It used to be that, if you wanted a software package for your usual daily tasks, that Microsoft Office was really the only way to go.
This proprietary package of Excel, Word and PowerPoint has long held a near monopoly on spreadsheets, word processing and computer generated presentations. However, in recent years, the tide has begun to turn and more and more individuals and organizations are turning to an alternative open source option in the form of OpenOffice.
What is OpenOffice?
OpenOffice is billed by its creators as a “productivity suite,” offering access to software for all the purposes mentioned above, as well as graphic and database packages. The software is available free to use and to distribute. Additionally, the software is constantly updated and is developed with the input of users across the globe, offering an exciting and free alternative to its more commercial counterpart.
So Why do People Still Pay for MS Office?
If, as the hype might lead you to believe, OpenOffice can offer all that the Microsoft program does, at a 100% saving, why hasn’t everyone switched? The answer lies in the finer points.
Yes, OpenOffice can offer a word processor, spreadsheets and presentation package on a par with the industry leader. However, the truth is, many users believe the free programs are only on a par with those released by Microsoft in the early half of the last decade, and lack the refinement of the latest MS Office offerings.
MS Office or OpenOffice?
Which you choose really depends on the level of use. For simpler tasks and for users who only ever skirt over the surface of their programs functionality, then OpenOffice offers a realistic alternative to the MS proprietary package. Additionally, while many believe the Microsoft software retains the edge in almost all areas, bear in mind that open-source software is open to adaptation, offering the serious user an opportunity to carry out some exciting customization.