why linux on the desktop will not happen

some open source advocates are serious when they suggest that gnumeric is a valid excel contender, or that the gnome desktop “is just as easy to use as the windows desktop”. these people suffer from their very own reality distortion field, as Larry Augustin, founder of VA Linux, points out:

I recall a discussion (not on this list) some time ago where a group

of people were arguing that Gnumeric was a replacement for Excel. I

was appalled. They were arguing about Excel vs. Gnumeric features.

They were arguing about reading and writing Excel file formats. They

didn’t understand why Excel users complained when they tried to use

Gnumeric. The prevailing opinions were that users were just not

willing to learn to use something different.

I finally asked the question, “Can Gnumeric do pivot tables?” I go

the response, “What’s a pivot table?” My point was proven. The

Gnumeric advocates didn’t even understand the technology they were

trying to replace. I can hand an Office power user an Excel

spreadsheet with thousands of names and addresses, and with a few

point and click operations, out come pages of stick-on mailing labels.

How do you do that with Gnumeric? I’m willing to bet that few or none

of us on this mailing list have that level of proficiency with MS

Office or Excel. If we don’t know what it can do, and we don’t know

what people do with it, how can we replace it?