FrankWe do NOT have to live with the fact that M$ are the dominant force in the software world - and if more people would realise this then M$ might start to take notice. The idea that we should accept a proprietary format defined by one company as a global standard is particularly abhorrent and, if allowed to prevail, will ultimately eliminate all competition (which, of course, is precisely what MS want). The fact that M$ persist in flouting open standards to which they publicly subscribe - Internet Explorer, FrontPage and other Web development tools do not produce or render HTML/W3C code properly - is another aspect of the same problem.
Both Frank F and Alex have referred to the open source alternative, OpenOffice, which - along with open source operating systems - is starting to be adopted by more public bodies. I use this in Linux (as I think Alex does) and it does virtually everything that M$ Office does. I haven't tried OO under Windows (which may be what is causing it to be slow in opening, as Frank F observed). I would have to disagree with you about retraining involved moving between office suites. Differences are fairly modest and can be quickly grasped.
I have to use M$ Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) extensively because my work relies on a larger organisation to provide IT systems and software, and they worship at the M$ altar. But I can (and do) work with all the M$ files using OO without any problems.
With luck, more companies will come to recognise that M$ is just a huge example of "the emperor's new clothes".
</rant mode off> Mike L FrankTurley@xxxxxxx wrote:
Hi Mike,I'm afraid that I have come to accept that Microsoft are the dominant force in the software world, and like it or not, we have to live with that. I am old enought to remember the joys of Visicalc, Lotus 1-2-3, WordStar, and WordPerfect, but now Microsoft Office has become the de facto standard in the commercial world, and we just have to get on with it I'm afraid. It does have certain benefits, for example standardisation gets a lot easier, and you don't have to be retrained in yet another different package as you pass through life. If you were in my profession I'm afraid you'd not last long without Excel. Frank T.