Report On OpenOffice

Back on October 4th we announced on our blog the alliance formed between Google and Sun Microsystems. If you’d like to look back for this post it’s titled, “Like Google Earth? How About Google Sun …

In that post I mentioned that I was installing and testing OpenOffice and noted that I would report back as to whether I found it a viable replacement for Microsoft Office. Admittedly it took me a while to get used to it and the way that it functions. Similar to my switch to the superior Firefox browser from IE I found myself trying to do things the hard way out of habit and quickly realized that OpenOffice is built in a much more instinctive fashion.

Once I’d worked through all of that I did find that there were many features absent in OpenOffice that are available in the Microsoft version. I realized this through the absence of as many drop down option however I still have yet to need a feature that isn’t there. 🙂

It easily dealt with the documents I had produced in Microsoft Office and allowed me to create and work with templates, edit past documents and provides for all the formatting considerations I need.

The spreadsheet (their version of Excel) appears equally strong and again, I have yet to find a function that I need access to that isn’t available.

In short, I will be continuing to use the OpenOffice suite. To replace Outlook (my past email client) I have switched to Mozilla’s Thunderbird and found it to be on par with their browser. An excellent tool. Again, it took a while to get used to doing things the easy way but once I got over that hurdle it’s been smooth sailing. I did find the absence of a calendar in Thunderbird detrimental however I was reminded by Allan here at Beanstalk that Thunderbird is open source and there are tons of extensions developed for it much like Firefox. A quick search and I found a great calendar extension and I haven’t looked back.

If you would like to download and test the OpenOffice suite you can do so here.
If you need to replace Outlook (as I did) and would like to give Thunderbird a try you can download it here. If you need the calendar extension you can find it here.

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