Several years ago… I lived in a world where I thought computers began and ended with a company called Microsoft…and then there were those Apple computers too, but I never had one, nor planned on it, because the rare times I had used one, my bearings were totally discombobulated.
And then someone introduced me to a thing called open source technology, and my eyes were opened… and I entered a world where I was able to feel like I was in the driver seat, and not the computer. I often use the analogy of a standard car to an automatic one when comparing Microsoft or proprietary technology to open source technology. And it’s true, I now feel like I control the computer.
And open source technology has just shifted into fifth gear… The office suite that open source users have been used to, OpenOffice.org for the past ten years was recently forked after Oracle acquired it when they bought out Sun Microsystems. And LibreOffice was born.
Yesterday was the release of their first beta-free version…
From their press release : « In less than four months the number of developers hacking LibreOffice has grown from less than twenty in late September 2010 to well over 100 today. This has allowed us to release in advance of the aggressive schedule set by the project. »
On their website you will find out everything you need to know about this office suite…. and I highly encourage those who have never known what open-source technology is, to test it out. You can download it for free.
From the LibreOffice website : « LibreOffice is a comprehensive, professional-quality productivity suite that you can download and install for free. There is a large base of satisfied LibreOffice users worldwide, and it’s available in more than 30 languages and for all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Suse, …).
I don’t want to say that you will « see the light » once you use LibreOffice and become introduced to open source software, but I will say that you will feel like you are driving the computer and not the computer driving you crazy!