“When the N9, running MeeGo received the strongest positive reviews of any Nokia phone ever, the first handset of any brand considered better than the iPhone—what did Elop do? He said that no matter how well the N9 sold, Elop would never allow another MeeGo based device to be sold by Nokia.” Microsoft has just bought Nokia’s handset division for a knockdown price of 5.3 Billion Euros, prompting former Nokia employee Tomi Ahonen to chronicle the decline of this once mighty company since in September 2010 former Microsoft employee Steven Elop became the first non-Finnish director in Nokia’s history.
“The latest version of the open-source office suite OpenOffice.org 3.1 has just arrived, and it’s a good one. While some of the improvements are visible to the naked eye, I found that the most important changes were hidden under the hood.” Steven J Vaughan-Nichols takes the latest OpenOffice.org release for a spin.
“OpenOffice.org has an impressive feature set, a generally lucid interface, pure open-source credentials, and the decisive advantage of being absolutely free.” Edward Mendelson reviews OpenOffice.org 3.0.
“If you are considering buying a commercial office suite, don’t do it until you have given OpenOffice.org a shot. That’s particularly true of the new version, which was released today.” Dwight Silverman summarises what’s new in OpenOffice.org 3.0.
“Users will be able to set ODF as their default file formats under Office 2007, and Microsoft plans to continue support of the OOXML-ODF translator for those using older versions of Office.” Jacqui Cheng details Microsoft’s recent announcement to make Office 2007 compatible with OpenOffice.org.
Personally, I remain sceptical about Microsoft delivering on these promises. But genuine interoperability has to start from somewhere…
Users of Microsoft Office may also want to consider the Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office as an alternative solution.
“Think of this as a virtual guide, the written version of me coming over to your house on a Sunday afternoon to help get to know OpenOffice.org and figure out all the things you’re not quite sure about.” Solveig Haugland offers a virtual hand to hold.
“In a move to ensure equal access to public information for Norwegian citizens, the government has decided to make the freely accessible document standards HTML, PDF, and ODF obligatory.” Justin Fielding reports on Norway joining countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia, Finland, France, Japan and Germany in a drive to make government documents more accessible.
“Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called ‘premium content’.” Peter Gutmann looks at the many ways in which Vista will increase the cost of using computers.
“Future archaeologists will be able to identify a Vista upgrade layer when they go through our landfill sites.” Tim Dowling considers the implications of upgrading the software on his current computer.
“If Windows XP was Microsoft’s attempt to embed a browser into the operating system then Vista is the attempt to embed Digital Rights Management.” Oliver Day worries that Windows Vista is of real benefit only to content producers, not consumers.
“Given the obscurity of document formats and of technical standards work, it’s easy to miss the importance of an XML-based open document format standard.” Sam Hiser on how ODF represents a triumph of common sense and why Microsoft’s petulant response ulitmately is pure entertainment.
“Open formats are an important part of computing freedom because they give people control of their own data.” Gervase Markham on why there really is no alternative to open data formats.
Why even bother with LaTeX? Andrew Roberts explains why learning LaTeX might be worth the hassle after all.
“It’s hard to justify the expense of £90 to £150 per computer a year to run software that’s definitely no better than the free alternative.” Chris Johnston reports on why OpenOffice.org could loosen Microsoft’s grip on UK schools.
“It is ironic that a fear of technology has sent thousands of companies hurtling into the arms of an IT vendor that has some of the most complex, resource hungry and insecure server technology on the market.” Malcolm Cartledge prefers low cost and high reliability.
“It’s just powerful and sophisticated software at everyone’s favourite price.” Geoff Palmer highlights the benefits of using OpenOffice.org.
“The UK government has now largely abandoned Microsoft Word for documents that become public”, writes Mark Ward. If only they had used OpenOffice.org’s one-click PDF export…
“Replacing a complicated piece of software like an office suite can be a major undertaking. But, if you apply a few simple rules to make sure your needs are met, you’ll be ready to be productive on the new software right away.”
“Recently, I’ve had a crisis of faith. Perhaps I’ve rebooted Windows one too many times.” Former Microsoft employee Jeff Reifman tells on why addiction to Windows revenue, mediocre products, and missed opportunities could spell doom for the software giant.