Microsoft Office

Readers in Britain couldn’t fail to notice the extensive TV advertising: I’m a PC – that Microsoft is conducting at present.

Some think it may be due to Linux. For example, Citroen moved 250 Servers and 20,000 PCs over to SuSE Linux. That must have been a loss to Microsoft. And the French Government is standardising on Ubuntu, as is the Spanish Government. Last year the Gendarmes moved over 70,000 PCs and their servers over to Linux and the Spanish education authorities moved over all their departments, schools, colleges and universities over to Linux – between 400,000 and half a million PCs. These are just three organisations. A bitter blow for Microsoft’s income, both present and future. Especially when all these children join companies when they leave school or college.

Then there are the present Windows users who are now using the free Open Office software that consists, not only of a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation manager, but ones that will open and save to Microsoft Office formats.

I have been informed that Microsoft has just reduced the price of MS Office, and have allowed to be set up on three separate PCs. Big deal! Open Office may be copied to between one and a million PCs free of charge. If you want it on more than a million, just go ahead – don’t bother Open Office with the details!

I am a journalist and have not noticed any lack of facilities in Open Office over MS Office and I use it extensively.

One of the reasons for the mindset of the “Corporate” is they don’t like anything for free. If they decide to follow the Spanish and French governments, they can take out a support contract with Canonical Limited. After all, these are the people who manage the production of the totally free Ubuntu Linux distribution.

One very big saving is that Linux needs far less powerful hardware to run than Windows and you will be able to bring some of your older computers back into harness.

Another problem with “Corporates” is that they imagine they need to change over all their software to Linux. This just isn’t true. At least 95% of all their computers could probably run their requirements in free Linux. Why not change these over and keep a few Windows machines for dedicated software?

Mind you, I can see them not being bothered to do this at the moment if they are cash rich and don’t have to rely on banks for loans to keep their companies afloat.

Then we come to the home user. This is where Linux comes into its own. Linux, Open Office, Firefox Browser, and Thunderbird Email will keep the usual requirements going. But Linux scores heavily over Windows for working with photographs, movies and sound files. There are umpteen programs in these fields to download.

I have kept the bad news until the end. There are around twenty thousand programs available for the Linux operating system. However, at least five hundred of these are not free!


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