The Last Big Lie

I was reading an article by Linux Girl aka Katherine Noyes over at PCworld. In the comments I noticed there were quite a wide variety of opinions expressed but this lie leapt off the page:
“For the corporate world runnng MS Office is essential. Yes, you can run things like Office LIbre but if you are running mission critical software has to be qualified or you are interfacing with a customer who uses MSO then you can well have a problem. They won’t be happy running spreadsheets through conversions at eadh iteration and hoping that everything converted correctly.”

see Five Linux predictions for 2013 | PCWorld.

I remember the days when schools where I worked used M$’s office suite. There were no end of problems caused by M$’s frequent changes of file-formats causing anyone using the latest version to seed the planet with stuff users of the older versions could not use. Of course, that was to force everyone to buy the latest version… That was a while back. Now governments are demanding ODF and PDF formats be used for exchanging or archiving documents simply to avoid that lock-in, lower costs of massive file-conversions, and to ensure the archives remain accessible. Many corporate organizations have converted their office-suites to or LibreOffice. Google, Munich, and many others have even gone a step farther down the road to freedom and are using GNU/Linux operating systems widely.

That makes the quoted comment a lie in 2013. It may have been true a decade ago but no longer. Folks like Munich who dug out of the hole they made by choosing M$ (as if they had a choice) years ago are laughing and the rest of the world are looking for the exits: cloud services or FLOSS. With widespread use of thin clients, corporations large and small can use whatever software they want any way they want and choosing ODF makes the office suite and the operating system a much simpler choice.

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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30 Responses to The Last Big Lie

  1. bw says:

    The Raspberry Pi has not been in production long enough to evaluate the fire.

    There is no such fire and there is never going to be any. A fire would be like the rage over Tickle Me Elmo or Furbies or, in your day, the Hula-Hoop. The miniature boards with Linux are only found in dark corners and are the province of computer hobbyists like yourself and not the ordinary people who might buy a Windows computer or a Mac or an iPhone or a cheap Android device. Raspberry Pi and such are mired in that sort of milieu now and forever. No getting out of it. .

  2. oiaohm says:

    Gordon Shumway In fact to be blunt. MS Office still does not support exporting “comment ranges” to ODF 1.1 documents. In fact support for them is in ODF 1.1 specifications. This is why Abiword had them so early.

    This particular area is a lot of glass houses.

  3. oiaohm says:

    Gordon Shumway that defect of comment ranges is a interesting annoyance. Abiword supported was first to support “commenting region” for ODF documents and Calligra was in fact number 2 for ODF documents. Please not ODF documents.

    Libreoffice is third for supporting the feature in ODF. Second for support the feature in docx and doc.(abiword has first in both of those as well)

    Libreoffice and OpenOffice in case of hitting one never destroyed the comment. Instead the starting point of the comment came the reference point.

    –medium enhancement — There is a reason why the importance was made medium. It was annoying but not a complete show stopper.

    Gordon Shumway lot of small annoyance faults have been closed recently.

  4. Maou Sadao wrote, “The Raspberry Pi was supposed to set UK computer science education on fire. But that just hasn’t happened.”

    The Raspberry Pi has not been in production long enough to evaluate the fire. Lots of folks in education are using it to great effect. Google recently funded a 3-year programme to provide it to secondary schools.

  5. Gordon Shumway says:

    Sure… Your answer is a YouDontNeedThatâ„¢ ( Any serious collaborative work on a document needs that feature.

  6. Gordon Shumway wrote, “Even the “commenting region” option has just recently implemented in LibreOffice”

    You know what? I used M$’s office suite and for years and have never used that feature. It’s not exactly “must have”. I have written collaboratively by sending stuff with colour-coded text. For the finished document, we just removed comments and made all other text black. No one needs to be locked in to M$ if they give some thought to what they are doing.

  7. oiaohm wrote, “Now the thing is what will the next generation of hardware after the PI in the same price bracket be able todo.”

    It is definitely competitive with current PCs as far as price/performance. Compare it with the old Ohio Superboard II for $400 back in 1980. It did serious work but was about the performance of a cheap programmable calculator with 8 bit microprocessor (6502) and came with Basic or machine language and no OS. Raspberry Pi comes with huge resources and can run most of GNU/Linux…

  8. oiaohm says:

    Maou Sadao Raspberry Pi still has been picked up by schools. So its not a failure. It had success in areas it was not expected. Like a really cheep cluster computer to demo to classes how they work.

    Geek community come on. Usages of the pI have been quite interesting.

    Small Beowulf Cluster. There is are even a few done in lego casing at some schools.

    Yes a PI cluster is powerful enough todo some serous work and it very cheep.

    Now the thing is what will the next generation of hardware after the PI in the same price bracket be able todo.

  9. Gordon Shumway says:

    Your very yourself is a liar. Even the “commenting region” option has just recently implemented in LibreOffice, and OpenOffice and Calligra still miss that feature. See

  10. Maou Sadao says:

    The Raspberry Pi was supposed to set UK computer science education on fire. But that just hasn’t happened. Instead it has become a throw-away tool for the “geek” community. In that sense it’s a failure.

  11. oiaohm says:

    bw if you like it or not. Even with Linux desktop small showing 1 percent of the market in some highly suspect numbers. This in it self represents a market a quite a few million units in size per year.

    The Linux guys with rasberry pi got stuck at 35 000. Or all of first run. Since then there have been long term rasberry pi production lines set up. These are able to spit out 100 000 + units a day.

  12. PP says:

    “After a few thousand sales to linux fanatics, those things seem to have gotten stuck in the chute”

    Seems you are still having problems with your maths.

    Please try and get your facts straight.

  13. dougman says:

    Dr. Eben Upton, has won an award for his work with the Raspberry Pi and sold more than a million units of his cheap, credit card-sized computer.

    The medal mark “significant commercial success” achieved by those who have also “advanced the cause” of computer hardware and software.

    The trolls that populate this blog, contribute nothing except mindless drivel.

    dougman, gets no monies from Google, SurfRight or NSA.

  14. bw says:

    I was reading an article by Linux Girl aka Katherine Noyes over at PCworld.

    That took you long enough, since it was published over 6 months ago. Maybe because it was so banal it put you to sleep everytime you got started with it.

    Even so, it serves to make a point. The article had 5 points of coming pride for Linux. The first two were similar, suggesting that the mini devices like the Raspberry were going to trigger some sort of Linux Renaissance in 2013. After a few thousand sales to Linux fanatics, those things seem to have gotten stuck in the chute.

    The last three “predictions” were more or less just the same issue as well. The author, while denying that she was indeed doing it, was the old 2013 will be the Year of Linux with Linux asserted as good as or better than Windows, that there would be a popular uprising against Win8 ala’ Vista, and that the public would again demand windows with frames rather than the mobil app style of the Metro interface or, now throwing stones at Ubuntu, the Unity style of app.

    In spite of all the drawbacks listed and the tortured bending of statistics trying to show Windows 8 as flop in forums like this, it does not appear that any of this backlash is occurring. The trend curves published here lately show Windows 8 plodding up the same curve as Windows 7 once did. The complaint in the trade press seems to be that Windows 8 was not revolutionary enough to spark any fresh interest in PCs rather than being too radical. For any real purpose, Linux is still mired in last place among OS choices as well.

    As predictions go, this one is hardly worthy of the name.

  15. Maou Sadao says:

    Dougman, spokesperson for Google and Hitman Pro. I assume you get paid by the NSA, too?

  16. dougman says:

    Funny how trolls LOVE to move the topic away from the subject at hand, not one quip about Google implementing the new features in Chrome.

    They say things like “LibreOffice is crap”, but never explain why, in reality and in their opinion its crap. If businesses and college students can save money such much the better., but never say ‘saving money’ is crap.

    The next hurdle is implementation of Libreoffice as a standalone app AND directly in one’s browser.

    The closest I have seen to this:

  17. Maou Sadao says:

    “Be thankful I allow any comments at all.”

    Well, shut them down then instead of waiting for my gratitude.

  18. Maou Sadao wrote, “I was writing about it being impossible to edit one’s own comments after posting them. Please learn to read instead of accusing me of things I have never written.”

    Please, learn to write.

    I expect trolls would like to be able to revise their comments to cause infinite loops of “did” – “did not” in the comments. Be thankful I allow any comments at all.

  19. Maou Sadao says:

    “Maou Sadao, unable to attack the message, attacks the stationery instead, writing, ‘Mr. Pogson unable to bring editing functionality to his blog.'”

    I was writing about it being impossible to edit one’s own comments after posting them. Please learn to read instead of accusing me of things I have never written.

  20. oiaohm wrote, “Australian Government software stack is a huge big mess.”

    It sounds like they are trying to standardize on M$’s stuff however. That preserves the mess, IMHO. If they want to follow standards in IT, they should go with GNU/Linux and LibreOffice but that does not seem to be on the radar at the top. Perhaps the local IT guys will have to lead.

  21. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson the problem here is Maou Sadao own link says Australian Government departments are not just using MS office.

    Yes there was a big issue with Mandatory OOXML. It isolated some Australian Government department segments. Including segments of the Australian Tax Office that run on Linux Workstations.

    Australian Government software stack is a huge big mess.

  22. dougman wrote, “Seems M$ is cancelling TechNet.”

    I read that but did not know what to write about it. It basically raises the cost of M$’s software to the truly locked-in, something that has been going on for a while to offset drops in market share. Also, it’s not about killing Technet. It’s about reducing the benefits of participating in Technet.

    I suggest the chaos onboard the sinking Titanic is only a small part of the story. The end result will be the same no matter the details. The only good I see coming from it is that the dedicated fans of M$ who don’t mind being enslaved may mind being kicked.

  23. Maou Sadao, reading selectively and interpreting flexibly, wrote, “The second sentence is a BIG LIE. Let’s hear it from the Australian Government”

    Clearly, the government is writing of the whole of Australia and the commentator is writing of his region of Australia so “lie” is inapplicable. Both views can be true simultaneously. Indeed several of the commentators in the provided link write of corporations using ODF and not M$’s office suite. One suggests ODF 1.2 would be a better choice than ODF 1.1… That makes a lot of sense and would cut out M$ from IT. Why use an obsolete standard for the future?

  24. oiaohm says:

    Maou Sadao in fact its true that OpenOffice/Libreoffice is used in every government department in Australia and the usage is Mandatory. Of course don’t ask if they use LibreOffice/OpenOffice. You ask if they run Xena. Requirement forced on them by the Australian National Archive they are by law required to submit documents to and it must be acceptable format set by the Australian National Archives.

    Yes Australia is one big screw up. National Archives here operate on the policy that the data must be accessible even if we were at war with the USA.

    So WofG COG policy says one thing Australian National Archives Mandate something completely different.
    All the software by the Australian National Archives is Open Source. There core platform is Linux.

    Maou Sadao really you need to stop being such a idiot. The fact is LibreOffice is quite heavily used inside the Australian government in hidden away places.

    In fact for simplified data flows to Australian National Archives. MS Office has to be questioned every cycle. So every cycle MS Office better have some feature better than LibreOffice or it Will die.

    Australia has not gone Libreoffice all out yet. But it is a ticking timebomb to go LibreOffice. Australian National Archive base policies where written after World War I/II. Changing those base policies are not simple.

    Australia National Archives is not the only National Archives that will not accept MS Office file formats.

    Ram’s claim you might call deception Maou Sadao. The problem here is you don’t really know the lay of the land. You would not be aware how many countries government departments are running stuff like xena because it mandatory by their national archives.

    All Australian Governement departments use LibreOffice/OpenOffice and that is a fact. The missing detail is that they might use it but it may not be on the desktop PC’s. Instead its in the servers for processing data being sent to national archives.

    MS Office is not used in all Australian Government departments.

    Maou Sadao if you new the topic you would have understood Rams deception. The fact you don’t you really should not comment again on it until you do. Why true Australians will just beat the crap out of you. Why we are taught in school how the Australian National Archives works and there Authority over government departments.

    Pressure from the Australian National Archives is why ODF 1.1 is in as a mandated to support format. This will also keep on going up.

  25. Maou Sadao, unable to attack the message, attacks the stationery instead, writing, “Mr. Pogson unable to bring editing functionality to his blog. “

    The editor is TinyMCE. It works for most of us.

  26. Maou Sadao says:

    “whole corporates” should be “whole lot corporates”

    Mr. Pogson unable to bring editing functionality to his blog. Layout still broken. Just shows the level of quality you get with FLOSS fanatics.

  27. Maou Sadao says:

    It’s funny. Mr. Pogson talking about a “big lie”, and ram delivering one:

    “Just about every corporate I know is using OpenOffice/LibreOffice. Virtually all local government offices in Australia also use OpenOffice/LibreOffice.”

    The first sentence may be excused because ram probably doesn’t know a whole corporates. The second sentence is a BIG LIE. Let’s hear it from the Australian Government:

    “While the majority of agencies currently deploy a version of Microsoft Office, this does not limit the adoption of ODF as the commonly supported format, as Microsoft Office provides native support for ODF in versions later than Office 2007 SP2.” (Source)

    So the majority of agencies uses Microsoft Office. So they require office suites to support ODF 1.1, which Microsoft Office does support. Another gem:

    “It is also important to note that while WofG COE Policy will require that office productivity suites support at least ODF 1.1, it does not mandate the use of that format.”

    Oh, so the office suites must support ODF, but the format doesn’t actually have to be used.

    What can we gather from this? Right, Microsoft Office wins again.

    And ram has been exposed once again as a BIG FAT LIAR. Just as he has LIED about major motion picture companies using GIMP.

    The proponents of FLOSS are well-versed when it comes to spreading FUD.

  28. ram says:

    Just about every corporate I know is using OpenOffice/LibreOffice.

    Virtually all local government offices in Australia also use OpenOffice/LibreOffice

  29. dougman says:

    Unrelated topic, but just caught this. Seems M$ is cancelling TechNet.

    Why would anyone want to invest time and money into a sinking ship?

  30. dougman says:

    I work in many different environments, and use ODF and PDF exclusively. If someone complains, then they get directed to download a copy LibreOffice as well. It’s free, don’t be hating.

    M$ Office will open ODT nowadays and is NOT essential for business. One does not NEED M$ to run a business, anyone that tells you that makes money from Windows and wants to keep the gravy train going.

    GChristie, sounds to me, to be a typical M$ troll. Oh yes, these M$ MVP’s preach the heaven that M$ is THE standard. However, when cornered and asked, “What standard are you referring and to whose criteria?…ISO??…” they basically shut down and attack you.

    I have heard that very same thing said about Internet Exploiter”, the line used was “It is the corporate industry standard”. Oh really????.. and what ‘corporate industry standard’ are you referring??….SILENCE.

    See most M$ trolls preach a mantra, that only benefits them, M$ and neglects the customers in many ways.

    In other related news, it seems Google Chrome will be able to edit docx/xlsx files in the near future. I love using Chrome to view PDF’s and one can see Google’s strategy which makes perfect sense, as their goal with Chromebooks is long-term, and not near-sighted like M$ products.

    Chromebooks, coming to a home near you. 🙂

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