"Wonderful !"on by astribli
Pros Free ! Easy to use, easy to learn, works almost identical to MS Office
Cons Couple of little differences, like the spreadsheet program
Summary Are you kidding me ? This is a free package that works great. Think about it, 90% of the users just do typical stuff like write documents, some spreadsheet stuff, that's about it. I have opened Word files that have tables, headers and footers, and they import just fine. Modify the text in OpenOffice, the resave it in Word format, and it looks fine in Word. Is it perfect, no, but neither is MS Office. Is there a learning curve, yest but not much. For the most part if feels and acts like MS OFfice, but there are some differences that need to be learned. Some of the menus are a bit different, but that's a good thing ! I have been using it for about 6 months now and haven't run into any problems. Only had to open help a couple of times to find where something is.
Bottom line, we are all programmed to do things Microsoft's way and we have been using their software for years. OpenOffice does a pretty darn good job of doing pretty similar. It's not an exact clone so if you are expecting that, you will be disappointed. But give yourself a few minutes to learn some of the differences and you will start to like OpenOffice better. Some of the ways they do things actually make more sense.
Try it ! You'll like it! And did I mention it is FREE ! (and runs on lots of platforms!)
Pros Stability; Cross-platform availability; Better compatibility with most Word and Excel documents; No need for constant updates.
Cons May have trouble opening documents using power tools in MS Office; UI seems a bit dated.
Summary OpenOffice 2.0 is just what it was designed to be: a viable alternative to MS Office.
Only Writer and Calc are used on my system, and documents create in those apps work surprisingly well with Word and Excel. Those using some of the special features of MS Office may run into problems. There's no real need for an E-mail client (especially since Thunderbird fills the bill nicely).
Overall, OpenOffice 2.0 should meet the expectations of most average users.
Pros Do YOU want to pay $400 for an office suite without PDF creation?
Cons No e-mail client, no photo editor.
Summary I have been a big StarOffice/OpenOffice fan for years...ever since my eMachines eMonster P550 came preloaded with StarOffice 5.
It's reassuring to see somebody challenge Microsoft, and it's even nicer to get it for free.
In its earlier days, I wasn't able to rely on StarOffice. When OpenOffice debuted, it was darn good but not quite there yet. Now the ugly duckling has grown into a beautiful swan.
The biggest improvement in my book over the previous version of OpenOffice: the new Impress. It's now more intuitive and user-friendly.
And let's not forget PDF creation. That's a huge benefit Microsoft Office can't touch, and it costs hundreds.
I'll probably never delete my copy of Microsoft Word, but I might just never open it.
Pros great alternative to MS Office, compatible with MS Office
Cons Not as many feature, but most users don't use those extra features only available in MS Office
Summary 6/10? Are you kidding CNET? This is a great alternative to MS Office! For no cost at all, you get an office suite that works as well, if not better, than MS Office. Word Processor and Spreadsheet are excellent. Presentation is good. Also comes with "Draw" and "Math". And as for knocking it because it doesn't have an email program, why is an email program even part of an office suite? Just download Thunderbird. Overall, a great office suite with all the apps of Microsoft's high-end Office for free.Updated
Edit: And how could I forget? It doesn't try to guess what you want! And there are no annoying talking paperclips!
"Viable Option"on by Cowboy_phil
Pros Easy to use, Powerful
Cons No Email Editor
Summary I think that Open Office is a viable option to the huge install of Office. It doesn't come with a bundled email or graphics editing program but used in conjuction with FireFox, ThunderBird and GIMP you can easily limit the amout of things that you do with Microsoft. Freeware on Open Source should not be associated with lack of quality these days.