Time to switch away from Microsoft?

I have been testing Office 2007 and its new user interface. I did like it. But at the same time I did have some trouble finding some options (like the Save As ... --a hint: press the circle on the top left--) but the general feeling was that it should be easy to get use to it. However, another idea came to my mind: Over the years I have heard people from different companies saying that while OpenOffice was kind of ok they did not want to incur on the extra cost of re-train employees to learn how to use OpenOffice. The bottom-line now is that I find much easier to switch from previous versions of Microsoft Office to OpenOffice than to Office 2007. And I have not yet mentioned that file formats have changed too for Office 2007!!

This fact considered alone might be addressed by not switching to Office 2007 anytime soon. This is what all the companies I know are doing. But the second most amazing thing I can see happening is that no companies are switching to the much-hyped and secured Windows Vista. In fact I can see a few days ago that Dell is switching back to Windows XP on computers for corporate customers.

Microsoft two flagships products (and cash cows) have been Windows and Office. While there is still a lot of momentum to claim that they are in the red, it seems that Vista (which means sight for those of you unfamiliar with Spanish) and Office 2007 are going to be a difficult sale but for different reasons. The former because of the lack of hardware support and excess of DRM and the latter because of being "too innovative" I would say.

I did my personal choice back in 1999 when I switched to StarOffice and since then I have been a happy camper with what OpenOffice project has been delivering (though I use many other software; from gnuplot to texmacs, from GIMP to Inkscape, etc). If only the OpenOffice that came with Ubuntu 6.06 did work with the PhotoAlbum macro without crashing ... but one can dream, can't we? (of course it works with almost any other version of OpenOffice, including those available for Windows).

I cannot coment on Windows Vista because, for the first time, I haven't tried the new version of the Redmond OS. But I haven't tried the latest Ubuntu's either. I think the mantra here is "don't fix it if ain't broken". Yes, you guessed right: I do not work for the marketing dept!!


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