Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 13th Dec 2010 23:11 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless It's hard to predict the future because we humans prefer to think in terms of familiar paradigms. Even the most brilliant of our species are subject to this flaw. Now, Microsoft faces its turn. The owner of the operating system that likely runs your personal computer, the company that achieved monopoly with Windows and ducked the Department of Justice's scythe to keep it, faces a midlife crisis as the world goes gaga over portable consumer devices. This is the story of what's happening to Microsoft in the handheld operating system markets -- and how it parallels the earlier, similar journeys of IBM Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation. Can Microsoft achieve dominance on mobile devices?
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RE[4]: Comment by Neolander
by Neolander on Tue 14th Dec 2010 09:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Neolander"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

OpenOffice has the best compatibility with Office which the open-source world has to offer, but it's not perfect. Complex documents may or may not work. For a home user or a student like me it's okay, but on a larger scale it's really not okay.

Apart from that, there's also a problem of intrinsic software qualities. Oo's UI is obscure in places, they cloned office 2000 and it was not the best UI microsoft has ever done to say the least. Impress is okay for light use, but Writer makes some simple things very complicated (ex : OO formulas vs MathType, paragraph numbering...), and let's not even talk about Calc vs Excel.

Finally, there's plug-in compatibility. Office has some very interesting add-ons like XLSTAT, which are obviously not compatible with OpenOffice.

Windows is yet another issue. There are two problems here : hardware and software.

Since there are no standard interfaces to hardware anymore, modern hardware requires drivers. Drivers are made by the manufacturer and OS-specific, which means that Linux is often doomed to using either crappy proprietary drivers (as they don't matter in terms of market share, the HW manufacturer does not pay attention to what it codes) or second-class community drivers made from reverse engineering, which are often coming late at the party, unstable, or poor in some areas (3D acceleration, power management).

And then, there's software. Where are AutoCAD, Photoshop, After Effect for Linux ? There are sometimes (not always) equivalents, but they don't have the same UI, and often do not offer exactly the same functionality - which results in a productivity loss.

Edited 2010-12-14 09:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Neolander
by oiaohm on Tue 14th Dec 2010 10:55 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Neolander"
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

OpenOffice has the best compatibility with Office which the open-source world has to offer, but it's not perfect. Complex documents may or may not work. For a home user or a student like me it's okay, but on a larger scale it's really not okay.

Always been wrong Go-oo fork off openoffice has always been higher in compatibility. These days libreoffice has taken over that location. This is basically someone trolling because they don't really know what is out there.

Apart from that, there's also a problem of intrinsic software qualities. Oo's UI is obscure in places, they cloned office 2000 and it was not the best UI microsoft has ever done to say the least. Impress is okay for light use, but Writer makes some simple things very complicated (ex : OO formulas vs MathType, paragraph numbering...), and let's not even talk about Calc vs Excel.[\q]

Again wrong. OpenOffice UI design predated MS Office. Even predates Windows 3.11 goes back before MS even made there first Office or Works programs. If anyone cloned anyone it was the other way over. Big problem is it should have been revamped in a lot of places in the year 2000 when it was released open source.

Paragraph numbering is more stable in OpenOffice than MS Office. Once set right it stays right.

Major performance issues have been repaired in Calc with libreoffice as well as Excel formula importing. Again this is a legacy code issue. Internal of Calc being single threaded in many places causing major bottle necks.

[q] Finally, there's plug-in compatibility. Office has some very interesting add-ons like XLSTAT, which are obviously not compatible with OpenOffice.


Again it comes down to what you are doing with XLSTAT. There are a lot of cases same result as XLSTAT can be got with alfresco extensions and other solutions. Most of the extensions for Excel are not unique there are other ways of getting the same result.

Windows is yet another issue. There are two problems here : hardware and software.

Since there are no standard interfaces to hardware anymore, modern hardware requires drivers. Drivers are made by the manufacturer and OS-specific, which means that Linux is often doomed to using either crappy proprietary drivers (as they don't matter in terms of market share, the HW manufacturer does not pay attention to what it codes) or second-class community drivers made from reverse engineering, which are often coming late at the party, unstable, or poor in some areas (3D acceleration, power management).


Play the hardware card. Funny Linux has drivers for ATI cards that are not even released yet. No way those drivers could have come from reversing.

This is not uncommon these days. To see specs being released to Linux first. Some of the arm hardware out there only has Linux drivers that is the end of it. Hardware card only applies if you are playing x86 and even then it reducing.

And then, there's software. Where are AutoCAD, Photoshop, After Effect for Linux ? There are sometimes (not always) equivalents, but they don't have the same UI, and often do not offer exactly the same functionality - which results in a productivity loss.

Reverse is also true. Linux has access to some software that is either not provide for windows or fails to run at speed under windows.

This is nothing more than a OS change issue. This is basically a nil issue. After Effects is really not the best tool out there.

Best tool in After Effects class out there is called Lightworks. That is currently being ported to Linux as well as becoming open source. Sorry Lightworks out features After Effects in everyway.

Autocad also has its equal and better replacements for Linux. Photoshop is really the only tricky one you listed without a replacement that can kick it but in every way. Big thing here is how many of your desktop users really would need Photoshop,

Basically get your information upto date before keeping on talking.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[6]: Comment by Neolander
by Neolander on Tue 14th Dec 2010 20:41 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Neolander"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Always been wrong Go-oo fork off openoffice has always been higher in compatibility. These days libreoffice has taken over that location. This is basically someone trolling because they don't really know what is out there.

I consider that go-oo and libreoffice are nothing more than a bunch of patch to OO at the moment and thus that these three products do not deserve to be considered as separate entities. When I say open office, it includes OO, go-oo, libreoffice, staroffice, and whatever else uses nearly the same codebase, as opposed to completely separate software like koffice or abiword. Sorry for the annoyance.

Again wrong. OpenOffice UI design predated MS Office. Even predates Windows 3.11 goes back before MS even made there first Office or Works programs. If anyone cloned anyone it was the other way over. Big problem is it should have been revamped in a lot of places in the year 2000 when it was released open source.

Okay, we agree there.

Paragraph numbering is more stable in OpenOffice than MS Office. Once set right it stays right.

And on OpenOffice, it's something whose English name I don't know which keeps screwing up.

Called in French "renvoi", the feature works this way : somewhere in your document, there is a list indexed by numbers. Somewhere else in your document, you want to refer to an item in that list. So you do insert->"renvoi", and then you can invoke the number associated to that item. If you modify the list later, the number is modified accordingly.

Believe it or not, saving the document, closing OO, and re-opening it is sometimes sufficient to mess this up.

(Not being a heavy Calc user myself, I cut the part about it. I know that Excel users find it frustrating, but not precisely why. Myself, I find both insufficient for my use cases)

Play the hardware card. Funny Linux has drivers for ATI cards that are not even released yet. No way those drivers could have come from reversing.

Yeah, and as far as I know they provide 2D acceleration only when they do work... Also, how are the drivers for actually released products for AMD going ?

This is not uncommon these days. To see specs being released to Linux first.

Of course. No need for a spec on windows, the drivers provided by the manufacturer of the hardware and the operating system generally do work. Nowadays, releasing specs mostly occur when a manufacturer realizes how crappy his linux drivers are and asks the community to do better if it can.

Some of the arm hardware out there only has Linux drivers that is the end of it. Hardware card only applies if you are playing x86 and even then it reducing.

No question, I'm talking about the desktop here. I know that Linux is much, much more powerful on anything embedded, but my original point was that Windows, the desktop/laptop OS, was here to stay for some time.

Reverse is also true. Linux has access to some software that is either not provide for windows or fails to run at speed under windows.

Indeed, but for desktop use, the best of linux software tends to have okay to good windows ports. On the other hand, it's generally not true the other way.

This is nothing more than a OS change issue. This is basically a nil issue. After Effects is really not the best tool out there.

Do you really think it's that simple ? I'm a heavy GIMP user, and the Photoshop interface horrifies me so much that I wouldn't touch it with a 10-feet pole. It works just as well the other way. But both software essentially do the same thing.

Switching to new software which you're not used to is really hard, and the harder it was to get used to your current software the harder it will be to switch to another one. This is a real problem, not something you can easily flag as a nil issue and just put under the carpet. Having to use other software makes the barrier to entry of alternative OSs a lot higher than if every software was cross-platform.

Best tool in After Effects class out there is called Lightworks. That is currently being ported to Linux as well as becoming open source. Sorry Lightworks out features After Effects in everyway.

Some say that photoshop beats gimp in every way. Yet anytime I use the path tool in photoshop it makes me want to run away screaming and anytime I use photoshop on a low-powered computer I have the feeling that said computer going to die when I just stroke a line with a 200px brush. I'm sure that a heavy AE user could explain how After Effect is better than Lightworks, based on his own experience of the softs...

Autocad also has its equal and better replacements for Linux. Photoshop is really the only tricky one you listed without a replacement that can kick it but in every way. Big thing here is how many of your desktop users really would need Photoshop,

In the future, desktop computers will become tools for work and heavy gaming, imo. Only professional software users and hardcore gamers would then remain heavy PC users.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Neolander
by lemur2 on Tue 14th Dec 2010 11:56 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Neolander"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

OpenOffice has the best compatibility with Office which the open-source world has to offer, but it's not perfect. Complex documents may or may not work. For a home user or a student like me it's okay, but on a larger scale it's really not okay.


MS Office has very poor compatibility with other Office suites. In that aspect it is way worse than OpenOffice in every way.

Where two parties are interchanging documents and they use different Office suites, in general it will be the party which uses Microsoft Office which has the most problem. Using Microsoft Office is even a problem with your own organisation's older archived documents.

The need to exchange exceedingly complex MS Office documents (that may not work) is very small. Even when the other party has a different version of Office, such an exchange may not work. Choose any format OTHER THAN MS Office formats in order to have a more successful document interchange.

Apart from that, there's also a problem of intrinsic software qualities. Oo's UI is obscure in places, they cloned office 2000 and it was not the best UI microsoft has ever done to say the least. Impress is okay for light use, but Writer makes some simple things very complicated (ex : OO formulas vs MathType, paragraph numbering...), and let's not even talk about Calc vs Excel.


Yet OpenOffice still has 10% to 20% installed base, and growing. It is by far and away the best solution for document interchange and archival purposes. It amply meets the needs of well over 90% of uses cases for an Office suite ... perhaps more.

Finally, there's plug-in compatibility. Office has some very interesting add-ons like XLSTAT, which are obviously not compatible with OpenOffice.


Then XLSTAT is clearly not a technology that one should be using for information interchange or archival. This remark probably applies even better to MS Office itself.

Windows is yet another issue. There are two problems here : hardware and software.

Since there are no standard interfaces to hardware anymore, modern hardware requires drivers. Drivers are made by the manufacturer and OS-specific, which means that Linux is often doomed to using either crappy proprietary drivers (as they don't matter in terms of market share, the HW manufacturer does not pay attention to what it codes) or second-class community drivers made from reverse engineering, which are often coming late at the party, unstable, or poor in some areas (3D acceleration, power management).


There are alternative sources of open source drivers which you ignore.

The first source is where open source developers are given the programming specifications, from which they can write a good open source driver without reverse engineering.

http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/

Another source is when the OEM targets Linux first and Windows is a latecomer afterthought:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODc5Mw
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/node/4641
http://meego.com/developers/hardware-enabling-process

The mobile and handheld space is, after all, more about ARM than it is about x86.

And then, there's software. Where are AutoCAD, Photoshop, After Effect for Linux ? There are sometimes (not always) equivalents, but they don't have the same UI, and often do not offer exactly the same functionality - which results in a productivity loss.


http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/bricscad/index.jsp

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/reviews/2010/02/hands-on-new-sin...
http://darktable.sourceforge.net/features.shtml

After Effect: well, not every use case is covered by Linux. Where is a decent-performing Blender for Windows?

Why would you assume that the productivity had to be higher on a Windows desktop? There are a number of features of a Linux desktop, such as clipboard history and virtual desktops, that could well mean better productivity.

Edited 2010-12-14 12:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Neolander
by lucas_maximus on Tue 14th Dec 2010 17:20 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Neolander"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Why would you assume that the productivity had to be higher on a Windows desktop? There are a number of features of a Linux desktop, such as clipboard history and virtual desktops, that could well mean better productivity.


http://piestar.net/2010/06/29/the-argument-against-multiple-desktop...

I absolutely hate Virtual Desktops, I find I spend more time trying to organise it into Virtual Desktops than actually being organised. I turn them off when I am XFCE on my OpenBSD machine.

Clipboard History is also overrated ... I basically use just "recut" the bit I need rather than searching through the history. It is quicker IMO.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by Neolander
by lucas_maximus on Tue 14th Dec 2010 17:23 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Neolander"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

MS Office has very poor compatibility with other Office suites. In that aspect it is way worse than OpenOffice in every way.

Where two parties are interchanging documents and they use different Office suites, in general it will be the party which uses Microsoft Office which has the most problem. Using Microsoft Office is even a problem with your own organisation's older archived documents.


What you is arguing is the "defacto" vs "dejure" standards.

Microsoft Office is the defacto standard so it doesn't matter whether it has poor compatibility with other office suites, because those are usually in the minority.

Until there is an dejure i.e. enforced standard, everything must be compatible with Microsoft Office.

Edited 2010-12-14 17:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by Neolander
by Neolander on Tue 14th Dec 2010 21:50 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Neolander"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

MS Office has very poor compatibility with other Office suites. In that aspect it is way worse than OpenOffice in every way.

Where two parties are interchanging documents and they use different Office suites, in general it will be the party which uses Microsoft Office which has the most problem. Using Microsoft Office is even a problem with your own organisation's older archived documents.

The need to exchange exceedingly complex MS Office documents (that may not work) is very small. Even when the other party has a different version of Office, such an exchange may not work. Choose any format OTHER THAN MS Office formats in order to have a more successful document interchange.

As someone else said, it does not matter. MS Office is currently the de facto standard, therefore everyone uses doc/docx for exchanging re-writable documents. It's a sad fact of life, and open-source office suites just have to cope with it. If people were reasonable, everybody would be using PDF anyway.

Yet OpenOffice still has 10% to 20% installed base, and growing.

Because it's free and because most office suites users are casual users which would already be satisfied with abiword anyway.

It is by far and away the best solution for document interchange and archival purposes.

No, no, and no ! If you want a document which looks exactly the same way on all computers and printers you can think of, PDF is simply the only way to go. A missing font is generally all it takes for ODT/DOC documents to get their formatting completely messed up (when it's not worse).

Moreover, on the average guy's computer, you're much more likely to find a decent PDF reader than the exact same version of the office suite you're using. The core PDF standard is much more stable, and readers are more mature.

It amply meets the needs of well over 90% of uses cases for an Office suite ... perhaps more.

That's the reason why office might fall someday... But looking at the arguments a friend gave me when he told me that he was going to buy Word instead of using OpenOffice, I somehow doubt it.

Then XLSTAT is clearly not a technology that one should be using for information interchange or archival. This remark probably applies even better to MS Office itself.

Again, this also applies to nearly anything but PDFs, 7-bit ASCII text files, PCM, and similarly primitive formats. The problem is, when you want something a bit more powerful, you have to look somewhere else. Ardour, Audacity, and Cubase don't use standard file formats either, that doesn't make them less interesting as long as everyone in your team is using them.

There are alternative sources of open source drivers which you ignore.

The first source is where open source developers are given the programming specifications, from which they can write a good open source driver without reverse engineering.

http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/

Wake me up when it actually starts to give more interesting results than 2D acceleration and GPU fans blowing hot air at full speed.

Another source is when the OEM targets Linux first and Windows is a latecomer afterthought:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODc5Mw
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/node/4641
http://meego.com/developers/hardware-enabling-process

The mobile and handheld space is, after all, more about ARM than it is about x86.

Again, I don't deny that, but I'm talking about the desktop here, which is exclusively x86 since Apple realized that PowerPC was a dead end on this category of computers.


If you put an AutoCAD user in front of it, will he master it in 10 minutes ?


Photoshop users have their gripes with GIMP, and single window mode is only one of them.

They will tell you about the extensive use of contextual menus in photoshop for faster use when you're experienced (at the cost of much harder learning), non-destructive editing features, CMYK (though I heard that GEGL was going to bring that someday), GPU acceleration (ditto)...


Interesting... Though I don't use it, I suppose that this is something like Adobe Lightroom. Didn't know that the open source world went this far.

Since you seem to have some deep knowledge of open-source software, may I ask you if you know about a good data plotting and analysis software (something in the spirit of Origin or IGOR Pro) which runs on both Windows and Linux ? I'm on Windows since I moved to a laptop, as the power management of current desktop Linux distros made me want to smash my head on my desk, but I consider getting back in the open-source OS world once that is fixed, so I would like to keep using software which works everywhere.

After Effect: well, not every use case is covered by Linux. Where is a decent-performing Blender for Windows?

Well, the current betas didn't shocked me by their awful performance, although they have their quirks in other domains (dammit, where is my multicut gone ?).

I can also argue that Windows has a number of professional 3D apps of the level of Blender : 3DS Max, Lightwave...

Why would you assume that the productivity had to be higher on a Windows desktop?

I don't assume that. I assume that people always perform better with the tools they're used to. Switching to something else means a decrease in productivity during the time they get to learn their new tools.

So Linux and open source tools don't only have to be as good as the Windows ones before people decide that the aforementioned loss is worth making the switch : they also have to get much better in some way.

There are a number of features of a Linux desktop, such as clipboard history and virtual desktops, that could well mean better productivity.

Arguable. I spent more than 5 years solely running Linux, and I never managed to find an everyday use to virtual desktop. When I have so much applications running that the taskbar gets filled up, I always find some mess which I don't use anymore and should close. The fact that my computer only had 512 MB of RAM until recently may have helped this.

Same for clipboard history : never got to really use it. The sole interest of Klipper, in my opinion, was that it addressed the broken way copy and paste works on some linux desktops :
-Copy something
-Close the app
-Paste... Paste... Crap, the copied content was not actually copied, it's gone with the app !

Edited 2010-12-14 22:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2