The Free Software icon that we need the most. Fifteen years ago


Today, while cleaning up old backups, I found a text file named as this post, which I saved on November 17th, 2000, but never used. Cannot remember what I was planning to do with it, but here it goes. A bit naive, surely dated (just look at which Free Software companies I was suggesting to go for help…) but still interesting, considering how things stand today. Here it goes, unchanged:

Linux on the desktop won’t be even considered by most corporations _ and newbies until it comes by default with one single icon that says:_


  1. “Find and Backup *ALL your MS documents/mailboxes”
  2. “Convert them all to some open standard”
  3. “Resume business as usual, but without the Microsoft tax”

No company can afford to lose millions of man hours worth of manuals/reports/forecasts/memos/etc. Period. Convert stuff transparently, and MS will disappear right away.

Yes, we have StarOffice, Wordperfect, MSWordview, etc, but they are:

  • not GPL,
  • or not handling all MS Formats (Excel,Powerpoint, mail, etc..), or
  • (most important) not coming with ALL distributions, at least in a point and click way.

If something like this already exists, please tell me. Otherwise, let’s do it , maybe with some support from RH/Caldera/Mandrake/VAResearch/..

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