There is a tragic (but rich) irony in the news that Microsoft failed in its appeal to throw out Novell's decade-old antitrust lawsuit against it. On one hand, you have Novell arguing (rightly) in court that Microsoft unfairly bullies competitors:
"Microsoft specifically targeted WordPerfect and Novell's other office productivity applications because they threatened Microsoft's Windows monopoly," according to the Novell court filing quoted by the Bloomberg news service.
In its case, Novell also said that Microsoft withheld technical information to make WordPerfect work with Windows 95.
On the other hand, we see Novell supping at the feet of Microsoft to revive its Linux business, conveniently forgetting that what Microsoft giveth, Microsoft taketh away the minute a competitor becomes inconvenient. But the irony gets better as we dig into Novell's complaint with Groklaw:… Read more
Microsoft Office includes industrial-strength tools for creating forms of all types, but the Access database and InfoPath information manager are overkill for my meager form requirements. If I need to collect basic information from a bunch of people in a hurry, such as for planning a potluck lunch, I stick with the simple form-creation tools in Word.
Word 2007 groups the options found on the Forms toolbar in Word 2003 into the Legacy Tools button in the Controls section under the Developer tab. These form fields are a subset of Office 2007's Content Controls, which allow you to populate … Read more
Recently an associate whose PC lacked Adobe Acrobat sent me a Word file via e-mail, asking if I could convert it to PDF and e-mail it back to her. Since the process took all of about 30 seconds, I was delighted to help. Then the next day she sent two more files in need of conversion to PDF, and a couple of days after than another. After her fourth request of the week I felt compelled to tell her about two ways she could have converted the files herself for free: Adobe's own Create Adobe PDF Online free trial, … Read more
With that, he announced that WordPress parent company Automattic has hired designer and developer Andy Peatling, who has created a WordPress-based social network called BuddyPress.
BuddyPress, meanwhile, has become part of Automattic's arsenal. The project's home page has been replaced with an Automattic logo and the teaser "BuddyPress will transform a vanilla installation of WordPress MU into a social-network platform."
The only reason I've opened Microsoft Outlook or any other desktop e-mail program in the last year is to test tips. Since I added my ISP account to my Gmail in-box, and moved my Outlook appointments to Google Calendar, I get all the information I need in my browser.
Now I'm getting ready to boot Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for their Web alternatives, but before I bail on Office entirely, I stuck a toe in the Web-apps water by using the free ThinkFree Online service irregularly over the past few weeks. So far, I haven't missed Word, … Read more
MIAMI--The way people have been talking about e-mail at the Future of Web Apps conference, you'd think it were a cell phone carrier or a domestic airline. It's antiquated, it's backward, and everybody hates it.
Kevin Marks, a Google engineer and Technorati veteran, said in a talk about the company's OpenSocial project and Social Graph APIs that e-mail is a "strange legacy idea."
"E-mail has died away for a group of users. For the younger generation, they don't use e-mail," he said, talking about the young Web users who have started … Read more
This post was updated at 4:49 PM PT with a clarification from Matt Mullenweg.
MIAMI--"I'm Matt Mullenweg, and I'm famous for eating 108 Chicken McNuggets and surviving," the eccentric 24-year-old WordPress founder said in his talk at the Future of Web Apps conference, explaining that he's no longer continually the No. 1 "Matt" in a Google search because the dancing viral-video star "Where The Hell Is Matt?" gives him a run for his money.
At FOWA, Mullenweg was slated to talk about both the physical and psychological "architecture&… Read more
If you find yourself seriously considering one of these items, it's time to leave your desk and get out in the real world. Now.
This USB speedometer may look like a retro dashboard instrument, but instead of gauging miles per hour it's designed to measure "wpm"--words per minute. That's right, it's a device that tracks how fast you're typing. It does require some software but, other than that, it's just plug and play, or type. Technabob says it tops out at 260 wpm, which is 48 words faster than the world's record … Read more
Microsoft Office is not just overpriced--for most users, it's overkill. That's why I've been increasingly recommending IBM Lotus Symphony, a well-rounded office suite that just so happens to be free. It's built on open-source favorite OpenOffice, but sports a sleeker, friendlier interface.
Symphony (available for Windows and Linux) offers word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. It supports Office 2003 file formats as well as OpenDocument and others. And it relies on an ingenious tabbed interface that keeps all your documents under the same roof--no switching between apps like with most other suites. I particularly like the sidebars, … Read more