Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Open Source in the business and desktop... 

So, what prompted my last entry was my quest to continue to get apps for the new machine. One thing I wanted to grab was OpenOffice. I'd tried an old version of StarOffice and it worked pretty well, though I wasn't into some of the weird integration that was going on. But since then it has evolved quite a bit and pulled a Mozilla (going open source and feeding the new versions of StarOffice). It has a ton of features (including working with MSOffice documents, saving as pdf, etc.) and is availible on many platforms for free (Linux, Windows, I think Mac..).

I'm constantly being amazed at how far things are getting. Sites and apps that used to look unprofessional are quickly turning into powerhouses with nicely designed websites and an amount of polish in the programs themselves.

OpenOffice has some links to news feeds, and I found some interesting stuff from there. First up:

The Myths of Open Source - This one looks at how big businesses anre starting to use more and more open source software and how the old stereotypes are being proven wrong in practice. A very nicely done article with real companies interviewed (like Siemens).

At Future's Gate: The Kansai Open Source and Freeware Conference 2003 - An article where one of the OpenOffice people visited a conference in Japan that talked about open source and the desktop. The list of apps in there is what got me thinking of GIMP again.

I still remember how I installed Linux on a machine a couple of years ago and saw that there was a lot of promise, but it still seemed far away from having my Mom using it or having all the apps that I'd need. But more and more stuff keeps coming out and once the code is out there it doesn't go away and it keeps getting built on. First there was mp3 players and now there is whole office suites. I have to say I am pretty excited. :)

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