Do We Really Need Microsoft Office?

Every time I visit my local computer store and walk past the software section, I ponder whether or not I would benefit from having a copy of Microsoft Office. The product has been around for years and has been extremely useful throughout school. Businesses have relied on MS Office to get their work done as well and no one ever really bothered to ask if it was really necessary. Why would they? It’s just the way things go. If you’re a business or student then having MS Office is just a necessary as a #2 pencil. Open Office Logo

The times have changed though and people are starting to wonder why they keep paying for a product when a free alternative is offering similar quality. OpenOffice is a real contender and it’s getting better. I have been using OpenOffice for years and I don’t even consider using anything else. What makes OpenOffice even more appealing is that it runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS. So now you have a free software suite with all of the bells as whistles of MS Office and it runs on all three major platforms. Another plus for OpenOffice is that it also has good library of templates and extensions, and yes you can still get access to clip art as well.

So why bother with Office? Really theres not too much to argue against using OpenOffice, except maybe the fact that you might run into a few problems with users getting used to the new suite. It definitely feels a little different than MS Office and that can make people a little uncomfortable. There is also the issue with the lack of pre-installed templates, this is something that’s easily solved by simply going out and getting them but with MS Office most of the common templates are already available.

Some businesses are not only moving away from Microsoft Office but they are moving away from traditional PC’s. OpenOffice is available on the iPad which is the one mobile device that is gaining a lot of popularity with companies and even has the interest of the government making the switch. Given it’s open source roots, the possibilities for OpenOffice seem endless as it allows the software to be engineered directly for a company’s needs. Add in the benefits of cost savings and it starts to look like a viable solution. OpenOffice is a great software suite and if you haven’t tried it yet I highly recommend you give it a shot. I’m sure you will find that it suits your needs.

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