Re: LinuxWorld Show...where's the beef?
There is a dearth of desktop app vendors, (I found only two,) but the tools for developing abound.
There are at least two good reasons for that.
First, many of this sort of vendor went out of business in the dot-com collapse.
Second, and most importantly, almost all Linux desktop apps (OpenOffice.org, Mozilla, The GIMP, scribus) are free software. You can't expect companies to compete with these tools, many of which are first-rate by any standard.
I'm not at LinuxWorld this year (my latest journalism gig being too recent for the magazine to pay for my trip), but I can guarantee that, if you had looked in the community section of small booths, you would have seen the desktop stuff. I know that OpenOffice.org was there, for example.
There were discussions about cross platform integration, fat vs. thin clients and security/ The emphasis was on enterprise applications. e.g. www.pgatour.com. I think it telling that those who were using laptops to take notes, were mostly using Word and in most of the presentations I saw, the speakers augmented with PowerPoint.
I wouldn't be so sure. OpenOffice.org can be mistaken for MS Office at a distance, especially Impress, the presentation application. I've been giving a few talks recently about OpenOffice.org, and I like to save the fact that the slide show isn't done in PowerPoint as a surprise for the end. Very few people realize the fact until I tell them.
If you get an honest guy talking off the record, you will have an admission that Linux still isn't ready for prime time.
"Isn't ready for prime time" is a semantically slippery phrase, and we could quibble over it endlessly.
However, speaking on the record (and I hope you'll think me honest), routine office procedures can easily be done on Linux these days. I can personally do a lot of professional work on Linux, and I've seen a number of receptionists and secretaries use it without any problem. There are a few specialty items that are missing, but the basic functionality has been there for a couple of years now, and it's getting better all the time.
The main things keeping people from making the switch are fear of change, inertia, and lack of knowledge.
Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177
"Forget all the teeth that threaten to tear
Forget all the pains in your head
The meek and the weak shall inherit the earth
The savage and honest are dead."
- Bob Pegg, "All the Good Times"
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