Will it be Open Season for Open Office 2.0 ?

As Microsoft Office 2007 approaches its official release, I have concerns that its new office suite may not be as well received as hoped. Although I believe MS Office will still remain the most dominant player in the office suite options, Microsoft may start to see a chink in its Office’s armour on dominance.

There is no doubt Microsoft spent exorbitant time and money on their new “ribbon” GUI. We are at a time where we need a fresh update to computer interfaces. I congratulate Microsoft on doing such a great job on the Ribbon GUI. It’s a step in the right direction, and a much needed update to doing “computer business as usual”.

Unfortunately, people are creatures of habit, and usually resist change as much as possible. Although the masses will adapt to the new office suite, I predict we will probably see (the largest size to date) a group of people who will not upgrade to Office 2007 or seek Open Office as a possible alternative. Why Open Office? It’s an Office Suite that should be savvy enough to be compatible to the MS Office new xml file formats, but will have a look and feel more similar to MS Office 2003.

Its unknown if the growth of Open Office 2.0 will be enough to affect Office 2007. I do however think we will begin to see an MS Office suite alternative start to bubble up more than ever before.


P.S.

For those of you making the leap to 2007, I recommend this flash player reference window from Microsoft as a reference source for finding your way around the new GUI.

SEPT 10 UPDATE:

IBM announced today it will join the OpenOffice.org community and contribute code and company resources to the software project. [Announcement Link Here]

IMHO: Why Apple switched to Intel

Although I was initially surprised to see Apple switch to the Intel platform, the reasoning soon became clear to me. Although I never had heard of a full, believable explanation in recent reports of why the hardware switch was made from Motorola to Intel, I believe the answer can be found in examining Apple’s History. If you take the time and review all of Apple’s past announcements, I believe the big picture reason is right in front of you.

Apple’s critical thinking is best personified in an excerpt from Steve Jobs in an Apple event from the 1990’s. ( I cant remember exactly which event, and if anyone knows, please feel free to post the event.) There is no doubt that Microsoft and it’s Operating System dominate in the computing market. Steve Jobs once stated that the Windows OS plus the Mac OS equals 100% of the computing market. I think this is one of the principles that still holds true, and that this simple concept help persuade the hardware move. [ note: I think in 2007 the Equation is almost the same, with the modification that you include LINUX and possible long-term UNIX growth into the mix. ]

How can Apple grab more market share? Instead of pulling users from one side to to another, work from both sides instead. Why not make an Apple OS that can run Windows? Apple still holds overall control via Apple hardware; they have nothing to loose and all to gain. (Think about it – How many Apple users will fall in love with Windows and make their next computer a Windows based PC? Not many.)

By making the Apple OS available to users who would not have to give up their old Operating environments, the Mac OS becomes much more attractive – Especially when users don’t have to (or can’t) make a solitary commitment to a platform change. Apple now has afforded itself a new possibility to gain market share by offering the safe bet – A machine that will give you options of any (and ALL) operating systems and eliminating the necessity of making the “all or nothing” choice. An Apple hardware choice also allows for long term growth with easier Linux and Unix compatibility. It’s a smart move by Apple to make the OS jump easier for computer users, and gain more market share in the process.