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LinuxWorld: The death of Microsoft Office

Jul 30, 2000, 18:28 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nicholas Petreley)

"That brings me to a number of details beyond the switch to GPL that make Sun's announcement interesting. The most intriguing fact is that Sun plans to split the office suite into individual application components. There are several reasons why Sun needs to do that. On the surface, it will make StarOffice more usable. StarOffice is currently a monolithic suite that takes longer to launch than it takes Microsoft to release a security patch. As I said, most of the time I only use two pieces of the suite, the word processor and the personal information manager. It would be a great relief to be able to launch only the applications I use, especially if that translates into faster launch times and less memory consumption. Who knows? If I could launch the StarOffice PIM separately, I might even go back to using the Applixware word processor, although I'd be perfectly happy with the StarOffice word processor if it just didn't eat up so much RAM."

"Sun also wants to give the StarOffice components a Bonobo compatibility layer (Bonobo is the CORBA-compliant object model used by the GNOME desktop). I was a bit ambivalent about that decision at first. On the one hand, I am somewhat sour on GNOME of late and would have preferred to have seen StarOffice integrate more tightly with KDE. But as much as I prefer KDE to GNOME, I have to admit that the KDE team could turn out to be shortsighted with respect to its component strategy. On the down side, CORBA is sluggish and complex, and it is largely responsible for the lack of responsiveness of some GNOME tools. But I still believe the GNOME developers got it right in choosing CORBA, at least in the long run. Computers will continue to get faster, which will eventually make the speed a nonissue. And developers will continue to write better tools for creating and integrating CORBA components, making those components easier to use and manage."

"It probably doesn't matter anyway. Greater interoperability between KDE and GNOME components is supposedly already in the works. Sun's choice of Bonobo will simply increase the pressure on KDE to make its component architecture work seamlessly with Bonobo."

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