October 3, 2007
Dear CNET members,
OK, I've been using Microsoft Office for quite some time; as a matter of fact I don't remember using anything other than Office. It's at work, at home, and on most of the computers I ever touch. It's kind of a no-brainer, and I would probably have to agree with the statement made by our member "siamease," who says "Microsoft Office is ingrained in me." But recently I have been having thoughts of Office alternatives. Why? Not only because there are more alternatives available that have become more compatible with MS apps, but because many of these alternatives are free. Oh, and then there's my wife.
Recently my wife installed MS Office 2007 on her work's laptop and I can't tell you how many times I have heard her yell out in frustration over the changes in the new 2007 Office, explaining to me that basically Microsoft did a complete shuffle of the commands--making it counterintuitive for a veteran MS Office user like her to get used to. Anyway, long story short, she despises the company for doing that. My answer to her was to get rid of it and go back to Office 2003. Guess what? She agreed.
So where does that leave us in the future for office suites around our home? Office alternatives, of course! Yes, change is scary, but it's about time! I've never committed to alternative office apps in the past because of the fear of incompatibility with MS apps, but now, as more and more developers are coming out with their own office suites that are offering more compatibilities with MS apps, it's time for me to get serious trial runs on them and see if I can be free of MS Office. So with that in mind, what are your thoughts on Microsoft alternatives like OpenOffice.org or just recently released beta versions of Lotus Symphony? Or how about Web-based apps like Google Docs & Spreadsheet or Zoho Virtual Office? Do you use them? How do they compare to MS Office, better or worse? Or do you still rely on your trusty Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications? Have you tried online word processors or spreadsheets? Tell us about it by commenting on CNET editor Peter Butler's recent Daily Download.com blog: "Office of the future?" That way, we can all be more aware of what works or not, and know more about the alternatives to Microsoft Office.
This week's hot topic:
Office of the future?
In the Daily Download blog entry titled "Office of the future?" by Download.com editor Peter Butler, he writes about the many alternative office productivity suites other than Microsoft Office. And when he asked our members what they thought about these and other alternative Office apps, many of our members were quick to respond and express their opinions and concerns, likes and dislikes.
"MS Office... No longer for the average Jo-sephine"
"A few years ago I was still teaching MS Office apps. Once it went over a thousand dollars for the full package, I knew it was a matter of time... before I would be switching, if not for me, for the clients that I was teaching..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member jimjutte"Microsoft Office is ingrained in me"
"After more than a decade of using Microsoft Office, especially with my businesses, I personally find it difficult switching to any new Office software. Recently I was working as a consultant with a company that had installed Open Office on all of their computers and although I tried to adapt to this, I found that..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member siamease"Open office"
"I've been using OpenOffice for a while now and I think it's an excellent alternative to MS Office. I've actually uninstalled MS Office and now rely solely on Open Office. I can view Word docs in OO, and also Excel docs. I've created fairly detailed spreadsheets in OO..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member ericamity"Compatibility is a problem"
"My determination to switch to OpenOffice 2.x after 15 years of MS Office was shortlived because of compatibility problems. Excel graphs simply did not show the way they did in Office XP and there was no way to fix it. Working in an environment where MS is still the standard, it takes courage and strong..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member inconetSpeak up!
Now it's your turn to speak up. Do you still rely on your trusty Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications, or have you moved on to an alternative? If you've moved on, what do you specifically use and how do you like them? Have any issues arisen from using them? How many of you have tried online word processors or spreadsheets? Whether you use them or not, share with us your thoughts on Microsoft Office alternatives. We're all listening.
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