What does this mean for the general public? There is a strong chance that Microsoft Office will no longer be compatible with previous versions. Hence if a person has Microsoft Office 07 and makes a document in it, there is 90% chance that it will also work under Office 03, XP, 2000 and before. Now that Microsoft is being forced to make some major changes to there Office Suite, any document produced with it now only has about a 48% chance of it working with previous versions. Once more 76% of all businesses use a version of Microsoft Office. Imagine the problems that will arise.
Before we go any further
Please look at these statistics. They are important right now.
70% of all computers have Windows on them (that includes the few Macs that also have it on them)
Out of that 70%, 42% of those computers are for business use.
75% of all software companies make software for Windows.
Out of those software companies 40% of them only make Windows programs
Are You Scared?
Microsoft is taking a hit. And it may be huge. If they don't fix there problem and come up with an easy, acceptable and suitable change for Microsoft Office they are going to lose a lot of business. Now not only that but they have already taken a big hit with Winblows Vista. If Microsoft doesn't create a reasonable product for office use that be just as compatible as the other ones are with each other, then people will be forced to get other office software. This in itself causes a problem, because obviously if all of a companies work is done in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, then your files are only going to compatible with Microsoft Office. And if you where to get Corel's office software, then you would have to literally redo everything to work in Corel, this is time consuming and it's time that most companies won't have and would hate to pay for.
Most people think that Windows is Microsoft number one seller. This is inaccurate. Most people who have Windows didn't buy it, they bought a PC with it already on it. Hence most computers run have an OEM version of Windows, which doesn't have as much value a a retail copy has on it. Office used to ship with some PC's but not all of them. And most of the time it was either a trial version or it was really Microsoft Works (a cheaper and more watered down version of Office). This means that yes Office is Microsoft's money maker. If majority of the public decided to go with another company Microsoft get crippled. Within a few years Microsoft might not even be able to offer Windows anymore dew to the loss they could receive.
Obviously people being forced to find an alternative to Office would cause hist-aria. And if Windows where to be just a thing in the past. This would have a very big impact on the NY Stock Exchange. Imagine thousands of Software companies that build nothing but Windows based programs declaring bankruptcy, or having to make programs for the Mac and Linux community. They'll pretty much have to rewrite all there code fire most of there Windows Programmers, Hire a bunch of Mac and Linux programmers and get new tools and maybe computers. All that cost money and becomes very risky.
But now think of the users. They are the most important in all this. Most of them probably haven't heard of Linux, the ones that have are in the mindset that if it's free it's no good. Many people will probably be thinking heavily on using Mac OSX, but there's a downfall. If they decide to use Mac OSX they will be forced to buy an Apple computer. Hopefully Apple at this time will take Microsoft title at being the computer Nazzi and start making software that works on PCs. Of course there will be those that need there current PCs and can't wait for Apple to release an OS that works for PCs. So they will be forced to use Linux which will then the freedom that the Open Source community has been waiting for will skyrocket.
The end is near. People say it's coming in 2012, and maybe there right. The country is in debt, Microsoft is have a problem that may have huge impact on the world. Who knows maybe it's Barok Aboma or just Microsoft, or maybe it's a mix of everything that is happening. So with our last words lets ask ourselves is Microsoft really that bad. Because with out them majority of the people who are ready this wouldn't be able to read it.