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How productive are you on RISC OS?

By Chris Williams. Published: 10th Oct 2005, 17:17:54 | Permalink | Printable

User says Windows gives RISC OS a 30 minute head start

Letter WROCC member Richard Ashbery has written in to complain that he's wasting time securing and maintaining his Microsoft Windows computer, which is affecting his productivity. He said, "I seem to be spending more and more time running basic software security and integrity checks on my PC and wanted to see just how long it takes to update and run them. I was staggered to see the amount of time I waste. To illustrate the point I decided to create a simple poster on my RiscPC while the checks were carried out."

Richard used to write Vantage tutorial articles for Qercus, although has since ordered Artworks from MW Software after seeing it demonstrated at the Wakefield show. The simple poster in this exercise (pictured above) was designed using DrawWorksXL and EasiWriter Pro+.

He added, "I'm not familiar with any of the PC graphic packages and its been a long time since I used Macromedia's Freehand and that was on the Apple Mac. Because of RISC OS familiarity, confidence and ease-of-use I will continue to use the OS for as long as I can. The poster is purely for illustrative purposes and was done to show how easy and quick it is to create simple graphics using RISC OS. However I have done one or two for advertising my local camera club."

Maintenance actionSoftware usedDownload updates (minutes)Execution time (minutes)
Check for spywareAdaware32
Check for spywareSpybot8-102
Disc maintenanceDefragN/A5-20
Sub-total (using average times)1635

Dial-up Internet user Richard says his PC is powered by a 2GHz AMD Athlon 64 processor with 160G hard disc, 512M DDR RAM, ATI Radeon 9600 Pro Atlantis AGP graphics card and Windows XP Pro. The poster took 30 minutes to create on his 200MHz RiscPC, meanwhile the PC was still crunching its way through maintenance checks.

It's arguable that for a complex illustration, once a Windows PC eventually gets started, it could out run a RiscPC or Iyonix - much like a cyclist versus a car over short and long distances. On the other hand, not every user will want to produce high quality graphics, and also, not all users will have the same level of computer usage as Richard. It's a very subjective issue even though Richard's point is particularly interesting, even more so when you take into account those users who emulate RISC OS hardware on top of Windows - this may change if a VirtualRiscPC port for Mac OS X ever appears. In the meantime, is RISC OS productivity a myth? How productive are you on RISC OS?


Comments? Do you use the OS for interesting purposes?

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Not really a very fair comparison, unless you're the type of person who does that lot every time you turn the computer on. When using a Windows machine that I have any say in (i.e. not those at work) I let it get on with those things whilst I'm doing something else anyway. Whilst not having to plough through those tasks is a point in RISC OS's favour, I don't find it a particuarly significant one. Productivity in RISC OS is mostly gained from not having to wrestle against the UI.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 10/10/05 5:56PM
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I think a lot of RISC OS' advantage is that we have standard file formats that can integrate - like you can use loads of programs to make a Sprite, or a Drawfile or RTF or TIFF etc.

On Windows, although they claim that to be the case it often isn't - like the versions of Office are incompatible, a lot of programs only support BMP files, there's practically not vector graphics under Windows (on Adobe apps cope with Illustrator files and SVG support is a joke).

Linux is no better - OpenOffice can barely read/write in any useful way (can't even import images from OODraw into OOWriter!) even standard formats like PDF seem to vary in levels of imp/exportability under Linux.

I think I posted previously about making a logo, letterhead and some compliment slips on Linux, giving up fighting with GIMP, OO.org, Dia etc; trying Windows and managing it after almost a day with Office/Acrobat. Could have done it in an hour using Publisher+Artworks (although that may be that I'm VERY used to those programs).

I love Linux, put up with Windows, and don't even use RISC OS anymore, but I have to admin for certain things like vector graphics it is the best choice. But for programming and video stuff that I need to do it sucks.

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 10/10/05 6:37PM
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sorry for all the typo's in that - teach me for typing whilst drinking large amounts of tea ;)

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 10/10/05 6:39PM
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SimonC> Agreed.

Part of the problem includes some of the more "respected" PC applications like Microsoft Word. The thing is so blinking reconfigurable that it is *very hard* to ensure that *all settings* are consistent between users. When exchanging documents this can cause no end of pain.

To be fair to Microsoft they have improved things somewhat in certain areas - but sometimes they miss the wood for the trees. When figuring how to use a application out takes longer than the task it purports to solve then there is something wrong with the apps design IMHO.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/10/05 8:23PM
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i just cant do it, i cant use most windows apps withoput turning into a homicidal maniac, the only packages i can just about cope with are XaraX and the older version of fireworks, which is quite sweet.

Anything else is over complicated to do what should be simple.

When it comes to spyware and virus checking, i'm sure if R.O. was more widley used it would be more under attack from vicious users and require virus and spyware updates.

As for windows disk defragging, i find erasing the entire harddisc and reinstalling to be the best choice, as widows has tendncies to fill itself with untold and unknown amounts of rubbish.

But then i only use windows for such persuits as yahoo games pool and online fragging of danish people.

 is a RISC OS Usernex on 10/10/05 9:26PM
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Where did he get that non multi tasking version of windows? He should have started calculator... man that program is never finished and keeps asking for input.

 is a RISC OS UserJaco on 10/10/05 9:30PM
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There are two RO4 RiscPC's in my house. One for music production, another for general Internet use.

Everything keeps working on this Internet-equipped ARM710 RiscPC. I have people using this machine in preference to adequately tuned modern Windows machines, because it's easier to navigate and perform tasks. Less bloated. Installing and deleting programmes is much easier, file transport between media and programmes is much easier, it seems almost anything is easier compared to similar Windows (2000/XP) tasks! I regard a RISC OS computer to be an instrument of elegant simplicity, while regarding Windows computers as instruments of unneeded complexity.

I use NetSurf to browse, Grapevine to chat and Messenger to e-mail. It is fine and I installed this machine a long time ago... I trust this machine will still be running flawlessly in a year.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/10/05 12:05AM
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Maintentance times... Well, as for your above listing I dare say that the figures are right but not fair. - For one a defrag is not needed too often and thus shouldn't count for every day. BTW, the Windows defrag is not really a reasonable one since it doesn't seem to collect the free spaces to one or a few chunks, but there are real defrag toos around. - A full Antivirus scan is not needed every day or every boot time and using the right software it can be scheduled to run in the background while you work and/or when the screen saver is active. A daily Spyware/Adware check is probably not needed either - assuming that you keep your system up to date with on-access scans and don't open all email attachments and use safe browser settings (e.g. by using Firefox). - You did forget the Microsoft updates but they are downloaded in the background and thus don't really interfere (except for the odd reboot they request). Thus what is still there is the automatic software updates which do take time especially on an ISDN connection. Most other regular checks and updates run happily in the background, if configured to do so (and if you use the correct software offering that since some virus scanners do take long and eat up much processing power).

What is obvious though is that Windows takes longer to start and shut down, that is when I start both at the same time I already have read quite some email before my Windows system is up. Furhtermore more often than not RISC OS apps are quicker to use and interaction between several much easier thus productivity is indeed for quite some tasks higher on RISC OS.

And as for viruses be happy that RISC OS is not too common and thus practically no virusses around - it's only protection is security by obscurity.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 11/10/05 5:12AM
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My experience is that the windows Xp machines I use (work and kids @home) are slow to boot and navigation is awkward. Even though I know where everything is getting there is laborious at times. RISC OS is very good at integrating different file types between applications whereas windows is royal pain in the butt. I spend far more time messing about with file formats than actual image manipulation. With my kids PC email is switched off, firefox is the browser and zonealarm is the firewall this combination (so far) has proved to be very protective against the PC nasties out there.

Where windows beats a RISC OS machine is in the speed it does cpu intensive tasks such as image manipulation, WMV to MP3 conversions, as for video well this is a complete non starter on RISC OS. The only non CPU intensive task that windows excels at is web browser although this is to some extent a self fulfilling prophecy ! However bitching about WWW standards doesn't magically improve the situation does it ?

RISC OS improvements (in my opinion) : most applications could do with some modernising to make them more attractive and 21st century. We desperatley need improved web browsing with all the necessary plug ins and to stop bitching about what should and should not have happened. It has happened we have to live with it as do other OS's. An integrated multimedia handler for easy music and video ripping, saving, converting, playing etc. If compatibility for older OS's hinders development of any new or upgraded apps then I think we have to drop that support. Anchoring functionality in the 80's does us no good at all.

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 11/10/05 8:38AM
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Isn't it about time people start focusing on what can be done, what can't be done and what needs to be done on RISC OS instead of repeatetly dragging out that "productivity" issue? How are you going to measure your productivity on a platform you loathe and seldom use? It's impossible to get a fair comparison on this.

I for one can say that as a programmer I'm far more productive on Windows than I'm likely to ever be on RISC OS - simply because the tools are available and in my opinion far superior (which is probably why I gave up on programming RO before I ever got a real start).

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 11/10/05 9:35AM
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mripley: "Where windows beats a RISC OS machine is in the speed it does cpu intensive tasks such as image manipulation", i.e. where it is the processor and not the OS making the difference :-)

With that exception, I nearly always find it less hassle doing things on RISC OS if I can do them on RISC OS, for the reasons that have already been mentioned (how I wish I had Draw at work!), but unfortunately the gap between what you can do on each keeps widening. Where that's down to what can be done with faster hardware there's not a lot than can be done, but where it's software there are people making the effort (e.g. with the browsers - Firefox port, O3 supposedly coming along some time, Netsurf continually improving).

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 11/10/05 10:01AM
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Hmm, this is a pretty silly comparison - as people have pointed out you shouldn't be doing all that stuff every time your computer starts up. I'd estimate I spend maybe an hour a month "maintaining" my WinXP computer. As for start-up time, my PC is a lot faster than my RiscPC was. Clearly everyone's experience varies so I really can't see the point in making a claim that RISC OS is more "productive".

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 11/10/05 10:19AM
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This article supports what I've been saying for some time. My PC at work may have a much quicker processor and be able to perform some operations such as manipulating graphics faster than any RISC OS machine, but I don't get more done on it, due to the significant and highly intrusive amount of time I spend performing maintainance - or better know as fighting Windows tooth and nail.

Although to be fair it doesn't happen happen everyday, it just feels like it, when there are a constant stream of automatic Windows updates, non automatic updates to components needed by other software, AV and spyware updates, many of which either require an immediate reboot, or constantly nag you every 5 minutes until you do give in and reboot. Also everytime I install an upgrade to a software package, I have to remove all the unwanted shortcuts littering the desktop and move the ones from Start Menu Programs in to my categorised submenus, rather than letting it grow to several unwheildy columns as everyone else does. Then there is forgetting about which file explorer windows I want opened at startup every now and again, and certain applications where I just get them setup how I like them, and then they crash loosing all the settings such as toolbar bar and splitter window positions, causing more hassle to get them but back to rights.

Now a lot of this is my own fault, as I'm used to a computer that I can set up the way I like it, and expect it to do what I want it to do. If I just accepted the fate of normal Windows users, and let Windows do whatever Windows wants to do whenever Windows wants to do it, knowing no other way exists, I wouldn't even be aware of what a pain in the arse it is.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/10/05 10:42AM
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druck: Yes, you're right. Life's a lot easier in the Windows world if you give up on the notion of having any control over your computer! I used to keep my Start menu nicely ordered, my desktop clutter-free, my documents properly organised etc. but when I eventually installed XP a couple of months ago I decided to stop bothering and life is a lot less stressful. Of course, everything I do takes a bit longer now...

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 11/10/05 10:52AM
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P.S. I'm going to get modded down for this, but I can't resist any longer! How on earth did it take 30 minutes to make that poster? It would have taken me 5 minutes, and it's not like I'm a graphic designer or anything!

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 11/10/05 10:56AM
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For many Windows users the situation may not be as simple or rosy as you make out. For example at work, a single-tasking spybot spyware check is forced on our machines once a day when we turn it on. You could argue that this is a result of bad administration rather than Windows itself, but it was deemed necessary after the whole network became riddled with spyware and no other option worked.

As for "security through obscurity", I again don't think it's as simple as that. RISC OS has several potentially serious security flaws, but due to its simplicity compared to Windows there are arguments that say it has security benefits too.

For example, a standard Windows box has a host of listening services running as standard which many worms use for propagation. RISC OS doesn't have any (off the top of my head, so I could be wrong). Many users on RISC OS browse with minimal or no javascript, and few applications make use of auto-run scripting/macros. The main exploits for RISC OS are likely to be restricted to email-borne viruses and using !Boot files.

Although I use RISC OS by preference, I admit that Windows has many advantages and that Windows security problems are largely due to its complexity. But when it comes to security, the simplicity of RISC OS really is a benefit.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/10/05 11:42AM
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Basically I agree. I was using my Windows platform to access the internet and RISC OS for most other stuff. I only really use the web at weekend and, in the end found, I was spending most of one morning a month updating AVG, AdAware and ZoneAlarm and then doing a cleanup ... at which point I got !DialUp and stopped using Windows, except to write BBC Basic for Windows programs.

 is a RISC OS Userbstewart on 11/10/05 11:54AM
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This is an interesting article, and discussion, but there is a fundamental problem with this sort of comparison. We're all RISC OS users. We expect to be able to design graphics in vector format and transfer them between programs while still being able to resize them losslessly. On a PC that's not nearly so intuitive. PC users on the other hand expect to be able to use most websites, or view HTML email.

Put it like this, it's like getting an Easiwriter user to use Ov Pro, or vice versa. Those programs train the user to think in a certain way about how a document is structured and written, so of course a user is going to be less productive when using the alternate piece of software.

Of course, that doesn't all mean that RISC OS isn't the right platform for us, and it doesn't mean that it isn't the best platform for many tasks.

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 11/10/05 12:19PM
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As someone who users both Easiwriter an Ov Pro regularly, I don't have much trouble switching between them. I have a lot more problems with MS Word, which often seems to have a mind of its own.

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 11/10/05 12:48PM
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Personally, the times don't reflect my experiences at all. The figures I have would be closer to: AVG updates: 15-30 seconds a day for updates (prehaps Richard Ashberry isn't on broadband?), and a 10 minute scheduled scan once a week when I'm not there Spyware: Realtime protection via MS Antispyware and a 10 minute scheduled scan once a week when I'm not there Disk defrag: 2-5 minutes a month via PerfectDisk if I feel I need it (rarely as NTFS is loads better than FAT) All in all, this takes a real-world 30 seconds out of my working day which is less time than it takes to make a cup of tea. I personally feel this is also instantly gained back by the sheer power of the tools that I then have access to (InDesign and Photoshop eclipse the competition, programming environments are generally nicer.) For code development I can save about 30 minutes by simply cross-compiling NetSurf on XP via cygwin. Of course, for writing any ARM code, or pretty much anything other than ASP/JSP/VBScript/HTML I'm far more productive using Zap on RISC OS than anything else (TextPad on XP wins for the rest.)

 is a RISC OS Usernot_ginger_matt on 11/10/05 1:54PM
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Interesting that you say that you prefer XP for coding. I've found that it's easier to use an RO machine. Developing a perl/cgi script get an 'error x at line 456' deskedit/stronged/edit/(and zap?) press f5 enter 456, go straight to line. Wordpad? Notepad? Not a chance.

Writing technical documents in word2000 vs easiwriter: for 99% of cases ew wins hands down every time.

Photodesk vs photoshop : easi interface but ssllooww vs Complex even confusing interface, but incredibly fast. You takes your pick on this one!


 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 11/10/05 3:36PM
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I'd never touch Notepad or Wordpad, but TextPad (www.textpad.com) is truly excellent and supports throwback, syntax colouring and a whole host of other useful features that you'll be used to on RISC OS (it /doesn't/ do disassembly though which I miss.) Actually, one of the most irritating thing about Windows is that every app seems to have it's own editor which is truly frustrating and somewhere that RISC OS wins hands down (ignoring Edit for a moment ;-).) With respect to Photodesk, I've only used it a few times and it didn't even come close to Photoshop. Even GIMP doesn't come close to touching it, but I'd guess for 90% of users this won't matter as they'd never use most of the features (can Photodesk do effect layers?) As for Word, it's a mess. It's always been a mess and always will, largely because both it and it's users have forgotten what it is -- a word processor. For most of my stuff I use InDesign, although I do use Word occasionally for things like mail merging and quick things based on templates. I remember using Word for my dissertation though, and it was a horror battling with it to get pictures in the right place and suchlike -- the actual drafting of text on it was fine though.

 is a RISC OS Usernot_ginger_matt on 11/10/05 4:43PM
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There is a much better alternative to MS Word on Windows (and many other OSs): OpenOffice.org 2.0, wich uses the best file format I could imagine: open document format. Soon it will most likely become an ISO standard. I really think that if RISC OS is to stand a chance, our applications will have to switch to that format ASAP. For ROL's Draw and for ArtWorks, that should not be a major problem, since they can already export SVG files, although it would be better if they adapted ODG (open document graphic format, wich uses SVG) as their native formats.

For more info, see: [link]

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 11/10/05 10:25PM
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The obvious problem with OpenOffice is that it's a poor imitation of Microsoft Office. Leaving aside any cost issues, I can't think of any real reason for a company to move away from it. Similarly, SVG is a poor format just like MNG as it is overly complex and the requirements to write a rendering engine are so large that only a few have been created. Most specifications nowadays are nigh on stupid in their requirements as they bear no relation to how a computer would see things, and they try to account for every possibility of every possible requirement. Whilst this may not seem a bad thing (it isn’t from a user’s point of view) it means that the net result is various differing partial implementations that results in only a small set of features that can be reliably used (very bad from a user’s point of view.) Unfortunately, I see no solution to any standardisation of document formats. If you have a single base format that everything can be rendered in then the benefits of any tools are in how you manipulate this information. Naturally, application authors will want to gain an advantage over others so they will try to extend this wherever possible to gain a competitive edge and suddenly the base specification becomes useless. We’ve seen this situation very obviously over the years with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and we’ll see it again. As much as everyone stands up and shouts “This is the future!” it isn’t. It may be for 3 months, 6 months or even a few years – but at the end of the day interchangeable documents are not what capitalism wants.

 is a RISC OS Usernot_ginger_matt on 12/10/05 2:38AM
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It is, however, what Massachusetts wants:


As for OO.org, it might be a "poor imitation", but that's simply not its aim. It's a powerful tool in its own right. Having struggled with Word in the past (I even used to teach how to use it), OO.org is much preferable. Of course, Ovation Pro is far superior when it comes to proper DTP, but that's a whole other issue.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 12/10/05 5:45AM
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It may be what Massachusetts wants, but that's utterly meaningless. As I said previously, we already have open, specified formats for things such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript and yet they still get extended and are incompatible with different applications in places. As for OO.org, if it isn't deliberately trying to look like a carbon copy of MS Office then people shouldn't ever criticise a Microsoft GUI design ever again. The biggest noticible difference between the two is that the sidebar opens on the left on OO.org compared to the right on MS Office - blatant copying anyone? It's also buggy and far from stable on my system (although things may possibly have changed in the last 2 months since I downloaded a copy.) I'm also very suprised that you prefer Writer to Word so much. If you turn off two or three intrusive features in Word and you've got pretty much the same as Writer except with a grammar checker, far less memory usage and some form of stability. Compared to Adobe InDesign or Quark XPress, Ovation Pro simply doesn't cut it for professional use either. Don't get me wrong, it's a great program and an awful lot cheaper that InDesign or Quark, but if I was given a copy of any of the three mentioned I'd be the most productive and would product the best quality of work in InDesign by a mile.

 is a RISC OS Usernot_ginger_matt on 12/10/05 12:26PM
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Scrub my comment about no decent vector programs on non-RISC OS platforms, XaraX is going opensource and is being ported to Linux/Mac!


 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 12/10/05 12:46PM
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Could that then be ported back to RISCOS?

 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 12/10/05 1:52PM
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Why? We've got the superb Artworks 2, and the tireless Martin Wurthner to continue to develop any additional features Xara may have - but with a proper RISC OS user interface, rather than one thats been round two other OS before coming back again.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/10/05 2:11PM
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I agree that Artworks 2 is a really good and efficient vector software (, while I still miss some features of Vantage that I extensively used before for professionell graphics works). However, what I really miss under RISC OS compared to Windows and Linux are state-of-art browsers (and a Midi interface for the Iyonix, which isn't the problem of the OS, of course).

 is a RISC OS Usertinopeners on 12/10/05 6:39PM
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I could not agree less.

No, since StarWriter was around for a while before MS even started developing MS Word, the latter is clearly an imitation of StarWriter/OpenOffice.

MS Word is just about the crappiest piece of software ever sold, it is okay for simple letters, but not as a text-processing application. I guess that is the reason why it is called Word, because it can only handle a few words and fails miserably when it has to handle big structured documents.

OpenOffice.org and StarOffice are very stable and much better integrated packages than MS Office. We have had various versions of it (starting with StarOffice 5) in use for years in our company.

BTW, if Massachusetts does not matter, maybe the EU does? Read the section titled "Public policy implications" on [link] before making such silly statements. If MS does not move fast to turn their XML format into an ISO standard, the world will turn to OpenDocument.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 12/10/05 9:11PM
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Please take your blinkers off for a few moments and enter the real world. Any suggestions that Microsoft Office isn't the most integrated office suite out there can hardly be taken seriously. Saying that Office has copied off StarWriter simply because the later was a previous word processor is also bogus. Was StarWriter the very first word processor ever written? If you look at the GUI of Office 97 (which is largely the same as 2003) and others of the era then you'll see that it was this application that has basically defined how all the current alternatives look. If you find Word irritating and find that alternative suites better suit your needs then that's fine (native PDF export is excelent.) If you find Microsoft's monopoly of the office suite market abhorent and feel the need to spout FUD believing that it'll help bring about change then that isn't. Yes, Microsoft has some very bad business ethics. Yes Microsoft actively ensure that people need to use their programs rather than the alternatives. Yes, I and most of the world dislike this situation, but how about we all try to develop alternatives rather than claim that they already exist? As for the EU saying anything, I still doubt it will make a difference. As I said previously, you can have as many standards as you want, but in my opinion they'll become a fallback more than anything to transfer the base information in a extended manner to RTF. I personally feel that application authors should be required to provide comprehensive details of their file formats, and that this would improve the situation more than anything else.

 is a RISC OS Usernot_ginger_matt on 12/10/05 10:33PM
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Oh come on, MS Office is a bundle of office applications, not an integrated office suite. Have you ever actually done some serious work with both OpenOffice and MS Office, like writing a theatre play several hundered pages long?

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 12/10/05 11:19PM
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No, MS Office is definitely not simply a bundle of applications. It may have been in the past, but the integration seen in Office XP (what I generally use at the moment) and 2003 (what I used for my previous employer) is far greater than any other suite. I personally don't use Word for writing large documents, largely as the only sizable documents I produce (magazines, directories) are done via a set of tools I've developed which eventually feed into InDesign with additional content coming via Photoshop and very occasionally Illustrator. What I do do on a regular basis, however, is feed data from Excel to Access (and vice versa) and also from Access to Word for simple things like mail merging, along with somewhat more complex tasks when needed. When I was originally sorting out what systems I needed, I tried both StarOffice and OpenOffice.org. Neither of them were up to what I needed to be done, and OOo wasn't stable enough for me (perhaps OOo 2.0 stable will help.) Perhaps if I was doing things such as presentations on a regular basis then I'd have at least a reason to switch as Impress is superior to Powerpoint in my (limited) experiences. As I'd actually be using Calc, Writer and Base most regularly (is there an equivalent to Visio?) then it's not an option for me (especially with Base as I often write a few chunks of VBScript to quickly query a database then dump out the data in a specific format where ASP/Access is fantastically simple to work with.)

 is a RISC OS Usernot_ginger_matt on 12/10/05 11:46PM
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Well, I agree that Excel is a good application, wich is the case with most of MS's products that were initially developed by some other company. Access is okay, too.

What version of OpenOffice.org did you find to be unstable?

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 14/10/05 10:15AM
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I use Microsoft Word all the time to write documents up to a few hundred pages long - yes, it might cause grief from time to time (like 'intelligently' moving text between pages), but on the whole it is fine and is perfectly capable of editing complex documents. For example this [link] was created in Word

 is a RISC OS UserWalks on 14/10/05 10:56AM
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Just one of many problems I have with word is the fact that if you make a piece of text a heading, and then force it onto a new page, it does strange things on the previous page. For VERY simple documents I don't mind using word, if I'm using my XP machine. For more complex documents I will ALWAYS switch to RISCOS to use EasiWriter.

 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 14/10/05 12:49AM
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    The RegisterThe InquirerApple InsiderBBC NewsSky NewsGoogle Newsxkcddiodesign

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