Microsoft Office has become the “de facto” application for today’s computer usages. No matter how they use it or get it, pirated or purchased through company program, they just keep using it. For Indonesian, something that most people forget is how expensive the Microsoft Office is. The Microsoft Office 2003 costs you US$499 dollar (enough to get you an Apple Mac mini or a brand new AMD Athlon64 or Intel Pentium 4). Of course you can buy an OEM version which costs you a fractional US$170-190 dollar, though the OEM is not for the end user, and Bill Gates having a hard time figure it out how to sell their expensive software in these so-called developing countries which only have a GDP few hundreds dollars and some only have income of less than 100 dollar a month (Thanks God they have brilliant local executives that can “work things out” for locals).
I perceived myself as a common or everyday computers users. Just like most people and executives, I only use it for emails, browsing and sometimes for writing letters. I’m settled now with Mac. I once used ClarisImpact on PowerMac, and AmiPro 3.0 on PC those old early 1990s. Then I use Microsoft Office 95 later 97 then 2000, XP, 2003 on my ThinkPads. The drive that cause me to use Microsoft Office on ThinkPads (read: PC Windows) is the beauty of ThinkPads and the can’t afford to have a solely system that can’t interchange-able to others peers (read: They are all use Microsoft Office!!), so here I go with ThinkPads and Windows. Sorry to say for the last 2 years I gave up Windows! Simply because I can’t stand to have a messy System that can’t prove itself proven to the viruses, worms and those lausy Spywares!@ … And now with Ray Ozzie joined Microsoft as CTO, I look forward another 10 years if only Microsoft can bring something that really new to the market. If not then forget it! I would rather boot a FreeBSD laptop and using Open Office for work.
So what’s important of Open Office 2.0? Simply because it works and mimics the Microsoft Office without having to annoyed by those Microsoft right bar animation and so-called expert online-help that I don’t think people would use it. For simply sake, I don’t see any different between Microsoft Office 95 and 2003!! It’s all the same product with little or no enhancements, the only different I notice between Microsoft Office 95 and 97 is Microsoft Office 97 can import Jpeg file with smaller end file result compare to Microsoft Office 95. Maybe Microsoft Office 95 converted it back to BMP 🙁
You can check out yourself how good Open Office 2.0 today and how it will be fit your organisation very well. There’s no other vendor ready to take over the Microsoft Office except the Open Office. I once wished that Lotus SmartSuite will be there, but looking back to what’s Louis Gerstner had to said in his biography “Who Says that Elephants Can’t Dance?” we all can clearly say that IBM has no interest in developing Application. They are more interest in MiddleWare and Services. (Bye bye OS/2!)
Now if only we’re donating to the Open Office community (let’s say a dollar for each of us, I guess it would sum to enormous amount that can support their lives). I just can’t wait how soon they will come up with native Aqua Mac OS X version of Open Office! You’ll have my 100 dollar donation when the day comes! It will rock my day to have Apple Keynote for presentation and Open Office for everyday lives!!
So the big question is will Indonesian government endorse Open Office? Well I don’t think so. I see one good minister, but the rest is as dumb as everybody else. Sorry folks! Enough said.
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