Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

All you need is a bit of OOoFf

Michael Robertson has an article about the importance of OOoFf. Michael is the CEO of Linspire, the commercial Linux distro aimed at home desktop users, and OOoFf is OpenOffice.org and Firefox – two of the most important and impressive open source projects out there today.
Michael makes the very big point that once a Windows user gets used to using these products, should they then encounter a Linux machine the learning curve will be less steep because they’ll already be used to using them. Although Firefox has made an effort to match in with host operating systems (and rightly so), fundamentally it’s the same on all operating systems – once you know how to use it in Windows it’s not hard to use it on a Mac or a Linux box. Sure the icons may look a little different but the same menus and dialogs are there, and there’s no difference in terminology.
As more and more people move over to these products (OpenOffice.org because it’s cheaper, Firefox because it’s better) the barriers that stop them from moving to other platforms become ever weaker. And some day, that’s going to bite Microsoft.

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