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?
Thread beginning with comment 453459
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[5]: Comment by Neolander
by lemur2 on Tue 14th Dec 2010 11:56 UTC 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[7]: Comment by Neolander
by lemur2 on Tue 14th Dec 2010 22:00 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Neolander"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"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. "

The point you miss is this ... OpenOffice and derivatives do have excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office has very poor compatibility with OpenOffice and derivatives.

OK, so you have one office suite which has very good compatibility with office file formats across the board, and another office suite which utterly chokes over the file format of an office suite with 10% to 20% installed base.

If you are going to be doing document interchange (such as might a government), which Office Suite do you use? The only sane answer is to use the office suite with the good, broad compatibility. That is NOT Microsoft Office.

Reply Parent Score: 2

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

RE[7]: Comment by Neolander
by lemur2 on Tue 14th Dec 2010 22:55 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Neolander"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"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.
"

When poeple are reasonable, PDF is not a problem at all on a Linux desktop. My desktop uses Okular as the PDF viewer, and LibrOffice can write PDF files from any application, as can Calligra Office, and there is a "print to PDF" utility installed by default so that applications which do not support PDF output directly can support it indirectly.

"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. "

Whatever the reason, OpenOffice and derivatives still have 10% to 20% of installed base, and growing. This was the level of installed base at which Firefox began to cause problems for "IE only" websites, BTW, and users began to demand support for Firefox in significant enough numbers.

"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. "

ODT meets all of the requirements for document interchange and archival that PDF does, with the advantage that the file is still editable if need be, so that it also meets requirements for archival.

"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.
"

But, like MS Office, Ardour, Audacity, and Cubase are no good for document interchange and archival purposes. OpenOffice is.

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


Wakey wakey.

"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 "

So you are talking off topic then?

http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/bricscad/index.jsp
If you put an AutoCAD user in front of it, will it master it in 10 minutes ?


That is the idea, yes. AutoCAD is a complex application, and to use it properly requires significant training. Once a computer user has mastered AutoCAD, they are pretty much able to master all kinds of UIs.

However, your original question ... "where is AutoCAD for Linux" is answered, and your question is out of date.

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)...


GEGL is supposed to address all of the claimed deficiencies of inner workings of GIMP just as single--window-UI-mode address in the UI. GIMP is powerful but slow to improve. Krita is catching it up. Whatever, there is no need to run Photoshop these days, especially when you consider the price. OMG!

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.


Not my field, but here are some things to check out:
http://elettrolinux.com/Analyze-Visualize/qtiplot-a-data-analysis-a...
http://soft.proindependent.com/qtiplot.html

http://www.gle-graphics.org/

http://labplot.sourceforge.net/
(the KDE4 version is still only at alpha 2 stage)

This one isn't ready yet, but I believe they are working to get it integrated with GNU Octave, which would give it more grunt.
http://edu.kde.org/cantor/

"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... "

Agreed. The question however is not "does Windows have applications" but rather "does Linux also". The answer to the latter question, for by far the majority of users and use cases, is emphatically "yes it does".

" Why would you assume that the productivity had to be higher on a Windows desktop?
I don't assume that. 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 ! "

Amazing. You go out of your way to try to claim that there are no aplications for Linux desktop in some areas, when in fact there are, and then when areas of the Linux desktop that are not implemented in Windows are pointed out, you simply dismiss them.

Biased much?

Edited 2010-12-14 23:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Neolander
by lemur2 on Wed 15th Dec 2010 02:28 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Neolander"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

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

Although this is strictly a desktop question, and it is therefore getting a little off topic, nevertheless I had a look into this question:

http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/bricscad/documentation.jsp
The latest (free) e-book from upFront.eZine Publishing is the 144-page Bricscad for AutoCAD Users ebook. It describes the similarities and differences between the two CAD programs, and would be of interest to CAD users interested in transitioning to Bricscad. The ebook is available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format, and covers these topics:

Advantages to Bricscad
What's missing from Bricscad
Comparison of user interfaces
Detailed comparison of drawing file compatibility
Customizing and programming Bricscad
AutoCAD-Bricscad dictionary
Four appendices of reference material


So, most decidedly, your question has been addressed, in detail.

So, is it difficult to make a transition?

http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/bricscad/top10.jsp
Most users are transitioning from AutoCAD to Bricscad in one week or less.
Bricscad has over 100,000 users around the world and earned a 98% satisfaction rating.
Users and administrators in organizations with both Bricscad and AutoCAD prefer Bricscad.
Bricscad offers an AutoCAD-compatible programming platform that supports existing applications.
Increasingly, top developers are offering their existing AutoCAD applications and add-ons on Bricscad


Apparently not.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Neolander
by lemur2 on Wed 15th Dec 2010 03:04 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Neolander"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

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 ?


Not knowing exactly what you wanted here, I went to a good resource for scientific computing:
http://elettrolinux.com/
and I found therein some other alternatives that might fill your need:
http://elettrolinux.com/Scientific-computation/octave.html
http://qtoctave.wordpress.com/what-is-qtoctave/
http://elettrolinux.com/Analyze-Visualize/scidavis-a-scientific-dat...
http://elettrolinux.com/Analyze-Visualize/paraview-scientific-visua...
http://elettrolinux.com/Analyze-Visualize/mayavi-the-3d-data-visual...
http://elettrolinux.com/Analyze-Visualize/opendx-visualization-data...
http://elettrolinux.com/Analyze-Visualize/kst-display-scientific-da...
http://elettrolinux.com/Authoring/veusz-a-scientific-plotting-packa...

I hope this helps.

Edited 2010-12-15 03:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2