Doing Documents The Right Way
By MortazaviBlog on Oct 20, 2005
Back in 2002, I started representing Sun Microsystems Inc. at the Open Mobile Alliance. (Actually, I was the vice-chair of its Mobile Web Services working group for some time.) While working with OMA, I had the good fortunate to make many wonderful friends, including some from Microsoft, Ericsson, Nokia, Nortel, IBM, Cisco, RIM, Vodafone and France Telecom.
To do my work, I felt obliged to carry around a laptop with Microsoft Office installed. (OMA Board of Directors had decided the standards organization would develop its documents using Office.) With all the traveling I was doing, the old laptop soon gave up and went dead—an auspicious event which forced me to get a new machine and to reconsider what software to install. At that point, I vowed not to use Microsoft Office, and turned to StarOffice, which is based on OpenOffice. What surprised me was the ease of my migration from a propriety office platform to an open one. It was a simple matter to generate and exchange all kinds of documents with my OMA peers. I never looked back or regretted my decision!
Now, comes OpenOffice version 2.o for Solaris (x86 and Sparc), Mac OSX, Windows and Linux.
While OpenOffice 2.0 bundles five superb tool sets—Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base (a wonderful little DB toolbox new in this version) and Math—it renders more power than a simple sum of its parts. You can read the reviews and the case studies for yourself.
With all this at our disposal, with the rapid spread of its use, with the wide set of target OS platforms and the Open Document Format (as well as all the usual MS Office formats) that OpenOffice 2.0 supports, there no longer exist good excuses not to migrate to a more open way to do documents. Only our own inertia stops us from doing what is right!
Note: Simon recommends the BitTorrent version for download. Of course, if you do this, you'll help others who want OpenOffice through peer-to-peer networking — great example of how open tools breed other open tools!