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3860Re: [wpmac] Re: Reply to MS Word documents

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  • Randy B. Singer
    May 13 2:42 PM
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      On May 13, 2007, at 4:26 AM, drderbes wrote:

      > A small correction. We may disagree about the definition of "high
      > end", but there are at least three other actively supported word
      > processors besides Microsoft Word available for Mac OS X,

      Actually, there are a bunch of them:

      > and two of
      > them are sold: the word processor in OpenOffice, Nisus Writer, and
      > Mellel. I use Nisus on a regular basis, and it seems to me at least as
      > "high end" as Word.

      While these are very nice word processors, and they may be good
      enough for some to use instead of WP/Mac or Word, they don't approach
      the features of WP/Mac or Word. If they did, just about everybody on
      this discussion list would have switched to one of them by now, and
      this list would have little reason to exist.

      > Microsoft is, in my opinion, a spent force in personal computing.
      > Windows is like a beached whale, doomed to be suffocated under its own
      > weight. GNU/Linux or another Unix-based OS like Mac OS X is becoming
      > (has become already?) the standard, independent of machine
      > architecture or chip. Office will continue for perhaps another two
      > iterations, and then it will simply fade away slowly (the recent Sun
      > announcement about a native OpenOffice just reinforces this belief.)

      It would be nice if that were the case, but like the many folks who
      have been predicting the demise of Apple for over a decade, I think
      that reports of Microsoft's (with over 90% of the personal computer
      market) demise are a bit premature. But who knows? No one ever
      thought that they would see Sears, and then K-Mart, humbled by a new
      upstart (Wal-Mart), or Toyota overtake General Motors, so anything
      can happen in business.

      Want to know what word processor that I'm keeping an eye on? iWork's
      Pages. First, one must realize that we all "like" programs that we
      are used to using, and we tend to dislike programs that we don't know
      how to use yet. So, putting aside that Pages is a program that most
      of us are new to and that it can be frustrating using a new program,
      have a look at Pages interface. It makes WP/Mac and Word look
      antiquated. While Pages isn't entirely intuitive (which is probably
      impossible to achieve with a modern, advanced word processor in any
      case) it does away with having to find features buried deep in
      branching menus. Things can be accomplished and fine-tuned by
      pointing and clicking rather than by having to navigate multiple
      dialog boxes. I am very much looking forward to Pages 3. I suspect
      that version will allow many Mac-users of Word to say goodbye to
      Word. (Though I suspect that Pages 3 is unlikely to be a true high-
      end product.) If Apple introduces the spreadsheet program that has
      been rumored for years, users may be able to say goodbye to Office as
      a whole also.

      Randy B. Singer
      Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

      Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
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