In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 9, 2007 / 21 Shevat, 5767

A week without Microsoft, more or less

By Mark Kellner

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For most of the past seven days, I've worked, more or less, without what I would have imagined was essential applications software from Microsoft Corp. No Microsoft Office 2007, or even 2003. No Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook. Only an occasional use of Internet Explorer 7, and, yes, the Windows XP operating system, comprised my Microsoft "diet."

However, Windows XP came on the computer I was testing, so if I'd bought the Lenovo Corp. ThinkPad X60, I might not have noticed the "price" of the built-in operating system. And Internet Explorer is free for the downloading, if it hadn't already been installed on the computer. This means that were I a commercial customer, my contributions to Microsoft's revenue stream would have been lower than they might have been otherwise.

What was interesting was not only that I was able to function, and pretty nicely, during the period, but also what this might portend for Microsoft's future. Last week, after all, the firm formally launched Windows Vista, its newest operating system, and Office 2007, a productivity suite which I happen to like. But would I like both products enough to spend between $400 and $1,000 to get the necessary upgrades (depending on version purchased), let alone any hardware enhancements (more RAM, or a larger hard disk drive) to do this? And what happens if I'm not the only customer who feels this way?

These questions - and similar ones - would impact not only Microsoft's financial picture, if asked and answered globally, but also the user world out ther. Today, many of us count on Microsoft Word as a sort of "lingua franca" of document exchange; if we both can send and receive documents as Word files, you and I can work together in 99.99-percent of computer-based situations. But with Word 2007, the ".docx" format, which is based on the Extensible Markup Language, or XML, throws a wrinkle into this: users of older versions of Word will need a "reader" software to handle ".docx" files, as will users of Word on the Mac. Microsoft has promised such software will arrive quickly, as noted here previously.

During my time away from Microsoft's applications, I depended on the 2.0 "Beta" version of Mozilla Thunderbird, an e-mail program, and OpenOffice 2.1, a replacement productivity suite which competes quite nicely with Microsoft Office. My main daily tasks are e-mail and word processing, so I was able to do rather well with these items.

As far as operating systems go, I suppose I could have replaced Windows XP with Canonical Ltd.'s Ubuntu distribution of Linux, which is available free at www.ubuntu.com. However, because XP already was installed, and because this computer has a fingerprint reader as part of its security system, I stayed with Windows.

While I did well, overall, without the Microsoft applications, would I want to do this all the time? I'm not sure. Thunderbird, available online at www.mozilla.com, is an excellent e-mail client, though it lacks the calendaring features and advanced contact management of Microsoft Outlook, items which are important in business.

OpenOffice is a good suite, yet I'm betting that most of us who get to see, and work with, Office 2007, as I did with the Beta version, will suffer from "applications envy." The menu format of Office 2007 is for me rather compelling, delivering a cleaner, crisper interface. The new Word 2007's tools make it easier to do more things with a document quickly, creating impressive formats.

There's also the support factor: even "free" software can have glitches, and with Microsoft's paid applications, there's someone you can go to for help, something which can be critical in larger enterprise situations.

The bottom line: Taking a "vacation" from Microsoft's newest products may sound appealing, but on the road to free software nirvana, there may be some speed bumps.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.


© 2007, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com