[Linux-aus] [Osia-discuss] Re: If you could ask Microsoft a question, what would it be?

David Sentinella d.sentinella at integrated-imaging.com.au
Mon Jan 14 04:44:49 UTC 2008

Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> What would it take for Microsoft to treat the Linux desktop market as seriously as they 
> treat Apple? e.g. Office for Linux. Not necessarily open source 
> Office.

If you're looking for a "killer app", then it would be hard to beat 
"Open EDI". Accountancy is the one area where big business exerts muscle 
over the smaller players - the economy of scale gives the large players 
an advantage when they use EDI and then, of course, these large players 
demand EDI from their suppliers – only the very smart, the very large or 
the most exploited suppliers get to play.

It is of note that the new Australian government has a minister for 
"Business Deregulation", another for "Small Business", and more 
encouragingly a minister for "Broadband, Communications and the Digital 
Economy". I think the Linux and Open Source communities have an 
opportunity here. Honestly, the standard office applications are old hat 
now, but imagine if the accountancy task became a management task only - 
even small home businesses would need to spend less than a few percent 
of their income on accountancy and bookkeeping. There is a lot of 
resistance however because so much money is being made shuffling paper - 
what a shame. Perhaps the labour shortage would evaporate when these 
people are retrained to do something more useful?

*The *Linux and Open Source communities have a duty to push for Open 
Standards but not in a way that Microsoft does - pushing for ever more 
complexity in open standards so that only a supplier like Microsoft can 
tackle the task.**

David Sentinella
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