An Idea: How Can Linux Win More Users?

I am a full time working engineer. In my spare time, I like to try new things, including Linux. It took me more than 4 years to fully using Linux on my computer, on and off. There are several reasons: (1) Installing Linux and making all hardware work took much time, which I don’t have, (2) I can’t find a truly powerful MS Excel® alternative in Linux. That’s true up to now.

For reason number (1), it is not true these days, at least with certain distros. I bought a cheap ($200) used Thinkpad® X100E and replace the OS with Crunchbang Linux “Waldorf”.


Unfortunately, for reason number (2), it is still true. We have to admit that in this world, there are many MS Excel® power users, consultant, developers, and add-ins. They solve problems, create businesses, and produce value. It is powerful because there are so many stakeholders and business created over MS Excel®.

I use LibreOffice-Calc (version 4.1.5), as it is native in Linux. In my experience, it is still sluggish compared to MS Excel®, e.g. when I press-and-hold my arrow key to move between cells, the screen refresh is not as smooth as in MS Excel®. This is true especially with out-of-the-box configuration.

Up to now, in my short period learning to use Calc, one of the advantage is its Solver, which has more decision variables limit (in MS Excel®, you have to pay an add-in to get same capability).

A good OS is one thing. A good spreadsheet with many power users, business tool, plug-ins, are as important, if not more.

Microsoft® will not port MS Excel® to Linux, because they know, it is one of the softwares that keep its users from migrating. As for me, I’m trying to live with Calc as long as I can.