The FireFox Explosion
The above link takes you to a full page image is from this coming month's Wired. The image shows various open source software that is fighting the Microsoft fortress. It shows both desktop and back office software types. What is really missing though is the Open Office. Open Office can save things in Microsoft formats or its own. While in one sense this is a copy cat to Microsoft Office, it has much more capability than MS Works. If you are not familiar with MS Works, it is a little office suite which often comes with Windows.
In a sense word processing, spread sheets and presentations are very basic to simple computing. While Firefox has made a big hit in the news and we all know about Linux, Open Office is key to people feeling comfortable leaving the MS family since it has the de facto standards for creating documents. While I'm sure there are design features of MS Word that I am just not getting, the main feature seems to me to be one which serves the company who owns it, that is making the world of home and office computing impossible to survive in without using MS Word. While there are many ways to get around using MS Word, most people are not willing to leave the comfort zone of having MS Word. That is one reason that Apple had to start putting MS Office on their Machintosh line of computers. Apple Works (a.k.a. Claris Works) was a fine suite of office software. I believe Apple made the switch from Claris to MS Office as a survival mechanism, not a design feature.
I for one would gladly place an image on my blog encouraging people to use Open Office if one existed.