I subscribe to a semiweekly newsletter from CNet that keeps me up-to-date on some of the latest blog entries and forum discussions going on at the Web site. It’s kind of like a “Dear Abby” for technology users.
The main highlight in yesterday’s issue was a discussion about Microsoft Office and some of the viable alternatives available to the public. The comments that follow the initial blog post create a fairly interesting discussion.
The blog entry itself expresses the frustration many users have felt after upgrading to Office 2007. As I have mentioned previously, Microsoft added quite a bit of functionality to the applications. However, in doing so, they completely abandoned everything everybody knew about Office and moved it all around. Finding the tools you regularly use can be a real chore in Office 2007.
So, the author makes the point that, if you have to learn a whole new set of tricks, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using a free application like OpenOffice.org (OOo) or Google Docs and Spreadsheets instead of spending all that money to upgrade your MS Office applications.
The author goes on to inform the reader that you can now download two previously commercial Office suites for free. First, IBM has apparently released a free version of Lotus Symphony. In addition, apparently Sun has included its Star Office (which uses the same code-base as OOo) in the latest version of Google Pack.
The author also links indirectly to a nice comparison of nine different office suites.