Microsoft Office vs. OpenOffice

Choices! There are many choices. Early this year, a friend ask me if he needs to say goodbye to his MS Office 2003 to welcome 2007 Microsoft Office system (Microsoft Office 2007).

Instead of an answer, I asked, “why not give a try?” Then, I cracked a joke, “give me your money for that pretty expensive software and I will give you free office tool – the OpenOffice. Several days later, we started to use Office 2007 at work. My friend then frequently ask about what pretty features Office 2007 has.

As many as those who want to experience the “beautiful” promises of Vista power, there are many who express their great desire for “amazing ribbon experience” of Office 2007.

This prompt me to ask sensible question: Do we really need to use Microsoft Office – or will OpenOffice do just fine for desktop productivity? It always depends on our needs. For a simple word document, we can always trust free word processor like the Writer of OpenOffice. Writer, for the most part, is like Word – and Calc, for the most part, is like Excel (for spreadsheets).

Do you want to consider OpenOffice? Consider that you need to pay for Microsoft Office (and it’s expensive!) while OpenOffice is free:

  • you may download completely free of any license fees
  • install it on as many PCs as you like
  • use it for any purpose – private, educational, government and public administration, commercial…
  • pass on copies free of charge to family, friends, students, employees, etc.

Now, are you ready to forget about limited editions and 60-day timeouts? Well, here’s another thing you need to consider. Certain features you enjoy with Microsoft Office. We cannot share Calc to other user in a local network, meaning, we can’t edit the spreadsheet at the same time as it is automatically locked when one opens it. There is also some compatibility issues. The document written and formatted using writer may loss its format when opened with Word. That’s “no wonder” as even Word 2003 have certain compatibility issues with Word 2007 – but the issues have been solved by Microsoft.

When you think of using free office tools, consider not just the cost but its practical use.

Jerry G. Gervacio|Mandaue City|Contact: Send Mail
Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!

6 thoughts on “Microsoft Office vs. OpenOffice

  1. kingdaddyrich: Microsoft also has office suite for Mac OS. The latest version is Office 2004 for Mac while Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac will be released January 2008. You may want to check other office suites available, both proprietary and free. Among the pretty good free office suite for Mac is NeoOffice (currrent version is NeoOffice 2.2.2). OpenOffice also provides a version for Mac OS X, but you need to check its system requirements first. There also office suites for Unix(-like) operating systems.

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