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”.

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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.

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