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SuSE Linux will run Microsoft Office 382

PizzaFace writes "SuSE Linux is developing a desktop Linux distribution that will allow Windows users to continue using (some of) their Windows applications, including Microsoft Office. The SuSE Linux Office Desktop will be available for $129 in January, and will include Acronis OS Selector for disk partitioning during installation and Codeweavers CrossOver Office for Windows API emulation."
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SuSE Linux will run Microsoft Office

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  • by Deton8 ( 522248 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @08:59AM (#4563359)
    Half of my engineers just switched to Linux plus StarOffice for their day-to-day communications. So far, so good. If these emulators get good enough to run OrCAD, Modelsim, and the FPGA development packages, then we can lose Windows completely from our R&D operation.
    • by warmcat ( 3545 )
      Xilinx stuff will already work under wine.
      See []
    • Modelsim is already available in a Unix version, I suppose that you can get it for Linux. I have, however, only used it on Solaris.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:25AM (#4563493) Homepage
      Why OrCAD? Have you looked at Eagle CAD? It's pretty darn close to ORCAD and is a helluva lot cheaper.. (an a large number of companies are using it now) plus it run's under linux as they sell a Linux version along with their windows version. I gave a copy (free student version that allows only 2 layer boards) to one of our design engineers, he was tickled after a couple of months and asked if we could purchase it for here. I guess the scriptable backend to automate many processes makes his job easier. I'm betting that Modelsim and the FPGA stuff will run under wine.... have you tried?

      • Well, no I haven't actually tried these tools on wine -- I just assumed with all the security dongle stuff it wouldn't work. We'll give it a try and see what kind of damage it causes. Obviously, we have to be careful as these packages are very expensive and it wouldn't do to have the suppliers flag us as using pirate software. We would also need to do extensive tests as you can imagine an undetected flaw in an inner layer of a board, or worse, in an ASIC, would be a disaster.
    • Half of my engineers just switched to Linux plus StarOffice for their day-to-day communications. So far, so good. If these emulators get good enough to run OrCAD, Modelsim, and the FPGA development packages, then we can lose Windows completely from our R&D operation.

      Modelsim runs on Linux currently (as does synopsys design compiler and some back end layout tools). I reckon all EDA tools will soon run on linux, most of them already do anyway. The only problem with using PCs for serious EDA work is the limited amount of RAM you can install (4GB). We have a few linux boxes with 4GB of ram and even then, a single process is limited to 3GB - sometimes that's just not enough. For serious synthesis jobs we still have to run on a 64bit HP machine with 8GB of RAM.

      • This is why linux on Opteron will rule. I know that we can't wait for next year when Synopsis should have everything ported, it will lower costs by a huge amount, even when you consider the high software costs. A 2 way SMP Opteron system with 16GB of ram will be killer for synthesis and should cost a small fraction of what an equiviland Sunblade costs.
  • Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:00AM (#4563368)
    I don't want to be the miserable sod but this is just Suse including Crossover Office in their distribution rather than getting you to download it seperately.

    It's not exactly earth shattering news. Whats next? Slashdot reporting that that distibution Blah is going to come with WINE already pre-installed?

    Or am I missing something major entirely?

    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:04AM (#4563390)
      I think the point is that a typically "easy to use" distribution is going to come w/Office working out of the box.

      It's just one step closer to what SOME of the Linux community want, easy to use desktop, easy transition from Windows, full Office support.

      Downloading a product, installing said product, and getting it to work, are not the easiest things for most to do. This is what you are missing.
    • by ites ( 600337 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:06AM (#4563400) Journal
      The 'just download package X' syndrome is one of the main barriers for simple folk using Linux.
      Actually, even for experienced users, it's a relief when we get something like Debian's apt.
      What SuSE are doing here is to provide a distro that will run MS-Office with no tuning or tweaking or HOWTOs.
      This is at once banal, and important. Seamless compatability with Microsoft products is a key tool in the fight to move users off Windows.
      And this news is a sign that SuSE have understood this. That's worth saying.
      (Just to give another example, we spent several days trying to make Oracle 9i work with Debian, and RedHat, and finally tried SuSE... it came with the necessary (trivial) user accounts preconfigured, and Oracle 9i installed and ran almost at once.
    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fatbitch ( 187319 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:56AM (#4563680) Homepage
      everytime I read comments relating to linux and the desktop/business world I am frustrated by the short sightedness of some posters.

      What SuSE are doing here is making the process of utilising Linux *easy* - I feel that there is a group of posters to slashdot that are extremely stubborn and opposed to this notion.

      I own a car, I am not a mechanic, when I buy a car or take it to the garage I don't want to be told - 'sorry you can only drive on x type of road, to drive on y you have to replace the gearbox and upgrade the tires - we can give you the instructions but we won't do it for you' - I want to hand over my money and have a working vehicle I can drive on the majority of the roads availble to me. I don't care how it is done - I want it to work.

      My father on the other hand is a mechanic - he wants to be able to modify his car as much as he wants, and to be able to drive on all the roads in the world - he would be dissapointed if he could not and probably wouldn't buy a car which would not allow him to do this.

      This analogy can be applied to both Linux and Windows:

      Linux satisfies the mechanic in that he can strip the car(OS) down to it's nuts and bolts and build it up in any way he wants - however (without such efforts as described in this story about SuSe) if a home user wants to mod the car(OS) so it can drive on a different type of road(run office) it is possible however without the knowledge and tools(Crossover) he cannot do it - instant dissatisfaction with his purchase.

      Windows makes an effort to satisfy the home user - it can do a bunch of wizzy things - but it's pretty unreliable and can also be quite complex to setup (albeit easier that Linux) - however it can never satify the mechanic as you can't look under the hood

      Linux has the ability to satisfy both types of person - in a far more complete manner that Windows could ever do. It is efforts like these that should be applauded. If SuSE bundle windows compatability with their distro does it prevent the mechanic playing with the inner workings of the OS ? no he not restricted in any way. Does it help the home user that they can install and run Office without finding out what an .rpm is ? yes
      (o.k it may not be *this* easy but you get the idea)

      The Linux world has some of the most talented programmers working for it - the 'mechanics' of the world are more that catered for, however home users are sadly neglected by both Linux and Windows. The work of Suse, Lycorix, Lindows, Debian is all a step in the right direction as usability and simplicity is the key to Linux succeeding.
    • Re:Umm (Score:4, Informative)

      by Gerein ( 169540 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @10:15AM (#4563824)
      Or am I missing something major entirely?

      I think so. The point is, that SuSE is developing a new version of their distribution aimed at the corporate desktop. Crossover Office is just one special component, that'll differ from their normal distribution. There will be other stuff to make the transition from windows easier and probably no more server installations.

      Second thing you miss is this []. "Now for only $54.95"... CrossOver Office is not free. You can't just "download it seperately" for your normal SuSE distribution.

  • SuSE v.s. Lindows? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thenextpresident ( 559469 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:01AM (#4563372) Homepage Journal
    It should be interesting to see how Lindows handles a vetran like SuSE entering this turf. However, should be good for the end user.

    IMO, SuSE should do well. They have been much more OS than Lindows, and so they don't have to worry about all the bad press.
  • If Crossover is able to run most Win32-mainstream apps by next year (as promised) and SuSE preconfigures and preinstalls it intelligently, the result can be *the* Windows-killer in the corporate space.

    • the result can be *the* Windows-killer in the corporate space.
      Windows won't be killed since, AFAIK, it must be installed for Suse/Crossover to work.
      • Re:Great news! (Score:3, Informative)

        by unapersson ( 38207 )
        No it doesn't need Windows, otherwise there wouldn't be much point. The whole purpose of Wine and its derivatives is that you can run Windows applications without having the OS installed.
      • Re:Great news! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Geert-Jan ( 101165 )
        > Windows won't be killed since, AFAIK, it must be installed for Suse/Crossover to work.

        No, it doesn't. Crossover Office works just fine without a real Windows installation.
    • Re:Great news! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      no it wont... as you are still tied to the damned micorsoft EULAS and how much you want to bet that the next eula down the pipe will say "you are not allowed to run this on any operating system other than one made by microsoft" thus making you instantly a free target for the BSA Blackmail squad.

      The only way out is linux+evolution+Open

      a combination that doesn't tie your companies head to a boulder like microsoft does.
      • Until you do, I have a Win partition capable of running any win32 s/w, and that recent has win32 files saved to it. Try to prove that those files were saved under something other than windows. Oh wait, dont do that until both of our two critical inhouse apps (both VB) run under wine. Running Office 19xx/20xx is all well and good, but INHOUSE apps are where the biggest userbase is at. As soon as I hear that VB6 apps run perfectly under Wine, I start running some sort of linux desktop at work. Until then, I'm shackled to Redmond.
    • At that price per desktop, corporate users might as well go for the 'real' thing. No way to justify it.

      Personally, I dont like Microsoft's applications/OS, but from a business standpoint, there isn't any real advantage to go an *alternative* route, when its at this cost level. ( not even touching on TCO issues here )

      And *many* reasons to stay with MS, in this case.

      True there are other reasons to switch, but you wont get it done this way.
    • Re:Great news! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by esarjeant ( 100503 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:52AM (#4563645) Homepage
      Maybe. Does anyone else remember IBM OS/2? Excellent Windows compatibility was included all the way to OS/2 Warp and yet it didn't turn out to be the Windows killer.

      IMHO, the inclusion of emulation layers is the first sign that your system is somehow incomplete or incapable. For that matter, take a look at the entire NT architecture -- the foundation of the Microsoft system is emulation. It can be an OS/2 machine, Win16 or even -gasp- NT....

      It could be a nice tool for attracting users with applications that currently only run on Win32, but I'm not sure MS Office is the best example of this. The real issues are going to be legacy apps without Linux counterparts (client/server programs that require ODBC/OLEDB, accounting software, POS, etc.), especially those that support an existing database or proprietary firmware devices. If Crossover can successfully support these, then I think it will have done it's job.

      Meanwhile, for those considering a move to Linux they should take a good look at OpenOffice, KOffice, AbiWord and any of the other myriad authoring solutions for UNIX (Emacs, TeX, etc.)
    • Unfortunately, Crossover lets you use Microsoft Office in Linux. That just means that fewer people will buy StarOffice or be interested in downloading OpenOffice. As the result, OpenOffice will be killed.

      I'd much prefer OpenOffice survive and compete with MS Office. Crossover is evil.
  • Reality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by e8johan ( 605347 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:02AM (#4563379) Homepage Journal
    It is sad, but this is probably the best way to get into the desktop business. The ability to run Office is often a requirement when companies aquire OSs.

    It seems that they have realized that the transition has to be smooth "SuSE Linux Office Desktop combines the technology and user-friendliness of SuSE Linux 8.1 with proven tools that facilitate the migration from Windows operating systems and applications".

    And the biggest advantage of this solution is also brought up the the press release: "SuSE Linux Office Desktop seamlessly enables the continued use of existing data".

    The Linux distros must realize (and seems to have realized) that the average desktop user does not care for open source or extra choices. The average user simply wants a productive desktop that is easy to use and works they way they expect it to.
    • It's just like xandros [] that includes the crossover pluging for the xandros 1.0 $99 product.

      If you want a debian clone instead of a suse clone.
    • re:Reality (Score:2, Interesting)

      by EzInKy ( 115248 )
      The Linux distros must realize (and seems to have realized) that the average desktop user does not care for open source or extra choices. The average user simply wants a productive desktop that is easy to use and works they way they expect it to.

      In others words, easy migration. Nothing wrong with people wanting that especially since they have time and money invested in apps and training.

      Once they get used to the idea of not having to pay for a license to use the operating system it won't take too that much more to get them to bulk at constantly shelling out for licenses to use the apps, either.

      If you keep building it...they will keep coming.

  • Open Office (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oliverthered ( 187439 ) <oliverthered@h[ ] ['otm' in gap]> on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:03AM (#4563385) Journal
    I've been using Open Office for at least a Year with no problems, but then again I don't use.

    Visio, Outlook or Access.

    Visio is just painfull, so I suppose it's a good thing that there isn't a Free Visio-a-like.

    Outlook is fairly intergrated and complete, all Linux equivelents I've tried so far fall short.

    Access is handy for small DB needs, it's crap but still quite widley used because it's easy. I have a Free port of Access for Linux underway and expect to have a Open-Office Db driver shortly.

    Anything anyone else would 'miss' from the Office Suite?

    • Anything anyone else would 'miss' from the Office Suite?
      OLE Automation and Macros. Yeah, Open Office is surely a good candidate for replacing Office at home (but most of MS office@home is pirated anyway - so not much income for MS in this segment). But corporations usually have one or two apps that make use of OLE interfaces and macros for office automation.
    • What/where is this beast?
    • by jaaron ( 551839 )
      While it doesn't have some of the features and templates that Visio does, Dia [] is a free (GPL) alternative.
    • Re:Open Office (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fruey ( 563914 )
      Maybe it's just me, but on a 1.3Ghz machine with 128M Ram, Open Office PowerPoint clone "Presentation" thing is painfully slow.

      No way I could use it to do a large presentation, whereas I can use a PII 350MHz with 64M Ram quite happily with PowerPoint.

      Am I missing something?

    • Re:Open Office (Score:3, Insightful)

      Anything anyone else would 'miss' from the Office Suite?

      em dashes.

      To date, every Linux word processor I've tried has looked at an em-dash (the single character that word puts in when you use two dashes--that is, two hyphens--like I'm using them in this sentence) as a letter in a word, and not a punctuation mark.

      If I ever get a word processor working the way I want it in Linux that isn't word on wine, I'll post a journal about it.
  • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:04AM (#4563391) Homepage
    I wonder how Microsoft is going to respond to this one... Earlier today I learned that Microsoft is trying to force users to upgrade their OS with Office 11 []... This is an option they obviously would not like their users to have.
    • "The posting attributed to Microsoft said: "We understand that this decision won't be popular among all of our customers, but it allows us to create a better and more stable product..."

      and new and improved EULA's, too.
    • by Unipuma ( 532655 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @10:02AM (#4563725)
      Could this perhaps be that with Windows 2000 SP3 or Win XP (which are required for Office 11), they can have different API calls that have not been made available in Wine/CrossOver?
      I can imagine that by changing the software to make calls to the newest APIs, there's a smaller chance that these have already been made available to Linux users through Wine/CrossOver, and thus users would find their Office 11 not working on this SuSE version.
  • Great... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Calomnious Awkward ( 459373 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:06AM (#4563403) I can finally run NortonAV on my Linux box too. (or was that 'have too')
  • I hope this can run .vbs scripts!!!

  • by LT4Ryan ( 178006 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:09AM (#4563418) Homepage Journal using Linux. Personally, one of the draws of using Linux was the security standpoint. It wasn't so much that I could shut my brain off, but I was fairly certain I could ease my fears about losing work due to nutty macros, worms, and what-have-you. Sure, I still have to be careful, but I am also able to breeze through the half million security bulletins for these products :)

    It just seems that now Suse and other distros are following this path, this is going to open up a new world of breaches and backdoors that will eventually make it a PITA to use Office on Linux, much like it is on Windows now.

    If its just convieience, then why use Linux in the first place? :)

  • by XTerm89D ( 609102 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:09AM (#4563420)
    Although it's a good thing that comapnies like SuSE are trying to push GNU/Linux to the corporate/Common Joe's desktop, all this 'Integrate non Free software to run more non Free software' does concerns me.

    After all, the one thing that pushes GNU and BSD is the Freedom that comes with it. If we start mangling Free and non Free software too much together people will even further lose understanding the value of Freedom.
    • Is it really dangerous? If common Joe would migrate to GNU/Linux while using non-free software that he is used to it is more likely that he will try some free alternatives (as they are easier to install on a GNU/Linux platform).

      Unfortunately the free Office alternatives cannot compete with Office just yet. Office has huge integration, group working and scripting capabilities still missing from all OSS alternatives. I recently tried Abiword, until I failed to create a table. KWord couldn't (at least easily since I failed) add an extra column to an existing table, etc. I'm not saying that it is wrong to try to compete, but one must realize why Office is so widely spread.
    • Exactly. It seems that the whole concept of Freedom got lost somewhere between "I wan't to run Office" and "I must play XYZ". I don't really see the joy of saying that this is going to be a Windows killer when in fact it just turns a once free OS into a WIndows look-alike in terms of licensing. If this is the future of Linux then it's really no better than Windows.

      What's next? Maybe a kernel driver to emulate WinXP serial key? Step by step the pressure from ppl that don't give a flying fuck about software freedom is turning the Linux desktop into a licensing nightmare. Nothing wrong with it if that's what ppl seem to want, maybe there is room for another closed OS after all, and this new Linux trend seems to be it.

      I understand fully that ppl need to 'get work done'. Once upon a time I would actually understand this kind of stuff, but after seing release after release more closed stuff being shoved into distributions I don't really have the time or the inclination to debate it. Need to get the work done? It involves using MS Office (not a free clone, the real one), IE, etc? USE WINDOWS. Ppl just laugh when I talk about the concept of having to sometimes make do with an inferior or different tool in order to maintain the free software spirit, something that was common and even a established point some years ago.

      Nevermind, just venting out a bit :)


    • If there's enough proprietary software running on the platform, will people like you finally stop misspelling "Linux"?
    • says than MS Office 11 will need Windows Installer 2.0, which only WinXP and Win2k+SP3 have anyone knows if this Installer runs under Wine ?
    • Neither will Slackware 4.0 run Open Office []. Is that so weird?

      If MS is not allowed to depend on new features in a new OS, it would hardly be worthwile to create new features, would it?

    • Mind you, this is actually in many ways a GOOD idea.

      Given that Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP uses the memory model pioneered by Windows NT (e.g., vastly improved memory management and much more graceful recovery from program crashes), anyone running Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP or the upcoming Office 11 should run it under the versions of Windows I just mentioned. Windows 95/98/98SE/ME uses an older memory management model, one that has a bad habit of running out of system resources quickly and doesn't gracefully recover from program crashes.

      Small wonder why Windows 2000 Professional is so heavily used in corporate environments nowadays.

      It will be very interesting to see if the new version of SuSE Linux will support Office 11, including Office 11's XML support. Or better yet, will we see new versions of OpenOffice and StarOffice that generates XML documents that can interoperate with Office 11.
  • by SystematicPsycho ( 456042 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:18AM (#4563463)
    Probably nothing new other than it's a major announcement, and I bet redhat are closely watching this one. Seriously now, isn't this a big kick in the face? What about OpenOffice, AbiWord etc? The only reason I've ever needed WORD is because some moron wrote something and sent it over in a .doc file or .ppt. I think the real answer is for the justice dept to force m$ to open up there document formats.
  • by croftj ( 2359 )
    Being a big fan of SuSE, this is great news. Now all I have to do is convince my boss to fire a co-worker to free up the $129.00 for me to buy a copy and get rid of my 2nd PC!
  • Note that they're scheduling an Enterprise Desktop version for Q1 2003, too, for the larger scale companies. (And already have 2 German commercial organisations on board, with 3K and 1K desktops respectively, to smooth out the rough edges in deploying and supporting on that scale.) Sounds as though this might turn out to be a serious injection of business realities into the task of getting Linux et al established at desktop level.
  • by TheLinuxWarrior ( 240496 ) <aaron.carr@aa r o n c a r> on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:27AM (#4563511)
    Why bother with SuSE for $129, when you can get Xandros [] (which has the same office functionality) for $99.

    And of course Xandros is based on Debian, which I hear has a package management system that is the cats ass.

    • which I hear has a package management system that is the cats ass.

      ... so, does that mean that you like it?
      • I'd love to try it, but I'm not a Debian user. That's why I said "I hear". That seems to be the number one thing that Debian users talk about as being the advantage of using the distro.

        Since I work for a large corporation (100K users), we've chosen a distribution with corporate focus and support plans.

        I did try to install apt-get for rpm on one of my systems, but it failed, and I haven't followed up to see if it has been fixed. It's been a while now, I probably should give it a shot again.

    • Most individual users would put up the extra $30 for an operating system by someone already recognized as an industry leader, rather than Xandros, a newcomer. To me the exra $30 sounds worth it.
  • This sure sounds interesting (despite my reluctancy towards SuSe stuff). Now the real good thing would be if I could use it for more :
    I am a Win/Cubase guy and I would like to know whether this API would allow me to use my souncards drivers, their own utilities, Cubase... etc.
    BTW, could I play DVDs using PowerDVD ?
    My realpoint is : how deep does it "simulates" windows ?
    • As far as playing DVD's... take a look at They have windows, solaris, bsd, linux, and a few other platforms covered. Try it, and if you like what you see in windows it will be the same deal with SuSe.
  • why? (Score:2, Troll)

    by tps12 ( 105590 )
    I guess I'm glad that something like this is available (rather than it not being available), but I have to wonder what the point of it is. The Open Source development model results in software that is provably superior to proprietary solutions (see Edgar Raymond's excellent essay, The Cathedral and the Bizarre [] for more info). This is why KOffice and GNOME Office are so great, despite their small development teams and short development cycles. So why would anyone even want to run M$ Office on a Linux workstation? No thanks, I'll stick to what works: AbiWord, Gnumeric, and Tux Racer!!
  • Seems the new Office 11 will only run on XP and W2K SP3.

    Get the scoop from ZeeDee Net....

    I mean, it was just a matter of time....

    • I don't care.

      I'm still using Office 2k, and it does everything I want it to. I see no point in upgrading because I don't use all of the features of 2k, let alone the bloat that comes with Office XP.

      Of course, this argument only works as long as they support the older file formats in newer versions. I don't dare speculate how long that will last bearing in mind the above nastiness . . .
  • 'Open' Wine? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:33AM (#4563543) Homepage Journal
    Are codeweavers still going to fold back in their work for getting this to work into the orginal wine code?

    Or have they changed their minds and decided to keep all this cool stuff to themselves, much as others have been doing lately..

    MSOffice ablity isnt worth that sort of cost to me personally ( startoffice/Koffice does fine for what i need ), but if its folded back into the open code, then its worthwhile.
    • Re:'Open' Wine? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by BoBG ( 9969 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @10:11AM (#4563783) Homepage
      Codeweavers is/has already (and presumably will continue to) live up to this promise. Their enhancements to WINE have been submitted (and accepted) into the main WINE tree.

      I have sat down and beaten the freely available WINE into running Office, and IE, and Quicktime. I had the benefit of an installed crossover plugin/office to compare config files, etc and it still took me a couple of hours. What you get for your money is a pretty installer and all of the time you would otherwise spend config'ing to do other things. Well worth it to me. IMNSHO, Codeweavers is a company well deserving of my money and support.
  • With the functionality and appearance of the mail client Evolution, users will not miss Microsoft Outlook.

    With all the available office like components for Linux the only in my opinion that Linux is missing is a good email client and it looks like they will just let you use Evolution instead of trying to have Outlook work on Linux. Quite a shame, I could go without any of the others but I need Outlook.
  • Pffft (Score:4, Funny)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:37AM (#4563558) Journal
    Just keep piling on that proprietary code into the core of your distro. We all know thats the key to making the linux desktop successful. Just keep adding more and more proprietary code until you've created another windows.

    Hell the GPL just exists so that companies can pay lip service anyway. Right? I mean that's the trend now. Make your distro mostly GPL and then tack on some proprietary stuff?

    Everyones doing it, so it MUST be the right thing to do.

    I can't wait until every linux distro is in some small way proprietary! Won't that be great! After all it IS how linux made its name.
    • The thing is that Suse, Xandros et al don't get is fighting MS with proprietary code is a loser. I mean if one thing has been proven its that no company's proprietary code can stand up to MS. Its too easy for MS to crush them.

      Open Source is Kryptonite to Microsoft. Its the ONE and ONLY thing they can't destroy by regular means. They can't buy it out, and they can't embrace and extend it. That is my point, and that is the only way to win against them. Tacking some code on your distro which allows people to run MS apps just plays into their hands. It certainly doesn't lead to freedom from MS, it just reenforces their monopoly on another platform. When will companies learn this?
  • Competition Brewing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by orcaaa ( 573643 )
    There are so many companies focussing on the desktop these days. Redhat, Mandrake(it always did :)), Xandros, Lycoris, Lindows and now SUSE. This makes for a very interesting year coming up to see which one, if any, gains supremacy in the Desktop arena.
    BTW, Whats next, Slackware and Gentoo based desktop solutions ;) ?
  • by jonathanjg ( 547268 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:41AM (#4563580)
    I'm just your average slashdot reader, and I am getting confused myself about which product does what. I don't think your average joe at company X stands a chance of deciding upon which linux/office/ combination to go for, especially since we will see this market expanding even further. Also, am I the first one to see this, but what price advantage is $139 compared to a an XP licence in the business world? (After all you don't get fired for buying M$). There just needs to be something more to make a company go for the KILLER LINUX DESKTOP and this is MARKET DIFFERENTIATION
  • Office 11 EULA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by earthforce_1 ( 454968 ) <earthforce_1@[ ] ['yah' in gap]> on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:43AM (#4563588) Journal
    So what is to stop microsoft from slipping something into the EULA prohibiting Office 11 from being used on a "potentially viral" GPLed OS?
  • by alistair ( 31390 ) <> on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:44AM (#4563592)
    If running Microsoft Office on Linux is such a requirement, why is there no effort to run Mac OS X applications on Linux?

    Microsoft Office X is far nicer then office 2000/XP and can read all these file formats. Microsoft make good money out of this port so aren't going to stop producing it any time soon. Because Microsoft don't own the underlying OS they are restricted in the number of changes they can make to Office X to break emulator compatability, unlike with WINE.

    Yet OS X is based on Free BSD, so a binary compatability layer should be far easier than emulating Microsoft Windows. I realise this wouldn't give us Visio and possibly not Access, but I would take this option up long before running a heavyweight WINE install on my box, plus we would get the nice Mac plugins which ae generally every bit as good as their Windows versions.
    • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @10:16AM (#4563835)
      Because x86 Linux is more widespread and important than PowerPC-linux.

      WINE is not an emulator, it's just an implentation of the WIN32-api. Running Office X would also require emulating a totally different processor architecture.

      Running OSX-apps on PowerPC-Linux might be possible if someone implement all the APIs necessary (perhaps GNUStep might work in the future to run cocoa-apps).

      There are however LOADS more developers for Linux/BSD on x86 than on PowerPC.
    • If you are running LinuxPPC, you could check out MacOnLinux [].

      Writing the equivalent of WINE for OS X would be a very very large undertaking.
    • Office X is written in Carbon [], which is a compatability layer to allow Mac OS applications to work seamlessly with Mac OS X with minimal code tweaking. Sadly, Carbon applications cannot easily be ported to other platforms. According to this [] article, Microsoft's MacBU unit chose Carbon because it allowed them to port their code to Mac OS X in a year.

      Even if Carbon allowed for easy cross-platform compatibility, it would be at the source code level and not the binary level. The best hope we would have to run Office X on Linux would be to couple Mac-on-Linux [] with a fast PPC system emulator for x86. Unfortunately the latter does not exist (to my knowledge).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    of all the effort that is going into porting Windows programs to run under Linux. The entire idea of the open source/free software movement is to free yourself from proprietary software reliance. I moved to Linux in '98 to avoid using closed-source, stifling software that really gave me no real choices and freedom. It is time that the Linux advocates put their money where their mouth is. If you are an open source developer, you should write for the open source movement, not assist Bill Gates with embrace ans extend. Microsoft talks the talk when it comes to hating Linux and open source in general, but if you pay for Office and other programs, then you are doing nothing to help the open source movement. Face it, people... you DO NOT NEED ANY Microsoft programs anymore. Unless you are a hard core gamer, you don't even need Windows. One of the things that keeps open source from really taking off in the general population is the continued reliance of Windows-based software. Linux could dominate the dekstop in 5 years if people would develop alternative and quit the BS of interop programming. Linux is supposed to be an alternative to M$, not a partner, willing or unwilling. It's time we got off the M$ horse and walked on our own.
    • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @10:10AM (#4563775) Homepage
      Face it, people... you DO NOT NEED ANY Microsoft programs anymore. Unless you are a hard core gamer, you don't even need Windows.

      OK then...just find me full-featured replacements for:

      • Quicken (UK)
      • Cubase Audio
      • Premier
      • Acrobat (full thing, not the reader)
      • Exchange Server (calendaring, LDAP/IMAP does rest)
      and I'll agree. Got any? The Ksomethingorother Quicken-a-like isn't there yet, neither is GnuCash. Cubase Audio? Hmm. Premier? Nope. Acrobat? Not that I'm aware of, though I imagine this has the best chance of having an equivalent. Exchange Server? Nope, that's why the Kroupware project exists.

      Nope, sorry. I play zero PC-based games, and I still need Windows. Not even a Mac will do - still no UK version of Quicken (my constant cry...).


  • by occamboy ( 583175 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @09:52AM (#4563644)
    OK, so here's the selling proposition:

    For $129 I can get an OS that runs Office (but doesn't include it, as far as I can see) and which possibly runs other Windows apps, and which definitely runs Linux apps.

    Or, for much less than $129 I can get an OS (Windows XP), that absolutely runs MS Office and which definitely runs vrtually all other Windows apps.

    Linux is useful and fun for us nerds, but is a bit of a sell to non-nerds, and I don't see the above selling proposition as favoring SUSE for desktop applications -- Linux has no inherent appeal to non-nerds.

    If one really wants or needs to run MS Office, XP makes sense. If one wants Linux on the desktop, I'd go with Redhat 8.0 (with its out-of-the-box non-sucking fonts, except in Mozilla) along with Open Office (excellent free replacement for MS Office) and other software that is designed for Linux use.
  • by nagora ( 177841 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @10:09AM (#4563764)
    Get yourself a copy of RH/Mandrake/whatever and send the 129 bucks to Why rely on software with no source code? It doesn't make any sense.


  • I went out and spent the money and all the office apps work execpt for project... which is a problem for me... I need project. My boss uses project and its part of my job requirement that all my activities are connected to project. Now if there was some application that could RW project files I'd be very happy and could sever my windows ties...
  • by FearUncertaintyDoubt ( 578295 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @10:14AM (#4563817)
    ...I have a lot of Word documents with macro viruses. Will these run properly on SuSe?
  • by jbrownc1 ( 589652 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @10:18AM (#4563856)
    There's a non-Wndows OS that has been allowing you to run Office for some time now. It's called OS X.
  • by GweeDo ( 127172 ) on Wednesday October 30, 2002 @12:04PM (#4564783) Homepage
    Why are these linux distrobutions doing this? It seems every day we hear about another linux distro including some form of Wine to allow people to keep using license encumbered bad software (mostly MS Office). I am thankful that Redhat has not done this (I run Redhat 8.0) but has instead chosen to include a great office suite that I have had no problem importing and exporting (rather complicated stuff even) from Office97-XP formats. Please, all of you that happen to head up some linux distro....DON'T DO THIS!!! Support the better open standard!

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry