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An open source PIM is being developed, which seems like a great idea to me. Anything that might offer people some alternative to the Microsoft stranglehold is very welcome. Now that Microsoft has offered to "share" its source code with developers, if that's really what they are going to do, it might be possible for OpenOffice to improve their compatibility with MS Office documents even further. I've haven't used OpenOffice, but I did use Sun StarOffice on Linux, and my impression was that it worked pretty well on the whole, but replicated the whole "Office Experience" rather too closely. It isn't only the fact that my valuable data is locked in a proprietary format that worries me (which OpenOffice addresses nicely with its XML file format), but also the bloated, clunky interface. Word X is horribly slow, cumbersome and prone to crashes (which, thanks to MacOS X, only takes Word down, and not the whole shebang). After one such crash, I irretrievably lost all the formatting in a paper I was working on, and vowed to write everything in TextEdit until I'm ready to format and send it. Grrr.

What I'd love is for someone to produce a Cocoa-based office suite, with XML file format, and a simple but powerful interface. Don't want much, do I? But, it might just be around the corner - if OpenOffice doesn't do it for me, Nisus has just acquired Okito Software, which bodes very well for the upcoming MacOS X version of Nisus Writer. I used to use Nisus Writer a lot, and loved it's simplicity, speed and power features, but I've more or less stopped using it since I moved to X (it's a pride thing - I don't want to fire Classic up). I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it.

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