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Novell to port Evolution to Windows 346

Gladiat0r writes "Nat Friedman blogged on Planet Gnome today that Novell has hired Tor Lillqvist (of Gimp for Windows fame) to help Fredrik Hedberg port Beagle to Windows, and after that his main task is to port Evolution to Windows."
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Novell to port Evolution to Windows

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  • Damn (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:37PM (#11389554)
    there sure are a lot of open source hippies getting jobs today.
    • by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @07:29PM (#11390081) Journal
      "modern day commie".
      Hippies has feeling too you know!
    • Re:Damn (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Evolution is the Linux desktop killer app. It really is. I know this is slashdot, and here anything "K" is King, but KMail is a bad joke when you try to use it beyond simple POP3 collection SMTP sending. Evolution becomes ever more impressive with each release -- and the 2.0 series is a beauty.

      Windows users would be extremely lucky to get Evolution... and I'll bet that many of them would find it one more reason not to stay with the expensive, buggy, security nightmare of Windows and Outlook.

  • by Slartibartfast ( 3395 ) * <> on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:37PM (#11389558) Homepage Journal
    Finally, a real client will be available for OSS calendaring. Granted, Sunbird is giving it a go, but I think that this will be warm and fuzzy for corporate users. This is a Good Thing!
  • How nice... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by forceflow2 ( 843966 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:38PM (#11389561)
    Sure, take all the nice Linux applications over to Windows...don't worry about porting the nice Windows apps over to Linux though. Nope, we're fine...We'll just run them at half speed with WINE or something...
    • Re:How nice... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      what Novell apps for Windows do you want to run?
    • by vettemph ( 540399 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:42PM (#11389618)
      Stop Wining.
    • Re:How nice... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cduffy ( 652 ) <> on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:48PM (#11389674)
      As a Linux user, I don't find that I particularly need any applications I don't have. (And WINE, not being an emulator, doesn't run at "half speed" -- there are documented cases where it's faster than Windows itself).

      When I'm on Windows, though, I do miss Evolution. This is a useful move.
      • As a Linux user, I don't find that I particularly need any applications I don't have.

        Games, games, games. No, I don't play a lot of them either, but that's the number one gripe from people.

        Fwiw I've only used Win2K twice in the past year and it's because I was on other people's machines in their houses. I don't miss any Win-whatever applications either, but then I wouldn't because I don't know what's in use these days.

        • Re:How nice... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gad_zuki! ( 70830 )
          > No, I don't play a lot of them either, but that's the number one gripe from people.

          And its not a serious gripe. A wintel PC can be had pretty cheaply. Upgrade the video card and off you go. Or buy a console.

          Game developers are not going to take any other OS seriously. The returns on porting over to OSX or linux are poor. Get used to it. Adapt or find better things to with your free time.
      • Re:How nice... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fred_A ( 10934 )

        As a Linux user, I don't find that I particularly need any applications I don't have.

        Well, as a home user, apart from the current games, nothing much is needed.

        For corporate users however, there are lots of things missing, like Lotus groupware clients, accounting packages, decent OCR, industry standard CAD (just a few out of the top of my head, there are lots of specific applications that just don't exist).
        It's probable that Wine can help run quite a few of those things. However you probably forfeit su

    • Re:How nice... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellocat ( 605820 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:48PM (#11389682)
      Sure, take all the nice Linux applications over to Windows...don't worry about porting the nice Windows apps over to Linux though. Nope, we're fine...We'll just run them at half speed with WINE or something...

      Actually, this is how you get Windows apps to run on Linux.

      1. Port leading OSS stuff over to Windows. If it's quality, you will likely have some adoption.

      2. After enough people are using Evolution or another opensource app, some systems will likely be converted to Linux. Maybe in some pockets here and there, maybe more later.

      Example: "Well boss, this business unit(s) only use web, office, and email. We are already using the Windows ports of these core apps, we should look into Linux during our next hardware/OS upgrade. We can run the same apps on a better OS"

      3. With enough people/businesses running Linux, Windows applications will not be able to ignore the value in porting their app to Linux.

      Example: "Well Mr. Vendor, we really like your app, but it needs to run on Linux too at our company. I can buy if you can run on both."

      So, what does the market share need to be 5%, 10%...I don't know. But this is how you get in.
      • Re:How nice... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) * on Monday January 17, 2005 @08:43PM (#11390721)
        By porting all these commonly used OSS apps to Windows, it helps commoditize the OS itself. This is however a double edged sword. It makes migration to Linux from Windows easier, but also reduces the incentives (excellent Linux-only software) to make the move.

        Which of these will win out remains to be seen. One of the problems with Linux is that as there is no monolithic entity strategizing about this stuff on a macro level, just a bunch of individual entities following their own locally optimal development plans, you may not end up with a globally optimal strategy for OSS adoption or for the community as a whole.
      • actually, at step 3), the PHB who agreed to LINUX in step 2) reverts back to MS.

        You've proposed a chicken-and-egg solution:
        - Once no windows apps are necessary, people will switch to LINUX.
        - Once they switch to LINUX, the necessary Windows apps will be ported.
    • Re:How nice... (Score:5, Informative)

      by kenneth_martens ( 320269 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:55PM (#11389762)
      Sure, take all the nice Linux applications over to Windows...don't worry about porting the nice Windows apps over to Linux though. Nope, we're fine...We'll just run them at half speed with WINE or something...
      Don't complain--be happy. If enough high-quality cross-platform applications are available on Windows, eventually people will wise up. They'll think: "Hey, I'm using Evolution for email, Firefox for web browsing, Gaim for instant messaging, and OpenOffice for all my documents. I could switch from Windows to Linux and never know the difference."

      And if that person is a responsible for an IT department that is currently negotiating to buy a site license for the latest version of Windows, well, suddenly Linux will look mighty attractive. A budget goes a lot further when you're not paying for Windows.
      • Re:How nice... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slux ( 632202 )
        This might actually work out in the business side of things where cost matters more, but probably won't at home. Windows comes as an OEM deal for home users so no-one really thinks they've paid for it (and a significant amount just copy it illegally). If it has all the same apps plus all Windows-exclusive ones, I don't think anyone (except geeks) are going to feel any need to switch. It's all about the application library.

        We only need to look at OS X and all the praise it's getting from some of the former

    • Re:How nice... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Coryoth ( 254751 )
      What Windows apps would Novell be porting over to Linux exactly? You want all the other companies that develop for Windows to port their stuff to Linux... which isn't going to happen unless Linux gets a little more desktop marketshare. Evolution on Windows is another step in providing an easy migration path. It makes groupware available as something that can be slowly migrated over.

      I am presuming that your complaint would be that if they already have Evolution on Windows why would they switch to Linux?
    • Sure, take all the nice Linux applications over to Windows...don't worry about porting the nice Windows apps over to Linux though. Nope, we're fine...We'll just run them at half speed with WINE or something...

      Anything that helps break MS's stranglehold, even on windows, is a good thing; not having to use Outlook, to get outlook-like functionality (but better, more reliable, etc.), is nothing but a good thing. No nasty sarcasm required.

    • Re:How nice... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jarich ( 733129 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @07:32PM (#11390111) Homepage Journal
      Sure, take all the nice Linux applications over to Windows

      A lot of linux advocates seem to think that keeping the "good" apps only on linux will win over converts. One day everyone is going to wake up and say "Hey! I gotta have (insert your favorite app here)!"

      Guess what? It didn't happen in the last 10 years... it's not going to happen this year either.

      Port your apps to win32 and when migrating to linux no longer looks like a steep learning curve (because the same apps live everywhere), then Joe Office Manager will look at linux seriously.

  • by flossie ( 135232 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:38PM (#11389564) Homepage
    If this encourages companies to move away from Microsoft's office organiser software, it could make it easier for them to migrate to Linux. Interesting.
    • If you can get everybody interested in a suite of applications and API's that will work on something other than Windows, then it frees them to switch.

      The problem you have right now is that companies will balk at the notion of going to Linux on the desktop because they don't have Outlook and Office. If you can convince them of the value of alternatives on Windows, it opens the door to move them to Linux down the road.
    • Replacements

      Word... check
      Excel... a few complaints
      Powerpoint... check
      Access... isn't somebody working on it?
      Outlook... doubly forthcoming

      What hurdles to Microsoft lock-in am I excluding here (on the client side only---I think we are OK on servers)? Integration?
      • MS Access, in a word, sucks. Anything that Access can do can be done better for free with MySQL, PostgreSQL, or any other free DB system. Plus, unlike Access, you'll get referential integrity. If you don't know why that matters... well you probably deserve what you'll get from using Access.
        • I know it sucks.

          People still use it.
        • Better? Yes. Easier? Not by a long shot.

          You'd be amazed what some monkeys wearing ties can (and will) do with Access. And how many people will be willing to run part of their business on such an app.

        • by EnronHaliburton2004 ( 815366 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @07:09PM (#11389890) Homepage Journal
          Anything that Access can do can be done better for free with MySQL

          Access the database may suck, but Access the GUI client is pretty nice. Sometimes people don't care about referential integrity, they just want an easy to use tool for organizing data, but want something better then a spreadsheet.

          The GUI clients for MySQL are lacking ... I'm still confused what cheap/free GUI clients are available for MySQL since abandonded their MySQLGUI project.

          When you're creating relations between tables, a graphical table editor and a GUI that lays everything out for you is pretty nice and takes away alot of the eliteness of the DB world. I can get a moderately experienced office worker setup with Access very quickly, but using MySQL requires more experience.

          • by Paul d'Aoust ( 679461 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @07:37PM (#11390153)

            DBDesigner4 [] is an open-source database designer for MySQL. It's not really a replacement for Access, as it doesn't have a form designer for non-techies to enter records. But for all the fancy stuff like designing databases and forming queries, it's beautiful. My one beef is that it depends on Kylix, and as such I still can't compile it in Ubuntu. Worked great in Gentoo though.

      • Plus endless vertical market apps which do one or two weird things, so won't yet run under WINE.
      • What hurdles to Microsoft lock-in am I excluding here (on the client side only---I think we are OK on servers)? Integration?

        Industry specific software. In banking, there is software for generating the mountains of deposit account and loan documentation required for new accounts - and that software is tied (fairly closely) to Windows.

      • I meant to ask about first-party Microsoft products. I could list a ton of Windows-only client-side programs from third parties.
    • Big If (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fm6 ( 162816 )
      That's a big if. I don't think "it doesn't run on Windows" is that big a factor in choosing software. It's rather the other way around -- everybody has a huge lockin on Microsoft products, and they buy Windows because most Microsoft products are Windows products.

      We've had pretty good alternatives to Word and Excel available on Windows for years. But the retraining and file compatibility issues prevent most people from going over.

      Now if people suddenly start abandoning Word, Excel, Outlook, and Internet

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:38PM (#11389567)
    I hear Kentucky has already started the port of Creationism to Windows. Lets hope the right team delivers first.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:52PM (#11389727)
      I hear Kentucky has already started the port of Creationism to Windows. Lets hope the right team delivers first.

      I wish MS would stop putting those "Linux is Just a Theory" stickers on school computers!

      • I wish MS would stop putting those "Linux is Just a Theory" stickers on school computers!

        Oh, so that's what the little hologram says. They should've made it bigger so we can read it. Or is this a subliminal thing?

        Actually, if you read the judge's ruling in that case, they'd have to prove that they weren't putting the stickers on primarily for marketing purposes if they wanted to continue applying them.

        I've always thought the holo stickers were a bit of a two-edged sword; after all, if it was "designed f

    • ..."the left team"? (-:

      Anyway, computers didn't evolve, they were progressively created. Hugh Ross [] must be fairly happy about that.
    • Funny you mention Kentucky. The state government of Kentucky has one of the largest user bases of Outlook/Exchange in the world. If you could get THEM to use Evolution on Windows instead of Outlook, that would truly be inspirational.
    • by xigxag ( 167441 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @07:25PM (#11390042)
      Yeah, it just had to be called "Evolution." Proving once again that those open-source bastards are commie godless heathens bent on destroying the American Way of Life. Might as well have just gone and called it "Al Q'alendar."
  • what is evolution? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hazem ( 472289 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:38PM (#11389570) Journal
    This write-up is pretty short. Maybe a sentence about Evolution would be nice.. or at least a link to a webpage about it.
  • by Lindsay Lohan ( 847467 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:40PM (#11389585) Homepage Journal
    Novell has hired Tor Lillqvist... to port Beagle to Windows, and after that.. to port Evolution to Windows
    I found Novell's Evolution Product page [] interesting for this line:
    Supported mail protocols include IMAP, POP, SMTP and Authenticated SMTP, as well as Microsoft Exchange 2000 and 2003.
    Novell GroupWise support is currently in beta
    That suprised me. You'd think before they ported Evolution to Windows they would have finalized integration with their own groupware suite.
    • You'd think before they ported Evolution to Windows they would have finalized integration with their own groupware suite.

      Or, heaven forbid, they can work on two projects at the same time. Imagine the possibilities!

      Look, a big group like Novell (or even the Novell division formally known as Ximian) is more then capable of working on two aspects of the same project at the same time. They don't need to be 100% done with Project A before starting the planning for Project B.

      The GroupWise aspect is most focus
    • I'm pretty sure Novell has more than one programmer. I could see hiring a Windows person to port the UI while still having someone else work on the backend.
    • The beta part is having Evolution connect to a Groupwise server, which is rather unlike servers that Evolution was originally intended to connect to. If you are running Linux and want to connect to a Groupwise server you can use Groupwise client for Linux. Groupwise server supports the Outlook client so what it appears they may be actually doing is making a transition of the groupware client from Groupwise while retaining the server component, cross-platform. It would be a lovely thing indeed. Novell
  • by Anonymous Commando ( 6326 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:40PM (#11389586)
    Seeing as how the submitter neglected to link to the actual announcement, here it is: []
  • Tor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Coneasfast ( 690509 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:40PM (#11389589)
    Tor did a lot of work on porting gtk and gimp to windows and because of that, today gimp works as good or at least almost as good as it does in unix, and is a great competitor to photoshop.

    Seems that his work payed off for him. Congrats Tor, and keep up the good work.
    • From having used The GIMP on Windows, I guess we can say goodbye to the beautiful interface of Evolution then?
    • It works great but it looks awful. GTK on windows just doesn't feel right. The dialogs are awkward (especially the open & save dialogs are extremely ugly), everything looks different and it doesn't even try to blend in.

      But the Gimp is a great app and once you rearrange the toolbars into one window it almost looks usable. I've spend some time with it lately and it's a good photoshop replacement unless you know what you are doing when using photoshop (surprisingly few people do). Photoshop is just more p
    • by nuxx ( 10153 )
      Yeah, Gimp does a great job working with the color profiles that my monitors and printer are set to.

      Oh. Wait.
  • by yetdog ( 760930 )
    ..would be a point that very well could begin to erode MS's stronghold. Sure, it will keep you using Exchange for the short term. But some kind of migration tool to turn all those mbx's into openexchange or another OSS backend could make the transition on the desktop seamless.
  • This is great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA ( 619114 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:40PM (#11389594) Homepage Journal
    There goes the last hurdle in your IT budget for Windows boxes. Now there's no reason to buy Office! I'll gladly pay say..a $100 for a nice port of Evolution per box. Save me all sorts of money.
    • How would that be saving you money? A client license for Outlook runs you less than $100. I believe that you would also have to pay for the Client Access License for Exchange no matter what email client you are using to connect to the server.
      Now, if the copy of Evolution ran you only $20, and actually included all the features you need... then we'd be talking.
      • But if you already have the CAL for Exchange and you generally end up buying Office anyway because of those over you... well you get my point. Maybe a $100 was high but I'd still pay to be rid of Outlook. Also, don't forget the newer versions of Outlook try to default to Word as the editor for emails.
        • Using word as the default is horribly annoying. I install O2k3 using a custom Transform file. When a user open Outlook for the first time, their profile is created automatically using their NT logon name as their email address. This setting (word as default) is also turned off by with the transform.
          I agree completely, I'd love to get my office off of Office, but there's just about a 0% chance that that is going to happen.
      • Re:This is great (Score:3, Informative)

        by Synn ( 6288 )
        Evolution is free. It uses OWA to connect to the exchange server so whatever licensing you need for that still applies though.
  • by Lispy ( 136512 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:40PM (#11389596) Homepage
    I mean let's bring all the greatest OS-programs to the Windows platform. Just what Microsoft needs to strengthen it's monopoly: even more great applications on Windows. Of course many people will get in touch with Firefox and now Evo but they won't make the switch to a free platform. But still, I'd love to get my desktop users off of Outlook and this might be a real alternative for them.

    I am just not sure if OpenSource should battle Microsoft on their own ground. They can change the rules anytime they like. And they have done so before...
    • by yetdog ( 760930 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:42PM (#11389612)
      I think it's all about weaning off of MS. Let's face it - a cold turkey jump to OSS is damn difficult for any company. But if you start working in OSS projects into the current platform, when you start migrating the users, the transition will be that less invasive.
      • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:50PM (#11389705)
        I thought it was about providing good software. If the only reason to use Linux and GPL software is to 'stick it to the man,' I'm going to use something else.
      • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Monday January 17, 2005 @07:27PM (#11390064) Homepage Journal
        Exactly. I'm the only person in my office using a non-Windows (rah!-rah! Debian!) desktop system. A few days ago my boss was walking past my office and I called him in to show him the 17" LCD monitor he just bought for me and to thank him for it, when I realized that he'd never actually seen a graphical Linux system before. He agreed that KDE looked pretty nice, but said (with a smirk) that "we're still not going to use it."

        That's OK. Just as long as everyone keeps using and enjoying OpenOffice, and using Psi to connect to our new Jabber server, and Firefox to use our web applications (FreeBSD/PostgreSQL/Zope), and now Evolution to read the email that gets filtered by our happy little Postfix server before it can choke the Exchange server to death, I'll smile and nod in agreement.

        The truth of the matter is that except for one or two in-house apps, everything our employees use is either a port from Unix or interacting with a Unix server. We're really not that far from being able to drop Windows altogether, and Evolution will close the largest part of that gap.

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:48PM (#11389676) Journal
      I mean let's bring all the greatest OS-programs to the Windows platform.

      You say that like its a bad thing but put it this way:

      Your company runs OO.o, Evolution, and Firefox on Windows. You're asked to cut costs, so you point out that you can deploy the exact same thing on Linux. Minimal retraining will be required (quite possibly in the form of "If you can't figure it out, you're fired!") You get a pat on the back, and the CEO gets himself a nice fat bonus check. Problem solved!
      • Yeah, I know what you're saying. Actually we are having this discussion over here right now. And if it wasn't for the excellent performance of OpenOffice and Firefox (and Thunderbird on some clients) they wouldn't even consider to move our shops to Linux. All they need over there is a Webbrowser and an E-Mail client (a luxury more than a requirement) anyway.
        Let's just hope that it plays out like this:

        1. The delay of longhorn causes many to use a more secure browser wich causes them to try other free softwa
    • I wrote up something on this the last time the conversation came up. It applies just as well to Evolution as it does to Open Office.

      The goal is to factor out the operating system [].

      Nothing more, nothing less. After that, the goal is to factor out the document creation device (OpenOffice / AbiWord / KWord v. MS Word). Basically: "It doesn't matter what software you use, but the results that you produce".

    • Just what Microsoft needs to strengthen it's monopoly: even more great applications on Windows

      Evolution provides Exchange Server connectivity. If Evolution becomes the mail client of choice in an organization, that's one less reason for Windows on the desktop in that organization (though, ironically, the backoffice Windows becomes more entrenched.)

  • Does Beagle support an open extension API for third-party developers to add extension support to it?

    I've found this being something missing in Google, Copernic, X1, and Yahoo! Search which is a variant of X1. Basically all of them, except... (you'll never see this coming) Microsoft's new desktop search engine. :-S OK, not sure how open it is, haven't looked into it, however it's an extension API documented here [].

    Please let Beagle get something like that if it hasn't already, so we don't have to rely on the
  • This will really help getting Outlook out of the workplace.
    Do you have any idea how many companies can not replace windows because they depend on Outlook?
    Another great step on the way to migration.
    • if the companies were trying to get rid of windows, they could have just installed evolution on their brand new shiney linux boxes, rather than wair for evolution to become available on the platform they currentl use, and then move to linux
      • Re:great news (Score:3, Informative)

        by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
        Odds are pretty good that migration is an on going process. It is very hard to move "everything" at once to a new platform. One of the reasons that Windows did so well was that it ran dos apps.
        A company that is thinking of moving will want to do it a step at a time.
        I know my company is trying to do it now. Oh how people complained when we made them dump outlook for Thunderbird. Not to mention how some complained about using OpenOffice because it did not work EXACTLY like word.
  • by biwillia ( 35276 ) * on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:42PM (#11389615)
    This is great news for GTK+ on Win32, which has always suffered speed and look-and-feel problems on the win32 platform. When a big application like Evolution gets ported from one platform to another, the base libraries such as libgtk, pango, and the like can only benefit. I look forward to the speed improvements and bug fixes in the win32 versions of gtk. This should really bolster the cross-platform nature of gtk.

  • Thunderbird/SunBird (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'd rather see the development of Thunderbird/Sunbird than Evolution.

    TB/SB is already cross platform and has a better framework than Evolution.
    • Sunbird is a personal calendar. It doesn't support or have goals of being an Outlook Calendar replacement.

      For one thing sunbird's events are events they aren't tied to users, etc.

      It works great for a single person or a small group of people (i use it!) but it would never work well in a situation where events need to be tied to a user.
  • by ( 653730 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:44PM (#11389645)
    One of the strongest reasons Microsoft is putting in the table when comparing Office vs Open source alternatives is the availability of Outlook. We've Openoffice, we've firefox, we've thunderbird, but we didn't have a Outlook alternative.

    That was certainly stopping many people from switching to Openoffice. With Evolution ported to windows, it's no longer the case, and having the exchange connector even more. Nice news.
    • i just wish they hadn't completly fucked up evolution in their 2.0 rewrite :\

      8 bit support is WORSE than 1.4
      sorting doesn't work properly (did in 1.4)
      interface is uglier (not that 1.4 was pretty)
      it's SLOW (loading the calender is 30-45 seconds, and it's VERY slim with 5-6 events scheduled in the month)
      exporting calendars/tasks lists doesn't work properly (no support at all in 1.4 afaik)

      the only good thing about it is the IMAP that actually work like it should now.

      maybe they should fix those issues before
  • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:45PM (#11389655) Homepage Journal
    • Firefox instead of Internet Explorer.
    • instead of Office
    • Evolution instead of Outlook
    When Windows users can easily move w/o doing any "scary" OS change and try out open source applications "risk free", they'll be more likely to try.

    The last, most significant jump will be made smaller and easier, after new users become comfortable with that suite of applications.

    Namely, Linux instead of Windows.

    Which is down where an OS should be; a standard commodity, interchangeable, free, stable and not full of Innovations® like HTML renderers, special codec media players.

  • by adolfojp ( 730818 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:46PM (#11389665)
    If people use Windows apps at work, and can't use them back at home on their Linux boxes, they will just stick with Windows.

    If people can use the same apps at work and at home on Windows and on Linux, full migration can be done.

  • Why this is exciting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by acg6764 ( 603692 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:47PM (#11389671)
    I'm excited because till this day I've not had an alternative to Microsoft Outlook at work. I'm hoping this move will provide me with another choice. Thunderbird is not viable for a lot of corporate users because of :
    • Exchange Server Integration
    • Calendar Integration
    • Bluetooth Integration
    I, for one, will be anxiously awaiting a release. []
  • Maybe they could free up some moolah to pay someone to take up the Aqua port of OpenOffice, since they're being so generous of late. *sigh*
  • The more apps that move from Linux to windows, the better! Since most people only want computers for its software (and doesn't know what an OS is), the more people that get hooked on OSS apps the better it is for OSS!

    This will also help Linux as well. As soon as more Windows people start using OSS on windows (such as firefox, evolution, beagle, and open office) instead of Microsoft products (IE, Outlook, .NET stuff, MS Office) the easier it is for them to move onto a new OSS OS! Once they are used to the ap

  • by Maxim Kovalenko ( 764126 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @06:58PM (#11389793) Homepage
    (Your probably gonna mod this as flamebait for me saying this) Make no mistake about it, cross platform applications are good for the open source movement. They spread awareness of how good Open Source can be, and give people a viable free (as in beer, as in choice) alternative. However, people crying about how certain applications should only stay on "certain" operating systems are hypocrites. This is supposed to be about freedom of choice, right? This isn't supposed to be about the freedom to only work on a "particular, politically correct, operating system."
  • by Magickcat ( 768797 ) * on Monday January 17, 2005 @07:14PM (#11389939)
    and after that his main task is to port Evolution to Windows."

    An obscure company called "Microsoft" have already beaten him to it.
  • by Txiasaeia ( 581598 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @07:33PM (#11390120)
    ...what the heck Evolution is, you can find more info on it here [], but it's basically an email/address book/calendar program, a la Outlook, for Gnome. A link in the article itself might have helped, especially since Novell seems to be targetting Windows users like me, who also (coincidentally?) haven't heard of the program.
  • by plumpy ( 277 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @08:01PM (#11390372) Homepage
    At least one Evolution developer has said he would quit [] if Evolution was ported to Windows.

    He's now in a the tough spot of deciding whether to eat his words or actually quit.
  • by syntap ( 242090 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @08:43PM (#11390715)
    Everybody keeps saying "great, now all my users can move off Outlook". One reason why I personally haven't moved my entire desktop over to Linux is that I can't easily and reliably move all my years' worth of Outlook email, calendar, task, and notes data into Evolution.

    So a port of the app is nice, but we also need de-mensa'd data migration tools.
  • This is great news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by betelgeuse68 ( 230611 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @09:20PM (#11390992)
    MS' Office suite has a stranglehold in corporate offices but while many people are used to Outlook, using a different email client is not out of the question. It's often Excel and PowerPoint and Word documents floating around that causes business people to have little choice (because like 95+% of their peers use it - inside/outside the company).

    Email on the other hand is a different story. I was very impressed with Evolution on LINUX. Having a Windows port would at least pry one finger on Microsoft's stranglehold in corporate offices... maybe.

    I know the /. crowd is very anti-MS but the reality is, most business people really don't care about this stuff. As long as it gets the job done they're cool. Business people who might raise an eyebrow are CIOs who want to cut costs but MS could easily give away Outlook and see the situation as a "we got take it in the gut to keep Word, Excel and PowerPoint entrenched." Do not be surprised if MS were to take such a stance.

    If they did, the motivation for CIOs to use Evolution disappears.

    There's also the security argument but many larger companies have wised up and your Joe Average User runs in a limited account to stop their desktop from becoming a festering pool of viruses.

    The /. crowd may also laugh at "retraining costs" argument (since invariably companies do consider this) since we're talking "email" here. However, given the amazing inflexibility I've witnessed with the average person during my lifetime (even among the tech ranks), there's some teeth to this argument.

    Home users often fall in a few buckets:

    1) Web based mail
    2) AOL mail
    3) Still blissfully ignorant and using Outlook Express
    4) Have a geek friend who has proselytized open source and are now running an open source email client, e.g., Mozilla's client.

    That leaves primarily the third group (and some segment of the fourth group) as candidates for Evolution. Assuming NOVELL doesn't expect to charge people for this. This will have some impact but nothing dramatic.

    I personally, gasp, went back to Outlook. I liked the changes they made in Office 2003 and they eliminated some of the annoyances I had with previous versions of Outlook. I operated with the Mozilla email client for quite some time having eschewed Office 2000 and Office XP.

    I would be happy to go to Evolution if for no other reason than I discovered that MS is as usual thwarting my attempt to run securely. Being a super savvy user (as well as a developer/security person) I happen to run Outlook in a stunted account, i.e. I run it in a different account (Windows "runas" command) and played with ACLs so that sensitive areas such as C:\WINDOWS and "C:\Program Files" can't be written to). You might ask why I didn't create a limitd account and run Outlook with that. Turns out if you do, Office will not leverage Windows XP's themes. Stupid. I don't like the "classic" Windows motif and prefer the default that comes with Windows XP. Anyway,
    I discovered much to my chagrin that despite running Outlook in this fashion if I were to run Word (under my normal desktop account), save a document, then try to reopen that document later, Word simply cannot find the document. It will repeatedly stick up an error dialog on each attempt UNTIL I close Outlook, which happens to be running under a different user!!!

    I've done Win32 development. It would seem the moronic MS Office development is generating a cookie, alias, moniker, etc., based on the window station I am logged into. They are probably using the Win32 handle and are keying into some shared memory. God for all you know they could be generating strings and putting them into the Global Atom Table.

    Why would they do such a thing? Because *no one* would EVER think of running desktop apps in a secure fashion... right? What they have done is simply architecturally unsound.

    If you are curious about Window stations:

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder