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Friday, 22 July 2011

Why do people pay up to £300 for something they can get for nothing?

From City A.M. this morning:
MICROSOFT posted a 30 per cent rise in its fourth-quarter profit yesterday, smashing market forecasts, as sales of its Office software and Xbox games consoles continued to soar.

Revenues hit a record high of $17.4bn (£10.8bn), up eight per cent from the same quarter in 2010, while net profit was $5.9bn, up from $4.52bn in 2010. 
 The emphasis is mine and concerns something that I find very difficult to understand.

The cost of Office Pro is in excess of £300 although you can buy it much less in discounting websites.

How many people use Powerpoint or Excell? I would say that half the people who have office on their computer don't. That seems to be an awful waste of money.

Personally I use Libra Office. It has all the main components of Microsoft office, is available for Windows, the Mac and Linux, and is free.

I can exchange documents with not only other Windows users, but other word processing users as well.

Libra Office is an OpenSource project with programmers all around the world involved with writing and updating the code.

It is a spin-off from Sun Computers "Open Office". A product which Sun actively co-operated with the OpenSource Community. Sun was subsequently purchased by Oracle who had a closed attitude towards Open Office - hence the spin-off. Oracle realised their error and changed their mind, but all the OpenOffice engineers had already jumped ship.

OpenSource is the name given for serious collaboration without remuneration of thousands of programmers alll over the world. Other OpenSouce projects include The Gimp also available on Windows, Mac and Linux, Firefox (also available on the three platforms) and Linux which is an alternative operating System for computers, and will load on Windows machines and Mac machines.

There are more free programs running on Linux only, probably in excess of 20,000 in number.

A large French manufacturer uses Linux on 20,000 of its desktop computers and its agents computers. The French Gendarmerie recently put Linux (Ubuntu) on 100,000 of its desktops, and the Spanish educational authorities now use Ubuntu on half a million of their desktops in schools, universities and colleges throughout Spain.

I am expecting quite a surge in organisations running Ubuntu Linux once the next version but one is released.

Ubuntu updates its versions every six months in April and October with a "Long Term Support" version every two years in April with a five year support cycle for the business community.

Every two years when the LTS version is released, more and more companies, large and small, take up the operating system. It will never destroy Microsoft as there are too many people who are either timid, or they look on operating systems as a religion - just look at Apple and Windows users arguing - or have been with Windows too long that inertia just won't let them make the change.

Admittedly, a lot of the younger people who still use Windows, use it for some of the excellent games available on that system. But Ubuntu are beginning to persuade games manufacturers to write their games in Linux so there may be changes here over the next year or so.

I have been using Ubuntu for a few years now and one of the best things about Ubuntu is you get two gigabytes of cloud (Ubuntu One) free, and you can buy extra chunks for a reasonable monthly fee.

Whenever you save a file in your data area, it is also saved to the cloud. When you change directories within your computer or delete a file, the cloud knows.

I run a community newspaper and never need to worry about backing up or computer crashes.

For those who use Windows, never fear, you can get two gigabytes with Dropbox, and with them, you can share sub-folders with your friends. I recently too 250 photographs of a friends wedding (they came over from Australia for it) and sent all 250 huge photographs, just by putting it in our shared folder in Dropbox on my computer. How long, and how many emails would that have taken?


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