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Doug's Mailbag: OpenOffice, Cloudy Future?

Here are some reader thoughts on the free OpenOffice:

I started using OpenOffice version 1.01 when the company for whom I worked evaluated it and Lotus Domino / Notes. Currently, I have version 3.2.1 installed on one of my laptops and also on an old MacBook. I find the old menu system a compelling reason to use the product, along with the fact that it is less resource intensive (disk space). For my needs, I can do everything that Office 2007/2010 (used at work) can do without the excess expense.

I use OpenOffice on five personal PCs and have been spreading the news to local nonprofits. A few of them are now using it. Everything works great and converts to/from MS Office.

I use Linux, therefore I use OpenOffice. I don't see why Oracle doesn't want to continue with OpenOffice. Sun supported it as integral part of their software "offerings" and it worked out fine.

A Doug's Mailbag regular shares his thoughts on the future of cloud computing:

I really don't know their respective track records but it strikes me that IDC, Merrill Lynch and Gartner are no different than anyone else trying to pick stocks, playing the tables or betting on the horses. For everyone who makes a correct prediction, there are ten times as many who guess wrong!

Frankly (and I have probably said this to you before), cloud computing is really not a lot different today than it was under a myriad of other names using different technologies to accomplish the same thing -- to centralize those resources which benefit from economies of scale while distributing access to remote locations as efficiently as possible.

Whether the technology is a dumb terminal linked to a mainframe, remote boot to central computing resources, remote access via client-server or browser to cloud, the goals are always the same and each technology creates a bottleneck SOMEHWERE that limits the usefulness of the technology.

These technologies always find a niche which suits them well, but ultimately the value of these technologies is always over hyped in the press and oversold in the marketplace.

The well-run IT department looks at each technology in the context of how it will be used by those it is meant to serve. Funds are budgeted based upon a project life cycle in order to anticipate ROI. At the end of each life cycle, you need to determine how well the technology met your goals before investing further -- or moving to an alternate technology.

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to [email protected]. Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).  

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/06/2010 at 1:18 PM


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