Being ready for the “next great exodus”


This week, Microsoft cut the tethers on Windows XP.  No more support, no more updates, no more patches, no more security.  And millions of users are asking themselves, “what now?”

A survey of current XP users suggests the majority will just keep using Old Faithful, or move to Windows 7, which frankly is the only Windows-based alternative that’s remotely like what their used to.  Windows 8?  Forget about it.  More XP users plan to move to Linux than to 8 or 8.1.  Strangely, just a sliver, 1%, plan to move to the Mac, which I find astounding given the quality of that operdownloadating system and the halo effect I’d expect it to have due to the popularity of Apple’s portable devices.  After Windows broke my heart one too many times, I moved to the Mac and never looked back.  It’s a great environment.  But I digress.

Here’s what I was thinking today:  Imagine if Haiku had been farther along right now.  Suppose its fast, stable, silky-smooth interface was already complemented by a full array of standard desktop necessaries such as a viable office suite, calendar and appointment apps, and a web browser closer in capabilities to the big three.  In other words, what if Haiku was as far along as Linux right now, and had begun to get some of the same credibility and name recognition?  What if people realized they could have a well-equipped windowing desktop environment faster than Linux, and infinitely easier to use?  Where might Haiku have shown up in the pie chart on the right?

The fact is, about a third of all Windows XP users are staying right where they are, for now.  That’ll change in the next few years, as they realize they can’t hold on any longer and have to move to something else.  Wouldn’t it be cool if, by then, Haiku was firing on all cylinders?  It’d still be a bit of a reach to expect more than a tiny percentage of the Windows user base to cross over, but a tiny percentage of tens of millions of people is nothing to sneeze at.

Here’s hoping efforts continue to bring credible office applications to Haiku’s desktop.   It’s not ready for the current exodus, but who knows…it might be ready for the next.




7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vadim Bobkovsky (@v_bobok)
    Apr 12, 2014 @ 16:17:22

    For Haiku to get there is possible, but it needs a lot of love. Means a lot of new devs (inc. 3rd party) and full time dev. contracts. So it means money, money, money and developers, developers, developers.


  2. Dane Udenberg
    Apr 12, 2014 @ 22:13:11

    If Google kicks in with another grant for a summer of code, maybe Haiku should go all-in on the porting of an office suite next year.


  3. Louis de Médicis
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:27:04

    Porting an office suite would be quite a great amount of work and it would take much time, even for Gobe 3 to get ported back to Haiku.
    So, I think that it would be better if, for example, we (Haiku users, enthusiasts) bug the developers of Office suites like ThinkFree or Papyrus to get official support for Haiku (printing with gutenprint, etc). Also, I think that Hamish is working on an updated OpenJDK, it would be cool to have at least ThinkFree with printing support on Haiku. 🙂
    As for OpenOffice, there was an effort/planning for porting it to Haiku using the BeAPI (or the Haiku API) instead of going with things like Qt, GTK+ or such, mentioned here:


  4. Louis de Médicis
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 13:35:43

    I sent the ThinkFree Office folks asking for “official support” for Haiku. Let’s see what happens.


    • Louis de Médicis
      Apr 15, 2014 @ 13:36:35

      Sorry, typo…
      I sent them an e-mail.


      • Louis de Médicis
        May 17, 2014 @ 10:37:05

        After opening some requests for what I mentioned above, and then seeing that they deleted them, I assume they’re not interested. I give up on it for now…

  5. Louis de Médicis
    Jun 15, 2014 @ 14:57:23

    Hello again!
    As I suspected, Hamish was *really* working on an updated OpenJDK, and as such he already uploaded the new version to the HaikuPorts repo! 🙂
    Too bad the ThinkFree guys ignored my requests, but, alas, with an updated OpenJDK we can still run TF Office… 🙂


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