Tempest in a Teapot: Intel AppUp Promotes LibreOffice

SJVN and others are excited about the introduction of LibreOffice, competitive office suite to M$’s offering, on Intel’s AppUp service. While it is noteworthy that part of Wintel is supporting some good FLOSS, my “spider sense” was tingling, so I looked into AppUp a bit deeper.

“Q. What operating systems are officially supported by the Intel AppUp(SM) center Software?
A.The Intel AppUp client officially supports the following operating systems:
Microsoft Windows XP Home* 32 bit SP 3 (with .net framework 3.5 SP1)
Microsoft Windows XP Professional* 32 bit (with .net framework 3.5 SP1)
Microsoft Windows 7 Starter* 32 bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium* 32 bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium* 64 bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional* 32 bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional* 64 bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate* 32 bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate* 64 bit
Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise* 64 bit

NOTE: Microsoft Windows Vista* is NOT an Intel AppUp(SM) center supported Operating System
NOTE:Intel AppUp(SM) center has not been tested and is not supported for use on tablets running Microsoft Windows*.
01.031.2012
Q. Why is Microsoft Windows Vista* not supported with Intel AppUp(SM) center?
A. AppUp development and testing is focused on providing the best user experience for the top two most popular Microsoft Windows* operating systems (Windows XP* and Windows 7*). Since the Windows Vista* discontinuation announcement Windows XP* and Windows 7* became the top two Windows Operating systems.
01.05.2012
Q. Do I need a specific CPU or other hardware to run the Intel AppUp(SM) center?
A.Intel AppUp has been optimized to run on Ultrabooks. However, Intel AppUp(SM) center and its applications are designed to run on any modern x86 architecture system.
01.31.2012″
(green font for the interesting bits)

Further, the LibreOffice is actually LibreOffice from SUSE (not LibreOffice x.y.z)

So, I see some good and bad in this. On the one hand AppUp does make it easy for users of that other OS to use FLOSS like LibreOffice and VLC. On the other it does nothing to promote FLOSS as a platform except to get end users familiar with FLOSS applications. That is a typical step in migration from that other OS to GNU/Linux but it also helps end users remain comfortable with that other OS. Ultrabooks are certainly not small cheap computers, either. They are netbooks on steroids with lots of non-free software and fire-breathing CPUs.

I suppose AppUp is the equivalent of the App Store/Android Market for smart thingies and it was bound to happen but it still is part of Wintel’s lock-in, copying features of GNU/Linux distros package-management. If the end user has now a neat way of managing all the packages on a system, they have less need to go to GNU/Linux. The obvious solution, to me, is to migrate people to GNU/Linux, not to migrate good features of GNU/Linux to that other OS.

In balance, I see this as a Good Thingtm because it attacks one head of the monster, M$’s office suite. I still question that this service is M$-only but at least FLOSS applications seem welcome. It is possible that Intel may one day open up the system for GNU/Linux as well. Intel and SUSE are contributing something to The Document Foundation/LibreOffice and that is a positive move. The VarGuy sees some signs of life at SUSE. Perhaps this is just another one.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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