Linux and OpenOffice in Laptop Magazine

Laptop Magazine is a good example of the mainstream IT media's approach to FOSS. It's neither hostile or friendly and generally responds to what its readers are doing.

Until recently the magazine hasn't done much on FOSS, but a couple of articles have indicates one more example of FOSS perception moving from curiosity to gadget to mainstream.

In an article published online, last month OpenOffice.org was named the magazine's top download of the month and received an editor's choice award:


The best thing about OpenOffice for laptop users is that it gives you a free alternative to buying a second copy of MS Office to use on your portable PC. We find Open Office a worthy and highly compatible way to handle most imaginable word processing, presentation, and number-crunching tasks.

A second article, published in the February 2006 edition but not yet available online, is more general about FOSS. Titled "Are We Open Yet?" (page 118), the article focuses on the experience of the Canadian gas company Pioneer Petroleum's move to FOSS on both the server and desktop. While certainly mentioning the downsides (lack of industry-specific FOSS apps, difficulty finiding telephone support), the article is on the whole complementary:

(Pioneer's) Sinstead is hawkish on open source. "I believe that Linux on the desktop will achieve mainstream acceptance in the next few years," he told us. Forrester (Research)'s Goulde believes now is the future for open source. "It is mainstream today in terms of the kinds of companies using it and the number of companies using it. Within five years, solutions for small businesses based on open source will be prevalent."