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My brother has become proficient at using Windows, so his switching costs are higher. He didn't want to learn the Linux equivalent of task manager, adding startup applications, updating / installing software. Also he's in finance so 99% of his work is spent in Excel.

By comparison my parents are rudimentary users of technology, and thus their switching costs are low. As long as there is Firefox / Chrome they're ok. Some Chinese sites still depend on ActiveX but they've been replaced with Flash for the most part.

This is the real reason. Excel. There is simply no replacement for it.

If there was, the usage of Linux would double within days.

There are better things than Excel, Gnumeric for example.

The main issue is that there is no drop in replacement for Excel. There are spreadsheets that do calculations, statistics, scripts, etc... better, but there aren't any that can perfectly replicate Excel and perfectly read XLSX files right now...

Are you sure Gnumeric is better than Excel?

Excel is really stupid fast. There are old stories of the Excel team at Microsoft being the most performance-obsessed group around. Excel really is a very great product. Can you demonstrate equivalent performance with Gnumeric?

Haven't seen any benchmarks, but tests have proven that Gnumeric is more accurate, and it certainly has more functions (especially for statistics). It's also extensible with Python (and I've seen plugins for other languages), which IMO is preferable to VBA. Python of course also has some pretty good statistic and scientific computing libraries, which are quite performant...

If you're really performance obsessed, a spreadsheet isn't really the best solution anyway...

> If you're really performance obsessed, a spreadsheet isn't really the best solution anyway...

I agree with this, but tell that to the millions of non-programmers the world over (including almost exclusive use in the finance sector) who use spreadsheets for, well, programming.

I have heard it's not unusual for huge spreadsheets that take upwards of 15 minutes just to regenerate all the calculations and VBA macros it contains. Yes, this is horrible, but it's absolutely ubiquitous and so performance does matter. VBA support also matters for backwards compatibility with these monolithic, battle-tested behemoth spreadsheets. Python support is a great extra, but drop-in VBA support is the feature Gnumeric needs to find widespread use.

I can't fathom what you mean by "more accurate". Accuracy is binary. Are you saying Excel is inaccurate?

I don't use excel in professional level so I don't know much about it. Is there a vast difference between MS Excel and Linux (OSS) equivalent, or something like Google docs?

My mother recently had me adjust the Gantt chart she created in Excel. She works for KPMG as an accountant.

There's a large difference, unfortunately, but it's the edge cases that the difference lies in. Some professions rely on those edge cases exclusively however.

Definitively. Especially if you work in finance there are many products that integrate with Excel (i.e. Bloomberg apps), modules, pre-created formulas, books teaching financial "programming" with Excel etc.. Then I don't know if macros/programming in Calc can be seen as equivalent to VBA (and relevant integrations) in Excel.

BUT, having said that,I think there are tons of users that could use Calc for their basic calculations (I worked in a couple of banks and I think probably just 5-10% of users used it as "powerusers" and I suspect less than half of them used functions/code that have no equivalent in Calc)

severely so. Again, it's not about the technical merits and demerits - but I would daresay its around the VBS + XLSX compatibility issue.

In fact, my personal opinion is that Libreoffice should abandon PPT and Word - both with adequate online equivalents - and go all out only on Excel.

There is simply no equivalent for Excel on Linux or Mac.

Photoshop + Excel on Linux would be it's killer applications.

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