Thursday Dec 13, 2007

Must have upgrades to Microsoft Office...

I was just catching up on Erwin's blog on OpenOffice, and wow.. what a ton of great information there, but it got me wondering what to give those friends of ours that are still using Microsoft Office? I am sure we could all get them OpenOffice, but what if they aren't quite ready for that yet? Well I think the following two extensions are a must!

  1. ODF Plugin: With the Dutch being the latest government to endorse ODF, our friends need this plugin to make sure their proprietary formatted documents can be converted to ODF and used around the world. It seems that if you are going to work in almost any field these days, the ability to read .doc files is something that cannot be taken for granted , and it is being phased out. ODF is the open standard filling this void.
  2. Presentation Minimizer: In one of my prior posts I discussed this new extension that puts OpenOffice presentations on a diet, but it also works with PowerPoint! Yes, give this extension (it is free) to your PowerPoint buddies, and they can make their presentations much smaller. My limited tests show about a 50% reduction in file size, but one comment about the Presentation Minimizer has "I just compressed 60 MB Powerpoint down to 3 MB - that's cool."

Tuesday Nov 06, 2007

OpenOffice Predictions for 2008

I had a good laugh reading Wired's article on "The 15 Dumbest Apple Predictions" It makes you really wonder whether you should believe anything you read at the time or just adopt a wait and see attitude.

Now the thing that the article doesn't go on to say is how brave the people making the (now we know incorrect) predictions were. It is much easier to look back and say.. yeah that was a dumb prediction, or that was a dumb stock pick!

 So going out on a limb here.. here are my top 3 predictions for OpenOffice for 2008:

  1. PC manufactures will bow to consumer pressure and put OpenOffice on their machines
  2. OpenOffice downloads will grow by 50% to 1.5M per week
  3. The ODF format will be supported by Microsoft Office products after continuing government and industry support.

Whew.. any predictions you care to share?



Friday Oct 26, 2007

South Africa Adopts ODF as a Government Standard

Having spent much of my youth and early career in South Africa, I am really proud that the South African Government has decided to adopt the ODF standard. This is a huge step forward for freedom, interoperability and accessibility of information. Now documents can be shared across the country without having to worry about whether someone has purchased the correct license for some piece of software that will unlock the document.

As I posted in a prior post we are seeing most vendors create products that can read and write ODF so there is no shortage of products that support ODF. Naturally I would be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite product -- OpenOffice. With OpenOffice not only can you use ODF, but it also works on almost every operating system and is available in all 11 official South African languages.

Welcome South Africa to the ODF movement.


Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

Apple joining Sun, Google, IBM, ....

I am eagerly awaiting Apple's next version of their OS, codenamed Leopard. I am not sure I will use all the new features, like spaces and time machine, but I will give it a try! The one feature that I wasn't expecting (and didn't even know about until I read Erwin's blog) was that Apple is joining nearly the whole industry in supporting Open Document Format ODF.

This is quite amazing. Your documents now can be stored in one format that can be edited and modified by a variety of vendor products, across a variety of platforms. Goodbye to those old proprietary formats that forced you to pay a tax (they call it a licensing fee) to open and modify YOUR document. It is now possible to create a document in Google Docs, edit if off-line with StarOffice (part of Google Pack) and send it to one set of colleagues to work on on the Mac. Then take it to work and use Lotus Symphony to make some edits before distributing it to your Linux friends using Now for those of you still in Microsoft Office, we have a great ODF plug-in that allows you to work on this same document in Microsoft Office, or how about downloading and taking it for a spin?

Welcome Apple to the fold..



Musings from Mark Herring at Sun...


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