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Microsoft denies Linux Office interest 246

crow writes "The Boston Globe columnist who started the rumor that Microsoft is porting Office to Linux now has a column where he reports that Microsoft claims it has no efforts underway to port Office to Linux. In fact, Microsoft claims that there has been no interest from customers about Office for Linux. However, Microsoft now has an email address where people can comment about Microsoft applications in regards to Linux: " Quite frankly, I'll be happy man if I never have to see that little paper clip again. Ever.
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Microsoft denies Linux Office interest

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  • MS Office's problems run very deep indeed, and I don't think folks should be faulted for over-reacting to what is unquestionably one of the buggiest major products extant.

    As just one example, here are the results of my research into why we were having trouble translating footnotes and endnotes between Word and WordPerfect. If you check the articles, the same bugs have been "known issues" in Word since version 2.0, which basically means that any office that really needs to work with footnotes or endnotes (like the entire legal and academic communities) made the wrong choice if they chose Word.

    (no file conversion from other word processor formats involved):

    WD: Footnote moved to next page /q118/5/86

    WD: Continuous Section Break with Footnotes Causes Page Break /q94/9/75

    WD: Footnote Text Displayed, Printed on Top of Footer /Q158/6/25

    WD: Custom Footnotes Disappear After Spell Check /q146/2/42.asp

    WD: Footnote References Renumbered in Word Tables /q193/1/91


    WD: Endnote Styles Not Applied to Converted WordPerfectEndnotes /q113/0/55

    WD6X: WordPerfect Endnote Number Not Converted Correctly to Word (fixed
    in Word 6.0c) 113/0/50

    WD: Converted WordPerfect Endnote Text Cannot Be Edited in Word /q113/0/49

    WD: WordPerfect 6.X Import Converter Limitations for Word 6.x/7.0 /q130/1/99

    WD: WordPerfect 5.x Import Converter Limitations for Word 6.x/7.0 /q131/0/40


    The following articles list Microsoft Word bug fixes and feature limitations. They are
    included to aid in determining whether footnote or endnote conversion issues of importance have been repaired in later MS Word versions.

    WD6x: WordPerfect 5.x Converter Enhancements in 6.x Kit Release /q132/2/56

    WD6x: WordPerfect 5.x Converter Enhancements in WinWord 6.0c /q120/4/62

    Of97: Microsoft's main list of WordPerfect 6/7/8 formatting commands that either do not
    convert because Office 97 has no comparable feature or that convert imperfectly. /Q157/0/89
  • Every other phrase out of MS execs is, "users request it" about every confounded feature of MS program. Even the good Mr. Muth said you need OS integration to embed a spreadsheet into a word processor. Why? Because users request it. Forget corba, integration's the way to go...
  • Interesting: a few months ago, Bill said that nobody had ever asked him about Linux. Now they have an email address for questions.

    Remember, Microsoft denied their Java port until shortly after they canned it.

  • Yes, and Howard Aiken, designer of the Harvard Mark One, predicted that the world would only need six computers. People get things wrong from time to time, especially when they're predicting the future, and I don't think there's any shame in that.
  • Gosh maybe Linux and Unix aren't quite ready for the primetime yet huh ?

    Microsoft troll.. Go back to Redmond.

  • by J4 ( 449 )
    Lack of a talking paperclip makes StarOffice rudimentary?
  • internally it being referred to as Boob.
  • This is the guy who was on WBUR's "The Connection" show as a Linux expert. Some expert:
    Didn't know the URL for freshmeat "".

    Kept plugging the *BSD line "Well, I actually like *BSD, but if I used Linux..".

    Didn't know that WP8 has been released for months now "Corel is going to port their word perfect..".
    Argh. Probably good that I didn't get on the line or else I'd give him a verbal lashing.
  • Posted by Nino the Mind Boggler:

    ...and nobody needs more than, what was it, 256k of memory? Does anybody take these public proclamations from Redmond seriously?
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    Meanwhile, Word for Linux would have a crushing impact on the other Linux word processors and spreadsheets: Star Office and Word Perfect could never win the market share battle if Microsoft Word were available on the Linux platform.


    Even when I was an MS-head, I hated Office. I hated doing an install. I hated the all-too-frequent reinstalls. I hated using it. I hated every aspect and feature. I always saw Office as MS's worst product and still do. It is bloated, neither WYSIWYG nor WYSIWYM, over-featured while strangely underpowered, hard to understand, hard to find help on, it silently upgrades the OS and there's no way to upgrade just part of it (try putting Access 2.0, Access 95 and Access 97 on the same machine).

    In short, I hate Office and will not use it on Linux.

  • Posted by US Marine:

    I've used MS-Office at work because I have to. But I use Corel Wordperfect 8 and Quattro Pro at home. MS-Office is VASTLY inferior and less stable than WP and Quattro Pro. It is bloated, slow, and has severe problems interacting with other non-microsoft products.
    Even if MS gave their office away for free, I still wouldn't install it.
  • Posted by stodge:

    Oh please, do me a favour. Sure I'd love to run an incredibly bloated, overstuffed Office package. And no I dont mean MS Office. Give me MS Office any day. It loads on my P2-233 at work in seconds, while Staroffice takes aaaaaaages to load on my P2-350 at home.

    As my mum would say "don't cut off your nose to spite your face...."

  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    What the heck are you doing that requires a reinstall of Office?

    I'm not doing anything. But in this office (of about 300 people) we are constantly having to reinstall (be sure to use the identical original CD!) to get back clipart, templates and so forth.

    So, if you're using the fairly basic features, what's so hard to understand then?

    It's not that the features are hard to understand. It's the whole product that is hard to understand. The learning curve to do anything beyond simple typing is at least as steep as learning Linux is (at least for me). For instance, I STILL can't change margins/tab-stops reliably. I just have to drag those little markers back and forth until I get what I want.

  • Posted by Wayne Steele:

    Try asking Mr. Paperclip this question...

    Why does Microsoft suck so much wank?

    The answer may be interesting to the DOJ.
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    First, it's not the users deleting these files. They are just getting corrupted.

    Second, I can't share it from the network because a) we are short on network file space and b) our network admin is a moron.

    Third, I said nothing about Clippy. I am well aware that it is simple to turn him off.

    Fourth, the reason people tout Office as the be-all end-all of office software is the intuitive easy of use. If I have to RTFM to figure out how to use tabstops because the "obvious" actions don't work, there is a problem.
  • Posted by US Marine:

    Dear Microsoft -
    Keep your damn office software.
    I can code better on my free time than the dufuses you pay $70,000 a year for.
  • Posted by fieldmarshallburrito:

    What? I find Netscape to be just as stable as
    IE, probably more so. If you're running a PC, download the latest JRE from Granted; I don't use IE too much, only when I have to to test out Java apps and look'n'feel portablility. I hate to break it too you but IE crashes too and both have problems with Java.
  • Posted by fieldmarshallburrito:

    damn it, you're a marine!
  • On all three machines I regularly run Netscape on I have a mysterious problem with it spawning error windows until the system crashes...

    Oooh, I hate when that happens :) Try turning off Java - that worked for me. Of course, if applets weren't a common factor in the Omnivorously Spawning Haywire Dialogs From Hell, then please disregard or disembowel (or decipher) this message.

    I wouldn't mind an IE5 for Linux either, would I? The more browser choice, the better, right? Feel free to insert your own "integrated in the OS" joke here.


  • What's all this talk about browsers crashing Unix ? Isn't Linux a Unix variant ? Isn't Unix/Linux the most stable OS on the planet ? How can such a little browser crash such a robust OS ? Gosh maybe Linux and Unix aren't quite ready for the primetime yet huh ?

    When the browser "crashes", it doesn't. If the original poster's problem is the same one I was having, Netscape slows to a crawl because it's spawning an endless series of dialogs. At worst, both Netscape and X hang - very rare. Sometimes Netscape hangs - also fairly rare. But Linux doesn't crash; it may only look like it. All it takes is a kill -9 (or an exit from the wm) to get out of the mess, but on those rare occasions, it's a chore.


  • He has probably never seen a machine running Linux, yet he's talking as he was an expert...

    I assure you, Simson Garfinkel has more than just seen Linux computers. And he definitely qualifies as an expert.

    Of course, he also had a hand in the completely fucking ridiculous and stupid Unix Haters' Handbook -- proving that even experts can be crack smokers.

  • Really...

    While I'm not a huge fan of StarOffice, it's about as full featured as MicroSoft Office. Hardly "rudimentary".


    I've got StarOffice 5 on both linux and solaris, and sorry, it just ain't so!

    Any product that only allows one instance of one window into an app is brain-dead. SO doesn't even let you have 2 windows into the same doc, much less multiple windows into multiple docs. I need those multiple instances visible at the same time -- otherwise I might as well be relegated back to a DOS-style app. For all I hate M$, at least Office got that much right!

  • If I need something to take up many hundreds of megabytes on my drive, I'll create a null file.
  • by Chouser ( 1115 )
    Not that it matters to youre main point, but the DOS memory barrier was, I believe, at 640K

  • by tak* ( 1121 )
    Yes, and I think it was Steve Jobs who said 256K of RAM was enough..he he, boy was he wrong
    It's far easier to forgive your enemy after you get even with him.
  • The paper cat, however, is so realistic with the sounds that my cats all have sat up and noticed. Not like that Catz scrsaver.

    'nuf said of my interest in a M$ Office port.
  • I'm afraid I'm not quite the Microsoft conoisseur that Hemos is. What is the famous paperclip that everyone on the planet but me worships?

    Interesting how Microsoft only claims comsumer interest in Linux when Bill Gates makes an idiot of himself on TV.
  • Word 6 was fine. Office 4.2 with long filenames is all we need. Word 97 is too fscking smart and it really really gets on my goat 'cause I can't switch this off.

  • A message on the German Heise Newsticker says that 37 developers are working on the port: See /data/cp-19.03.99-000/ []

    Regards, Jochen

  • Here at work we have numerous documents done in MS Word that are around 600 pages. Do you have any idea how long it takes Word to repagniate 600 pages? Word seems to spontaneously repaginate every few minutes, even if you're in the middle of typing. Other groups here use FrameMaker or Interleaf.

    MS Word may be fine for small (i.e., under 50 pages) documents, but for anything big, I'll ALWAYS stick with LaTeX + Xy-Pic + xfig---you can't beat those for reliability, portability, and speed. I work on the same documents at home (Linux) and work (Windows "Blue Screen" NT) with LaTeX. I wouldn't trust MS to actually make a Linux version truly interoperable with a Windows version, they couldn't do it with MS Office for the Mac.

    I don't expect much from a company who writes cdplayer.exe for NT which crashes on my often. Damn you Microsoft, damn you all!
  • % cd /tmp
    % tar -xzf office-linux-6.6.6-tar.gz
    % ./office-install
    ERROR: Office for Linux can only be installed by the superuser.
    % su
    Password: ********
    % ./office-install
    Installing Microsoft Office for Linux...
    Checking for installed components...
    Verifying available disk space...
    Installation complete. Your machine will not be restarted so the changes can take effect.
    Executing: shutdown -h now
    (*Machine reboots*)
    Updating ESCD...
    Verifying DMI pool data...

    Starting Windows 98...
  • Bob is to Windows what Duplo Blocks are to Legos.

    It's a extremely stripped down, simplified (to the point of barfing) replacement shell for windows with big on-screen buttons to run a word processor, spreadsheet, graphics program, etc. No control panels. No DOS shells. No nothing that could in any way allow the user to screw up the OS in any way. Turns your PC into a kiosk appliance; a toaster with just about as much control.

    Apple took a stab at this too. Their's was called "AtEase"
  • It's a win-win situation for Linux... If MS doesn't release Office for Linux then Wine and the Linux suites will develop... If they do then everyone will use Linux instead of windows for corporate installs because its more stable and Linux will benefit from market acceptacnce...

    I just can't work out which is the best outcome....
  • It's more flexible than Word, for a start!

    Having said that, a wordprocessor is no bad thing, and choice is always good.

    Best of all, if Microsoft DOES port to Linux, then businesses will take Linux seriously. When Microsoft gets totally belted out the market, as they did by 3com in hand-helds, the interest might even grow (as also happened with hand-helds).

  • I think Tux would be better.
  • I would probably consider buying MSOffice for Linux, just for compatability sake for others where I work. It's not thier applications I dislike, it's there OS. I would probably be supportive if MS dumped the OS stuff or split it off into a sepreate comapany. MS Office is fairly "standard" and would make integrating Linux into corporate and educational environments a lot easier today.

    I use Applix and WP8 now, and although they are ok, since I travel a bit, it does cause problems. If I have to ftp home for a file, it's almost impossable to convert to MSOffice (which is ususally the only thing avaliable on the road in places like Kinkos or something). So, you have to remember to convert before you leave, and then, the conversions never look quite as good as the original.

    MS Office is ok, I HATE how it can't seem to convert HTML to a .doc in it. MS Office becoming an HTML editor was a LAME move in my opinion. But, untill a GNU Office suite matures more, I think MS Office isn't really THAT bad.

  • I'm not sure if I've ever been as annoyed by
    anything on a computer screen as those damn
    bloody patronizing paper clips, smiley face
    balls, must look at things from another's
    perspective, man's annoyance is another
    man's helper..*shrug* ah well, one shouldn't worry
    one's self too much about what other people are
  • I can't get it to install either, and their support has been non-existent. The one response I've ever recieved from StarDivision is an advertisement for the latest version of StarOffice.

    Yes, you guessed it, the same version that won't install.
    computers://use.urls. People use Networds.

  • u$office is not open source and therefore an evolutionary dead end

    why should I suffer through learning to use software that I never really own in the first place?

    (ask yourself that question about everything, especially if you are a business)

    watch for u$ to move to control and corrupt what they call "core APIs"

    it is a good thing the GPL protects us so well from that attack

    but anyway now I need to think of something clever to send to linuxq [mailto]

  • This is the great idea I've been waiting for.

    Send email to Microsoft asking for Microsoft BOB for Linux? [mailto] You bet!

  • My solution to what should happen if Microsoft loses the
    anti-trust trial is that every interview with them would be
    accompanied by a little notice stating that
    "U.S. authorities have determined that most of what the
    Microsoft Corporation discloses to the press is complete
    bullshit." Of course I am being facetious, but
    only a little bit. --- Josh
  • A program called Star Office, bundled with some versions of Linux, provides a rudimentary word processor, spreadsheet, and drawing program.

    I can see this guy is a good journalist. He has probably never seen a machine running Linux, yet he's talking as he was an expert...

  • Internet Explorer is available for several Unix platforms. I'd like to see it available for Linux. As much as I dislike Microsoft and the poor quality of their software, I dislike the poor quality of Netscape's more -- and the lack of options for web browsers with any sort of modern standards.

    Netscape is a lousy package under Linux. I've never had a version that felt stable. Currently ps shows netscape gobbling up almost 100 meg of RAM on here, after only a day's work. Netscape also seems to bloat X's memory,although not being an X-programmer I don't really understand how that could happen.

    On all three machines I regularly run Netscape on I have a mysterious problem with it spawning error windows until the system crashes...

    Gotta figure IE for Linux is a smaller porting project than Word, given the HP and Solaris versions.

    What's everyone's opinions? I wish Mozilla was ready... hopefully it won't be as bad as 4.0/4.5.
  • I've got it on two machines -- this one (a Pentium II 266 -- I think), with 176 meg RAM, and a AMD K6-2-3D running at somewhere around 290mhz at home, with 64 meg RAM. On here Win95, Win98 and Windows 3.11 all ran like a charm. Never got Win98 working with the drivers so video was kind of pokey, but I can play back that southpark starwars trailer under Win95 using VMWare without any glitches or audio dropouts. I boot them with 64 meg RAM.

    At home with only 64 meg RAM, I boot them with 32, and its pokey because of the godawful large amount of RAM GNOME takes up. If I log in to an account I setup to load Windows directly, it runs like a charm too... well except for the annoying tendancy Linux has to hardlock on heavy drive access... four months and I still haven't tracked that bugger down, and that's a Linux thing not a VMware thing.

    Concerning the price for VMWare, sending e-mails can't hurt. I suggested a WMWare "lite" version for people who just wanted to be able to boot Windows, and they said they made note of the suggestion. If they keep getting it ("I'd rather buy a new PC than spend $300 on the software, but $150 might be reasonable") then they might consider a price change or a "lite" version.
  • Not once... not a single time, EVER, has an application I've been using under Linux caused the OS to crash where I had to reboot.

    Netscape crashes a lot itself... but its lousy software, not a lousy OS. Once in a while that spawning window problem happens and X might hang -- it doesn't crash, it just gets hung up. Telnetting into my box from another machine and killing Netscape always fixes the problem.

  • Heh. A cow-orker went to a VB development conference where a 3rd party vendor had come up with a way to remove clippy permanently. He got a standing ovation from the other developers. :-)

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • Yes, there's the option to not install him, but that doesn't mean he doesn't get installed anyway :)

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • ...only comes with the East Asian office versions. It's a very curvy redheaded office lady (OL) who bows to you. Very pleasant to look at.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • Of course that's nonsense. Lots of Linux users want Microsoft Office on their desktop.

    Who exactly has this fellow spoken to? I know of no sane Linux user who would ever want a MS program running on his or her system. I just installed StarOffice yesterday to tide me over until PerfectSuite 9.0 is released for Linux (November?). I may not even change then. It's a great office package, and I'm very pleased with it. It does everything I need it to do, does it cleanly, and is far from rudimentary. Perhaps the author of the article linked above should spend less time broadcasting misinformation then printing corrections and more time finding a clue and getting his facts straight!
  • I have no interest in this product. But since M$ is in denial, it will probably ship before NT5.

  • I could find plenty of good uses for an eye on my elbow. In fact, it would be downright GREAT!
  • ...I like using Office (I use it on Windows at work and my Mac at home), and I'd buy it in a heartbeat for Linux if it was available and reasonably priced ($200 or so). In fact, it'd get copies of Linux into my company's desktops that I just can't make the business case for otherwise. For all Microsoft's many faults, I find Office to be a fairly pleasant suite to work with. Clipit does suck eggs, though.
  • Just to follow up on my own point - I'm home right now, and I'm posting from a workstation I built from parts. It runs SuSE, StarOffice, and KDE. I really like it. When I posted my original message in this thread, I was at work. I use a Dell laptop, and it runs Windows. Now, I don't like Windows at all, but that's what my company uses. That's also what our home-grown financial systems and mainframe connectivity are built on. And we use Office there. Screw TCL and TeX, I just want users at work to have the most available, simple _desktop_ system to use. I'll use Linux on servers (and I'm preparing to do just that), because it's the best tool for that job. I'll keep using Windows/Office on most desktops for the same reason, but I'd probably run Office under Linux in at least a few instances in my shop. It's OK for _me_ to tinker with other tools - I run the PC department. Asking me to give some neat tools, or software that is any different from good old Office, to my users is suicide. Remember, I said "business case" earlier. I have 150 users who could wind up without jobs if I screw things up badly. Do you want to pay them if we fall apart because I forced free (though good) software on people who couldn't benefit from it?

    I didn't think so. I will use Linux at home, and I will evangelize the hell out of it wherever appropriate. But I won't push it where it doesn't belong. And it doesn't belong on my company's average desktop, even with Office. Check back with me in a year, though.

  • The paperclip is one of several "office assistants" you can choose from.

    They act as an interface to the on-line help - they popping up with speech bubbles for you to type questions into, appearing with lightbulbs when they think you're doing something that can be done more easily.

    Oh, they also have cute animations and generally kill productivity.
  • When I first heard about this rumor, I wondered if
    it wasn't just a Microsoft PR strategy for undercover FUD.
    In other words, spread a story about Office for Linux, then yank the rug out in a later release.

    Seems to be what happened here.

    If this guy loves Microsoft's products so much, why does he "seem" pro-Linux? Why not just shut up and use M$ software on M$ operating system? The only reason I can think of is he's on M$'s payroll, paid to write "pro-Linux" articles designed to confuse the PHB's about Linux. (Star Office is "rudimentary"?)

    That's much more effective than your average anti-Linux FUD.

    If only M$ programmers were as innovative as their PR staff...
  • .. has more bloat and less elegant design than MS Office, runs with the speed of Java, eats memory like a runaway Netscape, and has more features and baroque twiddly bits than a Vegas one-armed-bandit. Rudimentary, however, it ain't.
  • if you're using MS Office on linux then you might as well use windows. What's wrong with wordperfect?
  • it's great on Windows. Give corel a chance on linux
  • ]] Heh. A cow-orker went to a VB development conference where a 3rd party vendor had come up with a way to remove clippy permanently. He got a standing ovation from the other developers. :-)

    I do believe that Microsoft released some code that did this.
    Stan "Myconid" Brinkerhoff
  • Okay, simple words for you here.

    Supposing that, as is the case with many companies, they've standardised on Office.

    You can't expect a secretary with no knowledge of comuputing to sit in front of LaTeX, after all, so it's a valid choice.

    This currently prevents a company from using Linux.

    Now, if M$ supported Linux, a large number of companies would switch to Linux rapidly - I know, for instance, that my own company would, and be glad of it - we have Linux boxes acting as servers already, and Linux workstations would clear up much of the serious problems we have with Windows, such as viruses, and the like.

    This means, and I stress this for the hard of thinking: MORE PEOPLE USING LINUX. LESS PROPRIETORY SOFTWARE. More proprietory software on linux, but that's okay, because it's moving in the right direction.

    Personally, I'm dropping an email to M$ now, and asking them for Office on Linux, preferably running under GNOME. I'm going to ask them to consider giving the software away for free to personal users, too. I'll offer any support and help I can - hell, if I can sign an NDA and help with the code, I will. I urge others to do the same.

    I'm hoping that the GNOME project, or KDE, or anyone else, will produce a GPL Office replacement soon, too, but I'm really hoping that businesses take up Linux onto the desktop, because then the problem of installed userbase suddenly swings in the direction of Linux.
  • If Microsoft denies linux ports, then what in the world is running as a web server?

  • I chose to upgrade to Debian potato. SO5 and rvplayer 5.0 broke. I painstakingly went back to slink.
  • subject says it all
    The art of flying is throwing yourself at the ground...
    ... and missing.
  • It allows me to demonstrate a proficiency with MS products which makes my complaint about them harder to deny.

    Allow me to demonstrate.

    Get that paperclip up. Right click on it. Uncheck and carefully close. Bye bye paperclip!

    For your second magical performance, did you know that calling word with the /m option turns off autoexec macros? Just reset the file association and the start shortcut and you have instantly disabled almost all possible Word macro viruses!

    *Now* start complaining...

  • I said to be careful?


    Just unclick and close.

    (Sorry, should have mentioned that.)

  • Forget the fact that it would be cool just 'cause it's freaky. Imagine the level of control you'd have over your sight! An eye in the palm of your hand would be more useful, but WOW that would be cool.
  • Why wanting a browser ported that even in its latest incarnation still doesn't support all standards? See this Press Release [] for more...

    "We'd hoped that the latest round of browsers would take the
    opportunity to get things right. Internet Explorer 5.0 is an
    opportunity lost," Olsen said. "We'd like to know: when will
    Internet Explorer have full support for any one Web standard?"

  • Urgh, please no[0]... IMO, Framemaker makes Word look good...
    Nah, if the only choice on the system is Framemaker, I'll take LaTeX anyday... About as complicated (LyX ight solve that) and more flexible *and* portable. I mean - after all you *were* talking about scientific documents!
    Unfortunately, our SysAds dumped LaTeX - "everybody is using Framemaker or Word, anyway!" - bah...


    [0] Ok, for choice's sake, go ahead... :-)
  • Then all the trendy business types who have heard about linux could jump over, see how good GPLed software is, how bloated and worthless MS products are, and that free software can and IS better than $200 shrinkwrapped crap, and then we will be all that much closer to World Domination!
  • I've got a really neato-keen way to remove clippy. Never install him. It's an option if you go to the custom install. I'd say to RTFM, but since that's more like reading the friendly configuration menu, I'll shut up :)
  • by grahamm ( 8844 )

    No the DOS memory limit was 1Mbyte, the 640K came from the architecture of the IBM PC which put the ROM area at 640K.

    In the mid 80's I was using MSDOS on non-IBM compatible systems which provided a full 1Mbyte of addressing (the video wasn't memory mapped)

  • Come on now, reinventing a square wheel?
    Like Micros~1 Windows isn't the QWERTY
    of the 80's and 90's. Talk about square
    wheels, 8.3 is the corregated roadway
    Windows users have accepted for 15 years
    and Ctl-Alt-Del is the reocurring
    vapor-lock that 'just happens'.

    Get real.

  • If other companies (like Corel/WP, etc.) are porting their software to Linux, but MS is not, it would seem to me that MS is showing their monopolistic tendencies. Because it's not an MS OS, the Apps division won't develop for it.
  • VMWare has debugging and logging turned on right now. Which is why it's so slow.
  • Please, I want FrameMaker for Linux... of to
    Adobe to request it now.

  • This article just bugs me. "We've standardized on MS Office." What if Linux gets onto the desktop, but people are locked into the MS upgrades nightmare because they don't see the point of open data formats? I mean, they've already *proven* they don't see the point, by standardizing on applications instead of open data formats.

  • I hope MS delays its Office port to Linux long enough for someone else to get some market share. Then maybe the world will wake up and see that Office's "ease of use" is a big lie.

    Now I am not a big fan of proprietary software in general, but it is a fact of life on Joe User's desktop and it will be for some time. At least MS's head-in-the-sand policy will give Corel or Star Division (maybe Lotus?) a chance to sell some software again.
  • By having a need to denounce Linux and all other non-commerical projects, Microsoft has given these projects validity. IMHO: they're scared. []
  • none other than Microsoft and self appointed 'cummm-poo-torrr boy gene-ee-uss' Nathan Myhrvold. Surely you remember Nate... Microsoft spends ungodly sums to promote him as the second coming of Einstein. You probably recognize him more on sight; he looks like the mutant offspring of bigfoot and Mickey Rooney.

    I read an unintentionally hysterical article about 2 yrs ago wherein the computer illiterate interviewer asked what hot 'innovations' the 'giant brain' Nate had contributed to while at Mickeysludge, at least those in its main products. He pointed proudly to paper clip man!!! Yes indeedy, that annoying animated dork from hell is the product of Nate's 'intense, in depth study of user interfaces and artificial intelligence'!

    Hopefully, none of Nate's 'innovations' will ever be used on anything that can destroy the planet, like nuclear weapons or handling plutonium. I sure wouldn't want to see what his idea of 'AI' would do with that...

  • by nwv ( 10886 ) on Thursday March 18, 1999 @11:05PM (#1973523) Homepage
    First of all, "asking for Linux community input"
    is an obvious way to manipulate the opinions of
    the (loosely-defined) Linux community. Often it's
    an honest request for input; often only partly so,
    or not at all.

    Second, Microsoft can use a large response as
    ammunition to support the story that Linux isn't
    a serious business platform because it doesn't
    have Microsoft apps.

    Third, if Microsoft *does* get Office on Linux, it
    will use that as leverage to kill other possible
    application solutions, and then will further use
    Office as a foothold to get proprietary frameworks
    atop Linux. It will be difficult (though not
    impossible) to prevent that. Isn't this kind of
    monopoly leverage what many Linux people have been
    trying to avoid?

    (BTW, I have talked with Simson Garfinkel several
    times, and he seems like a good guy, but I think
    he's inadvertently helping Microsoft more than
    Linux this time.)
  • I noticed that, once the paper clip is installed, you get angry at it instead of Microsoft. The scenerio is like this:

    Before Clippit

    • You get a problem
    • You type some plausible word into the help search box
    • No useful answer is forthcoming
    • You: "Grr, that blasted Microsoft, they create junk software, mumble, mumble."

    • You get a problem
    • You type some plausible question into the Clip
    • The clip doesn't find a useful answer
    • You: "Grr, that blasted paperclip is a piece of garbage, mumble, mumble."
    In other words, the primitive parts of the human brain are quick to blame Clippit, not its creator. So now Microsoft is still a fine company, and that Paper Clip is the source of all unsolveable problems. Brilliant.

    The first words I typed in Microsoft Office97 was a little essay called "The Paperclip Spy". Because that's what it seemed like, a critter that was always looking at your document, ready to send any criticisim of Windows to Redmond.

    Of course Microsoft could always do that.

    But the paperclip somehow made it seem real.

    And now, of course, we know that's not as farfetched as I'd thought.



  • When I was a junior in High School, I typed my junior term paper in WP 6.1. Decided that it would be better if I print it at school before I turned it in. Well, the only thing at school was word, didn't think much of it until I did a spell check.

    What happened was I did my paper on OJ Simpson, and it decided during a spell check that it was wrong, and without any window or warning, changed EVERY Simpson, to Simson. I was in a hurry and didn't proofread the printout, and just bound it and turned it in. Needless to say, I failed the paper for mispelling the topic of my paper in all 8 pages and spend 2 months in summer school.

    If that's not reason enough to hate Office and Word, I dont' know what is.
  • I would find it greatly ironic if MS ported Office to Linux considering one of the main penchants of their FUD campaign against Linux is lack of applications..


  • MS Office is ok, I HATE how it can't seem to convert HTML to a .doc in it. MS Office becoming an HTML editor was a LAME move in my opinion.

    The subject says it all. I've never understood the need for anything fancier than a text editor for HTML editing. Better control and less cruft generated.

  • Somewhere around, I have a MS TCP/IP stack for DOS from about 1992.

    Maybe you got Novell and Microsoft confused.
  • Damn the M$ formatting codes that you can delete but never see.
    Not having formatting tags is a feature in my book. Word always has stored is paragraph formatting in the End-of-Paragraph symbol. You can see this symbol by going to the view options.

    Damn not being able to have part of a line full- and part right- justified.
    Press the Enter key on your keyboard.

    WP5.1 for DOS lets you do this folks! Best wordprocessor yet.
    People are complaining here that Word is too hard to learn. Who wants to spend 2 hours trying figure out how to make a table in WP 5.1?

    Damn Mr. Clippy.
    Delete the Actors directory.

    Damn the .doc doesn't REALLY mean .doc file format shennanigans.
    Get the Word 97 service pack and set your default save format to Word 95/7. Not too hard, eh?

    Damn M$ for having the gall to release an OS that can't reliably hang up a modem w/o crashing (happened 2x to me in the last month).
    I've never heard of that, except with an overheated PCMCIA modem. You probably have an IRQ conflict or are using a Winmodem. (which suck even under Windows.)

    Your comments make you sound extremely lazy. If you can't make minor settings changes in Word, I doubt you can be bothered with something like Linux.


  • I'm not doing anything. But in this office (of about 300 people) we are constantly having to reinstall (be sure to use the identical original CD!) to get back clipart, templates and so forth.

    Running around installing Office on 300 machines with a CD sounds like an idjot thing to do. You might want to ask someone what that fat phoneline-looking wire plugged into the back of your computer is for.

    It's quite simple to put Office clipart and sample files on a read-only file server share. RTFM. And, if you have VxD-deleting users, run WinNT and make the system directories read only.
  • what your getting with Lynx, you know no java's gonna work, you know no plugins, grafix and such are gonna work, you just know you get text and that's it.

    My experience with IE4 and NS4 (And the version 3 of both) is that neither fully supports all websites and I must have both installed to surf everwhere I want to go. This is mostly MS's fault IMHO, MS created Jscript which attempts to be Javascript but causes apps like the NetObjects Fusion BBS to break without some special coding. They also come out with their own version of every standard (Can we say ActiveX?) causing great pain and suffering for netusers all around the world.

    Above and beyond the browser war, lets take a look at what MS has done for WYSIWYG HTML writing programs such as Frontpage and the crap exporters they've put into almost all the new products. Frontpage extensions just plain suck. We were running an NT server with IIS and put the Frontpage server extensions on it, wala *CRASH*. That was the point we nuked the NT Server and installed Linux with Apache and dropped support for the Frontpage extensions.

    Hell, if MS can't make a product that works well with the world and wants to extend the standards into MSStandards we should all quit using their products.
  • Yep, with only VisiCalc and Lotus123 to lead the way, they were pretty innovative about bringing the spreadsheet to a GUI platform.
  • Bill....

    Please don't port any Microsoft software to Linux. Thank You.
  • Yep, look at this...

    250 Hello [], pleased to meet you
    vrfy root
    vrfy bin
    vrfy sync
    250 sync
    expn root
    [root@vapid cgi-bin]# telnet 21
    Connected to
    Escape character is '^]'.
    220 FTP server (Version wu-2.4.2-academ[BETA-15](1) Sat Nov 1 03:08:32 EST 1997) ready.
    Name ( anonymous
    331 Guest login ok, send your complete e-mail address as password.
    230 Guest login ok, access restrictions apply.
    Remote system type is UNIX.
    Using binary mode to transfer files.
  • You have to use telnet, your browsers will be redirected kidz.

    Looks like apache to me.

    with a microsoft quick fix "chmod -R 000 /home/httpd"

    Connected to
    Escape character is '^]'.
    get http://index.html

    403 Forbidden

    You don't have permission to access http://index.html
    on this server.

    Connection closed by foreign host.

  • I often find that people hate what appears to be challenging. *WE* know windows is not challenging so it must have some real issues. I have used both oses extensively and prefer unix because its more powerful. It might be harder to use but hey I am not afraid to learn, are you? Then let microsoft do all the work so you can go on drooling and clicking your mouse button.
  • Sorry folks, but the fact of the matter is, I believe that guy earlier is quite right. Of course who am I? I am also a "young college student." But for my accounting class, MS Excel is a MINIMUM requirement. I know some of you folks (some of you might even be my peers) might start flaming me for saying this, but for accounting, one needs tools... And Linux has yet to deliver on this. Gnumeric looks promising, but it is too incomplete to really useful as the base tool for any serious accounting work yet. I *HATE* Micro$oft, but the real problem is that MS Office *IS* the corporate standard. I think many are now willing consider alternatives to Windows--there are some viable alternatives to it now. But for Linux to gain acceptance on the desktop, it *NEEDS* a viable alternative to M$ Office, and I'm sorry, but Gnumeric, StarOffice, etc. just don't cut it. WP is okay, but we need an integrated office SUITE to replace Office... And Corel is too far from completion to consider.

    For that, I have to give M$ some credit--as much as I hate Bill Gates, this is one thing that has gained him the respect of the corporate world; he has delivered the needed tools. I do think they could be better, and Linux has the potential to deliver an alternative... But we just don't have one yet. That is why the corporate world seems to love Microsoft so much.

    So if anybody wants to help step in and write these things instead of complaining all the time, I think some people (including myself) would appreciate it.
  • It's running Undisclosed/0.0 on Linux...

    IIS Linux port. Yeah, thats it... :)

  • I don't remember Microsoft ever saying that they were considering supporting Linux. Otherwise, though, I wholeheartedly agree. This is certainly FUD at its finest.
  • Microsoft is walking the thinnest line on this one (with apologies to The Dead Milkmen []). On the one hand, they have to make nice to the anti-trust folks and say, "No, really, Microsoft doesn't have monopoly power. Just look at the little upstart OS Linux, ready to come and eat our lunch." On the other hand, the corporate message is made pretty clear by "pundits" like Ed Muth:
    The problem with that is there are fewer applications available for Linux, there's no long-term development road map, and there's a higher technical risk in using it.
    What this really means: The problem with Linux is that Microsoft Office isn't available for it, there's no FUD team hyping it, and MS tech support (such as it is) won't bail you out if you get yourself in trouble with it.

    If Microsoft doesn't want to make a seriously embarassing admission - namely, that there are valuable applications out there for Linux - they can't afford to consider Linux as a development platform, unless they don't consider Office to be an application with a signifigantly large following.

  • The problem isn't that people necessarily need to use Microsoft Office, it's that they are likely to need to open Office files that someone else has created. As much as I might wish otherwise, Microsoft Office is likely to be the dominant office suite for some time to come. Even happy Linux users may have to annotate Word docs from clients, update Excel spreadsheets from cow orkers, and pretend to have looked at Powerpoint presentations from suits. I've still got one foot in Windows land myself, and have yet to work with any Linux office apps. What kind of filters are available for Applix, WordPerfect, etc. to import and export Microsoft's various moving target file formats? Also, can they cope with embedded stuff, like a chunk of Excel spreadsheet in a Word doc? Compatiblity with existing files is probably a bigger obstacle to acceptance of alternative office suites than any kind of UI or training issues.
  • by TuxDaddy ( 26110 ) on Thursday March 18, 1999 @08:55AM (#1973590)
    I think I'm going to email to ask if they'll port MS BOB to Linux.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor