'm 
surprised the low end PC makers aren't already preloading it in 
lieu of MS Works or WP Office, but I bet they do sooner or 

I always recommend to people to keep one PC with Word and Excel 
on it in each department "just in case", or when dealing with 
customers who send documents that cause problems.  Generally 
speaking, those PC's are remaining unused, but it'll be a while 
before I stop that recommendation.  Crossover Office is great 
not only for that stuff, but for running a certain subset of 
internally created VB apps that seem to crop up in every medium 
to large organization.  Usually, though, the org has a ton of 
Windows licenses around and can just spare one for that one box.

But the long term solution is going to involve OpenOffice, and 
eventually the people with huge Excel macros that won't run in 
anything else will wind up like the people who had all those 
huge WordPerfect macros that wouldn't run in anything else... 
keeping Excel around on a few machines as a legacy app because 
the rest of the world moved off of it. Some companies (law firms 
in particular) still have machines running DOS and WP51, some 
have migrated their macros to newer WP Office versions, and some 
have bit the bullet and ported to something else, and not always 
Word.  If you remember, Lotus 1-2-3 was the same back in the 
day; I saw a distressing number of real core business apps 
implemented as Lotus macros and when they broke, boy, they 
really broke.  Those who'd move from VBA-scripted apps to 
OpenOffice have an additional incentive to do so in that the 
OpenOffice guys are dying to get their hands on Word and Excel 
macros that won't work in OpenOffice, so instead of paying 
someone 600 bucks it may be possible (in less sensitive 
instances) to send your sheets off and check back when the next 
version comes out to see whether they run.

Anyway, Gnumeric is a nice program too, and has had the 
distinction of being able to open a few corrupted sheets that 
neither Excel nor OpenOffice would touch, and then saving them 
back out again all repaired.  I think it belongs in everyone's 
toolkit for just that reason even though I think OpenOffice gets 
the "most likely to succeed" plaque.

None of which lets my Windows and Mac loving friends get 
CEP/Audition, Cakewalk or Protools working under Linux, but if 
you can get an avalanche going, a few pebbles will usually get 
pulled along with it ;)


More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list