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Microsoft Office 2007 Screenshots: Retraining Ahead
Sunday, March 19 2006 @ 06:04 AM EST

You can take a look at the new MS Office 2007 Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook in some screenshots on Jensen Harris' blog. Microsoft has a few on its site as well. After you take a look, tell me, if you can, that the disabled in Massachusetts aren't going to have to be totally retrained, not to mention everyone else that uses Microsoft products.

You have a choice in their new Word between two colors now, black and blue. I know. But I'm trying to be nice. They've worked hard, and they are naturally proud of their work, and it's not the FOSS way to be mean-spirited and tear down others just to get a leg up in the marketplace. We don't think like that, which is part of why we are winning.

Decency matters. I call it the GNU/Linux value add. Even the Mob wants to know they can trust a business partner. That's the part I think Microsoft doesn't get, and so they badmouth people, like the poor trustee in the EU antitrust litigation, who merely told the truth as he saw it, for which he was rewarded by having his skills publicly demeaned. I've experienced that too. I would hope we never see such low blows coming from the FOSS side. I know I never want to sink that low.

And the Microsoft colors in Word 2007 are nice. They've done some lovely design work, and it's pretty. That is commendable. No doubt there is much to like, and I'm not at all interested in raining on their parade. But I must just tell you that in GNU/Linux you can have a lot more color choices than that, if you like to have choices.

For example, in Mandriva, in KDE, I have a choice of 30 different color schemes, and I can set it so that if I use KWrite, for example, or, the color scheme I like best will be the one that shows up in both of them.

In Mandriva (I am still in 10.1), I just go to

Configure your desktop
and try them all.
Try it. It's fun. You can do it in command line too, but it's all GUI'd up nicely. When I get sick of one color scheme, I just switch to another. And another. Right now, I'm in Digital CDE as my color scheme, and I think it's pretty. If someone has screenshots of all the color schemes, let me know and I'll link to it. Any distro will do. Here's our first contribution, from Dan, showing his desktop, "openSuSE 10.1 beta 8, running on gnome and using the new xgl and compiz toys from Novell". It's beautiful. It's the Grand Canyon theme, default theme from Gnome 2.12.

And of course if I really wanted to and knew how, I could probably invent my own color scheme. The code is mine to play with, so the only limitations are within me, and if I can't do it, and I really want to, I can just hire someone to implement my design, so there really is no limit, other than what your own creativity can come up with.

That is part of what free as in freedom means.

Speaking of Massachusetts, the ODF Alliance has some white papers available now on their Resources page, one making the business case for ODF, "Emerging Business Value of OpenDocument format v1.0" [PDF] and another, "ODF for Governments: An Overview of Why ODF is Critical for the Public Sector" [PDF], on why ODF is vital for governments. There is a third, "Refuting the Myths About ODF [PDF]," that includes this paragraph:

Myth #3 – Migration to ODF is technically challenging.

Reality – Nothing in particular about ODF makes it technically challenging to implement. Conversion to any new product or migration to a new product upgrade may present some technical challenges, largely in the area of training. For example, the research company Gartner published that “Office 12,” the name for next year's update to Microsoft Office 2003 (which will use a new XML-based Microsoft proprietary document format), "will differ significantly from its current form," and concludes that migration may be rough for some users and the IT departments which support them. Moving to an ODF implementation involves the same, if not less, technical complexity, training and compatibility challenges than migrating to Office 12.

As you can see, the complete picture is provided. FUD says that it's hard to switch to an application using ODF. The simple truth is, you are going to have an adjustment whether you stay with Microsoft or move to an ODF-supportive environment. Look at the screenshots and ask yourself: which side told me the truth?

And speaking of being demeaned unjustly, we have video of what the IBM representative said at the Copenhagen conference. Our report was accurate. So was IBM's "contradiction." What *was* inaccurate were media reports in the middle. I've put a link to the video and a transcript in the article, so the record is clear.

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