Readers' Choice Awards 2008
OpenOffice.org garnered a whopping 85% of the votes to win Favorite Office Program, while competitors AbiWord and KOffice squeaked in a barely perceptible 3% each. Nor did EIOffice, a program that has received much praise in our pages in the past, register more than a few votes. OpenOffice.org has become the de facto default office suite for Linux.
Perhaps the most feature-rich audio player on any platform, Amarok has won most of your hearts and minds for Favorite Audio Tool. Meanwhile, the applications XMMS, Audacity and Rhythmbox each have their loyal constituencies of a bit lesser but similar size, making each worthy of an honorable mention.
This close race in the Favorite Media Player category may be as much a testament to MPlayer's legacy to thankful Linux users everywhere as a vote for excellence. When playing nonfree media content was still a problem for Linux users, MPlayer was there, leveling the field and making sure we could play anything our Windows-using friends were playing and then some. VLC, a close second, is growing in popularity for its friendly interface and equally adroit ability to play pretty much any format you can throw at it.
Pidgin, the messaging tool formerly known as Gaim, readily handled all of its competitors, garnering 42% of your votes. Pidgin users appreciate the ability to monitor all of their messaging accounts using one tool. Currently 15 protocols are available, including AIM, Google Talk, Novell GroupWise, ICQ, MySpaceIM, Yahoo and others. Despite Skype's popularity, it remains in Pigin's long shadow—maybe because its closed-source credentials tug at our consciences?
The GIMP (76.4%)
If anything qualifies as a legendary piece of Linux software, then The GIMP certainly has earned that mantle. Winning 76.4% of the votes, The GIMP wins for Favorite Graphics/Design Tool. As for the others? “Ouch!” is the collective cry from the other graphics applications, such as Inkscape, Scribus and Blender, each of which reached percentages only in the single digits. Notable for its absence is the increasingly impressive KDE graphics tool, Krita.
digiKam, at 24.9%, edged out its image-organizer rival Picasa from Google by a mere 13 votes. Picasa's excellent functionality is powerful enough to make up for its deficits—its non-FOSS status and Wine-based emulation. Like its e-mail cousin Gmail, Picasa is an interesting choice given that it is not a Linux application, per se. Gmail exists only in Google's cloud, and Picasa is—gasp!—a Windows application.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal
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