|FROM ||Jon Bober
|SUBJECT ||Re: [hangout] what do you think of this?
I do not think that Linux needs more non-free software that people would
rather use on Windows. The great advantage that bringing Office to Linux
would be that people would be able to open their Office documents on
Linux. For the most part, however, no new Application functionality would
be gained, especially given that current office-type applications for
Linux will probably get a good deal better by the time Office is ported,
and any version of MS Office for Linux would probably be behind the
current version for Windows.
What would be a great idea is to force MS to use open standards for file
formats. Office on Linux still locks people into MS's grip, while open
standards would allow them to escape. The file format is a much greater
issue than the software availability. See
http://www.troubleshooters.com/tpromag/200104/200104.htm - "Who owns your
data?" With closed source and UTICA, Microsoft owns your data, as it is
only accessible using Microsoft products. With open standards, YOU own
your data, as it can be accessed in any way you have enough ingenuity to
access it. In short, a word processor should be a written word production
engine, not a writted word decryption engine.
So, while Office ported to Linux would ultimately help the adoption of the
Linux kernel (any piece of software helps in at least a small way by increasing the software pool,) it would hurt the adoption of the Linux Way Of Life, as it
would encourage would be users of Open Software to be users of Locked
[ps. on the other hand, some will argue that Office on Linux would create
a good stepping stone, helping people make the move to free software
step-by-step. They could first move to Linux with Microsoft, and then
move to Linux free of Microsoft. This idea has some merit with me, but I
think that it does not get rid of the real problem.]
[pps. Also, taking the argument another way, I have a problem with
government intervention in general. Yes, Microsoft is an evil monopoly;
Yes, I have some animosity towards them; Yes, I would hope to see them
fall (or change.) But the government that would like to break up the
monopoly is the same government that allows the monopoly. I don't think
that the government should be breaking up Microsoft, and I also don't
think that the government should be allowing Microsoft to make it illegal
to decode the Microsoft office format. A free software friendly
government would do a lot more to hurt Microsoft than a government that
simply forces Microsoft to be a little bit bigger. Unhindered, free
software will Take Over The World.
I guess that it was about time for me to rant - it has been a while since the last time that I ranted, and I am in a happy mood today, having just finished exams.]
On Wed, 19 Dec 2001 13:25:20 -0500
> Holdout States Want Microsoft Office Ported to Linux
> New Yorker Linux Users Scene
> Fair Use -
> because it's either fair use or useless....
New Yorker Linux Users Scene
Fair Use -
because it's either fair use or useless....