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Elon Musk buys Twitter

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You don't even need 280 characters to deliver this momentous news: Elon Musk just bought Twitter.

The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder has been circling the popular social media platform for weeks, using Twitter itself as a medium to announce both his intentions and ongoing frustrations with the platform in its current form.

Now, after lining up the funds (his own and hefty support from Morgan Stanley) Musk will pay $43.4 billion -- roughly $54.20 per share -- in a tender offer that gives him control of the company. The deal now faces regulatory approval.

With Twitter's earnings report just days away, it's likely the new owner will show up during the company's Q1 earnings call - at least just to say "hi," and demurely refuses to answer most analysts' questions directly.

In a release on the acquisition, Musk said, "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.

"I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."

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Bret Taylor, Twitter's Independent Board Chair noted in the release that "The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders."

Parag Agrawal, Twitter's CEO and the person who may end up working most closely with Musk said in the release, "Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important." He notably did not reference Musk directly.

Musk's triumph comes after a circuitous path to ownership: First he bought almost 10% of Twitter shares, giving him a seat at the table and inviting him to the board. Musk accepted and then just as quickly backed out. But he wasn't finished. Soon, he was offering $43 billion for the company, which prompted Twitter's board to adopt a poison-pill plan that would have sold cheaper shares to shareholders had Musk sought to purchase more than 15% of the company's shares.

Soon after, Musk, who has been on the platform since 2009, returned to a tender offer, which meant he'd need to pull together all the money to buy the company. As of last week, Musk secured the funds, and over the weekend, Musk and Twitter's executive team met in person to hammer out the details.

A bumpy road

Not everyone is thrilled at the prospect of a Musk-owned Twitter. In the run-up to the announcement, #RIPTwitter was trending on the platform.

As for what comes next, Musk has made clear his intentions to ensure that Twitter supports free speech from all sides (the implication being that it currently does not, though there is no empirical evidence to support this).

He may revisit some user bans, including that of former President Trump.

He'll likely open-source Twitter's code.

A fan of blockchain and NFTs, Musk might push the platform more aggressively into the crypto space.

But investors and backers will be most interested in Musk's growth plan. Twitter has done a decent job of generating more revenue from existing users, but its growth has in recent years been relatively slow and flat. It's not clear that Twitter could ever have the broad-based, global appeal of, say Facebook (which has its own growth struggles) or TikTok.

It's unclear what Musk can do to reenergize some of Twitter's biggest celebrity accounts.

Musk will probably fast-track the already-under-development Tweet Edits feature, since he made it clear during the acquisition effort that he's a fan.

What will Elon do?

What happens next depends on Elon Musk, or rather the Elon Musk who shows up to run Twitter. Will it be the brilliant, sure hand that, through SpaceX, regularly ferries astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station? The man who basically created the EV market with Tesla? 


It might also be the man who impulsively tweets his inner ID and EGO. Who jokes that "The next Twitter board meet's gonna be lit," with a picture of him smoking a joint on Joe Rogan's podcast.

There sometimes seems to be little middle ground for Musk, who is both extremely successful and rich and extremely impulsive and emotional.

The fear that Musk will let the worst element back on Twitter -- Nazis, trolls, anti-vaxxers, Donald Trump, and so on -- is real. A free-speech absolutist might demand ALL voices be heard, even the dangerous ones.

Still, Musk doesn't truly know the inner workings of Twitter's extensive (and still flawed) content moderation system. He soon will. That may inspire some different and more rational thinking about how to excite and energize Twitter for the future while protecting the most vulnerable who still use it every day.


25 Apr 2022



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    1. LibreOffice

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    (Image credit: FreeOffice)

    2. FreeOffice

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    WPS Office was released in 2016 by Chinese software developer Kingsoft. It is an office suite that is available for Windows, Linux, Android and iOS. The suite is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Russian.

    It offers a free and a premium tier. The free tier allows you to use Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheets, which are alternatives to the Microsoft Office suite which it also resembles closely. WPS offers a PDF to Word converter which is fast and easy to use. It supports bulk exportation and can also split-merge PDF files if needed.

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    4. Calligra

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    5. OfficeSuite

    Has some excellent editing tools for those willing to pay for them

    Allows syncing across devices
    Free tier
    Free tier is basic

    OfficeSuite is an application that was developed by MobiSystems and is available for Android, iOS and Windows. Devices that are made by Amazon, Toshiba, Sony and Alcatel often come with OfficeSuite pre-installed. The Android app has been named among the top applications for business.

    You can synchronize between devices using your OfficeSuite account and only one license is needed for all your devices.

    It has several tiers to choose from. The 'Basic' tier is free and allows users to view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. The suite has full compatibility with most formats such as ODT, RTF, CSV, DOC, and ZIP. The free tier also enables users to view PDF documents and offers cloud support via services like Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive.

    The 'Personal' tier enables the suite on one desktop, one tablet and one phone. It has all the free tier has to offer along with the ability to track changes, export PDF's to other editable formats and advanced PDF features such as digital signatures and passwords. 

    The 'Group' tier allows you to use across five desktops, five tablets and 5 phones. A Home & Business version is available as a one-time fee download.


    (Image credit: Polaris)

    6. Polaris Office

    Use the Polaris arsenal of tools to edit and create multiple file types

    Excellent free tier
    Ads can be distracting

    Polaris Office is developed by Intraware and was initially released in March 2014. It is a free office suite that is available for Android, iOS, Windows and macOS. It appears to be a popular suite amongst businesses and is used by the likes of Amazon and Samsung.

    While the free version is very generous there is a business version to which you can upgrade. To enquire about the cost, you will need to send Polaris a 'Purchase Query form' which can be found on their website.

    With this powerful suite you can edit many different file formats including PPT, XLS, DOCX and HWP. As your account synchronizes amongst your devices you will be able to edit and create from wherever you are. All your data is secured by AWS (Amazon Web Services).

    With the latest edition of Polaris you can now convert and edit PDF documents. Users can also convert voice and image files to documents if the need arises.

    The suite supports several different languages such as French, German, Korean, English and Russian.

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    (Image credit: OnlyOffice)

    7. OnlyOffice

    A useful range of features for users who don't need extensive documentation

    Free and open source
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    OnlyOffice is an open source office suite developed by Ascensio Systems SIA. It is available in over 22 languages and boasts of Oracle being one of their leading clients.

    The completely free version, known as the 'Community Edition' is most suited for small business and allows up to 20 connections at once. This suite does not just offer the usual features such as word processing or spreadsheets but is very useful in relation to order fulfilment and for documenting sales.

    The handy calendar feature allows user to keep up to date with personal and work-related tasks as well as keeping an eye on deadlines. Third party integration is also supported. You can create your own Mailboxes with the 'Mail' tool.

    As with other office suites there is the ability to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Users can collaborate on projects and make comments in files where necessary.


    (Image credit: WordPerfect)

    8. WordPerfect

    WordPerfect proves there is no school like the old school

    Free trial version
    MS Office compatible

    WordPerfect has had a number of owners over the years since it was developed in the late 1970s. Fast forward to 1996, it was purchased by Corel who, back then wanted to build a business capable of competing with Microsoft and Adobe. WordPerfect was most popular in the 80's where it was known for its DOS and Microsoft Windows versions. It was soon eclipsed by Microsoft Office upon its release.

    It is an all-in-one office suite. It offers its own word processor, spreadsheet program and a slideshow creator.  The latest version now includes improved photo-editing and management. WordPerfect offer a free trial version which you can download from the main site.

    Like other suites it can save to many different formats such as DOCX, PDF and HTML. The common file extensions for WordPerfect files is WPD. It also offers ebooks publishing and macro management.

    The PDF feature gives users the ability to edit and fill in forms via PDF, as well as change the form's appearance e.g. font/color. WordPerfect supports opening multiple documents at one time.

    While WordPerfect is a perfectly reasonable program, and many early Windows adopters may remember it fondly, the pricing just isn't very competitive when compared to the rest of the market.


    (Image credit: Zoho)

    9. Zoho Workplace

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    (Image credit: Google)

    10. Google Workplace

    For working across platforms and sharing documents

    Integrates with Google Drive
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    Formatting issues

    Google Workplace is another Microsoft Office alternative worth considering, as it's development by the internet behemoth Google specifically for collaborative and group work. The three key tools run happily in any web browser, and are available as mobile apps for Apple and Android devices.

    Google's free office suite doesn't offer the advanced tools you'll find in Microsoft 365 or many rivals, but everything is laid out in a clear, logical way and all your files will be saved and synced automatically so you don't have to worry about transfers and backups.

    The chief disadvantage of Workplace is that opening files created using other office software is a cumbersome process and file formatting isn't is always converted properly. This is partly because Google's office tools use web fonts rather than ones stored locally on your device, and partly because Microsoft documents sometimes contain features not supported by Google. 

    Additionally, there are some quirks with Google Docs that make it less user-friendly than other office software. As free software it does the job fine, but as a paid product it still lags behind the features and functionality of Microsoft Office.

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