Office 2010 Migration for Law Firms

My new column Office 2010 Migration for Law Firms is up on the Legal IT Professionals website. Written for law firms, but applicable to almost any organization with a large investment in MS Office.

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Fall Conference Wrap-Up – Part 4

My new column is up on Legal IT Professionals. This is the final part of my Fall Conference Wrap Up series. In this part, I take the technologies I described in the first three columns, and try to relate them to real business value.

Eight compelling reasons why you should not even think of using Office 2007?

I read Eight compelling reasons why you should not even think of using Office 2007, and I think I would like to respond to these “eight compelling reasons”.

  1. New default file formats? Microsoft offers the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack so that users of Office XP and Office 2003 can work with the new file formats. I am not really worried about OpenOffice, since I do not know anyone who uses it. If you really need to, save as .DOC or PDF from within Office 2007.
  2. OOXML is Evil? FUD from the open source, anti-Microsoft crowd. While I do not support fast-tracking OOXML (or anything else) through ISO, the rest of the rhetoric is just noise propagated (largely) by Microsoft’s competitors (remember, they are in this to make money, too).
  3. The learning curve? The learning curve on the UI is minimal, unless you are a potato.
  4. Need too much hardware? I am running quite nicely on a 2 year old Tablet PC with a 1.5 GHz Centrino, and 1 gb of RAM. Hardly a high end machine.
  5. You will get viruses? More FUD. The DOCX format is safer than the .DOC format.
  6. Open Source is Good for the World? This is a philosophical opinion. If that is the way your philosophy points you, then by all means, stick with OpenOffice.
  7. You have to pay for it? No argument there – if you cannot afford to buy it, don’t buy it.
  8. It is proprietary? More FUD. Apple is worse the MS in terms of being proprietary, but no one cares, right?

Just my thoughts. Cheers 

More OOXML Standarization Noise

I found this post by Mark Shuttleworth interesting and well written (I found it after reading a ZDNet article referencing it – I will not link to it, since the ZDNet blogs do not seem to handle trackbacks) Emerging consensus in favour of a unified document format standard?

I agree with a number of things in this post.

Is Microsoft investing heavily in getting OOXML accepted? I would be pretty sure they are – I would be.

I agree there are technical issues with the current OOXML spec, based upon what I have read elsewhere. I do not believe that these issues are a reason to abandon the spec, only that “fast-tracking” the spec without fixing them is wrong. The OOXML spec should go through as much review as is necessary to satisfy the standards bodies that it is ready.

I agree that ODF supporters (and other OOXML opponents) should make their opinions known in a technically meaning full way to their representatives on the standards bodies.

I also believe that supporters of OOXML should do the same.  

I still disagree with the belief that there must be one “standard”. It still seems strangely ironic to me that the open source community is very much in favour of having alternatives, as long as the alternatives do not come from Microsoft.

VentureBeat » Google continues its assault on Microsoft, offering StarOffice suite

VentureBeat » Google continues its assault on Microsoft, offering StarOffice suite

Two thoughts spring to mind:

  1. If StarOffice cannot compete successfully against MS Office, does it matter that Google is bundling it?
  2. If Google had faith in its web-based office applications, and in the vision of all apps as web apps, why is it bundling a desktop-based office suite?