Thursday, May 29, 2008 keeps getting slower with each new release

Open source software advocates like to point to as a viable alternative to Microsoft Office. It can open, create, edit, and save Office-compatible documents including text, spreadsheet, and database files. It might not have every last bell and whistle of Office, but it gets the job done. But also has a dirty little secret: It's kind of slow. And apparently, it's getting slower all the time. Ninja ran a battery of tests and found that with each major release, has gotten a little slower when performing common tasks like opening, closing, and exporting documents. 1.1.5, for example, launches about 40% faster than 2.4. That figure holds true whether you're doing a cold start (loading the program for the first time since rebooting your computer) or a warm start (starting the program a second, third, or 15th time).

The developers have certainly been tweaking the open source office suite to improve performance. But they also keep adding new features, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, sometimes those new features slow down program performance. Of course, if you can't wait 20-25 seconds to load your office suite, you could always just buy more RAM, a faster CPU, and umm... Microsoft Office. Or try an online office suite like Google Docs or Zoho, which load faster than if you already have a browser window open.

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